Suddenly, People Turn Shirty

By Jano Gibson
Sydney Morning Herald
July 3, 2008

TELL people what they can't do, and they will surely go ahead and do it.

Barely 48 hours after the Herald revealed that protesting, skateboarding or even wearing a particular T-shirt could result in a fine of $5500 if it annoys a pilgrim during World Youth Day, hundreds of people have designed T-shirt slogans in protest.

Some of the T-shirt messages suggested by Herald readers.

Thousands more have voiced their opinions through online polls, blogs, letters and talkback radio. And more than 500 media outlets worldwide have run stories about the controversial regulations. Most people were opposed to any intrusion on civil liberties.

"I am a Catholic and will be participating in the WYD," wrote Andrew on an blog. "I think these laws are stupid and ridiculous."

Others cautioned people against directing anger towards participants.

"Your beef should be with the Government, not the pilgrims," Graeme wrote. "Anyone who wants to use this as an excuse for pilgrim bashing does not deserve to be called Australian."

More than 90 per cent of 10,000 respondents to an poll opposed the laws.


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