No Bags or Parcels

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

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Postby SnoozerZ49 » Sun Jun 27, 2004 11:24 pm

Hi CS:
I really don't think that there is any productive course for this thread. Maybe we should all just agree to disagree!

I can't keep biting my tongue much longer!! :D
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Postby efin98 » Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:12 am

jrc520 wrote:CALM DOWN. This goes to everyone. However, some points:

1. The current administration is known for it's lack of respect for civil rights.


That is a load of crap. Name one instance. Go ahead, I am waiting.

2. The MBTA Police are known for their lack of respect of teens and non-white ethnic groups.


And what the heck does that have to do with inspecting bags? Not a damn thing. You are reaching for a reason,

3. The MBTA does not have as many rights as you think. They are a company, not an individual.


And they the company still has rights as a property owner, irregardless of it being a public company or not. You seem to have overlooked that, it was stated several times already in the thread.

4. The MBTA Police are held to the same restrictions as any other police force. Just because this is taking place on a transit system doesn't mean it's right. These officers are real police, not the hired guns that we see at malls and whatnot. Would you like to be randomly searched in public?


You seem to believe that everybody is going to get searched and that the T Police is going to use the searches to abuse riders. Did you ever bother to think(I doubt you have) that the MBTA Police is operating under strict rules by the higher authorities for during the period of their "unjust actions"? Yes, even the T Police has a higher power in this state and even the T police is being held in check.
BTW don't you think there will be more than a few of the federal agents whose job it is to make sure civil rights violations is telling the MBTA what it can and can not do? Who do you think came up with the guidelines? The T Police isn't operating in a vaccuum here, they are being advised by lawyers, federal agents, and maybe a few judges as to what they can and can not do.

5. Giving up your freedoms for safety is exactly that. There are better ways of stopping an attack than this. Keeping people alert is one of them. Of course, a smart population is not easy to manipulate.


What freedoms are you giving up? Really, what freedoms? Not a damn thing is being given up. Have you been to an airport lately? WTF do you think is going on there? The same thing the MBTA Police wants to do on the T has been done at Logan and every other airport in the country yet you aren't screaming about your rights there are you?

6. As a public agency, the MBTA is held accountable for their actions, and to say that the public cannot have a voice in what they do means protest is the only option.


The public has a voice, but the T also has to do what it can to protect everybody regardless of how much whining you do. What you are doing is not voicing your opinion it's whining. Your opinion has to have standing, your reasons are not valid as you are selective in your criticisms.

That's about it. I'd go on with my own rants, but that would be dumb. Look, the point is that we have no need for this fear. This fear is what they want. I'm done. I could go on, but it's pointless.


I said it before and I will say it again: you would be screaming for Mike Mulhern's head if something happened because the police did not impliment a program like the searches. Which way do you want it? You can't say you don't want the searches then go around screaming bloody murder for not instituting the program in the begining.
efin98
 

Postby apodino » Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:31 am

Ed, I would not be screaming for Mulherns head. His job is to run the transit agency, it is the job of Law Enforcement to keep us safe.

If something did happen, I would be more upset at law enforcement and intelligence than anything.

And the comparison to Aviation is apples and oranges. If something happens in flight, the plane can go anywhere literally. On rails, the path is fixed, and so they are limited in where they can go, but they can also stop a lot easier to remedy a problem. Thats the way the media has reported it.
I might add, not even Amtrak has implemented stuff to this extent, and that worries me a bit.

Personally, I don't feel any safer with random searches than I do without them. I think an educated travelling public and a heavy MBTA presence will achieve the desired effects. I know that the T is trying to make us safe, and I respect that, however the side effect is that some people will be deterred by the possibility of being searched, which will cause a decrease in ridership not to mention other side effects. Also quite frankly, I think we as a society are a little paranoid. I don't mind living a little more dangerously personally for a little more freedom. I know I don't speak for most people, but thats how I feel, and no terrorist is going to stop me from living my life. I think that by implementing these procedures, the terrorists have already gained what they want, which is to disrupt the lives and freedoms of americans, which should be protected by the constitution. Whether or not what the T is doing is constitutional is a matter left for the courts to decide when the ACLU files a court challenge as I suspect they will. As I have said before, there is no such thing as a random search the way the T has talked about it, and until you can get that, I doubt the legallity of what the T is doing. If everyone were searched thats one thing, but when its a select few, at "random", based on profiling or stuff like that, just seems like a bit too far to me.
Rich "Dino" Martin
A one time happy rider of Arborway and the old Washington St. El.
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Postby Ron Newman » Mon Jun 28, 2004 9:41 am

Forwarded from the T Riders Union via ne.transportation:

6/28 Emergency meeting on T bag-check/"security" issue! (Mon)

This message was sent out by Khalida Smalls, the Executive
Director of the T Riders Union, a project of the Alliance for
Community and the Environment or 'ACE'. Their web site may be
found here:
http://www.ace-ej.org
http://www.tridersunion.org

From: "Khalida Smalls" <khalida@tridersunion.org>
Subject: TRU Update - T security issue!
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 18:24:00 -0400

TRU Update- T security issue (my apologies to anyone getting this
more than once!)

We had the Rider Oversight Committee meeting (Monday [June 21]) and it was
very interesting to hear from Mulhern that he doesn't even want
any public input on this new security policy and does not intent
to discuss anything with community folks!. Well, the MBTA has
not finished their new Security Policy yet, but they plan on
implementing it on July 1st! Last night [June 21], the T Riders' Oversight
Committee passed a resolution that requires the MBTA to hold a
public meeting on the new resolution before implementation. This
will be a true test of the new Oversight Committee's power. If
the MBTA chooses to ignore our request, we have the power to hold
a special meeting. In the mean time, the T Riders Union is
holding a special, emergency meeting on the new Security Policy
next on Monday, June 28th, at 5:30 pm discuss the Riders Union's
position and action plan. PLEASE JOIN US! Details are below.

Additional questions answered were: 1) if you refuse to be
"checked" you will be asked to leave the system; 2) It will be T
police enforcing this policy not just any T employee

Unfortunately, Mike got a little annoyed with us "asking so many
hypothetical questions" about the policy and the implementation
and procedures around it. Hence the reason why we want our own
damn mtg!

It would be great if some lawyer folks (ACLU?) can come and share
the info they have been researching.

If you can't make this mtg (especially TRU members!) please chime
in via email khalida@tridersunion.org or call us (617) 442-3343
x21. WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU. We will also need help to pull
off whatever actions come out of the mtg.

Announcement below please forward...

Action Alert

Emergency meeting on MBTA security!

Monday, June 28th, from: 5:30-7:30pm

ACE/T Riders Union office

2181 Washington Street, Roxbury

(Next to Payless Shoes, Dudley Square)

Childcare & Light refreshments will be provided

We must discuss the T's proposal to create a new security policy
that would require "security checks" (of bags and possibly IDs)
for riders using the system. Do we take action on this issue?
Join us to learn more and develop OUR position.

(617) 442-3343 (or 3435) moreinfo@tridersunion.org

[end of forwarded message]
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Postby CS » Mon Jun 28, 2004 11:15 am

This thread has been reopened, please keep it civil.
C. Sarjeant
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Handing out flyers

Postby I.M. Judge » Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:38 pm

Hey Ron,

If you are going to be one of the many people among the many different groups handing out flyers in Davis Square, could your group be a responsible one and conclude your flyering with a walk-through of the square to pick up all the flyers people end up tossing on the ground? My staff and I must sweep up about a tree's worth of wasted paper from all the various flyers every day. It's like Masspirg leaving ads under everyone's windshield wipers - aren't they for the environment? And don't get me started on all the Boston Phoenix pieces blowing around.

Seriously, though, I think that everyone here has made some legitimate points for all sides on this issue, but it seems to me that a great deal of what everybody believes rests on their perception of 1) how real the threat is, and 2) how effective and even-handed the searches are. I don't think anyone is going to change their minds because of internet banter.

Who would have thought we'd be arguing so much about what the T is DOING rather than what they AREN'T doing!
I.M. Judge
 

Postby Ron Newman » Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:44 pm

The ACLU event at Park Street Station will be Thursday 7/1 from 8 AM to 9 AM -- not 9 PM as I erroneously posted a few days ago.

Now that the thread is unlocked again, I've corrected the original posting.

Here's the official ACLU press release announcing Thursday's event.
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Postby Ron Newman » Thu Jul 01, 2004 1:21 pm

I went to the ACLU event, where a variety of leaflets were handed out. The most interesting one was from the T Riders Union, which promises to raise the issue at next week's MBTA Board of Directors meeting:

Confront the MBTA Board of Directors with TRU!

MBTA Board Meeting
Thursday, July 8th, 1:00 PM
10 Park Plaza, Transportation Building

TRU members will speak directly to the Board of Directors and have a coordinated action to let them know how we feel. Meet in the lobby by Dunkin Donuts at 12:30 pm

To get involved with this campaign, come to the next TRU Campaign Committee meeting on July 7th, 5:30-7:30 pm, 2181 Washington Street [in Roxbury], Suite 301. Call Khalida Smalls, 617-442-3343 x21 or khalida@TRidersUnion.org for more information.
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Etc

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Jul 01, 2004 7:49 pm

Looks to me like PARANOIA is alive and well in Boston.
I may well not go to Boston this year to ride trains and trolleys. If I have
to worry about police abuse and other problems while doing something
that I should enjoy, then I WON"T go there, plenty of other places to go.
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Postby Robert Paniagua » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:11 am

Well, Mr. Weaver, don't worry about the new procedure, you should still come up to Boston and take pictures of the Blue Line, and Red Line for example, and as Otto reminded us, that photography anywhere of trains should be fine, even uphere, especially when I was filming some Red Line trains and I had no problems with the crews either, so I hope you don't "boycott" us :-).
~Robert Paniagua
Moderator: WMATA :: General Railroad Operations
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Re: Etc

Postby CS » Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:05 am

Noel Weaver wrote:Looks to me like PARANOIA is alive and well in Boston.
I may well not go to Boston this year to ride trains and trolleys. If I have
to worry about police abuse and other problems while doing something
that I should enjoy, then I WON"T go there, plenty of other places to go.
Noel Weaver


It's not paronia. Some Bostonians just feel safer knowing that the MBTA will be taking steps to stop any potential attack. It's only for one week, on one line. I don't think it's such a big deal.
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Today, tomorrow, forever

Postby Paul Cutler III » Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:22 am

CS wrote:
It's not paronia. Some Bostonians just feel safer knowing that the MBTA will be taking steps to stop any potential attack. It's only for one week, on one line. I don't think it's such a big deal.


That's the problem, CS. It won't be only one line for only one week. This is just the beginning, as they will keep chipping away at individual liberties in the name of "safety". And you might feel safer, but you won't actually be safer.

I, too, am in favor of trying to prevent attacks. What rational person wouldn't be? But I would rather focus efforts on early prevention to stop terrorists from even trying to get on MBTA property.

For example, and under the new MBTA policies, say there is one of 'em who has a backpack full of nasties, and an MBTA cop stops him at Park Street under in a random check. Don't you think the guy is gonna activate his device when he's caught? End result: the terrorist is successful, even if the plot went down prematurely.

However, say the Feds or the BPD sniffed out the plot ahead of time and raided the terrorist's apartment before he even woke up in the morning. End result: the terrorist is unsuccessful.

That's why I would rather see more money and effort spent "behind the scenes" trying to find these guys before they can get ready. Simply stopping random people in the subway won't do anything to prevent a dedicated terrorist, it will only lessen 4th Amendment protections for John Q. Public while not protecting him at all.

BTW, I am totally in favor of more MBTA police officers to ride the rails looking for suspicious folks, and if they find them, searching them, as this would meet the "resonable search" provision in the Bill of Rights.

I am still against random searches of innocent people, as to me, this is unreasonable.
Paul Cutler III
 

Re: Today, tomorrow, forever

Postby BC Eagle » Sat Jul 03, 2004 11:39 am

Paul Cutler III wrote:
That's the problem, CS. It won't be only one line for only one week. This is just the beginning, as they will keep chipping away at individual liberties in the name of "safety". And you might feel safer, but you won't actually be safer.


Now that sounds like paranoia to me...

Paul Cutler III wrote:For example, and under the new MBTA policies, say there is one of 'em who has a backpack full of nasties, and an MBTA cop stops him at Park Street under in a random check. Don't you think the guy is gonna activate his device when he's caught? End result: the terrorist is successful, even if the plot went down prematurely.


These new measures are meant to be preventative as much as anything. If a potential terrorist knows that the T police are out there, stopping and searching people, then their likelihood for success would dramatically decrease, and they most likely would stay away from the T all together.
BC Eagle
 

Re: Etc

Postby caduceus » Sat Jul 03, 2004 12:03 pm

CS wrote:It's not paronia. Some Bostonians just feel safer knowing that the MBTA will be taking steps to stop any potential attack. It's only for one week, on one line. I don't think it's such a big deal.


It definitely isn't just one line that will be affected. They will be searching on all lines - large bags, etc. will be specifically BANNED on the Orange Line for the week of the DNC.

And the T announced they'd start the searches sooner, and plan for it to be a long-term thing. See the original press release at

http://www.mbta.com/insidethet/press_releases_details.asp?ID=1015
First law of public transportation: You can never be early, but you can always be late.
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Postby CS » Sat Jul 03, 2004 2:05 pm

I haven't looked that far into this, but if in fact the MBTA will ban all bags on the orange line, search them on all others and continue this past the convention - then there is a clear problem with that.

Also, I am very suprised that action isn't being taken in New York City. Not only is it in the city that was already attacked, it's the Republicans - you think that the threat would be more for them then us.
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