In our first year, We Won’t Fly enjoyed some unexpected success. Our campaign to demand dignified air travel with a boycott received worldwide media attention.
We can be proud of our efforts to expose the health and privacy dangers of commercial air travel. Evidently, our message resonates with a large segment of the population.
The US Travel Association discovered in a survey that two-out-of-five travelers are saying they will skip the plane and invasive checkpoints in favor of more dignified methods of transportation.
The association’s CEO, Roger Dow, told US News & World Report “Our research shows that reducing hassle without compromising security will encourage more Americans to fly — as many as two to three additional trips a year — leading to an additional $85 billion in spending.”
That’s a lot of money.
The TSA’s scope and grope operation is keeping foreign visitor’s away too. Tourism leaders have said “the decline in foreign visitors during the past decade was costing the American travel industry $859 billion!”
These are huge losses!
While the TSA boycott is having an effect, our opponents are doubling down. Congress just awarded the TSA even MORE money that they asked for. Their perverted operation is expanding rapidly on to highways and trains. Congress is likely to increase the TSA’s dole by $153,000,000. In 2012, the TSA will consume $7,800,000,000 in tax plunder.
We need to step up our action. The boycott is a great start and must continue, but we need more.
Here is my wish list for 2012.
They expect our total cooperation, in exchange for a “privilege” to travel. We will NOT comply. We will never consent to warrantless searches. We will not speak to “Behavior Detection Officers.” They demand obedience, so we give them disobedience. We will not cooperate with a “VIPR” team on any road, train or subway.
Congress and the state legislatures are voting away our freedoms every day. We don’t have to help them. We will never support any candidate who votes to fund the TSA. No compromises. No exceptions. Tough sounding talk is irrelevant. If they vote away our freedom, withhold all support. It’s better to not vote at all, than to enable a corrupt system. Your vote for a TSA supporter is your consent.
Starve the beast
A tax revolt is certainly warranted, however this tactic comes with obvious risks. At a minimum, make sure your tax payments are minimized using all means available.
Expand Boycott: We Won’t Fly 2012
A year long boycott of TSA infested air travel.
Can you do without commercial air travel for one year? It might mean some long drives or train rides. Perhaps your company can choose to have a virtual company meeting this year, using video conferencing technology instead of airplanes. Would you be willing to skip a trip to Disney this year to keep your kids safe from blue shirted predators?
While many have chosen to avoid all unnecessary commercial air travel, we are asking folks to avoid ALL TSA encounters for one year and then reevaluate.
Hundreds of billions of dollars are on the table for the creative entrepreneurs that can provide TSA free travel options. We need to encourage companies like Socialflights.com that are making private air travel possible.
Local airport demonstrations are a great way to expand awareness. If you need help organizing something, just ask. The creativity of our movement is unlimited. We’ve seen some great sidewalk theater and even anti-TSA cookie give aways. Use your imagination.
This is where we can reach the traveling public as well as send a strong message to airport administrators, airline executives, politicians and the traveling public.
Rolling Letter and Phone Campaigns
Concentrating consumer action at specific companies is a proven method of generating change. We need the big travel industry companies on our side. Each month, we will target a different travel industry company, starting with the most egregious TSA collaborators.
Offer your own solutions.
What tactics can you suggest? All suggestions are welcome. The TSA has virtually unlimited resources and a government imposed monopoly. They use violence, deceit and intimidation to impose their will. We have principle, truth and creativity on our side. They are bureaucratic and centralized, we are diverse and decentralized. How can we leverage these strengths to break their monopoly?
James Babb is a Co-founder of We Won’t Fly.