Demonstrators in the Opening Ceremony of Tokyo Olympics

Hundred of Protestors gathered outside Japan’s National Stadium where the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics was being held. The outrage of the people outside the stadium was seen holding placards, opposing the Olympics games. Though the game was supposed to be held with a lesser number of spectators yet the demonstrator opposed amid the surging increase in Coronavirus cases. Tokyo recently recorded a six-month high in new Covid 19 cases and the city is in a state of emergency.

One of the protestors said, ‘it’s not just Olympic but so many problems that overlap each other, so I think they should just abolish the Olympics’.

Another said ‘ Today is the opening of the Olympics, we strongly want cancellation of the Olympics and protesting today.

There was a considerable scrimmage between the police and the protestors, in trying to stop the protestors marching towards the stadium.

Protestors’ holding placards written ‘Cancel Olympics Save Lives’ on them. Some wrote ‘Cancel the Tokyo Olympics Games’.

However, according to the Public poll conducted by Kyodo News last weekend, 87% of respondents expressed concern about hosting the Olympics during a pandemic, while 31.2% said that they believed the Games should be canceled.

As reported till Friday morning, 110 people connected with the Olympics had tested positive for Covid-19, which includes 13 athletes, 12 residing in the Olympics Village.

Earlier this month the International Olympic Committee put some new guidelines about how the athletes express their views.

However, the rules on expression pertain to Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter which says, ”No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venue or other areas”

There are few places wherein expressions are specifically banned: during official ceremonies, during competition on the field of play, and in the Olympic village.

Athletes are allowed to express their opinions only within the Olympic venue during the Olympic games.

According to the Committee, the new guidelines aim to keep the focus at the Olympics on athlete’s performances and international unity and harmony- and that neutrality is a fundamental principle at the Games. Athlete’s expression on the field of play during competitions or official ceremonies could distract from the celebration of sporting performances.

Responding to the new guidelines, the Athletes Commission said that according to a study it was found that 70% of respondents opposed saying it is not appropriate to demonstrate or express their views on the field of play or at official ceremonies. Some also opposed saying that it is violating their freedom of expression rights.

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