The new TWA offence


by Sunny
25th August, 2006 at 6:00 pm    

TWA being Travelling While Asian of course. It isn’t surprising to find some journalists trying to imply that the two Asian men who got pulled off the plane from Malaga did it deliberately. After all, who really wants to go along with the narrative that some of those passengers may have been paranoid racist. They were wearing heavy clothes! And now they’re being paid for TV appearances! Guilty! And now this:

The Dutch ambassador to India has expressed regret for the arrest of 12 passengers whose India-bound plane was diverted to Amsterdam after their behavior triggered fears of a hijacking, a government minister said on Friday.

The 12 men, all Muslims, were, however, cleared of any wrongdoing and released and their families said they were victims of racial discrimination. The men were arrested on Wednesday from a U.S. Northwest Airlines flight that was turned back to Amsterdam after they apparently behaved suspiciously. [via SM]

Readers, who presumably call themselves progressive, tell us how all this is to be expected and will improve conditions and castigate us for ‘racial snobbery’ over the Malaga incident. How amusing. A few points.

1) Where is the evidence racial profiling will work? Examples of El Al or football hooligans don’t work folks. It has never worked in relation to young black youth. Funny that Joseph Harker was castigated for profiling a few months ago but now apparently it’s ok.

2) Islam is not a race. Thus racial profiling will not work. So far it has led to two young guys, airline pilots, whole families and 12 men being taken off, all out of paranoia. I’m happy to ramp up airport security but not about mob rule.

3) All this does is create even more antagonism through police harassment. No doubt Ruth Kelly will then unveil another commission to promote cohesion while giving a green light to racial profiling.


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  1. tasneem khalil » 360° - 26/8 2006

    [...] TWA: Travelling while Asian. [...]


  2. tasneem khalil

    360° – 26/8 2006…

    CNN: In the footsteps of Bin Laden.

    TWA: Travelling while Asian.

    The misogyny of chaos.

    A new Europe: Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and the nation-state.

    China: Censors vs. the entire Chinese blogsphere.

    ………




  1. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:12 pm  

    Paranoia is an irrational fear, surely?

  2. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:14 pm  

    “3) All this does is create even more antagonism. Brown people will not want to go on British / American airlines or want to live in white neighbourhoods due to police harassment. No doubt Ruth Kelly will then unveil another commission to promote cohesion will giving a green light to racial profiling at the same time.”

    And the agendas of the extreme right, the extreme left, and the extremely religious march on apace. Ruth Kelly’s not likely to help much, is she?

  3. Sukhjit Singh Kalsi — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:14 pm  

    Brown people will not want to go on British / American airlines or want to live in white neighbourhoods due to police harassment.

    Which Brown people would they be? I cannot imagine any ‘Brown people’ I know thinking like this. All the ‘Brown people’ I know are more robust than that. Sikh, Hindu and Muslim. I live in a ‘white area’ know lots of people who do, and not I or anyone else is scared or put off living there by ‘police harassment’. You shouldnt really make predictions like this in a temper tantrum, as if you are a spokesman for ‘Brown People’.

  4. Sukhjit Singh Kalsi — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:17 pm  

    The trouble with this kind of thinking is it patronises ‘Brown People’, as if we need to be spoken for, and as though we are children in need of protection, this is wrong. At least I know I am a Sikh and we are more robust than that, as if two people being asked off a plane will frighten me or anyone else from living where I please! I am sure you have good motives for writing this but there’s no need to exaggerate!!

  5. Don — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:24 pm  

    Sunny, before we get into how racist the Dutch are being, this quote from the link Jai provided might be relevant;

    Nitin Patel of Boston, who sat behind the men, told the paper: “I don’t know how close we were, but my gut tells me these people wanted to hijack the airplane.”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14494149

    I agree that racial profiling won’t work – I mentioned El Al on the other thread to make the point that it is not practical to take that approach for air travel in general.

    We need intelligence-led security but that itself raises the issue of how much information security should have about citizens.

    Of course no sane person equates being asian with suspicious behaviour, but equally we can’t say that it excludes it.

    ‘…all out of paranoia.’ That is not established either way. OK, in some cases but not in all.

    ‘…want to live in white neighbourhoods due to police harassment.’ How does that work? Does living in a non-white neighbourhood prevent harrassment?

  6. Sunny — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:27 pm  

    Sukhjit – yes it’s a generalisation that I didn’t explain very well. But I’m planning an article on this so wanted to be brief right now. Anyway.

    Racial profiling has been used primarily at the black community in the UK for years, if not decades. “They’re criminals anyway, so stopping a few extra youth will only stop crime,” the thinking goes. The same thinking applies here. I find that more patronising than anything to be honest.

    What has been the net effect of racial profiling with black youth? Lower crime? No. It’s irrelevant in that context. More antagonism, yes. Will that lead to people being more defensive and retreating further into their communities? Almost inevitably.

    You may not have had much hassle yet but what if the mood gets worse? You think sikhs with beards won’t be affected? If my brother, who has a beard, does paath on a plane, how am I supposed to feel if he gets chucked off it? I suspect members of the Muslim community will feel the same.

    This whole state of affairs is farcical. Why is airport security not enough? What gives passengers the right to decide who stays on or off a plane?

    As for robustness. I think you’ll find experiences differ wildly. You only have to hear Asian Network to get some examples.

  7. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:29 pm  

    Don – racial profiling may well not contribute much to the anti terror operations. But it will contribute to allaying public fears if they feel that any muslims on the plane have come under special scrutiny. The Massive Malaga Manky Mutiny has shown there is a need for that. Not that it’s right, but you can’t expect a government that outlaws drugs to go for morality over safety.

  8. peter — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:41 pm  

    Ah, the sound of frantic back-pedalling. I think that yes, there was an element of racialised snobbery in your previous thread. If you think that’s amusing, fine.

    Like many others, I was originally prepared to accept that Malaga was a bit of low-table racial profiling on behalf of the Monarch passengers as that was how it was reported – although I’d argue that it couldn’t be defined as racist, which is quite specifically an assumption of inferiority based on race.

    Between the first and second interpretations of the story, comments on your blog were gleefully bandying about ignorant pikeys and chavs, yada blah yada. Harker’s piece was similarly full of spiteful, superior rhetoric about ‘pot-bellied’ white men.

    There remains something that smells about the MOnarch story. So even though you’ve wheeled on the Amsterdam flight to moderate your presumptions, the outcome is likely to embarrass a few people.

    Incidentally, I wonder if the word ‘progressive’ has had its day?

  9. Sunny — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:55 pm  

    Ah, the sound of frantic back-pedalling.

    On the contrary I remain more than ever convinced that anyone who advocates racial profiling is talking out of their backsides and harbour prejudice towards people of brown skin.

    Harker’s piece was similarly full of spiteful, superior rhetoric about ‘pot-bellied’ white men.

    And how is that different to the police chief admitting they profiled football hooligans? How do you think they profiled them exactly?

    There remains something that smells about the MOnarch story.

    I’m sure there’s a smell. It smells of racism to me. But of course you want to believe those people were just being innocent victims of bad, bad brown men with “beards of terror”.

  10. Sukhjit Singh Kalsi — on 25th August, 2006 at 6:55 pm  

    Sunny your overreaction and exaggeration does not clarify the issues in fact it comes across as shrill. Being robust means you cannot make predictions like two men being taken off a plane will cause the whole Brown people of England to go into meltdown. I am keshdari Sikh so I know what I am talking about too, discrimination, stares etc etc. Yes, you should be more robust including in the face of these things and not thinking like victims all the time.

  11. Sunny — on 25th August, 2006 at 7:03 pm  

    Yes, you should be more robust including in the face of these things and not thinking like victims all the time

    I knew I was going to be accused of playing the victim card. Let me state this again clearly.

    1) I expect it to be obvious that people will be annoyed at heavy police harassment. History shows this is a natural reaction. The Southall riots were an example of this too when brown people reacted angrily to police harassment. So I’m not making predictions that do not have historic precedent.

    2) I also have asked for evidence to show that racial profiling works. Nothing on that either.

  12. Kulvinder — on 25th August, 2006 at 7:13 pm  

    Paranoia is an irrational fear, surely?

    An extreme and irrational fear. Im not sure why you want to start debating the semantics of the word.

    Glad to see conspiracy theories still get copy on the indy :up:

  13. Sid — on 25th August, 2006 at 7:27 pm  


    Racial profiling is a new term for an old practice known by other names: institutional racism and discrimination and owes its existence to prejudice that has existed in this country since slavery.

    Tens of thousands of innocent drivers, pedestrians, and shoppers across the country are victims of racial profiling. And these discriminatory police stops and searches have reached epidemic proportions in recent years – fueled by the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror” that have given police a pretext to target people they think fit a “drug courier,” “gang member,” or “terrorist” profile. In fact, racial profiling is the first step in a long road that leads to the heavily disproportionate incarceration of people of color, especially young men, for drug-related crimes, and of Arabs, Muslims and South Asians for suspicion of terrorism. This despite the fact that people of color are no more likely than whites to use or sell drugs, and Arabs Muslims and South Asians are no more likely than whites to be terrorists.

    from http://www.aclu.org/racialjustice/racialproiling/index.html

  14. peter — on 25th August, 2006 at 7:32 pm  

    “But of course you want to believe those people were just being innocent victims of bad, bad brown men with “beards of terror”.”

    How dare you tell me what you suppose I ‘want to believe’? I believe nothing of the sort. But it shows the same presumptious, evidence-free – and yes, shrill – rhetoric that has infected your argument so far.

  15. Sid — on 25th August, 2006 at 7:39 pm  

    I may be tone-deaf, so excuse me, but all the shrillness on this thread, and elsewhere, seems to coming from those who are determinded to defend racial profiling.

  16. Kulvinder — on 25th August, 2006 at 7:51 pm  

    Pete, i kinda don’t get what you mean either.

  17. Katy Newton — on 25th August, 2006 at 8:59 pm  

    Look at you all throwing my “beards of terror” phrase around. I am so zeitgeisty, it is scary. My finger is so on the pulse.

    *cheesy grin*

    Not that I am not taking this discussion seriously, because I am.

  18. Sid — on 25th August, 2006 at 9:12 pm  

    I’m so not looking forward to the Muslim-only carriages on the underground and taking Muslim-only cheap no-thrills flights. Shoes off at the door and No-spitting signs, here I come.

  19. leon — on 25th August, 2006 at 9:21 pm  

    Look at you all throwing my “beards of terror” phrase around. I am so zeitgeisty, it is scary. My finger is so on the pulse.

    I used to have a bread of terror once, was truly scary. You should have seen the looks a 6’3″ heavy set guy, dressed in black with big beard get on public transport…

  20. limpia — on 25th August, 2006 at 9:29 pm  

    I cant imagine profiling would continue to any extent unless deemed necessary.Everyone who wants to be safe might appreciate a sensible, well thought out way to profile.

  21. rh mayo — on 25th August, 2006 at 9:39 pm  

    Maybe the passengers were being typically Indian such as demonstrating total disregard for applicable policy and convention.

  22. rh mayo — on 25th August, 2006 at 9:49 pm  

    Feedback from airline crews
    Indians are unruly fliers
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1927219.cms

  23. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

    Sid – your link’s crap, damnit.

  24. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 10:51 pm  

    Sid – Found it now. It was this bit got my attention:

    “Arabs Muslims and South Asians are no more likely than whites to be terrorists.”

    They don’t seem to back that up with any evidence. Can you?

  25. raz — on 25th August, 2006 at 10:58 pm  

    Bert,

    Given the countless terrorist groups all over the world, I seriously doubt that any particular race or community has a monopoly. For instance, how many Asian terrorists were part of the IRA?

  26. Kulvinder — on 25th August, 2006 at 11:11 pm  

    It is a silly phrase, mainly because americans tend to use words like black/white/brown to be more than merely indicative in a particular context. The wording is imprecise but the notion is sound. If we assert the positive (which is always better) anyone doubting the statement would say ‘whites’ are less likely to be terrorists than the ‘others’ named. Off the top of my head i can recall the various irish terrorist organisations on both sides, as well as eta and the red army faction.

    That is of course accepting terms such as ‘white’ to globally mean something. Since i don’t and since i haven’t heard of any credible evidence that the amount of melanin in someones skin correlates with anything let alone terrorism – I don’t have a problem agreeing with their notion (though not wording).

    Id be interested to know what evidence you’d have to ‘back up’ ‘whites’ being less likely to commit terrorist acts.

  27. Eric — on 25th August, 2006 at 11:30 pm  

    Out of interest, where only twelve of the people on the plane brown?

  28. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 11:49 pm  

    Raz – How many airliners did the IRA target?

  29. Bert Preast — on 25th August, 2006 at 11:52 pm  

    Kulvinder – I will see if I can find the figures for you. From memory, the tally of deaths due to terrorism is running at a ratio of muslim groups 20: everyone else 1.

    That’s globally, and here we’re talking attacks on the west. I find it hard to belive that this century there have been as many terror attacks here by whites as by Arabs, muslims, and south Asians.

  30. limpia — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:05 am  

    good question , eric

  31. raz — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:08 am  

    Bert,

    The statement in question was whether Asians/Muslims were more likely to be terrorists than whites. Given that the IRA killed A LOT more British citizens than any British Asians have done, I would say this comment has some validity, wouldn’t you?

    “the tally of deaths due to terrorism is running at a ratio of muslim groups 20: everyone else 1″

    Sounds like nonsense. The Tamil Tigers alone have killed more people than the likes of AQ.

  32. Kulvinder — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:18 am  

    Kulvinder – I will see if I can find the figures for you. From memory, the tally of deaths due to terrorism is running at a ratio of muslim groups 20: everyone else 1.

    There aren’t white muslims? :confused:

    That’s globally, and here we’re talking attacks on the west. I find it hard to belive that this century there have been as many terror attacks here by whites as by Arabs, muslims, and south Asians.

    The ‘west’ is as an ill defined a term as ‘white’. Taking only the 21st century is fairly arbitary since no conflict i can name has followed the logic of the Gregorian calendar. Within my life time both the london bombings and the bologna bombings have occured.

  33. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:35 am  

    Kulvinder – I know there are white muslims, and they concern me more than the brown ones. The point here is racial profiling, and the fact is that there are still very few white muslims and thus far it’s been mostly the brown ones being naughty on aircraft.

    I don’t define the west as white, I define it as the secular and liberal democracies that through the ages have managed to assimilate large numbers of immigrants from everywhere. White only came into it as that was the assertion made in Sid’s link.

    I can’t find the site I got the 20:1 stuff from, I’ll keep looking. But if you think the LTTE are outdoing islam, check this out:

    http://www.iraqbodycount.net/database/

    That’s a lot of people dying. If the core motivation and hardware were available on the same scale in Sri Lanka it’d be outrageous.

  34. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:37 am  

    Raz – I’ll try again. The IRA never tried to bring down an airliner. If they’d done so we’d have seen the same security in place.

  35. Don — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:39 am  

    The IRA are not currently a problem.

  36. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:59 am  

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5285988.stm

    So handcuffing people behaving suspiciously on a plane is now cause for an international incident?

  37. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 1:19 am  

    Raz – The link below is the global terrorism figures for 1985, with the IRA pretty much in their prime. Read through appendix A and tell me who was causing most problems even back then?

    http://www.mipt.org/pdf/1985pogt.pdf#search=%22terrorism%20global%20deaths%20sunni%20hindu%20christian%20buddhist%22

  38. Eric — on 26th August, 2006 at 1:25 am  

    What is explanation for the all the brown people on the plane who were not cuffed and arrested?

    Not brown enough?

    A pale pink blotchy person.

  39. ash — on 26th August, 2006 at 3:58 am  

    Interesting all 12 of those arrested were bohras, bohras being guju’s are jus too interested in making money to blow themselves up

  40. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 4:13 am  

    ash, thats far too subtle for supporters of racial profiling to grasp. They’ve equated the M-word with the T-word a long time ago and thats as far as they are willing to go with the analysis.

  41. Kulvinder — on 26th August, 2006 at 4:26 am  

    Kulvinder – I know there are white muslims, and they concern me more than the brown ones. The point here is racial profiling, and the fact is that there are still very few white muslims and thus far it’s been mostly the brown ones being naughty on aircraft.

    eh? we were on ‘white’ terrorism vs ‘other’ terrorism where the hell did profiling come in?

    I don’t define the west as white, I define it as the secular and liberal democracies that through the ages have managed to assimilate large numbers of immigrants from everywhere. White only came into it as that was the assertion made in Sid’s link.

    Thats just substituting one undefined phrase for another, What do you mean by secular and liberal democracy? secular in the sense of a constitutional seperation of church and state, non participance in religous practise in a certain percentage of the public? and liberal in what sense? there are many rights that are taken for granted in one country but nonexistant in others. Using those terms i end up with large parts of the world being ‘the west’ which really makes it a null term as it fails to distinguish.

    I reiterate what i said regarding sids link, the wording they use is clumsy but the notion is correct, saying persons of melanin content (a) cause more/less terrorism than persons of melanin content (b) is absurd.

    Thanks for the ’85 link, its very interesting. It says the majority of americans killed were in latin america or the result of latin american terrorism (they’re white right?) the second highest amound was in europe with the biggest concentration in w.germany. Most of those seem to be by the RAF. The single largest loss of life was caused by sikh extremists bombing the air india flight, which was brown khalistanis killing brown americans. Im not sure how the white/western/brown catogorisation works there :(

  42. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 4:29 am  
  43. Kulvinder — on 26th August, 2006 at 5:45 am  

    in my zoned out state ive been arguing something completely differnet…to bed

  44. Vikrant — on 26th August, 2006 at 7:17 am  

    So handcuffing people behaving suspiciously on a plane is now cause for an international incident?

    Indian govt. is just pandering to its Muslim votebanks by making an international incident. When was the last time Indian govt. protest execution of its non-Muslim nationals in dungeons of KSA…

  45. ainelivia — on 26th August, 2006 at 9:22 am  

    Some years ago it was TWI, (Travelling While Irish) that lead to endless passport checks and have my luggage turned out completely. Ah the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  46. Eric — on 26th August, 2006 at 10:28 am  

    Sid,

    Missing the point again. It is not I who am obsessed with this ‘brown’ people issue. In fact, those getting hysterical about these incidents are the ones racial profiling. What evidence do they have that behaviour was not the trigger for the TWA incident? Presumably TWA have flown more than 12 people to India in the past couple of weeks. If it is a mistake, then it might just be a mistake – not evidence of our slide into racism in the skies. The only colour TWA are interested in is the colour of your money.

    Racial profiling, and even profiling on visible markers of religious affliation, are pointless as I have argued on the DSTFW blog. Profiling because of strange or stupid behaviour or intelligence about extremist links/affliations is unarguably sensible.

    You’ll be glad to know one of my travelling companions yesterday was a Saudi Arabian with a beard. We discussed this issue and, as someone many might view as particularly at risk of discrimination in this manner, he was much less hysterical than some of the people on here.

  47. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 10:40 am  

    Eric,

    What evidence do they have that behaviour was not the trigger for the TWA incident?
    and
    Profiling because of strange or stupid behaviour

    Can you please let us know what exactly was this “strange and stupid behaviour” (my emphasis) from the 12 men that has been reported? I just want to know what “behaviour” would justify their cuffing and arrest.

  48. Chairwoman — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:33 am  

    tasneem khalil – I think your post at 47 is the saddest, yet most relevant comment placed on PP this week.

    *equal only to Katy’s ‘beards of terror’ of course*

  49. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:34 am  

    Sid – Air marshalls are not there to give themselves away by attending to minor disturbances. When they come into it it’s because they see lives in danger, and whoever does that on an aircraft is going to get cuffed. Even some little old lady. She could be a distraction for the main event. So you get cuffed.

  50. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:37 am  

    and whoever does that on an aircraft is going to get cuffed

    does what, exactly?

  51. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:39 am  

    Get’s the air marshalls off their arses.

  52. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:42 am  

    No bert, what I’m asking, as in my comment #49, is:

    What exactly did these 12 men do that constituted behaviour that was deemed worthy of arrest?

  53. Sahil — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:44 am  
  54. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:45 am  

    We don’t know for certain. But air marshalls are trained in what to look for, and they did something that made the marshalls suspicious.

    You don’t turn the plane back and whistle up a fighter escort for nothing, do you?

  55. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:49 am  

    Well Eric seems to know. Thats why I asked if any of what the 12 men did has been reported. Eric said earlier that it was “strange and stupid behaviour”.

    Perhaps brown people should know what constitutes the kind of behaviour that will get them arrested in airports. I’m thinking a public information campaign.

  56. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:53 am  

    I’m on the same lines. It would put everyone a little more at ease if we knew exactly what was happening to make these planes divert.

    The flip side of course is it’s telling any actual terrorists what not to do – but I suspect any that are good enough to get onto an airliner are already going to be up with that.

  57. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:56 am  

    Perhaps people of a nervous disposition, like Eric, should tell us what they want brown people to do to put them at ease.

    I don’t know what gets you in a flap until you tell me.

  58. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 11:59 am  

    unless you tell me.

  59. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:00 pm  

    I’ve already suggested drinking competitions. Or if you can swallow your pride, a copy of The Sun.

  60. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:03 pm  

    done.

  61. Bert Preast — on 26th August, 2006 at 12:08 pm  

    A decent repetoire of dirty songs might help too.

  62. Eric — on 26th August, 2006 at 1:21 pm  

    Sid,

    I did not state anything about the behaviour of the TWA twelve. I was making a general point about stupid and strange behaviour in planes or airports. There are a number of number of white non-Muslims who have brought attention to themselves because of behaviour, so don’t pretend you know this case was definitively about race profiling, rather than concerns about behaviour. Such judgements made be hard to make, but we all know what the reaction would be if an attack suceeded, which might have been prevented – you’d be blaming those you are currently calling racist , calling them incompetant instead. The idea that anyone can be 100% accurate in any job is ridiculous, false events are bound to occur. But then if people weren’t making liquid bombs or flying planes into buildings none of this would be happening…

  63. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 2:40 pm  

    Eric

    Racial profiling is by definition racist. I’m not saying that those who advoate it are racist, but lets not pretend that racists are more than likely to be supportive of these kind of measures than not.

    You still have not defined what you would define the “strange or stupid behaviour” that you use to justify profiling.

  64. limpia — on 26th August, 2006 at 2:47 pm  

    how long can this discussion continue before it becomes verbal masturbation? Eric is correct in his analysis.

  65. Sid — on 26th August, 2006 at 3:51 pm  

    I think Eric’s struggling to find a clue. For a start he’s been referring the whole time to the protagonists as the TWA Twelve. He’s confused Sunny’s clever use of the acronym, in the title of this peice, with TransWorld whereas, if he’d read the facts, he’d know this shit went down on NorthWest. :-)

  66. limpia — on 26th August, 2006 at 4:45 pm  

    oh yeah- it was northwest, and?

    Actually, i thought it was a matter of passing cellphones and plastic bags back and forth, or something like that but I dont recall if i heard it 2nd, third, forth hand etc.

    In any case, I dont want to assume that there was not a real,and suspicious element or factor that caused the reaction by northwest.
    also, profiling may look at race, country of origin,where and how recently an individual has been in various countries Amount of baggage, and other stuff and i am sure a white person would also be pulled aside given other factors triggered alarm.

  67. Vikrant — on 26th August, 2006 at 5:29 pm  

    I demand my weekend open thread, Katy.

  68. Katy — on 26th August, 2006 at 5:40 pm  

    You SHALL have a weekend open thread, Vikrant!

  69. saurav — on 27th August, 2006 at 4:34 am  

    I think the conversation between Sid and Eric is hilarious. I too would love to know how someone defends 12 arrests that are eventual deemed false arrests without having a minimum standard for what types of things might justify it.

    Here are some examples: carrying a gun; telling someone next to you that you’re going to hijack the plane; whipping out a razor blade; taking a cellphone out when you’re not supposed to during a flight and refusing to put it away when instructed to do so.

    See, it’s not so hard.

  70. sonia — on 27th August, 2006 at 7:44 pm  

    there are so many thick people around it’s almost unbelievable. i include the ‘terrorists’ who’ve done such a good job at creating ‘terror’ hell they didn’t need to blow anything up. Still – if one were going to be a terrorist, why the hell would one use an MO that is under SUCH incredible scrutiny? Doesn’t make an iota of sense unless the terrorists are incredibly incredibly stupid people.

    In any case, it doesn’t really matter does it? if people are scared shitless the job is done.

    im getting on a flight in a few days hopefully – fingers crossed they’ll be no dumbasses – i really think i might lose it and throw a tantrum and then where would i be? Belmarsh!!

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