Beating Up Passengers Because We Can

Oh well done, United Airlines:

Videos showing a man being violently removed from a United Airlines flight have provoked an outcry on social media.

The footage taken inside the airliner shows a man being violently pulled out of his seat and dragged down the aisle as passengers prepared to take off from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday evening.

Little wonder the US government has to invent “security concerns” in order to force passengers to fly their substandard airlines instead of the vastly superior foreign ones.

As I have commented elsewhere, this is merely a natural extension of the police-state tactics that were introduced to the airline industry following 9/11: simply cite “security” and the door is open for police brutality of the type normally seen on the streets of Africa or South America. The fact they were prepared to do this in full view of the public shows how blasé the authorities have become about this sort of thing.

I am heartened by the response of the public, who were appalled and objected loudly. I am also glad that somebody videoed it and made sure everyone was aware that this is how business and the government combine to treat airline passengers these days. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if legislation is rapidly introduced to ban the taking of videos in aircraft – citing “security concern” of course.

There are some people on the internet pointing out that the customer was in breach of the law and by refusing to leave the plane was committing a criminal offence and therefore the police had every right to arrest him and remove him by force. This might be strictly true, but I don’t find the argument holds much water. You might as well say that Rosa Parks ought to have been arrested because she was actually committing a criminal offence by being black and sitting in that particular spot.

I hope this incident costs United Airlines dearly, but I suspect their lobbyists and bought-and-paid-for politicians will ensure it doesn’t.

Share

20 thoughts on “Beating Up Passengers Because We Can

  1. At least Emirates staff would have allowed him to clean up during his in flight shower.

  2. Years ago I knew a women whose son got a job as an ‘usher’ or ‘seating attendant’ or something like that, at a local (large) venue which had lots of concerts and ice hockey and so on.

    I asked what his training was in security matters for the job, and she laughed. “Not much. He was told to hit them with his torch if they got awkward,” she said.

    In a way, perhaps the same must goes for airlines.

  3. I asked what his training was in security matters for the job, and she laughed. “Not much. He was told to hit them with his torch if they got awkward,” she said.

    The ironic thing is, this sort of stuff doesn’t happen in places like the Middle East or Russia. Sure, if you *really* get on the wrong side of the authorities they will beat the shit out of you, but they are generally not quick to deploy the violence. It seems that escalating to violence happens a lot quicker in the “civilised” West, probably because the authorities know the population is more cowed and less prone to violent resistance. The two Chicago police officers in that video depended heavily on the remaining passengers not intervening on behalf of the guy being removed. As I remarked in an earlier post, this will only be the case when the majority of the middle classes believe the police are on their side.

  4. “The ironic thing is, this sort of stuff doesn’t happen in places like the Middle East or Russia.”

    Spetsnaz aside, maybe not anymore but it did in Russia in the days of the Bolsheviks. It was only 10,000 of them that took Moscow and they were lucky that at least the 30,000 armed white officers and much more armed citizens didn’t resist on promise of safety, only to be shot immediately after. The Bolsheviks although murderous weren’t stupid and they immediately disarmed the once heavily armed Russians, and then the big murdering got underway.

    So the best things the yanks can do to stop a repeat of this authoritarian dystopian nightmare is to keep control of their own guns, if they give them up, then in the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn they too will deserve everything that happens to them afterwards.

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  5. Oh I think it will cost them – I doubt they’ll have a problem with overbooking for a while!

  6. I am reminded of the incident at a Labour party conference where a very elderly Jewish gentleman was manhandled by some security guards.

    Most people undergo personality changes when put in power, in particular perhaps if they come from a background where they have always (maybe still do) feel at the mercy of others (the landlord etc.) I expect that incidents like this are rarer in high trust and more egalitarian societies. The US, being so inhomogeneous ethnically, is likely to be lower trust. Furthermore I bet many of the guards are either hispanic or black so may well have low levels of trust towards the average American. There is a bit of that in the UK as well but I don’t imagine it is as bad.

  7. “There is a bit of that in the UK as well but I don’t imagine it is as bad.”

    For me the biggest threat in the UK is not paramilitary police rather its radical transformation to the political correctness of the fifth columnists, Orwellian script at its very British best. The recent hoopla about Ken Livingstone is a good example of how insidious the attack mob has become in prosecuting free men for their so called inappropriate thinking.

  8. It appears United needed 4 seats for their own staff: flight crew who had to be somewhere else. Which might, or might not, have been a last minute, unforeseen, event. However, beating up a fare-paying passenger to accommodate United’s own non-paying personnel makes it even worse.

  9. I’ll say this for United, though; they treat you like a king. Granted, that’s Rodney King, but the point stands.

  10. “There are some people on the internet pointing out that the customer was in breach of the law and by refusing to leave the plane was committing a criminal offence and therefore the police had every right to arrest him and remove him by force.”

    And a lot now pointing out his less than squeaky clean record as some sort of proof that he ‘had it coming’…

  11. I’ll say this for United, though; they treat you like a king. Granted, that’s Rodney King, but the point stands.

    Heheheheh! Very good!

  12. And a lot now pointing out his less than squeaky clean record as some sort of proof that he ‘had it coming’…

    Yes, I’ve seen that. Sure the guy might have been an arse in his private and/or public life, but that has no relation to how United Airlines and the Chicago Police Department treated him. It’s a smear campaign, pure and simple. The guy wanted to take a simple flight, got beaten up by the airline’s hired goons, and now has his entire life history splashed all over the world’s media FFS. What did he do to deserve this?

  13. It seems that the smear campaign is about to explode in spectacular fashion – rumour has it they smeared the wrong man.

    Incompetence piled upon malice. I hope they get sued so hard they disappear.

  14. “rumour has it they smeared the wrong man”: how wonderfully stereotypical -confused because, what, all Chinamen look alike and anyway they have a permanent shortage of different names.

  15. Something like that happened in Russia about a month ago. That story was even covered by the Daily Mail and the Sun, although their headlines were off, like “7ft volleyball star dragged off plane for being TOO TALL.” Yes, he’s seven feet tall and a rising star but he wasn’t kicked out for that.

    The young man, Alexander Kimerov, was flying from Samara to Moscow with his teammates. He asked to be reseated by an emergency exit. A flight attendant told him he should have paid for it in advance (either for a seat with more leg room or for being allowed to choose another seat – I don’t remember which). Kimerov offered to pay on the spot – still no luck. Then a young lady offered to exchange seats with him but the attendants blocked that move, apparently because it was against the company’s seating policy (no change without charge). Finally Kimerov said his legs just wouldn’t fit in between the seats, and stuck them out into the aisle. The crew accused him of disorderly conduct and called the police. There was some unpleasantness but no broken noses.

  16. I think that was the same attendant that was giving Tim grief on his flight.

    When it comes to Russian policing methods, this short footage best captures the contrasting approaches with their community engagement than the more traditional western methods.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmjecf0wgJ8

Comments are closed.