By JEROME PUGMIRE and ELAINE GANLEY
Police officers apprehend an anti-China, pro-Tibet demonstrator, waving a Tibetan flag, as he tried to interrupt the Olympic torch parade shortly after its beginning near the Eiffel tower in Paris, Monday, April 7, 2008. About 3,000 French police, on motorcycles, in jogging gear and on skates, mobilized to protect the Olympic torch relay Monday when it departs from the Eiffel Tower and crisscrosses Paris amid threat of protests. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus
PARIS, April 7 — The Olympic torch was extinguished and put on a bus for protection at least twice Monday as it moved through Paris amid heavy protests, including at least one attempt to rush a torch-bearer.
A man identified as a Green Party activist was grabbed by security officers as he headed for 1997 400-meter world champion Stephane Diagana, who was carrying the torch at the beginning of its relay from the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. The man was tackled before he got close to Diagana.
Later in the relay, police threw other protesters to the ground and carried some away. The torch was snuffed out and placed on a bus.
It was extinguished and put on a bus again less than an hour later as protesters booed and began chanting "Tibet!" although none appeared to rush the torch.
The relay resumed but protesters were planning more demonstrations along Monday's route.
On Sunday London police repeatedly scuffled with protesters decrying China's human rights record and a recent crackdown on Tibetans. One tried to grab the torch, while another tried to snuff out the flame with what appeared to be a fire extinguisher. Thirty-seven people were arrested.
The flame's round-the-world trip is the longest in Olympic history, and it is meant to shine a spotlight on China's economic and political power. But activists have used to publicize anger at Beijing's policies at home and abroad.
Security men tackle Green Party activist Sylvain Garel, third left at rear, as he tries to approach Stephane Diagana, right, the 400-meter world champion in 1997, as he carries the Olympic torch at the beginning of its relay from the first floor of the Eiffel tower in Paris, Monday, April 7, 2008. Security officials have extinguished the Olympic flame amid heavy protests during the torch relay in Paris. Police in jogging gear put the flame out and brought it aboard a bus, apparently to move it away from protesters. The flame was being carried down a road along the Seine River amid demonstrators carrying Tibetan flags when the relay was stopped. It is not immediately clear what police plan next, or when or where the relay will resume. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
There have been protests since the flame embarked on a 85,000-mile journey from Ancient Olympia in Greece to Beijing for the Aug. 8-24 Olympic Games.
The torch relay is expected to face demonstrations in San Francisco, New Delhi and possibly elsewhere on its 21-stop, six-continent tour before arriving in mainland China on May 4.
Paris police conceived an elaborate security plan to keep the torch in a safe "bubble."
French torchbearers were to be encircled by several hundred officers, some in riot police vehicles and on motorcycles, others on skates and on foot. Three boats were also to patrol the Seine River, and a helicopter was to fly over Paris, police said.
About 80 athletes planned to carry the torch over a 17-mile route that starts at the Eiffel Tower, heads down the Champs-Elysees avenue toward City Hall, then crosses over the Seine before ending at the Charlety track and field stadium.
In Beijing Monday, International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge said he was "very concerned" about unrest in Tibet, his strongest comments to date on the political storm surrounding the Games.
A pro-Tibet activist is arrested by policemen as he protest prior to the beginning of the Beijing Olympics torch relay. European athletes and officials have demanded clearer guidelines on how free they will be to express opinions on human rights, Tibet and other issues at the Beijing Olympics.
"The International Olympic Committee has expressed its serious concern and calls for a rapid peaceful resolution in Tibet," Rogge said. He added that violent protests, "for whatever reason," are "not compatible with the values of the torch relay or the Olympic Games."Associated Press writer Angela Doland in Paris contributed to this report.Watch protest video here.