And Then They Take Away Our Cameras ….

So continues the chipping away of our democratic rights in a free society, all in the name of “Homeland Security”:

Amtrak photo contestant arrested by Amtrak police in NYC’s Penn Station

Do you remember how not so many years ago we decried the restrictions of  freedom in places like the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea? Places where citizens feared saying the wrong thing in front of the wrong people, places where one could easily be arrested for doing something innocent that the “State” thought looked “suspicious.” And now our own national train system can’t even run a photo contest without uniformed thugs arresting a person taking photographs in a public place:

Kerzic’s ordeal began Dec. 21 when he took the train from New Jersey into New York City and debarked at Penn Station. He snapped a photo of the train speeding away, then walked down the platform where he snapped several other photos. He continued taking photos as the platform emptied into Manhattan.

Then he casually walked towards the staircase to make his own way into the city. He stopped before the stairwell to tie his shoe.

When he stood back up, the cops were hovering over him. Two cops and a dog. A black lab with a nose for explosives.

“They asked what I was doing, I said I was taking photos,” he said.

“They said put your bag on the ground and let our dog sniff it.”

He complied and the dog confirmed he was carrying no explosives in his photo bag. Then they asked for his ID. Then to see the photos.

And then they ordered him to delete the photos.

“I said ‘absolutely not’,” said the 50-year-old navy veteran who describes himself as a “conservative republican”.

They told him it was illegal to photograph the trains.

“I asked where is the sign that says that,” he said.

That was when Amtrak police officer James Rusbarsky, badge Number 466, pulled out his handcuffs.

Read more here.



  1. Holy crap. This is just unbelievable. Very chilling.

    I also cringe every time I see one of those signs on the highway (they put them up in lights on those boards that are there to tell you if there is a traffic jam up ahead) – that say “Report suspicious activity.” I always feel as if I’m living in 1984 when I see those. And guess what, I guess I am!

  2. Mauigirl — I know those signs! I am always amazed that the number is something benign; I would expect it to be something memorable, like 1-800-get-them, or something!

  3. checking on bloggers, arresting innocent photographers, such is life when big brother thinks he knows what is best for everyone to believe and how they should act. after 8 years of bush i can only hope things will get better in the years to come. god bless us if they don’t!

  4. hhhm. we’ve been 1984 since Reagan.
    When I worked for UM as a Medical Photographer one of my responsibilities was to document the progress of the construction and to create human interest stories visually as PR for the Univ./Hosp.
    I was CONSTANTLY harrased by security. Even with MY ID ON…!!! The bottom line is NO communication….! uugghh..

    Security loved to throw there fat faces around and the rent-a-cops are high on EGO. Meanwhile, theres a dude off the street in some old lady’s Hosp. room stealing her purse.

  5. Wow, now that is truly unbelievable. It seems our “security” people don’t have the common sense of a gnat. The point is to stop “terrorists” not stop folks from normal pursuits. If they can’t tell the difference, we are indeed in deep doo doo.

  6. IMO, we never had the right to free speech, freedom of expression, or rights to privacy. It’s just that the government has decided not to try and hide it now. They’re perfectly happy to act like a bunch of Nazi’s and call it democracy….and Americans are willing to accept it. Case in point, most of those who voted FOR the FISA Bill are still in office…and one of them was promoted to President. Got Freedom? Nope!

  7. Wow. Well, the training to be watched at all times is starting young. You can’t walk into a school around here without seeing multiple signs announcing that the location is under video surveillance.

    Get the little ones comfortable with it, tell them that it’s for their own good and safety, they grow up to be adults who never think to question it…….and oh – there is money to be made in “security.” That isn’t something that gets cut from most budgets.

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