Austin activists rally for airport body scanners’ departure
Radiation-emitting machines’ arrival sparks health risk debate, grassroots opposition
AUSTIN — Austin was the focal point of a national debate on airport body scanners just a few months ago.
Instead, the Capital City has become the latest victim of the privacy-violating machines. The notorious body scanning machines have now arrived at Austin’s airport, and are slated for installation soon.
But local activists, led by Texans for Accountable Government (TAG), will gather at Austin Bergstrom International Airport Tuesday night to convince the airport’s planning board to clear the machines for departure.
“The fight to stop body scanners in Austin is far from over,” said Taylor Metting, Steering Committee Member of TAG. “We’re going to make sure that the body scanners’ one-way ticket to Austin becomes a round-trip.”
TAG’s immediate goal is the passage of a resolution against the scanners — focusing on the health risks from the radiation emitted by the devices.
“The TSA’s policy has not only been to violate individuals’ right to privacy with their ‘security’ screenings, but also to delude the public regarding their scanning equipment’s safety and effectiveness. The TSA has repeatedly misrepresented third-party findings and suppressed information which brings the agency’s integrity into question,” said Norman Horn, local activist and contributor to StopAustinScanners.org.
The airport advisory meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 11), at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport Planning and Engineering Building, 2716 Spirit of Texas Drive, Room 160.
In December, the Austin Airport Advisory Commission unanimously passed an earlier resolution opposing the deployment of body scanners. The City Council shot down a similar measure by a 4-3 vote on Feb. 17.
A proposed state law to criminalize the use of the scanners gathered much steam in the 82nd regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature. It ultimately did not pass after Transportation Safety Agency representatives put pressure on state leaders.
“For nearly a year Austinites have been protesting the deployment of these dangerous body scanners,” said Heather Fazio, Executive Director of TAG. “And yet, even with a recommendation by their own Airport Advisory Commission to oppose the scanners and the plethora of new information about deadly health effects, the Austin City Council refuses protect both ABIA travelers and security screeners. This isn’t over yet, and with the shift in leadership on the dais, Austin should be able to count on the Council to defend a healthy travel experience for passengers and work environment for security screeners.”
TAG is a non-partisan Political Action Committee headquartered in Central Texas,formed with the ambition of reigning in the intrusive and expanding reach of government which threatens to invade every facet of our lives.
TAG officers are available for comment and in-person interviews. For more information contact Heather Fazio at 1(512)825-9142 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Directions to Airport Planning building:
To get to the airport, take Highway 71 East toward the Airport, then take the cargo exit. After exiting, turn right on Spirit of Texas Drive. The
building is on the right after stop sign (there are two large flag poles in front).
*Earlier TAG press releases on first resolution against the scanners: http://www.tagtexas.org/view-recent-press-releases