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Report on Detention at Luton Airport
rights, freedoms and repression |
Friday November 09, 2007 16:32 by Ciaron O'Reilly - Catholic Worker/Ploughshares
Well apparently they were serious when Bush Jr. stated "that if you're not for us, you're against us". Implying if you don't support the U.S./U.K. war machine shredding lives in the Middle East & Afghanistan, you must be with the Jihadists and their pathetic mimicry of car, backpack and body bomb responses to the B52's, F 16's and cruise missiles. These guys obviously have not heard of the old anarcho saying "If they give you two options - always choose the third!"
I was departing Ireland after a week of visiting friends and attending the "Route Irish" launch. http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84775
I bought a copy of The Guardian at Dublin airport. I'm usually a daily communicant of the Guardian when living in Ireland or England, because we have such pathetic newspapers in Australia. Thursday's issue was full of the anti-terror hysteria sweeping the British state a tenfol
d rise in terror prisoners (up to 1300) expected within the next 10 years http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2207068,00.h...ed=11
the head of M15 warning of how "terrorists are methodically targeting young people and children in this country (for recruitment)", the Metropolitan police commisioner ducking and weaving around the obvious course of resigantion over the "counter terror" killing of innocent Brazillian commuter Jean Charles de Menezes and the Queens speech arguing for extending the limit on pre-charge detention.
Due to a late night on the Guiness and an early whacked out body clock rising, I slumbered off airborne half way through Seumas Milne's opinion piece "A Pointless Attack on Liberty that Fuels the Terror Threat". http://www.guardian.co.uk/humanrights/story/0,,2207226,....html
I woke up as we landed.
As I entered the Luton terminal, I was approached by three plainclothes detectives. They stated that they had been alerted by the Irish Gardai that I was a threat to the aviation industry. They asked me if I was a member of "Plane Stupid" (a climate change direct actionist group against air travel)? Having paid 1c for my Ryan Air Flight I responded, "If I was with them I guess I would have come by train!" A detective responded "You'd be surprised!"
They asked me what my intentions were. I informed them that I was coming to live and work with the London Catholic Worker www.londoncatholicworker.org They continued to ask me about my activist history. I told them, "Look I'm going to stop answering these questions some time, so it may as well be now!" I said I was concerned about the civil liberties ramifications of co-operating with their behavior. They then moved me to a secure office within the airport and gave me a look at a section of the Terrorism Act 2000 that I was being questioned under. They said I was being detained under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. I asked them what section of the police force they were from and they replied Counter Terrorist. I said that I'm not going to answer questions and they should try googling me and they would have the answers to the questions they had already asked. I told them I was from the Catholic Worker, a pacifist movement and that whatever we do it is nonviolent and we always stay and pray. So there's never much of a chase involved from their perspective
They began to go through my bag, which is always a game of hot and cold. They filled out a form and asked me to define my ethncity, I refused to. The guy who was off doing the googling came back. They eventually let me go.
Peter Ustinov reflected that "War is the terrorism of the rich, terrorism is the war of the poor!" Catholic Workers believe that security will be built on peace and justice not war, internment and the shrinking of civil liberties. God knows what the Gardai in Ireland are thinking? We were acquitted, accept it, move on!