Saturday, September 30, 2006



MEREDITH MAY, SF CHRONICLE - When military recruiters set up a table at
a high school in Sonoma County, chances are Elizabeth Stinson is taking
a seat right next to them, to try to urge youngsters not to enlist. The
director of the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County counts at
least 400 people she's "de-recruited" from the military, a statistic
that helped her win this year's Long Haul Prize, given to the most
active activist in politically active Northern California. "Teenagers
are trying to separate from their parents as individuals, so they're
vulnerable to a recruiter," said the 57-year-old Forestville mother of
three, surrounded by posters of Malcolm X, Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi and
Martin Luther King Jr. in her Santa Rosa office.
"It's only fair we show them there are other alternatives," she said.
Stinson has trained task forces of teenagers at five Sonoma County high
schools to set up their own counter-military recruitment tables.



FLYER TALK - I was detained for about 25 minutes today after passing
though the TSA checkpoint at MKE terminal E.
Yesterday, while discussing the new rules a fellow Flyertalker suggested
we write "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on the outside of our clear plastic
quart bags. So I did just that.

At the MKE "E" checkpoint I placed my laptop in one bin, and my shoes,
cell phone and quart bag in a second bin. The TSA guy who was pushing
bags and bins into the X-ray machine took a good hard look, and then as
the bag when though the X-ray I think he told the X-ray operator to call
for a bag check/explosive swab on my roller bag to slow me down. He went
strait to the TSA supervisor on duty and boy did he come marching over
to the checkpoint with fire in his eyes!

He grabbed the baggie as it came out of the X-ray and asked if it was
mine. After responding yes, he pointed at my comment and demanded to
know "What is this supposed to mean?" "It could me a lot of things, it
happens to be an opinion on mine." "You can't write things like this" he
said, "You mean my First Amendment right to freedom of speech doesn't
apply here?" "Out there (pointing pass the ID checkers) not while in
here (pointing down) was his response." . . .

A Milwaukee County Sheriffs deputy was summoned - I would have left at
this point, but he had my quart bag with my toothpaste and hair gel.
When the deputy got over the TSA supervisor showed him the bag and told
him what had happened to that point. . . I asked if I was under arrest,
and his response was "Right now you are not under arrest, you are being
detained." I produced my passport and he walked off with it and called
in my name to see if I had any outstanding warrants, etc. The TSA
supervisor picked up the phone about 20 feet away and called someone. At
this point two more officers were near by and I struck up a conversation
with the female officer who was making sure I kept put. I explained to
her who Kip Hawley was, why I though he was an idiot, and my surprise
that the TSA Supervisor felt my First Amendment rights didn't' apply at
the TSA checkpoint. She didn't say much.

After he was assured I didn't have any warrants out the first office
came back and I had my first chance to really speak, I explained that I
was just expressing my opinion and my writing should be protected my by
First Amendment rights. When he didn't respond, I then repeated that the
TSA Supervisor stated my First Amendment rights didn't apply at the TSA
check point and I asked if he (the deputy) agreed that was the case. He
responded by saying "You can't yell fire in a crowded theater, there are
limits to your rights." At this point I chuckled again. I asked how this
was even remotely like shouting "Fire" in a crowd, and his answer was
"Perhaps your comments made them feel threatened."

At about this point the TSA Supervisor finished up his phone call, and
summoned the officer back over. . . He said he needed to file an
incident report, and I took the opportunity to ask what the resolution
of the incident was, did I do anything wrong? Are you going to ask the
officer to arrest me? He said no, I was free to go, but he was going to
confiscate my bag. I asked "If I did nothing wrong, why would you take
my bag" He pointed to a posted sign that said something about reusing
plastic bags (the MKE TSA was providing quart sized zipper bags to pax
today) I let him know that I had brought my bag from home and would not
be letting him take it. He then asked for permission of photograph it,
which I agreed too.


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