No Bags or Parcels

Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

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Postby SbooX » Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:15 pm

I am most certainly not suggestion that having a pass allows me to do whatever I want on the T. It does however give me the right to be on T property, so long as I am behaving appropriately. I happen to believe that protecting the constitution is behaving appropriately in this country. Despite the best efforts of some, this is still not (yet) a police state. Having a badge does not give anyone the right to harrass me just because I happen to have a bag with me.
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Postby BC Eagle » Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:45 pm

While on MBTA property, you are subject to the rules and regulations of the MBTA. The DNC has been declared a National Special Security Event, with the Secret Service in charge of security. I would bet that they have something to do with the implementation of this policy during convention week. Whether the Secret Service suggested it, requested it, or demanded it, I don't know.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:23 pm

Just because the SS is involved doesn't mean that the Constitution can be thrown out the window.
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Postby efin98 » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:45 pm

Ron Newman wrote:Just because the SS is involved doesn't mean that the Constitution can be thrown out the window.


how is it thrown out the window? you are on private property using a private service, you have to comply with the rules that the owner wants. Public property is also private at the same time, if the T wants to do the searches to cover their butts then the T has a right to do that. It's their buses, stations, and trains, they can impliment the plan.

And it's only a few days! It's not the end of the freaking world. If you feel strongly about it, don't take the T. Drive to work, take a cab, or walk. Things return to their normal insanity after the convention.
efin98
 

Postby BC Eagle » Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:52 pm

No, of course not. I was mentioning the secret service simply because many have been criticizing the T for this policy, when it quite possibly could be imposed on them from a higher authority. However, I still believe purchase of a fare to use the T comes with the responsibility to follow the rules and regulations put forth by the MBTA. In this case, the policy is searching of bags during DNC week. You can refuse the search, but by doing so, you're violating MBTA policy and are subject to removal from the system. It's similar to entering the US Capitol. You can get in the building to the security check point, but if you refuse to have your bag searched and pass through a metal detector, then you'll be removed.

Like I said earlier, my personal opinion is that this course of action is only appropriate for the Orange Line, as that poses the most threat to the Convention. And this is coming from someone who will have to use the Orange Line every day that week...
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Postby Ron Newman » Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:17 am

Only a government agency that has lost the trust of the citizenry would feel the need to invade the citizens' privacy this way.

I hope people resist these unconstitutional searches loudly and forcefully, at as many stations as possible. The more resistance we put up, the less the less they'll be able to do these searches.

What would Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty think of this? Have we forgotten our region's history?
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Re:

Postby I.M. Judge » Fri Jun 25, 2004 7:47 pm

I generally don't like the idea of being denied service on public transportation if I don't want to be searched, but I realize that it may be necessary in extreme times, which the DNC is.

And as much as some of the T's executive people may be total boobs, look at it from their shoes: they do not want to be the ones who 'let' a bomb onto the T. Remember how badly the former director of Logan felt after 9/11? How much criticism they came under for 'letting' the terrorists on the planes, etc. I think the MBTA is just doing a thourough job of covering their behinds.

And despite the public nature of the system, it is a privilege to ride it, and with that privilege comes responsibility. So you open your bag.

just my 2 cents.
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Re:

Postby efin98 » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:40 pm

I.M. Judge wrote:I generally don't like the idea of being denied service on public transportation if I don't want to be searched, but I realize that it may be necessary in extreme times, which the DNC is.

And as much as some of the T's executive people may be total boobs, look at it from their shoes: they do not want to be the ones who 'let' a bomb onto the T. Remember how badly the former director of Logan felt after 9/11? How much criticism they came under for 'letting' the terrorists on the planes, etc. I think the MBTA is just doing a thourough job of covering their behinds.

And despite the public nature of the system, it is a privilege to ride it, and with that privilege comes responsibility. So you open your bag.

just my 2 cents.


The same people criticising the T for "taking away their rights" would turn around and criticise the T for not taking the steps to ensure safety if (god forbid) something would happen during the convention week. It's the nature of most people, they are never satisfied and will complain about anything.
Sorry, but some people are not thinking with a clear head. A few days is it, anything beyond that will get the courts involved and that's a guarentee. If you feel you can't ride without having your "rights" removed then don't ride, simple as that. Take another for of transportation to get into Boston.
efin98
 

Postby BC Eagle » Fri Jun 25, 2004 9:51 pm

I don't believe this has anything to do with a lost of trust in the citizenry, but an acceptance of the world we now live in. Such precautions are not the results of a paranoid government, but of large group of terrorists whose only goal is to reak havoc and kill innocent Americans and their allies. The DNC is a probable target, and extreme precautions are necessary.

Many such changes have occurred over the course of history. At one point, anyone could just walk right into the White House. Now look at the security and the distance that surrounds the president. What would Sam Adams and company say about that? Cars used to be able to drive down Pennsylvania Avenue by the White House, people used to be able to board air planes without passing through metal detectors and having their baggage searched. Tourists used to be able to climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty. The list of such restrictions could go on, and on. Are these good things? No, of course not, but unfortunately they are necessary to protect the citizenry from further acts of violence. Unless world events improve drastically in the near future, these restrictions will most likely only increase.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:08 pm

If you feel you can't ride without having your "rights" removed then don't ride, simple as that. Take another for of transportation to get into Boston.

Yeap, that's right, but I'm still riding the Red Line Rails into town, and ready for bag scrutiny, just like the Abington Fireworks, where all bags are automatically searched there for alcohol before entering the Frolio football Field. I've been thru that inspection before, and I had and still have no problem with that.
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Postby trigonalmayhem » Fri Jun 25, 2004 10:14 pm

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759.

Just throwing that in for perspective.



Oh, and the searches are anything but just for the DNC, even the T admits that:

MBTA News/Events


Security Statement
Release Date: 6/8/2004 E-Mail: jpesaturo@mbta.com


SECURITY STATEMENT

As part of an effort to guard against terrorism, MBTA Police are developing a policy that would involve random checks of passengers’ bags.
Both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have warned that terrorists might strike trains and buses in major U.S. Cities using bombs concealed in bags or luggage.

Under this policy, customers may be asked to allow a police officer to conduct a quick inspection of his/her bag… similar to searches conducted at airports.

While it is the MBTA’s goal to have the policy in place prior to the Democratic National Convention, it’s important to note that MBTA Police are looking long-term at a program that strikes a proper balance between individual rights and the T’s obligation to ensure its customers’ safety.

The MBTA is strongly committed to providing a safe and secure transit environment for the more than one million riders who use the system everyday.


from http://www.mbta.com/insidethet/press_releases_details.asp?ID=1015




Overall as long as the T police don't go overboard it shouldn't be a big deal, though.
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Postby SbooX » Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:19 pm

SnoozerZ49 wrote:[snip]I would say that anyone that objects to security provisions and is on the same train as "Assad" the moslem martyr on his way to meet the virgins to make sure that their life insurance is paid up and their will is completed. [snip]

I am willing to be inconvenienced now rather than see our way of life destroyed by a religion and way of life that does not have any respect for human or civil rights.[snip]


And theres one of the most important reasons to oppose these searches. How many of the MBTA police share your view?

You don't honestly think that T police will be conducting these searches/id checks in a truely random fashion, do you? If 5% of all whites are searched, then 10% of all hispanics, 20% of all blacks and at leats 50% of all arabs will be searched. The MBTA police already have a well documented problem with race. Once you get them trying to profile people based on their behavior its only going to get worse. An arab man is very likely to start sweating, and getting fidgety when there is an MBTA cop watching him. And since police are only watching for behavior, not race, this behavior will give them grounds to conduct a search and check id.

Lets not play games here, this is about race. Maybe some of you think it should be, but I still remember Oklahoma City. I remember hearing about all the death threats against Arabs, the vandalism of Mosques. And I remember that it turned out it was white Christian Americans who killed all those men, women, and children. 9/11 was different, but it still doesn't justify the demonization of an entire race and/or religion, the same way that a few soldiers (and likely their superiors) at Abu Ghraib don't represent all Americans.
SbooX
 

Postby efin98 » Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:56 am

it’s important to note that MBTA Police are looking long-term at a program that strikes a proper balance between individual rights and the T’s obligation to ensure its customers’ safety.


That sums it up right there. The backlash from whiners and so amature constitutional experts that came out of the woodwork to complain about the short term program will kill it beyond the DNC.

What is being done is simple bargaining tactics, both sides want something yet ask beyond what they know they will get. The T Police want extremely tough rules and laws on the T, the public doesn't want to give up one bit of their self proclaimed rights. The compromise is going to be the better of the two, with both sides getting what they really wanted.
efin98
 

Postby Ron Newman » Sat Jun 26, 2004 5:18 am

National Lawyers Guild advises MBTA passengers on right not to consent to search

To focus public attention on the proposed MBTA search policy (MBTA Press Release, 6/8/04 ), the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is conducting a week-long public awareness campaign to be held June 28 through July 2, with a kick-off press conference on Monday, June 28, 2004, 7:00am, at Downtown Crossing T Station. Michael Avery (National Lawyers Guild), Gabriel Camacho (American Friends Service Committee), and Sadaf Kazmi (American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) will be speaking.


The MBTA has announced that it is formulating a new search policy that would allow police officers to randomly search T riders' bags. While no one wants to see terrorism on the T, random searches will not increase passenger safety.


The National Lawyers Guild believes that it is unconstitutional to set up checkpoints at locations that people use every day, such as subways and trains. The police are within their rights to set up checkpoints to prevent a specific harm. However, setting up checkpoints at every public facility does not prevent a specific harm and is not part of a free society. It is an action used by a police state.


The National Lawyers Guild does not believe that the police can conduct random searches. Random searches are never truly random. Police often target individuals stereotyped as being "suspicious" people of color, those who appear to be Middle Eastern, and youth. These searches needlessly interfere with the privacy of innocent passengers and are incompatible with a free democratic society. Random searches replace fear of terrorism with fear of the police. This policy is not only unconstitutional; it is wrong.


At selected stations during the week of June 28, the National Lawyers Guild will be distributing buttons for passengers that state "I DO NOT CONSENT TO A SEARCH." Passengers are urged to wear these buttons and let the MBTA know that they do not willingly consent to giving up their constitutional rights. (Sample letters and contact information will be available for download at the NLG website .)  Guild members will also be distributing information outlining the proposed MBTA policy, letting passengers know what rights they have and what the police can and cannot do when they stop T passengers.
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Postby efin98 » Sat Jun 26, 2004 6:43 am

Notice they don't have the guts to say which stations they will be handing out buttons at nor do they actually address that the whole situation is only for the convention.

BTW how many of those lawyers are from Massachusetts? How many of them actually ride the MBTA? I doubt there are many, if any, of them that are from Massachusetts nor do they ride the MBTA.
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