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 :
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)
- ACLU of Massachusetts letter to the MBTA (hand delivered 28 May 2004)