Defend the 4th Coalition makes the Sunday Herald (online we’ll see about print) for “TSA out of MBTA” protest held February 2nd 2013.
Read the article below, or continue through here to BostonHerald.com for the article.
Group protests MBTA searches
February 3, 2013
By Herald Staff / Boston Herald
Fearing an infringement on their Fourth Amendment rights, a group of about 80 activists descended upon Boston Common yesterday calling for the MBTA to end security inspections of passengers’ belongings at T stations.
“Are we going to wait to be stopped and frisked?” organizer Garret Kirkland shouted to the crowd.
The T inspections, done in collaboration with the federal Transportation Security Agency, began in 2006, the same year an appeals court in New York ruled random police bag searches do not violate Fourth Amendment rights.
Frank Capone, a local activist, who was involved in Occupy Boston, said he refused to comply with a security inspection at South Station in 2010 because he felt it was an invasion of his rights.
“I left because they told me I wouldn’t be able to ride the train,” he said.
Kirkland said the group is taking action now because, “Enough is enough. We’ve been sleeping on this.”
The random inspections take about 10 to 20 seconds, according to the MBTA. The inspections involve brushing a swab over carry-on items. A passenger can refuse to comply with the inspection, but will be unable to ride the T.
“Although there has not been an actual attack in this country, mass transit still remains a possible target for terrorists,” MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said.
Courts have upheld the use of inspections in Boston and New York City, Pesaturo said, adding there have been few complaints about the inspections.
Warren Elliot of Revere said he will sometimes walk several blocks to another T station if he sees the TSA security inspections set up.
“I’m not carrying anything illegal, but it seems to be an invasion of privacy,” he said.