I’m sure there will be strong views on this on both sides, though I think there’s no denying that what this woman did is bold, if nothing else.
Elin Ersson, a Swedish student, learned that an Afghan man was scheduled to be deported from Sweden on a flight from Gothenburg to Istanbul on Monday. Knowing this, she decided to buy a ticket on the same flight. She boarded the plane, and refused to sit down or deplane until the deportee was removed from the flight.
She live-streamed the entire thing on Facebook in English.
Now, I think it goes without saying that something like this wouldn’t work in the US, because no doubt she would have been dragged off the plane (violently, if needed). But Sweden is different in that way, and in this case she succeeded… sort of.
After it was clear that she wouldn’t sit down and wouldn’t voluntarily get off the plane, the man being deported was removed from the flight, at which point she got off the plane as well. Media reports suggest that the Afghan main remains in custody and will eventually face deportation. Meanwhile police have said that the woman could face fines or jail time for not obeying a pilot’s orders while on a plane.
In the video you can see passengers becoming increasingly angrier with her over delaying the flight. She says she just can’t see this man deported to Afghanistan, and most likely be killed. Other passengers cheer her on and support her.
Here’s the video, for anyone who is interested, which is quite emotional:
This was a bold move on her part, and without knowing the full background, I share her sadness at the overall situation. I doubt this will have an impact on whether or not the guy eventually gets deported, but perhaps more public displays like this will eventually lead to change, whatever form that may come in.
(Tip of the hat to Woodrow)