National Opt Out Day never takes off


* By Jerrie Dean, San Diego Headlines Examiner


The National Opt-Out Day scheduled for November 24th, which was expected to delay travelers at the airport, didn't get off the ground as most of the travelers selected for body-scanners and pat-downs did not protest.

There was one man in San Diego who did take his clothes off down to his underwear before he was to have a pat-down, but got dressed immediately after TSA screeners told him to.

Protesters who were not traveling showed up at airports like Salt Lake City, some wearing Speedo-style bathing suits or Celtic kilts, carrying signs, protesting the TSA screening methods.

Protestors also passed out flyers, stickers and small copies of the constitution to give to travelers outlining their rights.

"Our goal today is to simply inform people. We're not here to debate with people or push them in any way. We just want them to educate them," said Aurielle Whitmore a San Diego organizer of National Opt-Out Day.

Lines moved smoothly and there was no more congestion than previous years during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Majority of travelers only had to deal with the common metal detectors and did not have to go through the pat-down or scanner.

Some people did decide to not to fly at all and used the train or drove.

"With all the things with the TSA, I just decided it might be a little bit easier, stress-wise, to take the train," said Pam Edwards a retired preschool teacher.

"We're not here groping people. We're not here molesting people. We're checking them for items and explosives, and yes, explosives can be hidden in the groin area," said Cris Soulia, a TSA officer and president of the local union in San Diego.

The National Opt Out website posted this message on their website, "THANK YOU for making National Opt Out Day a success! This was never about clogging up airport lines - it's about bringing the issue to the attention of the public, educating them and advocating for policy change."



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