A Preview Of Tomorrow’s Olympic Torch Relay

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    The Olympic torch has arrived in Japan, and a few protests have already taken place:

    As torch-bearers rolled into Nagano, hundreds of Falun Gong supporters marched with a loud brass band through the city’s streets to condemn China’s leadership, which considers the spiritual movement an “evil cult.”

    “Stop the mass murder by the Chinese Communist Party,” read a banner held by marchers in yellow Falun Gong T-shirts, who were closely watched by dozens of police.

    Separately, at least two demonstrators unfurled Tibetan flags as the Chinese torch delegation stopped at a highway rest area on its way to Nagano, 180 kilometres (110 miles) north of Tokyo.

    Japanese authorities have decided to ban the public from the start, midpoint and end of tomorrow’s relay, citing security concerns. About 3,000 policemen will provide security along the route and a group of about 100 police will run together with the torch bearers. Two Chinese paramilitary guards will accompany the torch as “attendants” and have agreed not to act as security.

    Below are a some computer-generated examples of what the relay should look like:

    CCTV, a state-controlled Chinese news outlet, reports that 10,000 Chinese will be in Nagano tomorrow to witness the relay. If such numbers are accurate, the torch runners shouldn’t expect much trouble, as the pro-Chinese crowds will likely block and intimidate protesters as their countrymen did in Australia.

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