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ActivismDisasters & Extreme WeatherOilOil Spills

Oil Spill Activists Targeted by TSA Agents

I saw this story a week or so ago and decided to pass on covering it (too many stories to cover, you know?), but after running across it again, as well as a few more interesting ones, on our sister site Fail Drill, I decided they need to be on here (next three coming in another post).

Here’s a little background on the first video below:

At California’s Ontario Airport this week, TSA targeted three of the most active filmmakers documenting the crime of the millennium, the Gulf of Mexico operation. After working in Los Angeles where they are residents, in trying to board a plane to return to the Gulf region, the three young human rights defenders were pre-selected for harassment and intimidation at the check-point.

“It started the minute we got to the airport,” Project Gulf Impact film director, Matt Smith said in a telephone conversation Thursday from Orange Beach, Alabama.

And a little more info on the TSA situation, along with a nice quote from one of the TSA security guards:

As anger against the TSA has mounted, many have wondered if activists will be specifically targeted in an attempt to scare and intimidate them. No subject has been bigger than the gulf disaster and it looks as one of the groups who exposed the extensive use of Corexit9500 in the gulf have fallen victim to TSA tyranny.

When Matt Smith, Gavin Garrison, and Heather Rally of Project Gulf Impact arrived at Ontario Airport in California Tuesday evening to board a plane headed back to the Gulf of Mexico, all three of them were pulled aside by TSA agents and patted down. Coincidentally, they were the only three people pulled out of the security lines.

Matt was the first to be let go and he immediately began filming Gavin and Heather in the holding cell. As he was filming, a TSA Security officer walked up and began to yell at him to turn the camera off and was quoted as saying:

“TSA doesn’t want stuff like this to end up on youtube”

Nice. Of course it doesn’t.




6 comments
  1. eyecue

    This is a quote from your own article “officer walked up and began to yell at him to turn the camera ”
    So PTC was correct. IT also seems to me that you are preselected based on selectee status at the ticket counter. Everything is not a government conspiracy.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      Aha, sorry,.. i didn’t see that line in the quote skimming it very quickly. You are correct. I am not big into government conspiracies, to be honest. But environmental activists have been treated as terrorists more than is normal, for sure. and I think this incident may have been another case of that…

  2. PTC

    I think this article sort of exaggerates what the video clearly shows. The officials told them several times to stop filming (for flimsy reasons, yes) but there seemed to be no yelling going on at all.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      hmm, i’m having a hard time seeing where we exaggerate, especially given that almost the entire article is quotes… and i don’t see any mention of yelling.. (not sure if you read the piece above or not)

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