The Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition and the DC Civil Liberties Coalition have been promoting an online petition against WMATA’s random bag search policy; the URL is http://tinyurl.com/wmata-petition. The wording is simple:
The first signature was on 12/19/2010; five days later, well over 500 people have joined the petition.
Petitioners are more or less evenly divided between Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Nearly 60 percent of petitioners commute to/from work or school using Metro; nearly half (45 percent) said they use the system for other trips ten or more times a month. (UPDATE, 12/25: Additional analysis shows that nearly three quarters (73 percent) report one or both of these Metro usage patterns.)
The costs of the bag search policy for future use of Metro by these petitioners could be serious: over 80 percent report they will use WMATA less often if the bag search policy is implemented.
The impact of the misguided Metro policy has been galvanizing: a substantial majority of petitioners (63 percent) want to know how they can help oppose this and other civil rights abuses.
We urge all interested — and especially all who answered this question with a “Yes” — to join both the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition announcement-only (get periodic emailings from MCCRC) and discussion listservs (members can post messages to this listserv). Please look in your inboxes — or spam filters — for notifications about both listservs.