Protest the TSA
So the TSA wants to see you naked.
What can you do?
Having the TSA virtual strip search you or perform an open-handed pat-down on the most private regions of your body is incredibly invasive. It's also unconstitutional. The Fourth Amendment guarantees our right to security in our "persons" - and it doesn't have an "unless you want to travel by air" clause:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
It is beyond dispute that the TSA's ever-increasing demolition of air passengers' personal privacy violates their rights and the Constitution. But is it worth the cost? Does this sacrifice of dignity even bring security?
Quite simply, no.
The TSA requires us to sacrifice our liberty and privacy -- not to mention lighters, nail clippers, and water bottles -- for absolutely no reason.
The airport you next fly out of may not have the TSA's "porno-scanners," but it will have TSA employees trained in the equally dehumanizing "enhanced pat-down." Prepare yourself for what to expect before you go to the airport -- there have been reports of agents putting their hands inside passengers' clothing if the clothes are baggy, for instance, so make sure you don't wear anything too loose-fitting.
However, even if you are well-informed, your family, friends, and fellow students may not be. With the holidays approaching, more people than usual will be flying...and they need you to tell them the TSA is making the friendly skies far too friendly.
Here are a couple of easy ways to attract attention to this important cause on campus:
- Get a large cardboard box (big enough to easily hold a person, like a refrigerator box) and label it "TSA Scanner" or "TSA Porno-Scanner." Set it up in a busy area of your campus and ask passing students to step into the box so you can look through their clothes to keep them safe. When they refuse, hand them information about the TSA's invasive new policies.
- Print out enough of the flyers on the bottom of the page to target each and every dorm room on campus. Before everyone leaves for Thanksgiving, conduct a dorm storm: Slip a flyer into every single dorm room. Make sure to update the flyers to include your chapter's contact information so interested students can easily get in touch with you.
- Chalk and flyer all over your campus. Print out the flyers at the bottom of this page, but make them poster-sized. Then, purchase some sidewalk chalk. At night, cover your campus with anti-TSA messages for students to read on their way to class the next morning.
- Ask your professors to let you speak for three minutes at the beginning of class. Objection to the TSA's invasion of privacy is running high across the political spectrum, so many professors may be sympathetic to your cause. Explain that you want students to be informed about this abuse of their rights and then let the class know what the TSA is up to. Direct them to this page so they too can learn more about this abuse of freedom and privacy.
Here's what the flyers look like. They're available to be printed on a full sheet of paper or four per page with space on the bottom to put in your chapter's contact information:
Download them all at the bottom of this page.
If we let the TSA continue to get away with its unconstitutional and ineffective searches, it will only grab ever more power. Each new terrorist attack will be a new excuse for further searches. Already there are reports of terrorists' plans for surgically implanting bombs inside their bodies, and thus eluding detection even from these scanners and enhanced pat-downs. It's not hard to imagine what bombs inside the body might lead the TSA to do.
Young Americans for Liberty is organizing students nationwide to fight this ridiculous government encroachment. Join or start a chapter today to fight back. Click here to learn more about this easy process.
Next, visit these sites to find useful resources, news updates on recent TSA abuses, and information on national, grassroots action to stop the TSA. If you know of any other sites which should be added to this list, please email YAL Director of Communications Bonnie Kristian with the information.
1. Don't Scan Us
Since January 2010 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been rolling out what they term Advanced Imaging Technology, or Whole Body Imaging, at airports around the United States. These devices are used to perform a virtual strip search of passengers, looking beneath the clothes to display a picture of the skin. The TSA originally said that these machines would be used only for secondary screening, for those passengers that set off an alarm at the walk-through metal detector or Explosives Trace Detection (ETD) machine. They are now being used as primary screening at 45 airports, to take nude images of passengers who have done nothing more suspicious than present a boarding pass...
[If you opt out, be] aware that the TSA is using what they call an "enhanced pat-down" in many instances. These pat-downs are much more rigorous and often include the TSA using their palms to touch your genitals in a manner that could feel like sexual assault. If you feel that you or your child were inappropriately touched during the enhanced pat-down, call for a law enforcement officer.
2. Shut Down the Airports
If November 24th doesn't convince them, December 1st will.
December 1st is the day that the American people band together and speak in one, unified voice -- no more backscatter machines and no more enhanced pat-downs. On that day, we will go to the nearest airport, joining the millions of other Americans who are concerned about this...and we will shut down the airports.
We won't use violence -- we won't have to. When there are 10,000 cars parked on the airport roads, nothing will be able to move. And when there are 50,000 people crowded into the terminals, standing in the TSA area, preventing people from being scanned, nothing will be able to move.
We will bring the airports and the airplanes to a standstill -- and the politicians and the TSA will realize once again that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" -- and they do NOT have our consent.
3. Fly with Dignity
We originally began with a plan to run advertising through major media outlets to gain attention, we now plan this along with other ways to get the public involved and to support our goal of a moratorium on the Backscatter X-Ray machines, as well as the end to pat-downs at the airport, both of which invade our privacy, and are degrading as a human being and American citizen. If you agree with these ideas, we urge you to sign our petition and get involved in our various methods. Anything from a simple phone call or email to opting out at the airports will cause a reaction that will bring us one step closer to our goal.
We are not a politically motivated organization, nor have affiliation with any charities or other groups. We are a literal form of grass-roots, and intend to not make this a matter of politics or special interests. What matters here is the preservation of our civil liberties and protection of our rights when visiting public establishments.
Don't let the TSA steal your privacy for false security.
Fight back with Young Americans for Liberty today.