This Sunday (6th April 2008) the London leg of the global Olympic torch relay will take place. Bob will be there, alongside the 80 torchbearers, 2,000 police, many spectators, and inevitable protestors.
Where and when?
The route map through London can be downloaded here (pdf): London Olympic Torch Relay Route Map
You can find a list of events and timings as well as the map on Mayor of London’s site – highlights include Chinese dragons in China Town and a 600 strong choir at the Southbank Centre. As well as these official events the Free Tibet Campaign have also organised meeting points along the route at Queensway (11.30), Russell Street (12.20) and Whitehall (13.00). So visitors can choose whether to support the relay, or protest, or a bit of both.
Despite old reports stating that Sir Steve Redgrave would be one of those carrying the torch through London, the official site does not mention him. Another great British Olympian, Dame Kelly Holmes is the biggest name on the bill, and will be joined by amongst others Sir Trevor McDonald, Vanessa Mae, Kevin Pieterson and Theo Walcott as well as young hopefuls for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Pressure has been put on these individuals to consider their role in condoning the Chinese authorities, as the high profile protests continue to overshadow the build up to the Games. TV presenter Connie Huq spoke in the press about this.
As mentioned above protesters are planning to use this event to continue the raise publicity for their causes. Reporters Without Borders have said that they may try and repeat their stunt in Athens last month. However the Free Tibet Campaign insist that they do not wish to disrupt the relay, and will only stage fittingly peaceful protests. They are holding the Tibetan Freedom Torch Rally between 14.30 – 15.30 in Argyle Square which is an alternative event for those who do not wish to attend the Olympic torch relay.