Fighting the law: follow up
Phil Mocek, the man who fought the TSA in Albuquerque, made a comment yesterday’s blog post. So I took the opportunity to write him back and ask a couple of follow up questions:
> I think you were great, and it’s fabulous that you won.
Thanks. I really just went about my lawful business, carefully
avoiding the surrender any of my rights, and keeping cool under
pressure. My attorneys, Molly-Schmidt Nowara, and Nancy
Hollander, are excellent. They did great work, and I like them
both a lot. Judge Fitzwater did a great job, and the jury seemed
to pay close attention.
> But is there any long-term success?
Probably some. I don’t have any delusions about this case setting
precedent (it was in a low-level court; no court reporter, no
recording by the court). But we have TSA staff and police stating
under oath that ID is not required in order to fly, cameras are
allowed at the checkpoint, and TSA airport staff are absolutely
not law enforcement. I went in with the only documentation that
was required of me and documented my interaction with public
employees. I was calm and respectful to them, but they did not
like my lawful activity. They accused me of things I did not do.
They pushed it as far as they could, and they lost.
Three days since posting my video that the state presented as
evidence, about 55,000 people have watched it. Maybe others will
be inspired or emboldened by it.
> If you went back to ABQ tomorrow and did the same thing would
> the goons arrest you again? Or do the cops continue to do what
> they want and if you fight them hard enough you beat the rap but
> they still enforce their non-existent rules?
Good questions. I’d love to find out, but I can’t afford the risk
of doing so. I’m paying for my defense out-of-pocket, and while
friends, family, and people I don’t even know donated several
thousand dollars to my defense fund, I expect to owe another
$10,000 when the bill comes. You’d think that in cases like this,
where your rights are *blatantly* violated — with video evidence
— interested third parties would pick up the tab or do the work
pro-bono. Not so in my case.
I’d love to see someone else go into ABQ with camera rolling and
make some observations.
People who read the complaint, heard the testimony, and saw the
evidence think the police seem likely to have committed perjury.
If so, it probably wasn’t the first time. None of them is new to
the job. Hopefully, they’ll be more careful from now on.
Here’s what Phil said in his comment yesterday:
There’s lots more information about this case and its implications, including a complete audio archive of the trial, on the Identity Project’s Web site. See http://papersplease.org/wp/mocek
Honest citizens standing up for their rights are modern American heroes. Sheeple who accept anything the TSA and police do because “as long as it will make us safer”, not so much.