Fed Center flap draws a busload of support
Rocky Mountain News/Karen Abbott | December 1 2005
Deborah Davis said Wednesday she has been overwhelmed by the support she has received via the Internet and telephone for her stance against having to show her identification while riding on an RTD bus that crosses the Federal Center in Lakewood.
But she's trying to keep up with her daily routine, doing her laundry and, on Tuesday, cleaning the gutters on her home. "It keeps me normal," she said.
Bill Scannell, who has publicized other challenges to government ID requirements, said the Web site he created for the Davis case, www.papersplease.org/davis,had received visits from 2.4 million individuals by about 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Scannell said the Web site also has received more than 1,800 e-mails about Davis' case, and that all but about 20 have been supportive.
"There's become so many I can't even read them all," Davis said.
"I never thought this would happen," she said. "I was just trying not to show my ID because I don't have to. That's all."
Davis, 50, of Arvada, refused in September to show her identification when federal police boarded RTD's No. 100 bus when it entered the Federal Center. Davis wasn't getting off there but riding through on her way to work elsewhere, as were some other passengers.
Federal police removed her from the bus and handcuffed and ticketed her for refusing to show her ID. She is scheduled to appear in federal court Dec. 9.
A Rocky Mountain News story about Davis on Tuesday drew about 120,000 Web site readers by late afternoon. A link to the News article appeared on The Drudge Report, a popular Web site about current events at drudgereport.com.
"I feel really good that people care, that they are just terribly supportive," Davis said. But she said she's been embarrassed by comparisons that have been made to civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.
The most critical responses she had read, she said, were from people wondering why she didn't just comply with the police order.
Davis' refusal to show her ID as a matter of principle clearly touched a nerve among News readers. Many e-mailed the newspaper expressing widely differing views.
• "Deborah N. Davis is absolutely correct and the guards at the federal building behaved as the Nazi fascists did 65 years ago in Germany, controlling 'free' movement of citizens by frequent demands of papers."
• "They should have shot this (expletive deleted) first and then looked through her purse for ID."
• "If she doesn't like it here, she can leave any time. In fact, from what I read in today's news, they have 4 openings in Iraq for Peace Activists. It seems like her 'donating' herself to become another kidnapee by 'The Swords of Righteousness Brigade' would be a cause she might be worthy of."
• "Good for her. This country is becoming more and more a police state!!!! Well done!!
Last modified December 2, 2005