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MBTA press release on searches - Queue
July 12th, 2004
11:31 am

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MBTA press release on searches
From today's press release:
Under the new Security Screening Program, all persons choosing to use MBTA services will be subject to inspection of his/her handbags, briefcases, and/or other carry-on items. The brief baggage checks will involve the use of electronic equipment, explosive detection K-9s, and/or visual inspections.
"Choosing"? I suppose I am choosing the MBTA over walking, taking a cab, or riding my bike to downtown Boston. But, really, the MBTA is the only efficient way I, and a lot of other people, can get to work every day. I like how they're subtly trying to make you aware that you are choosing to use this, so that you can't complain about any security measures they choose to use.

Any person who does not wish to participate in the screening process will not be permitted to enter the transit system. It's also important that customers be aware of minor delays that may result due to these security measures. To keep the MBTA’s security plans as effective as possible, the times and locations of screening checkpoints will not be announced in advance.
I wonder how long someone who "does not wish to participate in the screening process" will be banned from entering. If they really are just randomly selecting people (such as every 10th person, as was mentioned as an example in one article), what's to stop you from just leaving for a minute and then coming back? Chances are you won't be selected twice. Or you can just enter at another point where they are not doing security checks. This is especially easy downtown and other places where the stops are very close together.

And I'm stating right now that I'm planning on posting here about where security screenings are when I hear about them. If you see one going on, I'd appreciate it if you let me know as soon as possible, or at least note the time and location and tell me later. If it's easy enough for me to find out about these security checks and warn people, you can bet it's even easier for someone who would actually want to cause harm to the MBTA.

"The public's patience and cooperation during the Security Screening Program will be greatly appreciated," said Mulhern. "After the convention, law enforcement and transportation officials will meet to discuss public safety policies, and chart a course for the future."
In case anyone doubted, yes, this really is about the convention. But does anyone really think they're going to back away from this "security" once they have it in place?

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From:beowabbit
Date:July 12th, 2004 10:11 am (UTC)
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So the Bill of Rights is for wealthy people (who can afford to take a cab), but not for poor people (who need to use public transit). What else is new. :-(
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From:magid
Date:July 12th, 2004 10:30 am (UTC)
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Didn't you hear? You're supposed to live at work, so you can be more productive!
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From:hrafn
Date:July 12th, 2004 10:38 am (UTC)
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But does anyone really think they're going to back away from this "security" once they have it in place?

Me!


Oh, wait; I thought you said, "Who wants ice cream?"

Duh. They'll only back down when it becoems apparent they are undermanned, and facing lawsuits for discrimination. But not after a number of people get locked up and put on some fucking "Homeland 'Security' Watchlist" for stupid reasons.

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From:treacle_well
Date:July 12th, 2004 11:58 am (UTC)
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Them suggesting that it's acceptable for them to do these screenings because people "choose" to take the subway, is, in my opinion, rather like saying that it's okay to just stop random folks on the streets to check bags, because they "choose" to walk on them. Am I afraid that we might be in a climate where such a thing could happen? Yes.

However, unless something actually does get blown up, I think they might back away from actually using these new "security" measures much, once it becomes clear how cumbersome and troublesome they are (for the MBTA people, not just the passengers). However, I think they will keep a policy of having such measures available for their use from time to time at their discretion.
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From:bubblebabble
Date:July 12th, 2004 05:07 pm (UTC)
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But does anyone really think they're going to back away from this "security" once they have it in place?

According to the flyer I saw today on my way home from work, they are instituting the measures as of now and they have no connection to the convention. Wheeee.
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