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T-shirts and free speech...
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:48 pm    Post subject: T-shirts and free speech... Reply with quote

Quote:
Qantas bars man wearing 'Bush' T-shirt

An Australian who lives in Britain has threatened legal action against Qantas for barring him from a Melbourne-to-London flight wearing a T-shirt depicting US President George W Bush as a terrorist.

Allen Jasson said he was defending freedom of speech through his insistence on wearing the T-shirt.

Mr Jasson, 55, an IT specialist living in London, is staying with his daughter in Melbourne after he was refused entry to the flight to London at Melbourne Airport on Friday.

Airline staff argued the T-shirt, which bears an image of the US president with the slogan 'World's number 1 terrorist', was a security risk or an item likely to upset passengers.

The airline earlier had prevented him from flying to Melbourne for Christmas with relatives on December 2 until he removed the shirt.

Domestic carrier Virgin Blue took the same action when Mr Jasson tried to catch a connecting flight to Adelaide, but on a return flight to Melbourne with Qantas on Friday, he successfully wore the shirt.

Mr Jasson said he cleared international security checks and arrived at the departure lounge in Melbourne for the flight home when he approached the gate manager, congratulated him over Qantas allowing him to wear the shirt and demanded an apology for his earlier treatment.

"I concede that I raised the issue, but I wanted primarily to thank Qantas for relenting when (the gate manager) told me: 'I'm surprised you got this far, the staff should have stopped you'," Mr Jasson said.

Mr Jasson said he risked missing his chance of permanent residency if he spent more than two months out of the UK.

But the Adelaide-born former Melbourne resident said he was seeking legal advice to challenge the airline's policy and recover costs.

"To be fair to Qantas, they have said I can take another flight if I don't wear the t-shirt but I am not prepared to go without the t-shirt," he said.

"I might forfeit the ($2,500) fare but I have made up my mind that I would rather stand up for the principle of free speech."

When asked whether the stand was worthwhile, Mr Jasson said: "In Australia today it is very sad that that question has to be asked.

"It's very sad that I find that question has to be asked in Australia. It's a very unhealthy situation and it makes me feel very sad.

"It's one of the reasons that I now live in the UK."

Reading from a prepared statement, a Qantas spokesman said: "Whether made verbally or on a t-shirt, comments with the potential to offend other customers or threaten the security of a Qantas group aircraft will not be tolerated".


Where can I get one?????
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man...that's ridiculous. I wonder if they would have stopped him if he was wearing the same slogan with a pic of Osama? Maybe they would actually...

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Causing a fuzz on a plane is not to be joked with. I feel convinced, that responsible air line officials would have stopped him, had he worn the OBL version. Or let's say he was on an EL-AL flight to Tel Aviv wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Hitler saying "The Saviour of Mankind"?

Or would you let a white guy on a local SA flight get on a plane full of blacks with a t-shirt sayin "P. Botha Rocks!"?

It's a mater of understandable pragmatism on behalf of the airline officials. But It's not free speech, I grant you that.

On board a plane or a ship, for practical reasons, the captains words are the law. It's really not the place to risk a brawl.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tend to agree Prebe, however the Aussies have been polled (newspoll) and 73% (c 10K polled) think he should be allowed to wear it. This suggests the following:

people think freedom of speech/expression/ideas is important
people either actively or passively agree with the sentiment that Bush is the worlds number one terrorist.

Its also interesting that it has provided a platform for the sort of views about Bush and the war in Iraq that we normally only see in places like the Watch rather than through the mainstream media and people here are loving it...this guy has basically yelled out, "the Emperor is wearing no clothes"
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is ridiculous - all the more so because he wasn't even traveling to America in the first place - but remember that in Australia free speech isn't a guarantee.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Lore it is not and our laws and revisions of laws to "help combat Terrorism", are draconian. But this is a small indicator of what people think about Bush and the war in Iraq; 73% is a significant amount of any poll and it is an expression of freedom of speech and a kick-out at those who would limit it.

It's interesting that the Big Day Out abuses of the flag has seen that same Ra Ra Ra from Howard, but most are appalled at the over-zealous (to be polite to some of the flag bearers) facist (to not be polite) behaviour.

There is, I think a ground swell amongst, particularly younger folk, against Howard, the Iraq war and the whole "Oz...the US State" mentality. I don't think Howard is representative of the feelings of Australia and holds power more at the behest of the older generation who have a vested interest in maintaining the financial status quo even if it means selling their souls to the devil and the total incompetance of the Labour party.

Rudd could be good enough to make a fight next time out, especially as the younger generation come of age to vote.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prebe wrote:
Or would you let a white guy on a local SA flight get on a plane full of blacks with a t-shirt sayin "P. Botha Rocks!"?


Yep. It's not my business to stand in the way of another's drive to self-destruction. *shrug*

No freedom of speech in Australia? Really? Didn't know that.

Anyway, I'm always of the opinion that you do whatever you're willing to accept the consquences for.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

finn wrote:
Rudd could be good enough to make a fight next time out, especially as the younger generation come of age to vote.


But do you think the Labour party has much credentials left? With all the infighting and leadership changes I have my doubt if they can mount an effective front (as seen in the public's eyes).
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Yep. It's not my business to stand in the way of another's drive to self-destruction. *shrug*
If it was only his own risk, I would agree. However, picking a fight (likely a massive one) on a plane, is not just your own risk.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think it would cause a fight though. Not even that one, let alone the Bush one in the story.

And if it did, then the people who attacked him would be at fault, not him.

A person can hold any opinion. And wearing a shirt that proclaims that opinion is no different from telling everybody that you hold it.

You can't be stopped from telling people your opinion.

You may argue the pragmatism of not allowing it to prevent friction, but what is the atual probability of it endangering the flight? Really? Pretty damn miniscule I would think.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand Prebe's basic principle here, but damn: The possibility that there's someone on a plane who can be driven to violence by a T-shirt means that the problem is the guy wearing the T-shirt?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, but the airline should assume, for everyones safety, that all passengers are potential time-bombs. The logical conclusion, if you want to stick to the freedom of speech, is to ONLY allow the guy with the t-shirt on board Laughing

As for whether or not this t-shirt presents a real danger, I really don't think so (I'm less sure about the "P. Bothat Rocks"). But I'm sure we could come up with an example that did. And that's the heart of the matter I think.

If you KNOW that a guy walking into a crowded concert hall is going to yell: "FIRE"! Wouldn't you prevent him from entering?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not just Free Speech - it's that we're talking about violence as a response to a friggin' T-Shirt!

(Had one printed up when I was a kid that read: "There Are No Stereotypes - Only Truths That More Or Less Apply To You And Your Kind!" - Never was even threatened, much less removed from a plane because someone else might be so offended that they might resort to violence...)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive me if I am wrong, but I thought free speech guaranteed that the government could put you in jail/fine you for what views you express. Free speech does not say anything about the right to fly in an airplane. Crap we let restaurants turn people out if they don't have proper attire - not exactly the same thing I know. I still think the arguement is specious.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
understand Prebe's basic principle here, but damn: The possibility that there's someone on a plane who can be driven to violence by a T-shirt means that the problem is the guy wearing the T-shirt?



The thing is, I agree people have a right to free speech, but the airline has a right to refuse service to anyone if they feel there is a reason to do so. There is such a thing as controversy, and proclaiming that the leader of America is guilty of committing the number one crime in the news is worn to provke a response; either that person can be viewed as a threat, or the T shirt itself could be a catalyst to start an altercation. I would also agree someone wearing an OSL t shirt with a similiar sentiment also be banned. it is just too controversial and risky to allow it to interfere with a flight.

Sure, I agree that someone who would pick a fight wearing such a t shirt has some personal issues, and probably is more of a threat than the T shirt wearer, but in this case, how would the airline identify those people?
Could they be trusted to wear their own t shirt that says "I will beat you up if I dont agree with your t shirt? "

Freedom of speech doesn't apply when other people's safety is involved.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed iQuestor.
All right Pliss. Assuming that we actually had a t-shirt that we suspect some people might react violently towards. Should we let the dude on the plane? Personally, I don't think so.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone else see this as a cameo of what's happening in the world with respect to curtailed rights being a cost of safety from the intolerant?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

finn wrote:
Does anyone else see this as a cameo of what's happening in the world with respect to curtailed rights being a cost of safety from the intolerant?


Unfortunately, it does cost. It is a side effect of terrorism. I cannot blame the airline for doing it. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from responsibility. The rights of the greater population must be considered above the rights of an individual.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prebe wrote:
Agreed iQuestor.
All right Pliss. Assuming that we actually had a t-shirt that we suspect some people might react violently towards. Should we let the dude on the plane? Personally, I don't think so.
Sorry, I can't help but think that someone who can be driven to violence by a T-shirt qualifies as insane - and probably has proven himself a security risk long before setting foot on that plane.

This is LCD thinking, to restrict the actions of the non-violent because of the possibility of violence from others.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plissken wrote:
Prebe wrote:
Agreed iQuestor.
All right Pliss. Assuming that we actually had a t-shirt that we suspect some people might react violently towards. Should we let the dude on the plane? Personally, I don't think so.
Sorry, I can't help but think that someone who can be driven to violence by a T-shirt qualifies as insane - and probably has proven himself a security risk long before setting foot on that plane.

This is LCD thinking, to restrict the actions of the non-violent because of the possibility of violence from others.


Remember that guy that went into the mormon church and executed 5 girls? he had been carrying that for a while. and no one ever knew. No one even knows what set him off. He never had a traffic ticket. No one saw it coming. Some people just have a boiling point. Point is, you can't know.

And yes, I would rather restrict a person wearing a t shirt from getting onto an airplane than worry about offending someone's right to wear a t shirt on said plane. The are the only denominator the staff knew about, and they did what they had to do.
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