Censorship Gallery: Map Records Olympic Free-Speech Standoffs
The 2010 Legal Observer Program's blog features a handy Censorship Gallery, a Google map mashup that pinpoints the locations and details of run-ins between private citizens and the VANOC juggernaut. Despite city and police promises that free speech will be allowed, you can see some pretty clear examples of that promise being broken.
The targets range from businesses that use the word "Olympic" in their name, or the Olympic rings in their logo, to art installations in private galleries. The outcomes of recorded altercations are also described.
My favorite instance is the Heritage Canada's grant of $10,000 to the Community Arts Council of Richmond (CACR)so fourth-graders could create their vision of the torch relay... but were not allowed to use any Olympic symbols. The misunderstanding was cleared up, though, as CACR (along with many others) fell afoul of VANOC's overzealous media enforcers. This is monkey see, monkey do, really: the IOC has a bit of a history of bullying private citizens.
I'd take issue with some of the claims, though: I don't think that the seizure of thousands of Ecstasy pills stamped with the Olympic logo can be accurately described as "censorship", but I'd have added that to the map, too, because how could you not?
As the 2010 Winter Games are only two months away, we can expect the conflict over media rights to heat up.