Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscar ... Can't Be With Us Tonight

As US Fascism deepens and normalises...

Irish Oscar winning film's star tells of airport detention

The star of Ireland’s newest Oscar winning film today told about the heavy handed tactics of US immigration officials who refused him entry to America to attend the awards. Ruaidhri Conroy, who starred in action short Six Shooter, said he was barred from entering the States because he overstayed a visa by two days in 1998. During his day-long detention in Los Angeles airport, the award winning actor was offered only crisps, crackers and processed noodles to eat.

Conroy claimed he had never been made to feel so unwelcome.“I was escorted onto the plane by four officers and they said if you behave we won’t handcuff. They were very heavy,” he said. Directed by renowned playwright Martin McDonagh, dark comedy Six Shooter picked up the gong for Best Live Action Short Film. Conroy, who had a seat reserved at the 78th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood for the ceremony, revealed how he spent 22 hours in custody at Los Angeles’ LAX airport before being sent home. “I came up with my passport and my little immigration form and they just said they wanted to talk to me about my stay there in 1998 – I was over in New York doing a play written by Martin as well actually,” he told RTE Radio. “They said I had overstayed on a visa, and I didn’t think very much of it.”

US immigration officials questioned Conroy about his visits to America, his parents, and warned him he might not make it into the country.“They asked what age I was, all sorts of ridiculous questions,” he said. “And then took me into a cell, a bare cell, and put me up against the wall and searched me, went through my bag, took an inventory of all my valuables and took all my fingerprints again.” Conroy told the officers he had travelled to the States to attend the Oscars. “I said that from the beginning, but I don’t think that impressed them very much to be honest. I think that egged them on more to keep me out of the country rather than keep me in,” he said. “They weren’t very nice people to be honest, they weren’t very welcoming.” He went on: “I don’t think I’ve felt so unwelcome anywhere in my life and I think they just thought that I am a young man saying I am going to the Oscars that they may have got a certain satisfaction from preventing that happening."

You were treated like a criminal basically.”

Conroy was best known for his role as Tito in Into the West [Directed by Jim Sheridan]. His latest film, Six Shooter, which also stars Brendan Gleeson, has already been shown twice on RTE television and is due to be aired on Channel 4 on Wednesday.

There is of course nothing unusual here. Indeed, the 50,000 or so undocumented Irish, as with all other nationalities, in America now live in constant fear, in daily dread, unable to travel abroad, unable even to get a driver's licence, while Ted Kennedy & Co continue lobbying on their behalf, lobbying that is clearly doomed under the WASP/Neo-Con openly fascist Republican regime. Worse, aren't US legislators about to pass a law making it a felon to "be" an "illegal immigrant" - so criminalising all undocumented immigrants in the US - all 12 million of them, PLUS anyone else who might assist them (more millions of employers, landlords, charities, religious organisations, etc). All this occurring as the Bushists secretly construct "prison camps" for the future "benefit" of US Muslims ...

As low-wage immigrants constitute the core economic backbone of most wealthy Western economies, such a law (among others recent and planned) will further hasten the collapse of the US economy. And The Sooner the Better, For All ...

I boycotted the country 4 years ago. I would strongly recommend you do the same, at this point - and for rational, ethical Americans to systematically encourage same.

And ... you only have to look odd to be tossed out of Amerikay now - remember this?

Yusuf Islam Banned from U.S.
September 28, 2004

Last week, Yusuf Islam (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens) was on a plane bound for Washington, DC when it set down in Bangor, ME. The plane was boarded by FBI agents who removed Islam before sending him back to London. So far, U.S. officials have been very sketchy on there reasons for deporting Islam, but the composer of Peace Train has been marked as a potential threat to national security. Islam converted to Islam in 1977, leaving his music career behind (he has recently returned to recording and performing). After Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses was published, Islam reportedly supported an Iranian fatwa against the author, although he now claims that he was misquoted and he has recently been campaigning for peace. Would seeing Cat Stevens sitting next to you on a plane make you nervous?

While the US banning, harassment, and attempted criminalisation of "suspect" foreigners, especially artists, has been continuing to escalate for a number of years - now Britain has decided to join in: Just Like In The Movies.


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