So, Heiligendamm just outside Rostock in northern Germany these days hosts both the G8 meeting and the numerous protest activities. This setup would have me ranting on and on about the violent left and failure to admonish extremists on your own side.
But that is not the issue that makes me reach for my keyboard.
Swedish news outlets report today about Tomas Eriksson, a swedish lawyer who came on the ferry from Trelleborg with his girlfriend yesterday morning.
In the entry checks, the German border officials found a t-shirt in the girlfriends luggage, with the symbol of the swedish political pro-media-piracy lobbying organisation “Piratbyrćn”. A black tshirt, with the following logo printed in white:
The couple were pulled aside and interrogated. Their interest for anti-racist-themed workshops and migration issues only raised the alert level among the officials, and in the end they were given an expulsion decision on paper citing them for “threat to public order, internal security, public health or international relations” (translated from swedish translation…), and put on the next ferry out of Germany. Putting them in Denmark.
When do we get too much security?
On one level, I have a certain amount of understanding for raised security levels at the borders right now. The G8 meetings have a history of rioting – as last saturday already told us – and there is something to be said for keeping the most rotten eggs out of the country, and checking that nobody hides anything that might end up being a weapon.
However – they had a T-shirt. With a single symbol on it.
At the point where I need to consider, closely, what clothes I am allowed to pack before I travel within the EU, since my own political opinions might be offensive enough for my free travel to be infringed upon, then we truely have lost one of the core ideals of the modern democracy.
I lack words to truely detail how repulsive this situation is becoming. But I do know that I might very well have been the person turned back at the border. I have a stack of stickers here somewhere, with that very same motif on them.