Thursday, July 26, 2018


Elin Ersson is her name who made global headlines Monday, July 23, 2018 when she refused to take her seat on a plane to save an Afghan man from deportation. 

She is a very courageous young woman who stood up and got involved to help a stranger who was being victimized. 

“It is fully legal to refuse to sit down on a flight to avoid deportation,” Ersson’s 14-minute-long live stream shows the intense emotions she and other passengers went through as she refused to take a seat for the sake of a man she didn’t know but wanted to save. Elin documented her act of civil disobedience before the flight from Gothenburg to Istanbul took off; she was attempting to prevent the deportation of a fellow passenger, a 52-year-old man, to Afghanistan.

In a world where most people ignore the needs of others, turn the other way or are not prepared to help others, Elin is a breath of fresh air and a small ray of hope that humanity still exists in others. 

On the video below, you can hear irate plane passengers shouting: “We want to go, sit down!” Ersson, her cheeks reddening slightly and her eyes becoming teary, remains standing, and her voice is steady. A member of the cabin crew on the flight from Gothenburg to Istanbul repeatedly asks her to turn off her phone and sit down, or leave the plane. He describes her as an “unruly passenger”. Ersson, young and slight, stands her ground. “I’m doing what I can to save a person’s life,” she says.

Did she feel awkward, or exposed? “I was so caught in the moment that I didn’t really realize that everyone was looking at me,” says Ersson on the phone from Sweden. “My focus was all on stopping a deportation to Afghanistan".
More than three million people have now watched the video of Ersson’s protest as she attempted to stop the deportation of an asylum seeker. “I’m not going to sit down until this person is off the plane,” she says, and she remains standing, her phone’s camera focused on her face because other passengers didn’t want to be filmed. 

The atmosphere seems hostile. An unseen British man approaches her. “You’re upsetting all the people down there,” he says. “I don’t care what you think.” He tries to take her phone, but a flight attendant gives it back. Someone else says: “You’re preventing all these passengers going to their destination.” Ersson has an untouchable comeback: “But they’re not going to die, he’s going to die.”
She finally breaks down on the film, not from the hostility of a handful of people, but from the uplifting support of other passengers. People start applauding her; a man three rows away stands up to tell her he is with her. A football team at the back of the plane stand up, too.

In a democracy, in a humane society, everyone has the right to voice their criticism of the law.This includes the right to self-empowerment when justice is being violated. You always have the right to civil disobedience and resistance when others are being abused. 

It's essential for our society to incorporate the principle of defending victims, actually speaking up by getting involved that makes this all so important. Sadly we usually see indifference, "a not my problem attitude", and often outright cruelty against those who are being preyed upon by others. 

Way to go Elin Errson, it takes just 1 HUMAN being WHO IS WILLING to speak up to make a difference against evil and defend those who need our help.