Random Searches in Our Nation’s Capital

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I’ve got a post at Flex Your Rights about a new random search program that will supposedly protect Washington, DC’s public transit system from terrorism. Of course, anyone found with contraband will be arrested, and you can bet they’ll be finding a lot more bongs than bombs.

As many of you know, I don’t buy into that defeatist "4th Amendment is dead" hyperbole, because that mentality leads people to surrender and start waiving their rights. The greatest threat to the 4th Amendment is the widespread misconception that it’s no longer worth understanding and asserting our rights. People who know their rights get better outcomes during police encounters and that remains true despite anything and everything the wars on drugs and terror have done to undermine our basic freedoms.

So we put together The Citizen’s Guide to Refusing DC Metro Searches. If you live in the DC area, or plan on visiting sometime, you’ll want to check this out.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

How very sad...

What's even more sad is that according to a FOXnews poll, 66% of respondents thought that such blatant violations of the 4th Amendment were acceptable! Why are people so incredibly stupid? If this is how our police agencies are going to act now, wait until the next terrorist attack - the 4th Amendment will be no more. I hope the Metro loses a huge sum of money due to this disgusting policy!

FOX News respondents said that??!!!

Lol, these people are most likely to be afraid of their own shadows when it comes to the hunting down terrorists. These people started witch hunts of all sorts over the past centuries. Some of them today are just now coming to grips with the fact that Barak Obama might not be a terrorist.... or an Arab.

Indeed...

I call them FEARnews for a reason!

"Which one of us is the terrorist?" Day of Demonstration

I don't think they will harass a bunch of hippy looking people. Metro transit police usually target the suspicious looking people, the ones wearing trench coats, dark sunglasses, and carrying large leather bags. Oh wait, that's their bosses.

Rights of Privacy

The 4th Amendment and the basic rights of privacy are obstacles to all moral crusaders who have concluded that they are somehow exclusively qualified to run other people’s lives.  Privacy essentially means no access by any government entity (for instance, one dominated by moralizing whack-jobs) to any control over the consensual choices made between adults.

The drug warriors perceive the 4th Amendment and privacy rights as something to be overcome if they are to succeed with their impossible goal of a drug free world.  That’s why they, and many diligent prosecutors, often push the envelope in legality when it comes to enforcing the drug laws.  For these kinds of people, civil rights are not a cherished aspect of what it means to be an American, or even a human being.  Rather, human rights are an irritation begging to be eliminated.

The drug reform movement has much in common with many other civil rights movements in this regard.  All such political movements must ultimately defend 4th Amendment issues and the rights to privacy in some way if they are to create a social framework for their own set of desired cultural options.  This common cause puts all other civil rights movements on the same page as drug law reform.

The drug war mindset represents as much a threat to society at large as it does to drug users.  Drug enforcement has a sordid history of leading the way on attacks on Constitutional guarantees of human autonomy and privacy.  It is for that reason that all civil rights movements need to pay close attention to drug law reform as it affects, or is affected, by challenges to 4th Amendment freedoms.  The success of anyone’s civil rights agenda ultimately depends on what happens in the drug war.

Giordano

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