The scenes in London are extraordinary.
I’m watching it at home (would rather be there). Scuffles everywhere. Then protesters grab the Olympic Flame from children’s TV presenter Konnie Huq. (I did notice that there were a few deliberate ‘searches’ on my blog about her).
I am pleased people had the guts to seriously protest on this issue. Thousands turned out. The atmosphere along the procession looks ‘tense’ and ‘unpredictable’. You can’t hear the words of support at all (well only until Piccadilly which is full of tourists and famillies).
The sight of so many nervous police says it all, you see so many florescent police cyclists. At several stages, it broke into farce. At one stage, a protester’s flag got plonked on a BBC news reporter’s head. Other large banners with ‘Hands of Tibet’ blocked the TV screens.
Later, protesters let off a smoky fire extinguisher. Police, Chinese guards and Olympic Runners looked apprehensive, not knowing what will happen next. Loud jeers at the barriers ‘Shame on China’ from the protesters and huge flags everywhere. Police looked more like the Key Stone Cops than professional police ‘who knew what they were doing’. It almost looks almost as chaotic as the poll tax riots. The BBC say the protesters ‘seriously disrupted’ the procession.
It’s so bad the police cyclists aren’t using their bikes anymore. They looked exasperated and some resorted to pushing protesters off angrily. Some of the clearly unfit police were struggling to hurdle over the barriers. Some of the barriers crashed down along Whitehall (not due to the fat policemen but by the protesters).
I’ve just read that the Chinese Ambassador only carried the flame for a short while after the route had to ‘suddenly change’! Some parts of the Relay was a complete and utter Shambles with a capital ‘S’ but the ‘demo’ was very successful in spreading the message. Well done to the brave protesters from Free Tibet and Free Burma and all the others and good to hear that protesters boo-ed the corporate sponsors heading into Downing Street.
In the meantime, Gordon Brown was seen chatting to ‘yes’ people, basking in ‘cushy’ Downing Street, and ‘deliberately not seeing ‘his people’ outside’ which he should have done. Well done to Nick Clegg for his comments in that the event shouldn’t happen at all. (His attitude almost makes up for his arsonist past).
A solitary monk, stood alone, outside Downing Street. His humbleness made a point. It was a reminder what it was all about.
Saying all that, I don’t know why random children’s presenters and actresses are running in the Olympic Relay anyway, they don’t have anything to do with sports. Soon we will be having Big Brother ‘celebrities’ who regularly scoff burgers at breakfast, doing this. What would the Ancient Greeks say? And when was the last time Trevor MacDonald was out on a bike? If I had my way, I would send Gordon Brown to run down Bayswater to face the music and/or some really special people who have done something good for the community ie getting youth off crime and into sports?
This blog is a bit radical for a cycling blog.. but that’s the way it goes.