Daily Archives: April 5, 2010

No more Hare Krishna at LAX

Hare Krishnas banned from collecting money at LAX airport – Telegraph

It was in the early to mid-1970s when the Hare Krishnas were all over the streets in Melbourne. At the time I was a student at Melbourne University, and after classes I would often walk from the university to Flinders Street station (sometimes I used to catch the tram). On one particular occasion as I was making my way towards the station, after being in some shops, I was approached by some Hare Krishnas. They started by handing out a hard bound book and at the end of the conversation they wanted a donation. In those days I did not earn much in the way of money, only getting some from babysitting jobs. I would have no more than about $5 for the week upon my person. Anyway, my donation was a very small sum,something like 20 cents because I really did not have any money. The next part of the conversation went along the lines of “is that all you have? I was expecting about $5”.  Then he wanted to take back the book, which was fine by me, leaving me with a tract.

During that time the Hare Krishna used to come out into the streets, singing and dancing and making a lot of noise. Their target in the centre of Melbourne was Flinders Street Railways station but they used to harass shoppers outside of the Myer store as well.

This particular story about the Hare Krishna losing their case to seek donations at LAX reminded me of that episode in my life. The Supreme Court in LA made the correct decision to keep the Hare Krishna from seeking donations at LAX, especially in the present climate of tighter security.

Now, using LAX is a very interesting experience indeed. Last year when we flew to the USA for a month long visit in USA and Canada, we arrived early at LAX. After arrival we had to go through security, then wait to pick up our luggage before finishing the security checks and then head out of the airport to Marina del Rey where we stayed for the remainder of the day and overnight and then headed back to the airport to catch the flight to NYC.  We found that we could not leave our luggage to go to the toilet or even wait for each other without being told to move on by a guard!!

The next morning we arrived very early in readiness for our continuing flight to NYC. At that time of the morning it was not all that busy. However, it did not take long for the crowds to pick up. It would have been very inconvenient to be hassled by the likes of Hare Krishna!!

Then on our way home, our flight left after midnight, and we had to sit around in the airport for hours waiting for the flight to arrive and then depart an hour behind time. What is so annoying is that with all of the safety procedures getting to the flight lounge itself is a real hassle. Again, if we are called for boarding the aircraft, the last thing that we would want is to be hassled by the likes of Hare Krishna with their demands for donations.

From my point of view, it is a good decision, and I say good riddance.