Nude airport protester arrested
Thu, 19 Apr 2012 1:17p.m.
A high-tech worker who stripped naked at Portland International Airport as a protest against airport security screeners said Wednesday he was being "nude but not lewd", and characterised his act of defiance as protected political speech.
John E Brennan, 49, of Portland was charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after taking off far more than this belt and shoes during the screening process before a Tuesday evening flight to San Jose, California. The incident report from the Port of Portland, which operates the airport, said some passengers covered their eyes and the eyes of their children. Others laughed and took photos.
Brennan, in an interview at his home, said he did not arrive at the airport with the intention of getting naked. He said the Transportation Security Administration crosses the line between privacy and security. He decided to protest after he was pulled aside after going through the metal detector and a pat down, he said.
Port police officers arrested Brennan after he ignored requests to get dressed.
"The most effective way to tell them I'm not carrying a bomb is take off my clothes," Brennan said.
Authorities led Brennan from the screening area with a towel around his waist. Brennan was transferred to a downtown Portland jail and released late Tuesday.
Brennan has criticised TSA previously, saying on Twitter last May that airport security violated his privacy during a pat-down in San Jose. The tweet came after intense criticism in 2010 over the Government's use of full-body scanning machines and invasive pat-downs in airport security.
Annie Lindstrom, a spokeswoman for the Port of Portland, said two screening lanes closed temporarily during the incident, but there were no flight delays.
This was not the first time Brennan has undressed for political reasons. In Portland, the World Naked Bike Ride attracts thousands each year to protest oil dependence. Brennan said he has ridden in the event three times.
Brennan booked a flight to San Jose for Wednesday night, and had no plans to protest.
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19/04/2012 5:23:46 p.m.
I'm annoyed at those who constantly moan about security at airports. I have and do put up with it, as it improves the safety for myself and my family. You know it is going to happen, so either put up with it or don't travel. If you want someone to blame then aim at your local terrorist cell.
19/04/2012 2:51:59 p.m.
I fully understand this guy as I offered to do the same after being so called "patted down" 5 times in 1 day.
I was hoping they wouldn't call my bluff as a middle sged woman sitting naked on the airport carpet would not have been a pretty sight. The patting down was highly intrusive being carried out by a male you couldn't see standing behind you and putting his hand between your legs and then raising his hand as high as it would go. Intrusive? I'll say.
19/04/2012 1:58:12 p.m.
Good on the man! It's absolutely ridiculous what ordinary people have to go through, going through airport security.
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