First the press release, then what I've heard.
On December 28th, 2009, The Olympic Torch Run entered the City of Guelph as it made its journey across Canada enroute to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympic Games.
At approximately 7:50 a.m., the procession made its way up Wyndham Street North Guelph and as it approaching MacDonnell Street a group of protesters approached the Olympic Torch Run entourage and the 28 year old female torch bearer was knocked to A 19 year old female was immediately arrested on scene.
The Olympic Flame was not extinguished.
The 28 year old female Torch Carrier, a resident of Milton was treated on scene for her injuries by the Olympic Torch Run medical staff.
This incident occurred in front of approx. 1000 children and parents who attended the festivities to celebrate the Olympic Torch coming to Guelph on its journey to Vancouver
Brittney SIMPSON 19 years of Kitchener has been charged with Assault and will appear in court in February.
That's from the Guelph Police press release on the incident. I was not a witness, but I did speak to a few of the protesters after the flame left downtown.
According to protest spokesperson Drew Garvie, the tripping of the torch runner simply stemmed from a situation that got out of control fast. So many of the revelers were apparently trying to drown out the protesters that people began crowding around the torch route, and the runner was knocked to the ground. Garvie and his associate didn't seem to know what specifically happened, but they seemed to think it was nothing more than an accident. Information's at a premium, so I encourage anyone that saw something to e-mail me at email@example.com, or if you wish to stay anonymous, leave a comment below.
As for the protest itself, Garvie says that people have the wrong idea about what was trying to be said this morning. "I think a lot of the people booing us think we're just out to ruin their fun," he says. "It's too bad there was such hostility between the protesters and the community."
To wit, as a few other reporters and myself were talking to Garvie and his associate someone walked up behind us and sang "Oh, Canada" loudly. He then got into a verbal sparring match with Garvie saying, "It's bull$#!t what you guys are doing," he said before arguing that exactly the same people that protested the Hanlon Creek Business Park were protesting the Olympics. "It's great that Canadians have been coming together celebrating [the Olympics]. There's room for protest, but not angry protest."
As the man walked away, Gravie says to me, "That's the response to our criticism: 'Go Canada.' And that's not a compelling reason."
It's worth noting that this isn't the first time that the Olympic flame encounter protest. The flame was diverted from the Six Nations reserve near Caledonia last week when a group threatened to block the torch saying that it had no right to cross sovereign Six Nations land.
More information as it develops.
Photos provided by Greg Beneteau from thecannon.ca