I participated in a WeWontFly pamphlet distribution event at Newark Airport last night. It was organized by NJ Libertarian Party activists. Although everything went smoothly the terminal we were at was not very busy at the time of the event.
TSA is engaged in a massive propaganda campaign to discredit opposition to new the new security theater corporate welfare. Suffice to say they have plenty of your money to spend on public relations consultants. A few points in response:
1) If the name We Won’t Fly didn’t tip you off, the number one course of action advocated by a large number of activists was to boycott flying altogether. Certainly police state irritations will make people less enthusiastic to fly. Opting out of scanners was Plan B.
2) It was the government, not liberty activists, who promised chaos at the airports yesterday. A post on We Won’t Fly noted that Opt Out Day Could Make Airport Lines Move Faster.
3) Multiple news reports showed that TSA took many scanners out of service. So TSA decided to opt out of scanning, while passengers who did not face the new security features had no opportunity to opt out. This was deceitfully presented by the TSA as evidence that most passengers had no problem with new “security” measures.
4) Some people who disapprove of new measures but decided to fly anyway may have made the decision that scanners were less-bad than the enhanced pat-down, which isn’t surprising since enhanced pat-downs are meant to pressure people into opting for scanners.
Julian Heicklen’s account of the Newark action is quoted below.
A group of six of us arrived at Terminal B of the Newark Airport (EWR) at 6:00 on Wednesday, November 24, 2010, to demonstrate against the introduction of body scanners by the Transportation Security Authority. Two tables had been prepared for us by the terminal management at the entrance to the airplane gates in Terminal B. One table was on the second floor and one on the third floor. We split into two groups at 6:30 pm, posted our posters, and started distributing literature entitled “You have the right to say NO!” In addition we distributed a Bill of Rights pamphlet.
Five police officers were assigned to monitor us on the 3rd floor, but there was no interaction or objection to our being there. No untoward incidents occurred with passersby, though a few made snide remarks. In general we were well received and we distributed at least 50 pieces of literature. Four people joined us and helped distribute literature. They also enrolled in Tyranny Fighters.
Three news organizations were present. At 7:15 pm Jay Edgar, Chair of the Libertarian Party of New Jersey, who organized the demonstration, was interviewed and videotaped by Channel 9 and News 12 TV. Shortly thereafter, Shawn Berger of News 12 videotaped me holding a sign which read Tyranny Sexual Assault. A short time later Tyson Trish of the Bergen Record took pictures of the 3rd floor group and interviewed me.
I also understand that the 2nd floor group was interviewed by the press, but I have no details. We disbanded at 8:30 pm.
You can look at some blurry pictures on my website.
Thanks to everyone who came out and everyone turning back the police state wherever they can.