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Green Party USA Coordinator Detained at Airport; Prevented by Armed Military Personnel from Flying to Political Meeting in Chicago

Armed government agents grabbed Nancy Oden, Green Party USA coordinating committee member, Thursday at Bangor International Airport in Bangor Maine, as she attempted to board an American Airlines flight to Chicago.

“An official told me that my name had been flagged in the computer,” a shaken Oden said. “I was targeted because the Green Party USA opposes the bombing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan.”

Oden, a long-time organic farmer and peace activist in northern Maine, was ordered away from the plane. Military personnel with automatic weapons surrounded Oden and instructed all airlines to deny her passage on any flight.

“I was told that the airport was closed to me until further notice and that my ticket would not be refunded,” Oden said.

Oden is scheduled to speak in Chicago Friday night on a panel concerning pesticides as weapons of war. She had helped to coordinate the Green Party USA’s antiwar efforts these past few months, and was to report on these to The Greens national committee. “Not only did they stop me at the airport but some mysterious party had called the hotel and cancelled my reservation,” Oden said.

The Greens National Committee — the governing body of the Green Party USA — is meeting in Chicago Nov. 2-4 to hammer out the details of national campaigns against bio-chemical warfare, the spraying of toxic pesticides, genetic engineering, and the Party’s involvement in the burgeoning peace movement.

“I am shocked that US military prevented one of our prominent Green Party members from attending the meeting in Chicago,” said Elizabeth Fattah, a GPUSA representative from Pennsylvania who drove to Chicago. “I am outraged at the way the Bill of Rights is being trampled upon.”

Chicago Green activist Lionel Trepanier concluded, “The attack on the right of association of an opposition political party is chilling. The harassment of peace activists is reprehensible.”

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