Monday, March 15th, 2010
A British holidaymaker was ordered to cover up his t-shirt by airport security guards at London’s Gatwick airport, who described the slogan “Freedom or Death” as “threatening” and “an incitement to terrorism”.
38-year-old father of two, Lloyd Berks, was ordered to obscure the shirt while passing through security gates on his way to a flight to Austria.
The shirt (pictured) is a white Levi Strauss design, found in hundreds of high street stores across the country.
It depicts a skeleton, flanked by two revolvers, with the famous phrase emblazoned above in turquoise lettering.
“First they told me take my shoes off and checked my wallet, which is understandable,” Berks told the UK Daily Mail.
“Then they said airlines might be worried by my T-shirt because its “threatening”. I thought they were joking at first. I was with my family. I was hardly a terrorist risk.”
“It’s an attack on people’s civil liberties. What has happened to common sense? Have people forgotten how to use it?” Mr Berks added.
We can’t be having people such as Mr Berks flouting their freedom in such a manner now can we? God forbid. Others may begin to think they are also free.
Airport officials have since apologised to Mr Berks and admitted the incident was unnecessary.
Far from being an isolated incident, this case is one of a spate of attacks on behalf of a dangerous new global terrorist group identified only as the “T-shirt wearing terrorists”.
Previous cases include that of Brad Jayakody, 30, from London, who was thankfully prevented from passing through security at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, and threatened with arrest, after his Transformers T-shirt was deemed “offensive”.
Mr Jayakody said that at first the guard started joking with him about the Transformers character depicted on his French Connection T-shirt.
“Then he explains that since Megatron is holding a gun, I’m not allowed to fly,” he said.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
It appears that Britain is safe from cartoon robot gun attacks, at least. I for one will no longer be cowering beneath the duvet every night at the thought of Starscream breaking through British air defenses and utilizing his signature weapon, the null ray, which can disrupt the flow of electricity in any circuitry it hits for brief periods, effectively rendering any electronic device or machine temporarily inoperable.
Consider also the case of a student at Bellbrook High School in Ohio. The unnamed teenager chose to wear a T-shirt with the words “not my president” superimposed over a picture of President Bush. When a crosshair was added to the design, two students came forward and complained to the school administrators. The Assistant Principal then made the decision to call the FBI because the high school kid could have been a terrorist planning to assassinate Bush. What’s even more absurd is that the FBI actually treated the case with the utmost significance and the investigation was eventually turned over to the Secret Service!
In a gut-wrenching climax to the story, the two kids who snitched on the teenage terrorist were praised as heroes. The Assistant Principal said they had complied with the demand of the government – that citizens stand together with homeland security and keep an eye out for potential terrorist activity, for this, he was proud of them.
Now take the case of a 14 year old from Lancaster, PA who was reprimanded for wearing a t-shirt with the image of a gun, printed on the front and back — a shirt the Penn Manor freshman wore to honor his uncle, a soldier in the U.S. Army fighting in Iraq.
How about the 80 year veteran who was arrested at a mall for wearing an anti-war t-shirt. The shirt was splotched with red and emblazoned with a simple message about the fatalities of the Iraq war: “4,000 troops, 1 million Iraqis dead. Enough.”
Take the British tourist who was forced to turn his t-shirt inside out by airport security who told him the two pistols on the front could constitute a security risk and upset passengers.
Consider the t-shirt seller from New Orleans who was investigated by Homeland Security officials for selling anti-FEMA T-shirts, a reflection of his frustration with the federal government’s response to the storm that left him homeless and unemployed.
Or the Australian man who was barred from a London-Melbourne flight unless he removed a T-shirt depicting George Bush as “the world’s number one terrorist”.
Another potential terrorist was apprehended when a lawyer was arrested and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt he had just purchased at the mall bearing the words “Give Peace A Chance”.
Two more terrorists were identified as a Texas couple arrested and charged with trespassing in 2004 after they refused to cover up homemade T-shirts with anti-Bush slogans. The front of the T-shirts bore the international symbol for “no” superimposed over the word “Bush.” The back of Nicole Rank’s T-shirt said “Love America, Hate Bush.” On the back of Jeffery Rank’s T-shirt was the message “Regime Change Starts at Home.”
Back in Britain, a 20 year old gamekeeper was arrested at a Game Fair in 2005 for wearing a t-shirt that read “Bollocks to Blair”. Charlotte Denis, from Gloucestershire, was stopped by police as she left the Countryside Alliance stand because of the “offensive” slogan.
These are the real threats to the free world. Forget wide-open borders and the daily influx of totally undocumented populations into our countries, don’t bother focusing on the small rag tag groups of known violent radicals, we need to put all our efforts into routing out high school children and old men with political T-shirts, those who wear pictures of guns, and guys sporting transformers merchandise.