OPPOSE THE SCANNERS: Contact Austin City Council Now!
Time is critical to voice your opposition to full-body scanners being installed at Austin’s airport.
Despite the cries of many thousands of freedom-loving travelers who have protested against their privacy rights and health being violated at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) through the use of AIT full-body scanners, the TSA is proceeding to install the controversial scanners this very week at ABIA.
TAKE ACTION NOW (see steps below) and let the Austin City Council know you expect them to defend our rights and stand against this invasive step by the TSA.
When word reached Austin late last year of the TSA’s intrusive new screening practices, Austinites objected, with the Austin Airport Advisory Commission (AAAC) taking a leading role in opposing the full-body scanners. On December 14, the AAAC — the official body appointed by the Austin City Council to advise them on airport policy — passed a unanimous resolution, urging the Austin City Council to oppose installation of the AIT scanners at ABIA.
A broad coalition joined in support of the AAAC and urged the Austin City Council to interpose, including the Travis County Republican Party, the Travis County Libertarian Party, ACLU-TX, Texans for Accountable Government (TAG), the Central Texas Republican Liberty Caucus, We Are Change Austin, and TsaTyranny.com.
Several Austin City Council Members took up the cause, including Councilman Bill Spelman and Councilwoman Laura Morrison. However, on February 14, a City Council resolution which would have appealed to Washington on the scanner controversy was defeated by a 4-3 margin, with Mayor Lee Leffingwell leading the opposition to the resolution, callously telling Austinites to suck it up and submit.
Waiting for the furor to subside, the TSA laid low for a season — but the agency is now moving full speed ahead to install AIT scanners at ABIA. Strategically, the TSA has opted to deploy millimeter wave scanners in Austin that use new Advanced Targeting Recognition (ATR) technology, which is not as invasive as the previous software employed.
Yet these full-body scanners still take a pristine image of a traveler’s naked body (though not seen by the primary TSA screener) and pose potential health hazards to the person screened. Even as it is an “unreasonable” search under the Fourth Amendment to take images of someone’s naked body without probable cause, it is also unreasonable to subject air travelers to radiation of unknown effect as a prerequisite to fly.
Moreover, the millimeter scanners are not only invasive, but they’re ineffective, as officials in Germany recently rejected the machines after an 800,000 volunteer test showed a false alarm rate as high as 49 percent. And at a price tag of over $150,000 a pop, they’re a huge waste of taxpayer money.
STEP #1 — Contact the Austin City Council / Urge them to “Keep Austin Free”!
The Austin City Charter states that the City shall “…operate and maintain the City’s airports and aviation support property and facilities owned or operated by the City” (Austin City Code § 13-1-3).
It’s high time that City Council exercise their jurisdiction and protect our liberties!
E-MAIL or CALL each of the Austin City Council members below and urge them to oppose the installation and use of the full-body scanners at ABIA and “Keep Austin Free” from the TSA’s overreach.
E-MAIL all the Austin City Council members here.
CALL the Council Members
Mayor – Lee Leffingwell
Phone: (512) 974-2250
Place 1 – Council Member Chris Riley
Phone: (512) 974-2260
Place 2 – Council Member Mike Martinez
Phone: (512) 974-2264
Place 3 – Council Member Kathie Tovo
Phone: (512) 974-2255
Place 4 – Council Member Laura Morrison
Phone: (512) 974-2258
Place 5 – Council Member Bill Spelman
Phone: (512) 974-2256
Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole
Phone: (512) 974-2266
STEP #2 – Attend Scanner Forum / Rally at Austin City Hall
Texans for Accountable Government, with the sponsorship of Councilwoman Laura Morrison, has secured the City Council Chamber for a community forum to discuss the concerns Austinites have with the Advanced Imaging Technology being installed at ABIA. The forum, preceded by a rally, will be held this Wednesday night, October 26.
The panel will include Dr. Laura Pressley (chemist), Norman Horn (chemical engineer), and George Farris (Airport Advisory Commissioner), with more panelists to be announced.
JOIN the RALLY – 6:30pm
Rally for Safe and Effective Airport Security
Location: City Hall Plaza
ATTEND the COMMUNITY FORUM – 7:30pm
Community Forum (including expert panel)
Location: City Hall Chamber
Time is of the essence! There’s no time for apathy or slumber.
Tyranny doesn’t sleep — so act now, lest our liberties be violated and Despotism prevail.