"It's time to tell the TSA that we're done," say organizers of a protest against the backskatter security machines--or porno scanners, if you prefer--used by the TSA at airport security. A protest is planned at Salt Lake City International Airport Saturday at 8 a.m.
Utah County conservative blogger and activist Connor Boyack is one of the organizers.
"The 4th Amendment explicitly states that we have a right to be free from searches and seizures," Boyack says. "I see the backscatter machines, the pat downs, the 3 oz. restrictions on fluids, as completely egregious and in conflict with Constitutional rights ... to be free from having to submit to any searches and seizures to participate in commerce with any other party."
Opposition to the scanners has ranged from Boyack's Constitution-based views, health concerns about radiation from the scanner, privacy rights about being felt up by a security guard, and the security culture that some critics say is the newest advertising campaign for the military-industrial complex that's reliant on government expenditures.
"I agree with the pejorative term 'security theater,'" Boyack says, explaining that he largely agrees with the criticism that lobbyists for firms that sell products like the scanners have an interest in keeping the American public scared. But he also blames the American public for not seeing through the "security theater" and recognize that death-by-terrorist is a remote threat compared to everyday life-threatening activities (like driving, take prescription narcotics, and the like). "The public at large is willingly requesting and accepting them," Boyack says of the scanners.
So, he's trying to change that. He's obtained a permit from Salt Lake City--which governs the airport--for at least 10 activists to hand out literature inside the airport's lobby, at least 35 feet from the TSA security checkpoint. Other protesters, he said, can freely carry signs.
"I feel a little queasy about ... having to get a permit from the government to protest the government," but, he says, "[airport administrators] were fairly accommodating."
From the Facebook page announcing the protest:
It's time to tell the TSA that we're done.
We're done with cancer-causing backscatter machines. We're done with virtual strip searches. We're done with being felt up. We're done with watching video after video of children getting molested by government sanction. We're done with being presumed guilty just by buying a plan ticket. We're done with getting our Fourth Amendment rights trampled. We're done with security theater that assumes grandma is a terrorist.
We're done with the TSA. It's time to tell them how tired we are.
Bring signs and your protesting spirit to Salt Lake City International Airport the morning of Saturday December 11. Make sure travelers know what they're being subjected to. Make sure the TSA and the airlines know we want our rights and dignity back.
For more information, or to RSVP, visit the protest's Facebook page.