Libertarian arrested at airport
He tried to board a plane without ID
The Associated Press |
June 12, 2005
MANCHESTER - A Keene Libertarian who tried to board a flight carrying nothing but a Bible and a copy of the Declaration of Independence was arrested yesterday at Manchester Airport.
Russell Kanning, 35, was arrested after refusing to comply with security screening procedures and refusing to leave the screening area, according to the Rockingham County sheriff's department. He was charged with criminal trespassing and was being held at the Rockingham County jail.
Kanning's wife, Kat Dillon, said her husband has refused to have his bail posted and will remain in jail until his arraignment tomorrow. She said sheriff's deputies were very kind in handling the incident.
"He went in with his Bible and his declaration, and when he refused to be patted down and all that, the sheriffs led him off and arrested him," she said in a phone interview yesterday afternoon.
Kanning, an accountant and staunch Libertarian, said last week he hoped his actions would highlight what he considers overly burdensome state intrusion.
"What he was trying to get across is that people need to be able to travel with dignity," said his wife. "They've just gotten to a point where security is ridiculous."
"We want people to think about it: Do you want to give up all your rights and live in a police state?"she said. "I don't think they can make us secure if they're bombing other countries . . . To be perfectly honest, I'm in far more danger from my own government than from any terrorist."
Kanning's demonstration was part of a larger effort by Libertarians to promote their belief in individual freedom and limited government. Others planned to start a private mail service, to call attention to the federal government's monopoly on first-class mail delivery, and sell bottles of liquor, in defiance of state liquor laws.
"It comes to a point that if you think something has to be done and you don't think petitioning the government will help, you have to stop complying with bad laws," Dillon said. "We don't want to hurt anybody. We don't want anybody to get hurt. We just don't want to comply."