The Olympics may occasionally seem like a sovereign autocracy, given the more than 23,000 families uprooted to make room for the Games and the some 85,000 security forces now patrolling the streets of Rio. But late Monday night, a Brazilian federal court judge issued an injunction asserting that free speech still applies within the Olympic stadium grounds. According to Judge João Augusto Carneiro de Araújo, the so-called Olympic Law, which organizers had used to remove spectators displaying signs or t-shirts critical of the Brazilian government and interim President Michel Temer, “does not appear to ban peaceful demonstrations of a political nature.”
Brazil’s police are not known for being especially tolerant of peaceful demonstration in any setting, but for the duration of the Games, at least, protesters may have a platform to air their various grievances. (Whether dissent will make it onto NBC’s time-delayed broadcast is another question.) The ruling comes as the Senate prepares to proceed with the fraudulent impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, the deeply unpopular president who signed the Olympic Law prior to her ouster. It remains to be seen whether the newly emboldened Fora Temer—Out With Temer—movement will be enough to make a difference, one way or the other.