Reverend Billy´s stage props considered security threat at airport
Activist prankster ´Reverend´ Billy from the anti-consumerist Church Of Stop Shopping had his luggage confiscated by police yesterday- not because it contained dangerous weapons, but rather a practical activism toolkit.
Famous for performing ´exorcisms´on cash registers in the States and around the world, the self-styled preacher of community over consumerism had arrived in St Louis airport after attending a World Bank protest in Washington.
After waiting for his luggage to appear on the conveyer, Reverend Billy finally realized his bag- containing a bullhorn, costume make-up, white pointy shoes and a camera tripod- had aroused much suspicion.
The Rev released a statement for press saying: “We saw the cops and the sniffer-dog coming in and kept waiting for the old duffel to pop down the conveyor belt. Nothing. It gradually, very slowly, occurred to us, that my baggage would be inadmissible to this new nation state of Ferguson.”
He continues: “If I have a bullhorn in my luggage and that is a cultural signal to you that I might be capable of speaking to a gathering of citizens, exercising the most basic 1st Amendment right of expressive politics, that doesn’t matter to you under the law.
On the 10th of October, Rev Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir led a funeral march on the Fall Meetings of the IMF and World Bank. The march went to a delegate entrance checkpoint to the World Bank, where a mock funeral for the Bank was staged as people from South Asia and Africa reminded those inside just how much damage the Bank’s programs had done to their countries.
Rev Billy had a message to police: “You do not have the right to declare Ferguson a 1st Amendment-free zone. You serve the United States Constitution, as do we all. You can determine very quickly that there is nothing illegal in my things, and let me do my work.”
The embedded video is an interview with Reverend Billy (aka Bill Talen) explaining his motives and how his church differs from others. For more information see revbilly.com