Next Stop: Big Brother…

Papers PleaseWho needs the Real ID when you can get all “Big Brother” on someone going to work using public transportation?


One morning in late September 2005, Deb was riding the public bus to work. She was minding her own business, reading a book and planning for work, when a security guard got on this public bus and demanded that every passenger show their ID. Deb, having done nothing wrong, declined. The guard called in federal cops, and she was arrested and charged with federal criminal misdemeanors after refusing to show ID on demand.

On the 9th of December 2005, Deborah Davis will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in a case that will determine whether Deb and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show “papers” whenever a cop demands them.

What this introduction doesn’t mention is that a section of the bus route transits the Denver Federal Center, where this incident took place. According to no signage was posted warning commuters that presenting ID would be required even though it appears that Deborah will be charged with “Conformity to Official Signs and Directions.” responds by saying:

Through these charges, it appears that the Feds are claiming that people were on notice that they had to show ID. Nowhere is this evident, unless ‘Public Welcome’ flags are bureaucratese for ‘Papers, please’.

Would you have shown your ID?

  1. I would have shown them my middle finger. We don’t need identification and she didn’t have to have identification with her.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  2. “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety”.

    Benjiman Franklin

  3. Papers Please, Airports, but a bus? Too bad this will be easier to implement this time because the buses are publicly owned. Instead of back when the Jim Crow laws were coming out and the bus companies were fighting hard against them. Plus, a boycott wouldn’t do any good; they would just tax us more.

  4. Rodham, Bush = same thing…

    Who owns the bus? Ms. Davis certainly does not and the owners of that bus (government) have every right to request something as simple as identification.

    Come to think of it, ANY way you choose to travel (foot, car, train, plane, bus…) will generally require you to use government owned facilities (roads, sidewalks, buses etc) in which case your property is subject to search, seizure and regulation. Convenient, isn’t it?

  5. If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy …. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties.
    James Madison