By Duncan Mackay in Vancouver

February 12 - More than 100 protestors, campaigning over the financial and environmental impact of the Winter Olympics, which open here tonight, have blocked the Torch Relay and forced its route to be changed.

There have been demonstrations at several locations but the most serious incident took place in one of the city's poorest areas as protesters targeted the support vehicles which have accompanied the torch relay on its 28,000 mile journey spread over the last 106 days.

The biggest protest was in front of the Victory Square War Memorial.

About 600 people gathered on surrounding sidewalks and street corners, most to watch and enjoy and the rest to demonstrate against everything from the cost of the Olympics to tight security.

In a tense 20-minute stand-off, the group faced up to security personnel before police reinforcements dispersed them without further incident.

Earlier, the torch was carried by Hollywood star, and now California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012.

Afterwards Coe said: ""Being passed the flame by the Terminator?

"That's something to tell the kids about.

"I invited him to come to the London Games."

The torch will be used to light the cauldron in front of a 60,000-crowd at BC Place Stadium later in the day at the opening ceremony of the Games.

Last night, around 150 people had protested as the torch passed by the city's university as unsuccessful attempts were made to disrupt the relay.

"The protests were peaceful," said police spokesman Peter Thiessen.

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