During times of crisis, one act of courageous leadership can inspire many others to rise up and boldly do their duty.
The City of Austin has just such an opportunity now. Unlike many major US cities, Austin has yet to have the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) full-body scanners installed in their commercial airport, and if Texas’ capital city were to forbid the TSA from installing these invasive machines at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA), it could spark a national movement for liberty.
The good news is this: On December 14, the Austin Airport Advisory Commission (AAAC)—the official body tasked with giving Austin City Council input on airport policy—passed a unanimous resolution calling upon the Council to “oppose the installation of AIT’s at ABIA and further oppose the practice of invasive body searching.”
What’s more, a broad coalition of diverse groups has risen up in support of the AAAC’s resolution to check TSA tyranny in Austin, including the Travis County Republican Party, the Travis County Libertarian Party, ACLU-TX, Texans for Accountable Government (TAG), the Central Texas Republican Liberty Caucus, and We Are Change Austin. (To add your group to this list, send us an e-mail here.)
Momentum is building to see Austin become a safe-haven for liberty—and we encourage you to join our effort.
It’s time to rally to “Keep Austin Free”!
Contact Austin City Council
The Austin City Council needs to hear your voice. Contact the Council, and let them know that you support their Advisory Commission’s resolution to forbid the naked body scanners from being installed at Austin’s airport, as well as AAAC’s call for the invasive pat-downs to be disallowed at ABIA.
Feel free to adapt and use the sample text (find below this box) in your letter to City Council.
To e-mail the Mayor and full City Council, click here.
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Sample Letter to the Austin City Council
Honorable Mayor and City Council:
Over the last several months, Americans have been aghast with outrage as they have learned of—and in many cases experienced—the invasive new screening procedures being carried out by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in a growing number of US commercial airports.
The Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanners now being employed by the TSA conduct a virtual strip search of passengers which is not only a breach of basic moral decency, but a blatant violation of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment guarantee for citizens to be “secure in their persons . . . against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
These X-ray machines are not only invasive, but they are ineffective in identifying some of the basic security breaches the TSA has touted they would avert, as the Government Accountability Office has stated in repeated testimony before Congress.
In addition, leading medical researchers have maintained that the AIT scanners pose health risks to the elderly, to cancer survivors, and to certain women, and may pose health risks to many more travelers who are exposed to the radiation they emit. The known and unknown health risks the scanners could cause are far too serious for the TSA to use them when thorough, independent evaluations of the machines’ health impact have yet to be conducted. In the name of keeping us “safe”, the AIT scanners are putting Americans at real risk of physical harm.
Furthermore, the intrusive pat-downs the TSA is now conducting as a matter of policy, which include the groping of the private parts of innocent citizens, are likewise morally offensive and unconstitutional.
While these developments are discouraging, I am highly encouraged that, on December 14, your Airport Advisory Commission passed a unanimous resolution recommending that the Austin City Council “oppose the installation of AIT’s at ABIA and further oppose the practice of invasive body searching.” I would strongly urge you to follow their counsel for the sake of freedom in Austin.
This Council is in a unique position to defend the civil liberties of Austinites, and if you do your duty and interpose on behalf of our community’s citizens, your courage could spark a national movement for liberty, as other cities follow Austin’s lead and challenge the TSA’s unlawful screening policies at their respective airports.
I am grateful that, in 2003, this body stood against key unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act. Such resolve is called for once again.
Stand for Austin, City Council, and stop the TSA’s policy of groping travelers at ABIA, as well as their plan to install naked body scanners in our airport.
Defend our rights. Protect the innocent. Keep Austin free.