From the June 2005 Idaho Observer:


Libertarian makes a stand at NH airport

Kanning arrested for refusing to comply with ridiculous TSA security procedures

MANCHESTER, NH—Keene, New Hampshire Libertarian Russell Kanning attempted to board a flight carrying nothing but a Bible and a copy of the Declaration of Independence and was arrested Saturday, June 11, 2005 at Manchester Airport. His arrest occurred after Kanning, 35, refused to comply with Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) security screening procedures.

Kanning’s gesture is arguably the most inspiring act of non-violent airport civil disobedience since Sept. 11, 2001.

According to the Rockingham County sheriff’s department, Kanning was arrested after refusing to comply with TSA personnel and refused to leave the screening area. He was charged with criminal trespassing and was taken to Rockingham County jail.

Kanning’s wife, Kat Dillon, is supportive of her husband’s stand and commented that he refused to have his bail posted knowing he would remain in jail until arraignment Monday, June 13. Dillon commented that sheriff’s deputies were very kind in handling the incident—an indication that Kanning was also very polite and respectful whilemaking a stand for freedom from insulting searches and seizures.

Kanning, an accountant and staunch Libertarian, said that he hoped his actions would highlight what he considers an overly burdensome state intrusion.

"What he was trying to get across is that people need to be able to travel with dignity," said Dillon. "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."

The Associated Press reported that 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," wrote the AP.

"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."

Note: At press time, no news of the arraignment was available. Look for an update in the July edition.