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Protesters force torch to be re-routed

The New York Times reported Wednesday the Olympic torch was re-routed, protected by security and evacuated to the airport, after protesters tried to extinguish the flame.

The torch made its only North American stop in San Francisco and was met by thousands of protesters who waiting hours to see the torch.

However, officials change the route of the torch from the announced Waterfront Avenue to Central Avenue. The torch proceeded to go on a stop-and-go path until it hit the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco authorities took elaborate precaution due to problems in London and Paris, where protesters made the situations messy. Authorities hired hundreds of law enforcement officials and set up miles of barricades to protect the flame from protesters.

“It was a simple decision,? San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said. “Do we cancel the event or do we change the event to assure the safety and security of the torchbearers.? (New York Times)

After the torch passed through San Francisco it hopped on a plane to Buenos Aires, which is the next stop on the torch’s international journey.

The Los Angeles Times reported at least three torchbearers dropped out of running due to fears of violence.

On the other hand, some protesters were angered by the re-routing of the torch. The protesters were there to demonstrate against China’s actions in Tibet and Darfur, as well as some other issues.

Jerry Fowler, president of the Save Darfur Coalition, said the protesters still got their point across about their displeasure with China. He went on to say that even though the torch was hidden for the day, China cannot hide their “torturous policy of aiding and abetting genocide.? (Los Angeles Times)

“The city should have made known the torch route rather than be deceptive,? Yan Ko, a San Francisco retail worker, said. (Los Angeles Times)