by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 14th 2009 11:48am
Yet again, we're learning how when the Olympics come to town, your free speech rights apparently disappear. Rob Hyndman sends over the news that a Vancouver art gallery was ordered to remove a mural, because it was viewed as being anti-Olympics. The Olympics, of course, comes to Vancouver in a few months. The mural in question showed five rings, in the usual Olympic pattern, with four of the rings showing a frown face, and the fifth showing a smiley. The mural was hanging outside of the gallery, so the city claims the order to take it down came due to local graffiti laws -- though the gallery says in 10 years, this is the first mural it had to take down. In fact, when the landlord was told to remove the graffiti, he called the city back to ask what graffiti since he didn't see any and assumed the mural was fine, given the history of murals hung there. And, of course, there's already concern over a special law -- passed just for the Olympics -- that gives law enforcement the right to remove signage that they don't like.
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