Tulsan protests “gate rape”

A Tulsa resident has had it with what he calls “gate rape” and he has secured (with difficulty) a protest position at the Tulsa International Airport.  

“I’m tired of being body scanned or felt up by Trannsportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel at Tulsa’s airport every time I fly” says Joseph Colannino, a combustion engineer and longtime Tulsa resident.  

Colannino told Tulsa Today, he would welcome help saying, “There is no committee; I’m just trying to do my part.  I don’t know why more people aren’t doing the same.  I am completely baffled [that Americans would accept this government intrusion upon fundamental personal Liberty].  I welcome peaceful folk to join me."

Colannino, who travels routinely by air, says that never in all his worldwide travels including several trips to Israel has airport screening been so onerous.  “This is a violation of my fourth amendment rights.  The bulge in my pants has nothing to do with airport security.  Why do they insist on viewing it or feeling it?”

The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, support by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Beginning this Friday, Colannino will demonstrate at Tulsa International Airport just west of the mural in the main hall.  His message is simple: “Opt out, and call your congressman.”

Colannino is married with three grown children and has lived in Tulsa for 13 years.  He is the former head of R & D for an engineering company and told Tulsa Today, “Most of us are just trying to make a living and it is time consuming and difficult to stand, but you never know what your circle of influence may accomplish when we stand against something we know is not right.”

Colannino will be standing with a large copy of the Fourth Amendment asking, “Where’s the warrant?

Passengers can “opt out” and ask for a private screening, but that doesn’t satisfy Colannino.  “Being hand searched without a warrant is still a Fourth Amendment violation,” Colannino asserts.  He also alleges the airport has been unresponsive to his demand for protest space. 

“It took me three months to get my request for protest answered, and it wasn’t until I got my congressman involved that the airport finally granted me permission.  Violations of my First and Fourth Amendment rights at Tulsa’s airport are a disgrace.  We don’t give up our God-given rights just because we fly,” Colannino declares.

“I will have flyers for those who would like more information,” he told Tulsa Today.  “I just want to increase public awareness.  People have options.  Opting out is a small, but important statement.”

“How do these scanners really make us safer?  They don’t,” Colannino declared.  He vows to "protest as often as he can until the Tulsa airport quits feeling up passengers and tosses its body scanner in the dumpster where it belongs."