There's just so much wrong here that I can't even begin. I'm flying out to Indianapolis on Wednesday, and I'm tempted to print out a copy of the button and try this out. Paranoia triumphs over political speech….
John Gilmore: I was ejected from a plane for wearing 'Suspected Terrorist' button. From Declan's politech list, a post from EFF co-founder John Gilmore:
My sweetheart Annie and I tried to fly to London today (Friday) on British Airways. We started at SFO, showed our passports and got through all the rigamarole, and were seated on the plane while it taxied out toward takeoff. Suddenly a flight steward, Cabin Service Director Khaleel Miyan, loomed in front of me and demanded that I remove a small 1″ button pinned to my left lapel. I declined, saying that it was a political statement and that he had no right to censor passengers' political speech. The button, which was created by political activist Emi Koyama, says “Suspected Terrorist”. Large images of the button and I appear in the cover story of Reason Magazine this month, and the story is entitled “Suspected Terrorist”. You can see the button [here].
The steward returned with Capt. Peter Hughes. The captain requested, and then demanded, that I remove the button (they called it a “badge”). He said that I would endanger the aircraft and commit a federal crime if I did not take it off. I told him that it was a political statement and declined to remove it. They turned the plane around and brought it back to the gate, delaying 300 passengers on a full flight.