Protestor interrupts Olympic torch relay as it sails down Regent’s Canal

A protestor who interrupted the Olympic torch relay as it passed along Regent’s Canal with a sign reading ‘f*** the Olympics’ got caught up in the moment as he momentarily put down his placard to take a snap of the Olympic torch.

The 26-year-old, who gave his name only as Paul for fear of police action, marred the view along the canal with a white banner which he waved from the roof of his strategically placed houseboat at 7.15am today (Thursday, July 26).

But as the majestic procession barge carried the Olympic torch around the corner and the crowd began to cheer, he dropped the sign and reached for his camera to snap his own shot of the golden flame for the memory book.

A policeman who was speaking to Paul at the time was unable to get the young protestor to step down from his roof.

Instead he stood defiant as the final confetti rained down on his boat and a youth choir from Camden sang the last trills of a classical piece of music.

Speaking exclusively to the Ham&High, Paul said: “I was quite nervous actually. I was concerned they would have a bigger police presence than they did but I’ve wanted to protest the Olympics for a while.

“A member of the public was jumping on my roof and pulling on my banner. He was saying I was a disgrace.

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“I was quite annoyed because this is where I live. I told him he was trespassing on my property. I don’t think he’d like it if someone tried to do that to his house.”

Paul moored his boat on the stretch of Regent’s Canal near Granary Square late last night (Wednesday, July 25) so he did not miss a second this morning.

With the dedication of an Olympian, he lugged the boat by hand ten-minutes down the waterway because the engine was broken.

Paul, who has lived on a houseboat for six months, explained: “Normally over a 1000 people live in boats in London. Originally they were going to kick them all out but now if you pay an extra fee you can stay.

“Some houseboaters can’t afford the extra fees and they weren’t going to be allowed anywhere central during Olympics time.”

He added: “I managed to afford the extra license fee so I thought I’d be here today to remind everyone of the people that couldn’t be.”