A country that prides itself on the First Amendment doesn’t seem to appreciate much in the way of satire and parody when it comes to the current Commander in Tweet. Just ask Peter Bywaters, frontman for the long-lived (est. 1978) English punk band, Peter and the Test Tube Babies.
Team Rock reports that Byswater was stopped by Homeland Security and then deported as the band tried to enter the US to play some gigs in California. First, his passport and phone were confiscated, which was followed by six hours of interrogation. He was also photographed, fingerprinted, forced to give up a DNA swab and “encouraged” to sign a sworn statement. He was then put on an 11-hour flight back to London.
To make it just that little bit extra uncomfortable, Byswater was denied any booze on the way home because United Airlines (yep, them again) has a policy of denying alcohol to deportees. Only when the flight landed at Heathrow were his phone and passport returned.
So what was Byswater’s crime? Drug smuggling? Drunk and disorderly? No proper work visa? Nope. He was accused of making fun of Donald Trump.
At issue was a tour of Germany last year during which Bywater dressed up as a belligerent version of Trump who sometimes smoked a fake joint. He also delivered a few choice words about Trump from the stage.
Somehow, Homeland Security guards got wind of what went down on the tour and confronted him immediately with pictures from some of those shows. That initiated the interrogation and deportation.
Let this be a warning to anyone planning to enter the United States. Border guards take a dim view of foreigners impersonating their president.