A little while back i blogged Kate’s account of her treatment on arriving in America. She has now written a follow up describing some of her experiences since she got back. Dressed in pink and armed with raw chocolate bars, she is a threat to civilisation as we know it - and i can vouch for that.
Chocolate terrorist, Kate cutting her raw chocolate birthday cake (i got to stir the coconut oil and water into a mindboggling mixture of superfoods - it then all went in the fridge after being patted down - i’ve never made a cake quite that way and i intend to try)
LAND OF THE FREE PART 2 BY KATE WOOD OTHERWISE KNOWN AS KATE POLLY LOVE MAGIC
‘It’s now a month since my ordeal with US immigration. People ask me if I’m over it, but I’ll never get over it, I’m permanently altered by the experience. I’ve experienced first hand how barbaric these people can be, I’ve heard many other stories of similar treatment, I’ve seen how powerless and/or unwilling the authorities are to do anything about it, and I’m working hard to try to not let it scare me.
I’ve spent hours making phone calls with no real result: the man at the Home Office that I spoke to said, “I know from personal experience what you’re talking about.” He advised me not to bother with the US Embassy where it will just sit on the pile, another unsolicited manuscript. Instead he gave me the number of the consulate in Minneapolis, the airport which I flew into. After four phone calls, I eventually got a call back from a woman who at first insisted she couldn’t help. After a bit of ranting on my part, she gave me the address of the man at the Foreign Office to write to, and the link to an online form amusingly called TRIP (the traveller redress inquiry form). Minneapolis customs have not answered any of my eleven phone calls. My MP spoke to me at length. In summary, he said, “Yes, this happens all the time, yes it is criminal, yes there is nothing we can do.” He wrote to the US embassy, and they sent both him and me a reply which, in his words, was “not particularly helpful.” The organizer of Raw Spirit festival, where I was headed, wrote twice to the representative of US congressman and vegan, Denis Kuchinich, but received no response. I sent the story to all the local and national papers and magazines I thought might consider it newsworthy and not one of them got back to me.
A common response from friends was, “Oh, I should have told you what to wear/say/act like.” A lot of people told me to be careful, to not stick my head above the parapet. I find all this crazy. What sort of world are we living in? I HAD DONE NOTHING WRONG! There isn’t a word for what I went through. Torture is far too strong, with its implications of physical violence. But it was a psychological intimidation which has left me feeling weakened and vulnerable. I am proud of who I am! So why should I hide my power, why should I pretend to cover up my truth, why should I disguise my light, why? Why do we still accept that being “alternative” is in itself a criminal activity. I really didn’t realise that holding different values from the mainstream is viewed as threatening behaviour which shouldn’t draw attention to itself. Naively, I suppose, because they are right, we are a threat, we are here to challenge the status quo and tumble the existing societal paradigm. We are revolutionaries out to create a whole new way of living. I had forgotten how dangerous we are to them.
Which is why they have to manhandle 83 year old women*. Why they have to kill mothers**. Why they have to deny people entry because they are men with long hair, or women who love animals and are members of animal rights organizations. Silly me, I am a fearlessly happy girl with a pink t-shirt that says love on it in big letters and I do yogic breathing in the interrogation room to try and keep calm (and is then told to, “Stop breathing”) – of course I am a danger to homeland security. How could I not have seen it before?
Synchronistically, the day I was refused entry into the USA was the day Naomi Wolf was filmed giving a talk on her new book, “The End of America”. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc
She describes the ten steps to creating a fascist state and how every one of those steps is in place in America today. She says,“ It is clear from this inundation of personal stories of abuse and retribution against ordinary Americans that a network of criminal behavior and intention is catching up more and more mainstream citizens
She adds, “Is it clear yet that violent retribution, torture or maybe worse, seems
They are right. We are here to destroy everything they stand for – the glorification of war as a noble and necessary pursuit, TV and media brainwashing, junk food poisoning, a cartoon culture to keep everyone skimming the surface of life and not ever diving into its shimmering depths.
We are right. We are right to dream of a world where we live in love, freedom and abundance. We are right to work our asses off to create that world, right here and now, on whatever patch of earth we find ourselves on.
So whose side do you want to be on? Those that are fearful because their house of cards is tumbling down? Or those of us who are doing our best to bring about its collapse, knowing that the end result of all our efforts is to play forever in the paradise that is our birthright?
* Bernice Bogart is an 83 year old American who has had breast cancer surgery, a total hip replacement, a major stroke that caused dementia, and is hard of hearing. She received “horrific” and “outrageous” treatment at Denver airport in March 2006. http://firstname.lastname@example.org/msg05519.html
**Carole Ann Gotbaum mysteriously choked to death while being detained at Phoenix airport. The official report was suicide, although it is physically impossible to strangle yourself with your hands handcuffed behind your back. ‘’She kept on yelling: ‘I’m not a terrorist. I’m a sick mother. I need help.’ ‘’ http://www.newstarget.com/022083.html
Still not convinced of the levels of police brutality which are acceptable in America today - Watch this. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6bVa6jn4rpE
With thanks to Jonty Skrufff and Fidelity Kastrow whose mixes have helped me get up in the mornings. That and raw chocolate.
Finally – I’m not going back to America until George Bush himself apologises to me wearing a pink wig, levitating, and eating a Hi-crunch.’
Hooray for Kate Polly Love Magic!!!
Now we have this latest news. These poeple must be desparate - it’s hard work trying to keep the spirit down:
Wednesday, 14 November 2007, 20:23 GMT
Rail travellers at large stations will also face having their bags screened.
The PM’s statement came amid confusion over his security minister’s views on detention limits for terror suspects.
In his wide-ranging Commons statement on national security, Mr Brown said that the failed bomb attacks in London and Glasgow Airport in June showed the need to ensure young people are not “radicalised” by extremists.
He outlined the creation of a new unit bringing together police and security intelligence to look not only at the “inner circle” of extremists but also at those at risk of falling under their influence.
The bulk of the statement covered security at public places such as transport hubs, which had been the subject of a review by ex-Admiral and current security minister Lord West.
Mr Brown said improved security would be installed at the country’s 250 busiest railway stations, as well as airports, ports and more than 100 other sensitive locations.
“Additional screening” of baggage and passenger searches were planned at some large railway stations and other “sensitive locations”, he said.
But the Department for Transport has stressed there are no plans to install permanent security scanners at railway stations - trials so far have involved portable or temporary systems, and sniffer dogs.
Mr Brown said guidance would be sent to thousands of cinemas, theatres, restaurants, hotels, sporting venues and commercial centres, as well as all hospitals, schools and places of worship to advise them on how to keep visitors safe against terrorism.
Ministers would work with architects and planners to encourage them to “design-in” better security measures in new buildings, such as blast resistant material, safe areas and traffic control measures.
Companies responsible for crowded places would be given updated advice on how they could improve resilience against attack, he said. About 160 counter-terrorism advisers will train civilian staff to watch out for suspect activity, ensure premises have adequate emergency facilities and make best use of their CCTV footage.
However, size restrictions on liquids and cabin luggage would remain.
The security budget, currently £2.5bn this year, will rise to £3.5bn in 2011, he said and the security service will double in size from 2001, when it had less than 2,000 staff - to more than 4,000.
He said tougher measures to deal with convicted terrorists would be included in the upcoming Counter Terrorism Bill and a new unit will be set up in the Charity Commission, to make sure charities are not exploited by extremists.
Talks on “repatriation arrangements” for terrorism suspects, already agreed with Jordan, Lebanon and Algeria, were underway with “a number of additional countries,” he said.
The prime minister also outlined measures to counter the influence of radical fundamentalists in Britain’s schools, universities, mosques, youth clubs and prisons, as well as on the internet.
He said a new forum of head teachers would be convened to find ways to protect pupils from extremist propaganda.
“There is no greater priority than the safety and security of our people and building the strongest possible relationships across all faiths and communities,” Mr Brown told MPs.
He also said a review of the use of intercept evidence in court cases - currently banned - would report back in January and he believed there was a “consensus” on allowing terrorist suspects to be questioned after they are charged.
Consultation with parties and communities was beginning on the controversial issue of holding terrorism suspects beyond 28 days without charge - which is opposed by both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Brown, whose security minister Lord West had earlier had to backtrack after saying he was not convinced about extending the 28 day limit, said he believed it was possible to get a cross-party consensus.
In his response, Tory leader David Cameron said there had been “a number of good ideas”, and said the terrorist threat was now of “a completely different order” to that faced in the past.
But he said: “As a nation we need the hard-nosed defence of our liberties.”
Introducing post-charge questioning and using intercept evidence should relieve the need to extend pre-charge detention beyond 28-days, he argued.
And acting Lib Dem leader Vincent Cable said: “Our main concern remains the issue of pre-charge detention.
“This is not a separate issue from the issue about which you spoke at length, which is the issue of confidence in the minority communities, because this is an issue of great concern to them.
And there’s this:
Travellers face price hikes and confusion after the Government unveiled plans to take up to 53 pieces of information from anyone entering or leaving Britain.
For every journey, security officials will want credit card details, holiday contact numbers, travel plans, email addresses, car numbers and even any previous missed flights.
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Random bag searches for rail passengers in Brown’s Fortress Britain
Critics warned of mayhem at ports and airports when the system is introduced, beginning in earnest from mid-2009.
The scheme will apply to every way of leaving the country, whether by ferry, plane, or small aircraft. It would apply to a family having a day out in France by Eurotunnel, and even to a yachtsman leaving British waters during the day and returning to shore.
The measure applies equally to UK residents going abroad and foreigners travelling here.
The personal information stored about every journey could prove vital in detecting a planned atrocity, officials insist.
Ministers are also considering the creation of a list of “disruptive” passengers, so that authorities know in advance of any potential troublemaker, such as an abusive drunk.
“It could also act as a disincentive to people wanting to travel, and we are sure that is not what the Government intends.”
He added: “This is a huge and utterly ridiculous quantity of personal information. This type of profiling will throw up many distressing errors and problems for innocent people.
“We have already seen planes turned around mid-flight because a passenger’s surname matches that of somebody on a watch list.
“When the Government talks about e-borders, it gives the impression it is about keeping bad people out. In fact, it is a huge grab of personal information, and another move towards the database state.”
A pilot of the “e-borders” technology, known as Project Semaphore, has already screened 29million passengers.
But Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesman, said: “The Government must not use legitimate fears or dangers to crop vast amounts of private information without proper safeguards.”
“In reality people could be missed. Potential terrorists could be coming through if there are not enough staff to check them.”
• Restrictions on hand luggage carried on to passenger planes will be lifted from January.
The single bag rule was introduced in August last year after police said they foiled a plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners.
Anyway enough of this nonsense - here is Chris Wood, the inventor of the world’s first raw chocolate bar - in action. Visit the new Raw Living site which he has been working on tirelessly to provide amazing raw goodies.