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Man and wife's dead body held under 'Patriot Act'

357357 Member Posts: 403 ✭✭✭
edited June 2004 in General Discussion
This is outrageous and unAmerican!

quote:

May 28, 2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

<b>FBI ABDUCTS ARTIST, SEIZES ART</b>
Feds Unable to Distinguish Art from Bioterrorism
Grieving Artist Denied Access to Deceased Wife's Body
DEFENSE FUND ESTABLISHED - HELP URGENTLY NEEDED

Steve Kurtz was already suffering from one tragedy when he called 911 early in the morning to tell them his wife had suffered a cardiac arrest and died in her sleep. The police arrived and, cranked up on the rhetoric of the "War on Terror," decided Kurtz's art supplies were actually bioterrorism weapons.

Thus began an Orwellian stream of events in which FBI agents abducted Kurtz without charges, sealed off his entire block, and confiscated his computers, manuscripts, art supplies... and even his wife's body.

Like the case of Brandon Mayfield, the Muslim lawyer from Portland imprisoned for two weeks on the flimsiest of false evidence, Kurtz's case amply demonstrates the dangers posed by the USA PATRIOT Act coupled with
government-nurtured terrorism hysteria.

Kurtz's case is ongoing, and, on top of everything else, Kurtz is facing a mountain of legal fees. Donations to his legal defense can be made at
http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense /

<b>FEAR RUN AMOK</b>

Steve Kurtz is Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the State University of New York's University at Buffalo, and a member of the internationally-acclaimed Critical Art Ensemble.

Kurtz's wife, Hope Kurtz, died in her sleep of cardiac arrest in the early morning hours of May 11. Police arrived, became suspicious of Kurtz's art supplies and called the FBI.

Within hours, FBI agents had "detained" Kurtz as a suspected bioterrorist and cordoned off the entire block around his house. (Kurtz walked away the
next day on the advice of a lawyer, his "detention" having proved to be illegal.) Over the next few days, dozens of agents in hazmat suits, from a number of law enforcement agencies, sifted through Kurtz's work, analyzing it on-site and impounding computers, manuscripts, books, equipment, and even his wife's body for further analysis. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Health Department condemned his house as a health risk.

Kurtz, a member of the Critical Art Ensemble, makes art which addresses the politics of biotechnology. "Free Range Grains," CAE's latest project, included a mobile DNA extraction laboratory for testing food products for possible transgenic contamination. It was this equipment which triggered
the Kafkaesque chain of events.

FBI field and laboratory tests have shown that Kurtz's equipment was not used for any illegal purpose. In fact, it is not even _possible_ to use this equipment for the production or weaponization of dangerous germs.
Furthermore, any person in the US may legally obtain and possess such equipment.

"Today, there is no legal way to stop huge corporations from putting genetically altered material in our food," said Defense Fund spokeswoman Carla Mendes. "Yet owning the equipment required to test for the presence of 'Frankenfood' will get you accused of 'terrorism.' You can be illegally detained by shadowy government agents, lose access to your home, work, and belongings, and find that your recently deceased spouse's body has been taken away for 'analysis.'"

Though Kurtz has finally been able to return to his home and recover his wife's body, the FBI has still not returned any of his equipment, computers or manuscripts, nor given any indication of when they will. The case remains open.

<b>HELP URGENTLY NEEDED</b>

A small fortune has already been spent on lawyers for Kurtz and other Critical Art Ensemble members. A defense fund has been established at http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense / to help defray the
legal costs which will continue to mount so long as the investigation continues. Donations go directly to the legal defense of Kurtz and other Critical Art Ensemble members. Should the funds raised exceed the cost of the legal defense, any remaining money will be used to help other artists in need.

To make a donation, please visit http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense /

For more information on the Critical Art Ensemble, please visit
http://www.critical-art.net /

Articles about the case:
http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/news-WKBW-2.html
http://www.rtmark.com/CAEdefense/news-WKBW.html

On advice of counsel, Steve Kurtz is unable to answer questions regarding his case. Please direct questions or comments to Carla Mendes
<[email protected] >.

Comments

  • MercuryMercury Member Posts: 7,660 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Shush now! You are rocking the boat! You commie meanie!


    Merc



    Insignia?

    Nos nullus habitum rancidum insignia!



    "Tolerating things you may not necessarily like is part of being free" - Larry Flynt
  • FreudianSlippersFreudianSlippers Member Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The USA PATRIOT Act is going to get worse before it gets better.

    Jacqueline
    www.gratuitouslylongdomainname.net

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants and the creed of slaves." -- William Pitt (1783)
  • ElMuertoMonkeyElMuertoMonkey Member Posts: 12,898
    edited November -1
    Blame the liberals in Congress for passing it! Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft had NOTHING to do with it!
  • stanmanstanman Member Posts: 3,052
    edited November -1
    quote:Like the case of Brandon Mayfield, the Muslim lawyer from Portland imprisoned for two weeks on the flimsiest of false evidence, Kurtz's case amply demonstrates the dangers posed by the USA PATRIOT Act..........

    Sorry 357,
    I read no further than the above quote.
    I have found no evidence to support the notion that Brandon Mayfield's case was in any way related to the PA.
    The fact that the author would claim such, without supporting evidence, pretty much shoots his/her credibility in the *. IMHO
    Furthermore, the author makes no mention of the fact that the America-hating, terrorist-loving, bottom-feeding, muslim SOB Mayfield did plenty to attract FBI attention to himself.

    No offense to you, but the unnamed author you quote here seems to have no problem fabricating facts for PART of the story, so my tendency is to believe NONE of it!
    Fair or unfair, that's how I see it.

    BTW, I am not a supporter of the Patriot Act.
  • DancesWithSheepDancesWithSheep Member Posts: 13,043
    edited November -1
    Let's not be hasty. Everyone knows that most art is anti-war. That is why most regarded masters are French (to this day, whenever I see Marcel duChamp's "Nude Descending A Staircase", I crave a falafel). And what about the subliminal message contained in the name Andy Warhol? No wonder Saxon Pig was denied Federal employment. There is deceit in gesso.
  • FreudianSlippersFreudianSlippers Member Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by ElMuertoMonkey
    Blame the liberals in Congress for passing it! Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft had NOTHING to do with it!

    In the Senate the bill passed 98-1. In the House it passed 356-66, a striking, bipartisan majority.

    Jacqueline
    www.gratuitouslylongdomainname.net

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants and the creed of slaves." -- William Pitt (1783)
  • ElbestaElbesta Member Posts: 334 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    This guy is a liberal tree hugger, an "artist" does not have a lab in his home. He is part of a group that is against swaping a few tomato genes. Groups like this have destroyed research to find faster growing trees, drought resistant vegetables, to make food better. And they are terrorist.
  • pickenuppickenup Member, Moderator Posts: 22,392 ******
    edited November -1
    I'm staying out of this one. [;)]

    The gene pool needs chlorine.
  • DancesWithSheepDancesWithSheep Member Posts: 13,043
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Elbesta
    This guy is a liberal tree hugger, an "artist" does not have a lab in his home. He is part of a group that is against swaping a few tomato genes. Groups like this have destroyed research to find faster growing trees, drought resistant vegetables, to make food better. And they are terrorist.

    No, it is the trees that are terrorist. All that shade. All that xylem and phloem, the main ingredients of sarin and anthrax.
  • chunkstylechunkstyle Member Posts: 2,463 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Elbesta
    This guy is a liberal tree hugger, an "artist" does not have a lab in his home. He is part of a group that is against swaping a few tomato genes. Groups like this have destroyed research to find faster growing trees, drought resistant vegetables, to make food better. And they are terrorist.


    Well, uh, actually... I'm an artist, and I have a lab in my home...

    I used to be a plastics chemist, and still use synthetic resins that I make into my sculpture. I make them in the basement.

    Since I have been studying Greek lately, I'll give a more direct translation of the Thermopylae Monument: "Stranger, tell the Lakedaemonians that in agreement with their customs, we lie here."
  • ElbestaElbesta Member Posts: 334 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The point I was making was, you can protest using your art all you want, but when you start damaging things your wrong.
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