Sun Aug 03, 2003
Dave Eggers is a hero of mine, from his magazine 'Might', to his comics in the SF Weekly, to the wonderful McSweeneys.net and then his books, and in the past couple of years a storefront in the mission that's a, uh, pirate supply store (really it's a nonprofit tutoring kids on writing)..
well anyway here's a piece he did, writing about Americorps..
Muting the Call to Service
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Lunch at New Peking
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US anti-war activists hit by secret airport ban
[reported in the U.K. Independent]
After more than a year of complaints by some US anti-war activists that they were being unfairly targeted by airport security, Washington has admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds or even thousands of names long, of people it deems worthy of special scrutiny at airports.
The list had been kept secret until its disclosure last week by the new US agency in charge of aviation safety, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And it is entirely separate from the relatively well-publicised "no-fly" list, which covers about 1,000 people believed to have criminal or terrorist ties that could endanger the safety of their fellow passengers.
The strong suspicion of such groups as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is suing the government to try to learn more, is that the second list has been used to target political activists who challenge the government in entirely legal ways. The TSA acknowledged the existence of the list in response to a Freedom of Information Act request concerning two anti-war activists from San Francisco who were stopped and briefly detained at the airport last autumn and told they were on an FBI no-fly list.
The activists, Rebecca Gordon and Jan Adams, work for a small pacifist magazine called War Times and say they have never been arrested, let alone have criminal records. Others who have filed complaints with the ACLU include a left-wing constitutional lawyer who has been strip-searched repeatedly when travelling through US airports, and a 71-year-old nun from Milwaukee who was prevented from flying to Washington to join an anti-government protest.
It is impossible to know for sure who might be on the list, or why. The ACLU says a list kept by security personnel at Oakland airport ran to 88 pages. More than 300 people have been subject to special questioning at San Francisco airport, and another 24 at Oakland, according to police records. In no case does it appear that a wanted criminal was apprehended.
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=430073 Read more...
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