It's not just activists and dissidents facing arrest in China -- on Wednesday a British journalist was detained in Beijing for covering a Tibetan protest.

John Ray of London-based ITV News was rushing to cover the demonstration outside the main Olympic venue, when he was apparently mistaken as a protestor.

"Are you arresting me? I am a journalist!" an indignant Ray shouted as he was taken away in a police van.

He later said he repeatedly told officials he was not a protester, although he did not display any official media accreditation.

"They bundled me out of the park. They forced me to the floor, dragged me, manhandled me into a restaurant next door," Ray told The Associated Press.

He was later released.

Eight activists were arrested after they unfurled a "Free Tibet" flag near the National Stadium.

Seven were Americans and the eighth had Tibetan background but was a Japanese citizen.

Wary of criticism, China says it has set aside specific, if not out-of-the-way, parks for protest. But reports say those parks have not seen any demonstrations, just happy-go-lucky park regulars.

CTV News has been contacted by some groups that said they applied foer permission to protest -- groups ranging from upset homeowners to Christians looking for more religious freedom.

However, human rights groups say that once activists put in their official requests, they were rounded up.

Teng Biao, a human-rights lawyer, said that he's been kicked out of Beijing and told to go back to his hometown.

Police told him to stop being critical of China in interviews, for the good of the Games, he told CTV News.

However, one protester has been able to speak out with little to fear from the government, apparently because his father was a prominent member of the Communist party.

Prominent artist Ai Wei Wei quit while helping design the National Stadium.

He says the Chinese political structure won't reform, and complains of lack of freedom of speech and press.

With a report from CTV's Steve Chao in Beijing and files from The Associated Press