By Matthew Rothschild on April 12, 2008

Damien Moran got stuck at O’Hare.

And it wasn’t because of all the planes that are being inspected for defects.

No, it was because of his politics.

On Sunday, April 6, Moran flew into Chicago.

He was coming to the United States to meet his brother in Virginia, to give at talk a couple days later at a public library in Colorado Springs, sponsored by Citizens for Peace in Space, and to speak at the 16th annual Space Organizing Conference in Omaha, sponsored by the Global Network Against Weapons in Space.

But he didn’t get to see his brother, and he wasn’t allowed to attend either event.

In fact, he never got past the guards at O’Hare.

“I was immediately detained and questioned by Homeland Security,” he wrote in a press release.

Evidently, Homeland Security had information in its computers on Moran.

“When the Homeland Security agent scanned my passport something popped up on their computer screen that alerted him to call over another, more elderly agent,” Moran tells The Progressive. “He asked me had I ever been arrested and I said, ‘Yes, but I was acquitted 2 years ago.’ I didn't say for what and they didn't ask. They asked me to stand aside. Three minutes later another agent accompanied me to the Homeland Security office. Another agent then processed my details.”

Moran had, in fact, participated in an action five years ago in Ireland where protesters had entered Shannon Airport in Ireland and damaged a U.S. Navy jet. (www.warontrial.net.) Moran and four others were charged with causing criminal damage to the aircraft, but they were acquitted of the charge.

One officer Moran describes as “gung-ho” found out the details about his initial arrest and said, “Nice one, Shannon Airport.” But he didn’t believe Moran about the acquittal.

“We have no proof of that,” he told Moran.

“He then said, ‘Give me your phone,’ after I asked to call my brother in Virginia and tell him I was going to miss my connecting flight.”

Moran said he wanted to speak to a superior officer first, and Bock said, “I’m as senior as you’re going to speak to,” and, “You either give me that phone or I’m going to take it from you.”

Moran said that Officer Bock got belligerent: "You're going nowhere. There is no way that you are getting into this country. Deportation is the least of your problems.”

At that point, Moran said he “decided there was no point in pushing his buttons too far.”

After a five hour wait, he got his phone back and was put on a one-way flight to Warsaw, Poland, where he is currently teaching and where he is involved in protests against the placement of U.S. missile defense systems.

The Transportation Security Administration and Homeland Security did not return phone calls for comment.

The Global Network Against Weapons in Space is outraged that Moran was not allowed to come to the conference it was holding.

“Damien is an incredible activist, and we were very eager to hear the story about what’s going on in Poland right now,” said Mary Beth Sullivan, outreach coordinator for the group. “He would have been speaking right now at this rally at Stratcom,” she added on Friday afternoon from Omaha.

“Why on earth wouldn’t this government of ours allow an Irish citizen to share the reality of what’s going on in Poland is just appalling. What are we afraid of?”

For his part, Moran wrote: “There is no room for dissenters’ perspectives in America.”

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From a puny real-estate deal to campaign finance scandals, Walker's stench is in the air.

By Julia Burke
Ali Abd ElRahman believes the United States has the potential to take a leadership role in food...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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