As students at the University of California, San Diego prepared to fly, drive, hitchhike, walk, or crawl to their destinations this past Thanksgiving break, the Young Americans for Liberty at UCSD left them with a little reminder before getting into their desired mode of transportation: the Federal Government is here to keep you safe!
The YALers took it upon themselves to make sure that their peers were up-to-date on the new TSA screening requirements currently in effect in airports (and now some train stations, bus terminals, and highways) across the country.
In the case of UCSD, these requirements include such practices as placing all freedoms in a quart-sized plastic bag before traveling, and to always consent to mandatory searches and seizures to ensure swift movement and passage through security checkpoints.
The mock checkpoint was set up in the center of campus, so that students trying to attend classes knew that they were safe. Especially because their friends at the TSA were looking at them with suspicion– I mean, were looking out for them.
Of course, not everyone had time to stop for a complementary infringement of their Fourth Amendment rights, so the students had signs posted for those too busy for a pat down or screening, showcasing the TSA’s level of efficiency, as well as a list of prohibited and dangerous items, and a quick reference guide on how to spot a terrorist.
In addition to members of the chapter dressing up as TSA agenda, a few YALers played the role of travelers going through the checkpoints. As we all know the TSA doesn’t play favorites, these individuals got the same treatment, if not a little more intense, then the rest of the students. And also in attendance was the willing demonstration dummy “Freedom Steve”, a model American citizen who always consents to unreasonable search and seizure.
Not only did UCSD YAL educate a lot of people on the state of civil liberties today, multiple local media organizations responded to their media advisories and came to campus to interview the group. One local NBC report even found its way onto the national MSNBC site.
Effective, fun activism like this TSA Street Theater may take you and your peers outside of their comfort zone at first, but it is a great way to spread your message and identify new leaders for the cause of liberty.Published in