Olympic rules: No banners, no nudity, no sit-ins…(Lead)

July 15th, 2008 - 3:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 15 (Xinhua) Olympic organisers have announced that spectators cannot bring banners and leaflets, musical instruments and radios. And sit-in protests and nudity will not be tolerated. The Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) Monday issued a list of rules for the spectators at Olympic venues.

The rules advise spectators not to bring support banners and leaflets related to business, religion, politics, military, human rights and environmental and animal protection.

Huang Keying, a BOCOG spectator division official, said the rules, including 22 restrictions and four prohibitions, were in line with the Olympic Charter.

“Each spectator is subject to the rules aimed at maintaining security and order of the venue,” he said.

Banners reading “Go China,” will not be allowed in the Olympic venues. While such posters have been frequently seen during the Olympic torch global relay, the tendentious banners violate the fairness principle of an Olympic event, according to Olympic venue rules.

Li Yong, a BOCOG volunteer department staff, told Xinhua that people with banners would be stopped at the entrance. Spectators should cheer for both Chinese and foreign athletes, Li said.

The rules also ban flags larger than two meters by one metre, flags of non-participating members, photo-shooting with a flash, drunkenness, nudity and gambling, sit-ins, demonstrations, as well as soft drink containers, musical instruments including whistles, long umbrellas, cigarette lighters, cameras and radios at venues.

Fountain pens and sunscreen in small quantity would be allowed. Animals, except guide dogs, would also not be allowed.

The organisers have asked spectators to dress normally and not deliberately display commercial logos on clothes or be part of a group of people wearing identical patterned clothes.

The rules have been conveyed to spectators along with the tickets.

Zhang said inquiry centres would operate daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in several languages. “Many overseas spectators inquired whether they could bring babies into the opening or closing ceremony venue.” It is not advised.

Zhang said the restrictions and prohibitions were roughly the same as those of the Athens and Sydney Games.

Huang said Athens had banned carrying a large quantity of coins in the venues. Beijing does not have such a restriction.

“Beijing locals like to use parasols to block the sunshine. But we have to remind people not to open umbrellas in the seating areas so as not to block the view of others,” she said, adding that collapsible umbrellas are allowed in the venues.

“We have specially trained staff to communicate with spectators and point out their misconduct, ” Zhang said.

BOCOG also launched Monday a “Good Habit for a Good Games” campaign by distributing “Smiling Wristbands” in five Olympic colours to the public to promote “civilized watching, smile commitment”.

Meanwhile, a large-scale etiquette campaign was launched outside the Olympic venues. More than 4.3 million families were given “etiquette manuals” and 870,000 taxi drivers, government workers, restaurant waiters and bus conductors attended such courses.

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