Thursday, February 2, 2006

Peter Stewart: We're Watching You Now

My old former Shebang Street Theatre buddy and near-neighbor Peter Stewart (aka Bull Roar) has found out (surprize, surprize!) that his Maine Coalition for Peace and Justice has turned up in an FBI file. Seems a broadcast email from the group was of interest:

The announcement that ended up in the FBI file appeared to have originated in Canada and called for an "Anarchist feeder march" to join the Million Worker March scheduled in Washington. The invitation made only passing reference to the war in Iraq and the U.S. government, and announced the time, date and location for the start of the march.

"It was an innocuous call for people to attend. There was nothing terribly specific about it," Stewart said. "Oftentimes, we'll just pass something like that along."

Didn't the feds learn decades ago that the American people refuse to be afraid of them? And that the American people know that there's nothing to fear from allowing all political gatherings to happen? And that we have plenty to fear from having government at all levels collect information about our every activity?

I have a very vivid memory of Peter's interaction with a state trooper (now deceased) who came to respond to one of Shebang's unpermitted assemblies on Lincolnville Beach. The trooper was in the nearby parking lot, taking down license plate numbers. Peter approached the trooper and loudly demanded to know several times what the information was going to be used for, since many of the cars didn't belong to anybody involved with the bonfire on the beach. I had a little fun while this was going on, pointing out inspection stickers and registration stickers, and whether they were valid. The trooper finally relented and went off to sulk with his partial list.

At least the trooper identified himself when we asked him who he was, which is more than the local constabulary did. They illegally refused to provide ID, so we refused to follow their orders. One of them said repeatedly, "We don't want to have to arrest you."

Even when we asked what we would be arrested for, he would just repeat, "Well, we don't want to have to arrest you."

Then one of them lied, expressing concern about stories that children had been kidnapped for satanic rituals. We were performing a vaguely wiccan/primitive animist ritual, but not satanic. And since we were doing it on the beach (the ritual, I mean), it wasn't like we were exactly trying to hide any criminal activity like murder or child torture.

So now Peter Stewart's name has appeared on a blog entry, along with satanic ritual, murder and child torture. Wonder how the FBI will react to that.



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