Los Angeles bans Hare Krishnas from airport panhandling

Los Angeles airport has won a court battle allowing them to ban Hare Krisnas from collecting donations on its property. The California Supreme Court ruled that the ban does not violate free speech guarantees.

Apparently, Los Angeles airport has over 100 different individuals from 15 organizations that solicit cash at the airport, and the battle to allow them to continue doing so has been going on since 1997. According to the Judge, travelers have enough on their minds without having to deal with panhandling. The Judge had this to say about the inconvenience:

Panhandling may increase congestion, cause travelers to miss flights, and subject them to possible intimidation and even fraud.

Organizations are still free to distribute printed materials, and mention other ways they can donate, but they can not accept any more donations at the airport. A spokesperson for Hare Krishna called the decision “disgusting” and claims the ruling is all about getting rid of Hare Krishna. Of course, the whole story just reminds me of the awesome scene from “Airport” – which you can see in the embedded clip above.

What do you think about panhandling at the airport?