T-shirts in Jail.
Just words or something we should tackle? Tom Artrocker joins the discussion this week...
The t-shirt has long been a medium for protest. Without any proof, without having done any research whatsoever I confidently declare that t- shirt slogans became political when US troops in Vietnam daubed their regulation issue tees with messages such as: 'We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place' and the like. The practice soon spread to the campuses where right-on entrepreneurs, hippy capitalists started churning out Che Guevara tees.
The Punksters embraced the tradition, led by Richard Hell and his t-shirt ripping, adorning his shirts with slogans such as 'Please Kill Me', exemplifying the oncoming nihilist tide.
Over the last decade or so the slogan t-shirt has been commandeered by the fashion retailers who have re-mixed the classics and the protest tee has lost it's power.
So it comes as a surprise to see a citizen of our country sentenced to eight months in prison for wearing the wrong t-shirt. I'm sure nobody throughout the 60s, 70s, right up to yesterday was ever sent to the nick for expressing an opinion on a t-shirt. I could be wrong, feel free to correct me.
"I may not agree with you but I'll fight for your right to say it" has been the cliche at the heart of our democracy for as long as I can recall, I imbibed it with mother's milk. What a gullible fool I was.
If you want the perfect example of the loss of free speech in our society look no further than this case, it's a disgrace.
Being sent to prison for eight months for expressing an opinion, albeit an unpleasant opinion, makes the treatment of Pussy Riot look like child's play. Let's all get over heated about some middle class Russian girls - Putin is evil, the state must fall, whither democracy etc, all of which I heartily endorse. If a member of 'The Riot' had been sent to prison for wearing the wrong t-shirt there may have been another Russian revolution.
In this country we trumpet our democratic ideals to the world, send young men across the world to die in its name. But you can't wear a t-shirt in Manchester.
It scares the hell out of me. It should do the same to you.
Read the story here http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/oct/11/manchester-man-jailed-tshirt-police