List of censored T-shirts
This is a listing of cases where the sale or wearing of specific items of clothing carrying slogans has been illegal or subject to legal challenge. T-shirts are the usual garment used for this purpose.
- 1 Britain
- 2 South Africa
- 3 Netherlands
- 4 United States
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- In September 2005, 20-year-old Charlotte Dennis was arrested at a Gloucestershire event for wearing this item.
- In April 2006, a Conservative Party worker was threatened with arrest for wearing a "Bollocks to Blair" T-shirt.
- In a non-political case in August 2007, a man was warned he could be fined for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "Don't piss me off! I'm running out of places to hide the bodies."
- The band Cradle of Filth produced a T-shirt which included the phrase "Jesus is a cunt," which has been the cause of prosecutions from the late 1990s.
During South Africa's apartheid era, Robin Houston Holmes (a.k.a. Nooch) was charged with the production and distribution of T-shirts bearing a sideview picture of the late banned activist Steve Biko (no words or name, just the photograph). There were various categories of illegal material. This T-shirt was deemed possession prohibited. During this period, in the mid- and late seventies, Holmes also produced small quantities of T-shirts, reading "We are Everywhere, Even in your Kitchen" and "Mxenge, The Struggle Continues" but each was banned within a day or two of release. Holmes was later granted amnesty for all of his actions.
- In August 2009, a 38 year old man offended some police officers by wearing a shirt with the text "A.C.A.B.," an anti-police acronym standing for "All Cop[per]s Are Bastards."
- On January 7, 2011, three Ajax football fans were fined for wearing T-shirts with the numbers "1312" printed on them; "1312" stands for "ACAB."
"Fuck the Draft"
Paul Robert Cohen, 19, was arrested for wearing a jacket with the words "Fuck the Draft" inside the Los Angeles Courthouse. He was convicted of violating section 415 of the California Penal Code, which prohibits "maliciously and willfully disturb[ing] the peace or quiet of any neighborhood or person [by] offensive conduct."
The conviction was appealed to the state Court of Appeals, which held that "offensive conduct" means "behavior which has a tendency to provoke others to acts of violence or to in turn disturb the peace," and affirmed the conviction.
- "Absent a more particularized and compelling reason for its actions, the State may not, consistently with the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment, make the simple public display of this single four-letter expletive a criminal offense."
"George W. Bush: International Terrorist"
A high school junior in Dearborn, Michigan, Bretton Barber, was asked to remove his anti-George W. Bush T-shirt in the lead up to the Iraq War. It featured a picture of Bush with the words "International Terrorist." He was asked to remove it, because it supported terrorism. The student sued his school district and his principal in Federal District Court in Detroit, Michigan (Bretton Barber v. Dearborn Public Schools [286 F. Supp. 2d 847]). In a 25-page published opinion, Barber won the lawsuit, and his high school was ordered to allow him to wear the shirt.
"Give Peace a Chance"
In the leadup to the Iraq War, a man was asked to leave a shopping mall by a security guard, and later arrested on trespassing charges, because of his "Give Peace a Chance" T-shirt. Over 150 protesters responded by showing up to the mall in similar shirts. The trespassing charges were dropped shortly after the protest.
"Meet the Fuckers"
In October 2005, Lorrie Heasley, of Portland, Oregon, was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in Reno, Nevada for wearing a T-shirt displaying an image of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Michael Chertoff and Michael Brown with the caption "Meet the Fuckers," spoofing the film title Meet the Fockers.
"Obama, A Terrorist's Best Friend."
In September 2008 Dalton Draxx was suspended for three days from Aurora Frontier K-8 for wearing a home made t-shirt that said "Obama, A Terrorist's Best Friend." Superintendent John Barry stated "any type of attire which attracts undue attention to the wearer, and thus causes disturbance to the educational process, is in bad taste and not acceptable."
"NRA Protect Your Right"
Jared Marcum, 14 was arrested in April when, officers say, he nearly incited a riot after refusing to change out of his NRA T-shirt. But the teen says he didn't violate any school policy and was merely exercising his right to free speech. All charges against Jared where recently dropped (June 17, 2013) by order of the State of West Virginia. There was a change.org petition asking that all charges are dropped. Since the dismissal of the charges Aaron Lee the Campaign Director and the starter of the change.org petition has declared the petition a victory. He released two official statements the first on Facebook which read:
The NRA Just Emailed me saying that All charges against Jared Where Droped! V-I-C-T-O-R-Y (sic)
and the second on change.org which read: "The road to victory was long, and the challenges we met where unjust, but through the work of all, including all 2,757 of the supporters we reached the finish line. Although the challenges ahead are hard, and the fight for liberty and freedom is never over, with a little luck and the support of all, the good in this country will prevail. I am sure the founding fathers join us in our lasting celebration for the ages. -Aaron".
"Jesus is a Cunt"
- Wear an anti-Blair jacket... and you'll have your collar felt - Telegraph
- Girl arrested over Bollocks to Blair shirt - Hunting news - Horse & Hound
- BBC NEWS | England | London | Arrest threat over anti-PM jacket
- BBC NEWS | England | Cambridgeshire | Fine threat over T-shirt slogan
- Trc Statement On "Illegal" T-Shirts Amnesty
- , Dutch News - Football fans fined for anti-police T-shirt
- http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0226-04.htm High School
- http://www.indexonline.org/en/indexindex/articles/2003/1/arrested-for-wearing-peace-t-shirt.shtml[dead link]
- http://www.democracynow.org/2003/3/6/new_york_man_arrested_at_shopping New York Man Arrested at Shopping Mall for Wearing "Give Peace a Chance" T-Shirt: Over 150 Respond By Showing Up in Similar Shirts at the Mall
- Southwest boots woman from flight over a T-shirt - 7 October 2005
- Anti-Obama shirt riles school
- https://www.facebook.com/JaredMarcumCallIn[not in citation given]