Wednesday, June 16, 2004

my memorial weekend terror story

I forgot to tell this story, about memorial day weekend, yes I must relay. I'm walking in downtown chicago and the weather is a mixture of dark clouds and blue skies competing for the spotlight. I have my digi-video cam and I'm shooting tall buildings and the dance of trains, cars and people. I walk towards the federal court building and pull out my camera and start shooting. I'm not specifically aiming for the federal building but I was conscious of the fact that I wanted to get that building on video-tape for a project I had in mind. Then I hear: HEY YOU! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

I look back and there are two security guards wearing black with guns and walkie-talkies. YES, DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG? They kept telling me that I could not video-tape the building and I kept asking why? COME OVER HERE! They were very threatening and gestured with their fingers pointing at me. They stood around me so I would not escape? Who knows.

One big guy looked like he wanted to punch me out. He asked me what I was doing. I told him I was a filmmaker and I'm just shooting some scenes for an upcoming movie. I told him that since it was memorial day I wanted to get some shots of federal buildings and the various American flags around them. He was not impressed. He asked me where I was from. Now I know I could of have said many things but I was curious to see where this was going to go: I'M FROM BAGHDAD, I said. The big guy looked like he wanted to hurt me and gave me a confused look, ARE YOU TRYING TO BE FUNNY? he said. No I'm not trying to be funny, that's where I'm from. Now he was getting all worked up and demanded to see my I.D and wanted me to give him the video-tape. I refused to give him my tape.
I asked for his I.D and he would not show it to me...I knew he was just a security guy with a gun and a pea brain (or penis). He took my I.D and called somebody on his walkie-talkie. His partner just stood there staring at me. You should have seen his expression when he saw my name. I was getting fed up, DID I DO SOMETHING WRONG? I asked. He kept giving me this dumb look like I was fool. I kept asking him for my I.D back and he told me that if I did not cooperate he was going to handcuff me! We argued like this, back and forth. I kept asking him what I did wrong.

Finally two Chicago police officers showed up, asked what the problem was, I explained, the big dumb guy stood near by. They checked my I.D again but this time asked for my social security number and were doing some check on me. Lots of walkie-talkies and some people were watching this whole event. I remember at one point an Indian looking attorney glanced at us and I gestured for him to come near. I asked if he could help me and he just sort of shook his head and hurried away.

So I'm standing holding my video camera surrounded by two police officers and two security dudes. The cop asked to see what I shot. I showed it to him. He seemed satisfied and I guess my name was not on the Al-Qaeda greatest hits list. The cops were actually really mello and cool. They let me keep my tape and I was free to go. I gave the big security guy a sly smile and walked away. Fucker.
Across the street there was a protest/memorial for the 10,000+ Iraqis and 700+ Americans that have been killed since the war. There were these fake make-shift coffins and they were reading each name of the dead on a PA system. I kept on shooting.