Following my report yesterday, seven pro-Tibet demonstrators were arrested in San Francisco after tying anti-Chinese banners to the cables of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The flame is due to arrive in the city within hours, following anti-Chinese protests in Paris and London.

Chinese sources, however, stated ““no force” can stop the Olympic flame relay”

Police in San Francisco, where the torch is due to be relayed on Wednesday, arrested seven people on Monday and charged them with conspiracy and causing a public nuisance.

Three climbers among them faced additional charges of trespassing.

They had scaled the bridge to perch 150 feet (46m) above traffic, attaching “Free Tibet” banners and a Tibetan flag.

One of them, Laurel Sutherlin, spoke by mobile phone to reporters.

“If the IOC [International Olympic Committee] allows the torch to proceed into Tibet they’ll have blood on their hands,” he said.

US Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called on President George W Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of the Olympics unless China improves its human rights record.

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