The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Shot to death because he panicked

Dec 12, 2005

Rigoberto Alpizar was killed by federal air marshals on December 7, for no other reason than that he was upset and tried to get off a plane.

Federal officials claim that Alpizar yelled about having a bomb, and was reaching into his bag when they shot him.

It’s a story filled with holes.

Alpizar had gone through the usual series of security checks in order to get on the plane. How in the world would he have a bomb? And, why would he get on the plane with a bomb, and then try to get back into the airport in order to detonate it?

The most damning thing, though, is the way FBI agents tried to coerce other passengers into lying.

Passengers reported only seeing someone who was clearly agitated being talked to by his wife, who was trying to calm him.

One fellow passenger, John McAlhaney, who sat several rows in front of Alpizar, said, “I heard him saying to his wife, ‘I’ve got to get off the plane.’ He bumped me, bumped a couple of stewardesses. He just wanted to get off the plane.... I absolutely never heard the word ‘bomb’ at all.”

McAlhaney said that the first time he even heard the word ‘bomb’ was when FBI agents tried to pressure him into saying he’d heard Alpizar say it. Clearly, if the FBI had had witnesses who volunteered that they’d heard it, agents wouldn’t have needed to people to say it!

As Alpizar bolted through the plane, his wife, Ann Buechner, called out frantically that he was mentally ill and hadn’t taken his medication. Other passengers heard her; the air marshals ignored her. They shot him in the back, killing him.

David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association, said he believes passengers would find this shooting “more reassuring than disturbing.”

Reassuring? Only if they’re planning on committing suicide!

This has nothing to do with stopping bombings or keeping people safe. Not only was this a show of force, pure and simple, it was an act of terrorism.

Today, air marshals are in every big airport, sporting weapons, demonstrating by their presence that we live under military rule.

It’s a form of terrorism – aimed at showing the power of the State – ready to be used against the population.