Sunday, 27 June 2004

Rally against MBTA bag searches

Adam Gaffin's Boston Common blog picks up on the following posting today by Ron Newman in the MBTA Police = Stasi? thread of the Wicked Good Conference . It was also posted to the "ne.transportation" Usenet newsgroup, which has had perhaps the most extensive discussion of this issue:

A leaflet I picked up from an ACLU table in Copley Square yesterday. This effort is separate from that of the National Lawyers Guild :

MBTA SEARCHES:
WILL THEY MAKE YOU SAFER
OR SIMPLY LESS FREE?

The MBTA has announced that it will begin searching
bags of some passengers at some T stations starting
in early July. It intends this policy to be permanent.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

  • The possibility of long waits on your way to and from work.
  • Your bags may be screened on a "random" basis by electronic screening devices and/or dogs.
  • You may be refused entry to the "T" if you refuse to be searched.
  • Anything the police find in the course of a search may be used against you in a criminal prosecution.

WILL THIS GIVE US REAL SECURITY?

  • What terrorist will wait on line to be searched?
  • Is this a good use of law enforcement time and resources?

ARE YOU WILLING TO TRADE YOUR LIBERTY
FOR A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY?

RALLY AGAINST THE "T" SEARCH
POLICY THAT SHREDS
THE 4TH AMENDMENT

THURSDAY JULY 1 FROM 8 AM - 9 AM
[note time correction: "PM" was an erroneous transcription by the original poster, but I have verified 8-9 a.m. with the ACLU]
PARK STREET STATION, BOSTON

---------

SAFE AND FREE "T" ALLIANCE
For more information, call (617) 482-3170 ×314

(end of leaflet)

The phone number given is for the Massachusetts chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union [Bill of Rights Education Project].

Previous statements and advisories from the ACLU of Massachusetts:

  • ACLU Warns that Random Bag Searches on Massachusetts Transit are Unconstitutional (14 June 2004; note that this statement says that, "The MBTA recently assured the ACLU of Massachusetts that it will not implement a policy that would allow transit police to stop subway passengers for identification checks", but ACLU of Mass. executtive director Carol Rose told National Public radio a week later, 22 June 2004, that the ACLU had received reports from people who had been stopped for ID on the T, despite the T assurances to the contrary)
Link | Posted by Edward on Sunday, 27 June 2004, 18:33 ( 6:33 PM) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Thanks for the link - and the pointer to ne.transportation, which in my dotage I'd completely forgotten about.

http://www.universalhub.com/mbtasearches is an attempt to collect Weblog-based comments and resources on the new policy.

Posted by: adamg, 27 June 2004, 20:05 ( 8:05 PM)

Folks, we aren't heading into a Police State, we are already there!

This police state tactic of searching your bags violates the fourth amendment against unreasonable search and seizure.

The police are in a constant mode of conditioning the public to accept the erosion of their (your) personal freedom and liberty. This is more an issue of dominating and controlling the public (that they are supposed to be "serving"), than anything else.

The police state we are steadily sinking into intrudes on your freedom and liberty a little bit at a time. It won't all happen overnight-it's done a step at a time, like this.

The bureaucrats that make these decisions are lying through their teeth! Their aim is eventual total control, and your acceptance of it!

The chance of being harmed by your own government is infinitely greater than any "terrorist".

Their will come a time, in the not too distant future, when the police-who will be anonymous-will enter your home without a warrant, and search your home top to bottom under the guise of fighting "terrorism". We are clearly heading in that direction. Think of the world you are leaving your children. Freedom isn't free.

The time to act in NOW!

Respectfully REFUSE to have your bag(s) or person searched by the MBTA (or any other) police!

Posted by: Matthew/Boston, 24 April 2008, 10:10 (10:10 AM)

I would be feel safer If I knew that the MBTA police weren't taking drugs on duty

Posted by: sarah, 29 March 2010, 07:34 ( 7:34 AM)

MBTA "random" checks are not random. Random to the MBTA is a word they use to disguise what they are also doing which is profiling.

Yes they are making people less free. The problem with that is most people just accept it.

Posted by: CARLOS, 15 June 2010, 16:47 ( 4:47 PM)
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