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Two anti-Olympic activists have launched a court challenge to Vancouver's Olympic bylaw to defend their right to distribute material critical of the Games during and around the events.
The lawsuit was filed by Chris Shaw, a UBC professor, and Alissa Westergard-Thorpe, a student, with the support of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association on Wednesday morning at B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.
"I am participating in this lawsuit because I feel the bylaw as proposed by council infringes my charter rights. It is offensive to me and should be to all Canadians," said Shaw, who has been one of the most consistently outspoken critics of the Games.
"I want to be able to express my dissent," he said. "I do intend to hand out leaflets. I may stand there with a protest banner. I may want to engage tourists in conversations. I want to be able to do all those things that I am guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms."
The Five Ring Circus
The city passed the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bylaw in June to restrict the distribution and exhibition of unapproved advertising material and signs in any Olympic area during the Games.
It includes an exception for celebratory signs, which are defined as those that celebrate the 2010 Winter Games and create or enhance a festive environment and atmosphere.
In the statement of claim, Shaw said he intends to distribute information about his book,...