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Synthesis/Regeneration 30   (Winter 2003)

Thinking Politically

Justice Department Tracking Greens?

by Doug Stuber

I was trying to make an important trip to gather artists for Henry James Art in Raleigh, NC, USA when I was told (ticket in hand) that I was not allowed to fly out that day.

Curious, I asked “why not?” and the answer at Raleigh Durham Airport (RDU) was that I had yelled, over three rows, “Bush is as dumb as a rock.” This was part of a conversation with two African American men I had never met, and that included talk of how the CIA polluted downtown America with crack, and how Jerry Falwell used church coffers to buy planes for “Falwell Aviation.”

So I was denied a flight, but thought I’d come back the next mooring, really early, switch airlines and fly to Paris, to catch a train to Prague from there.

Naturally, I went back the next morning, and instead of paying $670 round trip was forced into a $2,600 same day fare. I was mad enough about the money, but what happened in the next 24 hours was mind-boggling.

It was 6 am and my first flight wasn’t due out until 11:45 am, so I had plenty of time to kill. At exactly 10:52 am, just before boarding was to begin, I was approached by Officer Stanley (the same policeman I was ushered out of the airport by the day before) and he said he “wanted to talk to me.”

I went with him, but reminded him that no one had said I could not fly, and that my flight was about to leave. (I also knew that I could make the Air France connection in Atlanta and still make it to Prague in time, as long as I could catch a Delta flight at 1:10 pm, so I wasn’t too worried yet.)

They showed me a document from the Justice Department…that actually does show the Greens as likely terrorists.

The officer took me into a room and questioned me for one hour. By noon Stanley introduced me to two gentlemen I will refer to as Secret Service A and Secret Service B (SS-A and SS-B). Here is where the story proves the US is in a “totalitarian capitalist” state of fascism.

SS-A and SS-B took full eye-open pictures with a digital camera. They then asked me all the details about my family, where I lived, who I ever knew, what the Greens are up to, etc.

At one point I asked if they really believed the Greens were equal to al Qaeda. Here they made an error. They showed me a document from the Justice Department (Ashcroft and friends) that actually does show the Greens as likely terrorists. Just as likely as al Qaeda members. Man, I wish I had had a camera to be able to copy that document!

Sure enough we got out of there at about 12:45 pm, but with enough time to catch the later flight.

Here is where the pig-dogs really made me mad. They walked me to the Delta counter and asked that I be given tickets for the flight so I could make my connections. The woman quickly printed out tickets so that I could make the flight, and I was relieved that the SS hadn’t stopped me from flying.

In Greensboro, NC I was told flat out that I could not fly overseas or domestically.

I was wrong again. By the time I was about to be quickly placed on the flight, officer Stanley once again ushered me out the door. To be fair, he told me this: “Just go to Greensboro, where they don’t know you, and be totally quiet about politics, and you can make it to Europe that way.”

I felt like I was being yet again set up by this man, but I went to Greensboro anyway.

In Greensboro, NC I was told flat out that I could not fly overseas or domestically. I was told this after I showed my passport, so apparently the SS had moved quickly to shut me down from any kind of air travel. (One wonders whether Greens throughout the US are now barred from flying, since our national Co-Chair Nancy Oden had already been denied a flight from Maine to Chicago eight months before.)

Not to be denied, I then traveled to Charlotte. This is another hour and a half away, so I’ve been up for 40 hours, with a 1.5-hour drive ahead. I stocked up on Dr. Pepper and decided I would not be denied.

Of course, at Charlotte the same thing: get this terrorist out of here was the mode the cops were in.

I then drove three hours home (43 hours trying to catch a flight) and crashed hard in bed.

It appears that Greens, who have ten key values that include nonviolence, social justice, etc., are considered terrorists by the Ashcroft-led Justice Department.

I had always speculated that capitalism had gone too far. Now I know for sure.

Doug Stuber's art can be seen at: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/d/dougstuber/


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