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Old Jul 25, 11, 11:12 am   #1
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Thumbs down Are you *really* committed to our fight against the TSA? (Probably not...)

Nine months after the TSA implemented scope & grope, with years of other abuse prior, fliers are angry. Those of you here in TS&S are (or were) generally frequent fliers who more than most others understand that the TSA will violate you without cause. This board is full of people describing their horror stories, their frustration, their embarassment.

Yet, here's what's really embarassing: for most people here, the truth of the matter is, they're all talk.

Thread after thread, post after post, is a story of being violated by the TSA, not standing up against violations by the TSA. Nearly every story here ends with the OP passing through security because after giving a TSA screener a "good, sound talking to," they went ahead and did exactly what the TSA asked for. But don't worry: they filled out a comment card.

It's not just FTers. I went to the big protest in NYC last month, and one of the speakers, who works for an organization that protests the TSA, told the crowd how horrible his pat-down was before his flight to NY. How the TSA touched his "junk" four times. Maybe you didn't have a chance to say "no" before the first time, but you didn't know what was coming the second, third, and fourth? I pointed this out to him in front of the crowd, and he said it was worth it to be there talking to us, but you could see for a moment on his face that he realized that he was just as much a sheep as anyone else.

So where are our John Tyners? Our Andrea Abbotts? Our Sharon Cissnas? Our Michael Roberts? Where are the people who stood up and said "NO" and meant it?! Is your flight really that important? Is making your vacation today instead of tomorrow worth your dignity? Do you really think you're going to lose your job for missing one flight? (Hint: if I were an employer [and I am] and my employee told me he missed a flight because it required him to be sexually assaulted, I'd be damn afraid to fire him in fear of lawsuit!)

My guess is that the above are our excuses, but the truth of the matter is that the real reason we failed to act is that we're scared to stand up to our government. We get to the checkpoint and see the machines and the little blue uniforms, and we're intimidated into compliance.

So I ask you: draw your own line in the sand. Decide what your commitment is, and decide it before your next flight. What you will not do under any circumstances, even if it causes you to miss your flight.

I'll go first.

I will not go through the TSA's nude body scanners.

I will not let the TSA "touch my junk."

I will not go into a private room.

I will not be told that I cannot video record at the checkpoint.


Maybe you have more: maybe you want to commit to not letting the TSA touch your children. Maybe you have less: maybe your fight is only the molestation pat down and the nude body scanners don't really bother you.

But please, draw your own line, now, before you get to the checkpoint, and stick to it. Be a fighter, not a victim.

--Jon

Last edited by Affection; Jul 25, 11 at 11:20 am
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Old Jul 25, 11, 11:18 am   #2
  
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Thumbs down I won't fly

until the procedures change dramatically to the non-intrusive or the TSSA is a thing of the past.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 11:21 am   #3
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Those who have refused to fly are the exception to my rant -- they indeed have refused compliance and send a powerful message by not using their dollars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Touch Menot View Post
until the procedures change dramatically to the non-intrusive or the TSSA is a thing of the past.
--Jon
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Old Jul 25, 11, 11:39 am   #4
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Affection View Post
Those who have refused to fly are the exception to my rant -- they indeed have refused compliance and send a powerful message by not using their dollars.
I am part of this group. Have not seen the sterile area since November of 2009.

I will, however, take it a step further.

My present job does not require me to fly. If I ever have to travel on business, I will tell my boss that I will gladly drive, take a train, or even a bus. If my boss insists on flying, I will make it clear that I will walk out of the airport if subjected to strip search or grope. My job description does not include surrender of my dignity.

I think if more people do it, business lobby will eventually put pressure to end these disgusting violations of our bodies. After all, this is what forced TSA to replace the strict no LGA rule with kippy bags.

Going somewhat OT, the football fans need to do the same. Had NFL been forced to play a few games in empty stadiums, gropings would have stopped long time ago.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 11:49 am   #5
  
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While I can appreciate the "no travel" rule for some of you, I will not do such a thing because of the TSA. There is no practical way to get to most of my destinations except by plane. I will not change my job or fail at my current job because of it. I have, however, written to my congressman, senator, and my primary carrier about my displeasure with the TSA and its procedures.

It's your prerogative to change your lifestyle because of the TSA. I will not change mine.

Times through body scanner - 0
Times "thoroughly" patted down - 5
gobluetwo is online now  
Old Jul 25, 11, 12:05 pm   #6
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Affection View Post
Those who have refused to fly are the exception to my rant -- they indeed have refused compliance and send a powerful message by not using their dollars.
I disagree, Jon.

Not flying is the ultimate cop-out.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 12:14 pm   #7
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeOnATrain View Post
Not flying is the ultimate cop-out.
I disagree with you right back. Boycotting has been used a form of protest for quite some time. However, more need to join in order for it to be effective.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 12:19 pm   #8
  
Join Date: Mar 2011
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This is still to some extent a capitalist society. Opting out of flying could be effective if there were enough if us. But no, I will not be touched or photographed so ergo, I will not fly from the U.S.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 12:19 pm   #9
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Affection View Post
I will not go through the TSA's nude body scanners.
Check
I will not let the TSA "touch my junk."
Check
I will not go into a private room.
Check
I will not be told that I cannot video record at the checkpoint.
Have no intention of trying

Maybe you have more:
I will not let my carryon out of my sight

I will miss my flight if it comes to that

I will argue with an ignorant LEO
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Old Jul 25, 11, 12:24 pm   #10
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Touch Menot View Post
This is still to some extent a capitalist society. Opting out of flying could be effective if there were enough if us.
This is why we need to start putting pressure on our employers.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 12:27 pm   #11
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeOnATrain View Post
I disagree, Jon.

Not flying is the ultimate cop-out.
I think there may be some truth in this, as I have not flown commercially since 2007, because of the TSA, long before the present abuses. I do fly, in general aviation aircraft, thus mostly avoiding the whole situation.

When the TSA initiated SD-08F, which would have created dangerous restrictions on transient pilots in covered airports, working with Congress, airport operators and an a leaked copy of the SSI, which ultimately made wikileaks (which is where I saw it), we did derail this.

We have also, for now, managed to derail the TSA's coveted LASP, large aircraft security program, although they are still plotting, despite a major conflagration in congress over this, including a warning of a possible Congressional "Notice of Disapproval" of the proposed rule making. This maybe why TSA does not like the NPRM route. They know if public comment is allowed, they will have to behave like civilized people and not like they do, and will not have the run of the asylum.

I have also personally escorted them off of a private airport, they were inspecting and asked them to come back with a search warrant to search private property, after they were unable to cite statutory basis for their presence other than "We're the TSA and this is an airport." The airport in question was home to 4 airplanes, none commercial, with a grass runway. Subsequent communications indicated that they indeed, had no business being there.

So, no, I don't fly commercially anymore, despite the occasional convenience, and the lower cost. I do keep watch, and where I can, do what i can to keep them from crossing lines.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 12:33 pm   #12
  
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First of all, most civil liberties protest actions are carried out by a very small number of people. Only a handful of people participated in the Boston Tea Party. And it was Rosa Parks and a few others, not 90%+ of the population, who refused to sit at the back of the bus. (not trying to compare TSA to civil rights, but making the point about small numbers of people; please don't revive that tired argument.) Every act of resistance to TSA is important, but we can't expect every supporter to resist 100% of the time.

As for my personal limits, here goes:

First of all, I mentally consider before each trip to the airport the possibility that I may not fly that day because of TSA. I evaluate how inconvenienced I would be, what alternatives exist (fly another day, fly another airport, train, drive, etc.). I try hard not to book the last possible flight to make it to an event I need to attend (also helps with other mundane delays/cancellations). I think every person should consider their limits on a trip-by-trip basis. This is the most important aspect of resistance to me, because TSA's power tripping and bullying is based on passengers feeling they must make their flight at all costs.

I will not go through backscatter x-ray unless en-route to the sick/death-bed of a family member, period. I have no intention of going through any NoS in the US, ever, and will not accept a screener's claim that you cannot opt out even if it means missing a flight. I haven't had to consider the issues of a mandatory-NoS airpot (LHR) yet, but I think I would prepare myself to take the train to France and catch another flight.

If wearing a cast, I would not submit to a castscope, even though TSA claims it is mandatory. That is a high-dose medical x-ray (you can see bones) much worse than the backscatter and still operated by untrained morons without calibration or quality control.

I will not remove bandages, wound dressings, etc.

I will not willingly go into a private room and will stand my ground if at all possible. If coerced and I feel compelled to go, I will insist on at least 2 non-TSA witnesses (law enforcement, airline rep, traveling companion, random stranger). If denied witnesses, I will not go into the room unless physically forced to.

I will not "voluntarily surrender" any of the following: laptop, electronics including custom electronics which I travel with from time to time, cell phone, camera equipment, any digital media, prescription medication, or any other non-prohibited item worth more than about $25.

I will not delete photographs from my camera or phone on the request of anyone. Nobody at the airport, including LEOs, has the authority to delete a photograph. Ever.

Here's an odd one for you: I will not take off my eyeglasses. For various medical reasons, the safety from flying debris that polycarbonate eyeglasses provide is very important for me. I generally do not take my glasses off in public places, and I will not do so in an airport.

I will not provide more than one ID. I uses a passport card for domestic travel. I will not provide another ID if asked. The only way they are getting another ID from me is to rummage through all of my stuff looking for it.

I will not provide my mailing address or phone number to a screener. I will not voluntarily provide my mailing address to a LEO. If threatened with arrest, I will probably cave and provide the address to the LEO, but if the LEO turns the info over to TSA I will file a complaint against that officer for misuse of PII.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 1:19 pm   #13
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoliceStateSurvivor View Post
I am part of this group. Have not seen the sterile area since November of 2009.

I will, however, take it a step further.

My present job does not require me to fly. If I ever have to travel on business, I will tell my boss that I will gladly drive, take a train, or even a bus. If my boss insists on flying, I will make it clear that I will walk out of the airport if subjected to strip search or grope. My job description does not include surrender of my dignity.
And I, will take it even a step further.

Not only have I not (and will I not, nor my family, who are at this minute DRIVING from Texas to Minnesota to visit the In-Laws) flown since actually BEFORE October, going back to last summer, I've passed on two travel opportunities/assignments (Professional meeting in Seattle, On-Site deployment in Montana) where assignment would have meant unreasonable travel times for the organizational need.

As far as my employer is concerned, as long as I'm putting my discretionary travel pattern (not flying for pleasure) where my mouth is, no travel will be required.

I might add, that every trip I or my family takes, where we don't fly, I make sure to make copies of our receipts, redact account numbers and personal information, scan and E-MAIL these to my former frequent programs (Airline/Car Rental), detailing their lost income and laying the blame directly at their feet for not standing up to the TSA folderol.

Last edited by JoeBas; Jul 25, 11 at 1:23 pm Reason: Added bit about making sure they know.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 1:21 pm   #14
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherBeOnATrain View Post
I disagree, Jon.

Not flying is the ultimate cop-out.
It depends on how you do it. When union members walk off their jobs do they simply sit at home and write letters and rant about their working conditions on the internet? Of course not! They show up at their place of employment and picket, letting every employee, employer and passer by know why they walked out and what personal sacrifices they are making to ensure a better tomorrow.

So to those of you who are not flying and picketing at the airports, I applaud you and will aid in your efforts every time I see you picketing. For those of you who are just staying home and blogging about it - you have already been silently replaced by another flyer willing to put up with the abuse who is un-aware of your existence.
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Old Jul 25, 11, 1:28 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studentff View Post
As for my personal limits, here goes:

First of all, I mentally consider before each trip to the airport the possibility that I may not fly that day because of TSA. I evaluate how inconvenienced I would be, what alternatives exist (fly another day, fly another airport, train, drive, etc.). I try hard not to book the last possible flight to make it to an event I need to attend (also helps with other mundane delays/cancellations). I think every person should consider their limits on a trip-by-trip basis. This is the most important aspect of resistance to me, because TSA's power tripping and bullying is based on passengers feeling they must make their flight at all costs.

I will not go through backscatter x-ray unless en-route to the sick/death-bed of a family member, period. I have no intention of going through any NoS in the US, ever, and will not accept a screener's claim that you cannot opt out even if it means missing a flight. I haven't had to consider the issues of a mandatory-NoS airpot (LHR) yet, but I think I would prepare myself to take the train to France and catch another flight.

If wearing a cast, I would not submit to a castscope, even though TSA claims it is mandatory. That is a high-dose medical x-ray (you can see bones) much worse than the backscatter and still operated by untrained morons without calibration or quality control.

I will not remove bandages, wound dressings, etc.

I will not willingly go into a private room and will stand my ground if at all possible. If coerced and I feel compelled to go, I will insist on at least 2 non-TSA witnesses (law enforcement, airline rep, traveling companion, random stranger). If denied witnesses, I will not go into the room unless physically forced to.

I will not "voluntarily surrender" any of the following: laptop, electronics including custom electronics which I travel with from time to time, cell phone, camera equipment, any digital media, prescription medication, or any other non-prohibited item worth more than about $25.

I will not delete photographs from my camera or phone on the request of anyone. Nobody at the airport, including LEOs, has the authority to delete a photograph. Ever.

Here's an odd one for you: I will not take off my eyeglasses. For various medical reasons, the safety from flying debris that polycarbonate eyeglasses provide is very important for me. I generally do not take my glasses off in public places, and I will not do so in an airport.

I will not provide more than one ID. I uses a passport card for domestic travel. I will not provide another ID if asked. The only way they are getting another ID from me is to rummage through all of my stuff looking for it.

I will not provide my mailing address or phone number to a screener. I will not voluntarily provide my mailing address to a LEO. If threatened with arrest, I will probably cave and provide the address to the LEO, but if the LEO turns the info over to TSA I will file a complaint against that officer for misuse of PII.
Your limits are basically identical to mine, except that I don't own a camera. (Thanks for saving me some time typing.)

Bruce
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