: views from the Hill

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Ian Spiers got pissed off and this is what he did about it.

Ian Spiers had a run-in with the Seattle Police and the Department of Homeland Security one day that left him "humiliated, angry, ashamed." He decided to do something about it, so he raised a fuss and started a blog (Brown Equals Terrorist) that tracks what's been happening in his life since he took his story public.

Go to the site. Read the artist's statement first.


He seemed intelligent, and I assumed that someone in his position was supposed to be reasonable. I also assumed that someone in his position would know that if I’d really wanted to take secret photos of this public landmark that he would never know about it. Sure, I knew why he was asking for my ID, and why he was really asking for my ID. And he knew why. But I was wondering if he had the balls to actually say it to my face. I was back to wondering when I could start saying “no.”

Proceeding thoughtfully, I calmly and politely responded to his request for my ID by asking him if I was legally obligated to show it to him. He replied, “No.” I responded, in that case, that I’d felt I’d provided him with all the information he needed regarding who I was and what I was doing, and told him that I felt that my constitutional rights were being infringed upon. Not being legally obliged to do so, I told him that I was not going to be providing him with my ID.

That pretty much ended that conversation. As my confronters ascended the hill, I couldn’t resist spinning my camera around and taking a quick shot of them returning to their security vehicle. I then got back to waiting for a train or boat to enter my composition so I could finish my class assignment. Of course, I soon realized that they weren’t leaving.

Check out the story today in the Tacoma News Tribune. Other media attention is linked to from the site.

The blog makes for an interesting read. Spiers has a tale to tell.

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