A member of the Occupy London protests was stopped from boarding his flight home for Christmas after he was found carrying anarchist literature, it has been claimed.
The demonstrator, who is part of the group occupying the empty UBS building dubbed the “Bank of Ideas”, said he was told he would not be allowed on the Ryanair flight to Malaga because the pilot feared he might distribute leaflets and “upset other passengers”.
John Charles Culatto, 34, claimed he was approached by police at Bristol International Airport who told him they had seen him “acting suspiciously” on the airport’s CCTV system when he stopped to talk to fellow travellers.
He said he went to airport security an hour before his flight was due to depart, where staff found posters in his bag linked to the anarchist group Crimethinc and refused to allow him through until they had contacted the airline. He claimed he overheard security staff who were examining his luggage using the word “terrorism”.
When he finally got to the boarding gate, he claimed he was prevented from boarding by staff. Mr Culatto said: “[I was told] that because of the very remote possibility I could distribute leaflets on the plane and upset people, the captain had decided not to take me aboard.”
A spokesman for Servisair, which manages the departure gates, said Mr Culatto was stopped because he arrived at the gate after it closed because of the time it took to clear security. He said the decision not to allow him to fly was taken by the airline.
Ryanair called the allegations “complete and utter rubbish”.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed that “a 34-year-old man was delayed by airport security”. He said: “We sent some officers at the airport’s request but they were not required.”
The “99%” is not one social body, but many. Some occupiers have presented a narrative in which the “99%” is characterized as a homogenous mass. The faces intended to represent “ordinary people” often look suspiciously like the predominantly white, law-abiding middle-class citizens we’re used to seeing on television programs, even though such people make up a minority of the general population.
It’s a mistake to whitewash over our diversity. Not everyone is waking up to the injustices of capitalism for the first time now; some populations have been targeted by the power structure for years or generations. Middle-class workers who are just now losing their social standing can learn a lot from those who have been on the receiving end of injustice for much longer.
The problem isn’t just a few “bad apples.” The crisis is not the result of the selfishness of a few investment bankers; it is the inevitable consequence of an economic system that rewards cutthroat competition at every level of society. Capitalism is not a static way of life but a dynamic process that consumes everything, transforming the world into profit and wreckage. Now that everything has been fed into the fire, the system is collapsing, leaving even its former beneficiaries out in the cold. The answer is not to revert to some earlier stage of capitalism—to go back to the gold standard, for example; not only is that impossible, those earlier stages didn’t benefit the “99%” either. To get out of this mess, we’ll have to rediscover other ways of relating to each other and the world around us.
Inspired by the visceral potential of the Wall Street occupation, the Indignados of Spain just sent us word that on September 17th they too will set up camp outside the Madrid Stock Exchange. The surprise announcement, that their #TOMALABOLSA will join your #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, may embolden other cities as well. A rumor suggests the financial district of Paris may be next … or will it be Toronto’s Bay Street, Sydney’s Martin Place, or some yet to be chosen site in London?
(Note: this is an independent blog and is not affiliated with Adbusters. Their content is re-posted for outreach purposes only.)