TSA-style gropes at Coachella Music Festival

As some of us have been saying for years, and taking no end of shit for it from know-nothing observers, it was only a matter of time before the tactics of the TSA moved from the airport to other venues. And now that day is here.

From two sources, evidence that the genital-groping that is going on at the airport also went on at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. First, from Reuters:

The venue is surrounded by a veritable ziggurat of metal fencing and checkpoints. The full-body pat-downs begin about half a mile from the festivities. Girls to the left, where a female guard runs her hands up, down, even around the underside of their breasts. Men queue to the right, where they must empty their pockets, and turn their back to the guard and submit. Pockets, even wallets, are randomly searched.

Next, from this founding member (who goes by “nachtnebel”) of the travel chat forum Travel Underground:

. . . the butt, groin, and breast massages have not only damaged and violated us at our own airports, this disgusting behavior has spread out into the broader society and infected it. A colleague of mine was down at the Coachella music festival last week, and they had security people feeling up into your groin and massaging your butt just like the blue gloved *ssholes do at the airport.

But hey, as I always say, what’s a little sexual assault and unwarranted search and seizure among friends?

Everyone who has been blindly, dumbly, sheepishly complicit, if not outright supportive, of the TSA’s abusive procedures has brought this on themselves.

It’s always nice when people get what they ask for, don’t you think? Kinda like a birthday present.

(Photo: Rie H/Flickr Creative Commons)

  • TSAisTerrorism

    The most shocking piece of this news is the closing line of the original Reuters article:

    “For older folks (such as this author) unaccustomed to passing through Checkpoint Charlie for a concert, for post-Boston America the combination just might be sufficient for me to allow my children to attend.”

    So, IOW, this author is fine with his daughters attending such an event so long as their tits are thoroughly examined? What is WRONG with people?!?!?!

    • I suspect his children will not be allowed to attend high-school football games or proms, or go to the mall, or …..you get the idea.

    • Daisiemae

      That’s what I want to know. It freaks me out to think of this happening to my granddaughter yet her mother doesn’t see any problem. She thinks I’m slightly nutty on the subject of TSA.

      I believe it’s another case of it hasn’t happened to her so she simply has no concept of what could really happen. Unfortunately, it will require a Road to Damascus experience to make a believer out of her.

  • kfred

    I’m curious if the ticket purchasers knew, when they bought the tix, that they would be subjected to this illegal search. If not, then simply saying ‘no’ would have been the way to go and request a refund. However, I imagine the organizers would argue that, in purchasing a tix, you agree to their tactics.
    It is a shame that people don’t stand up for their Rights whenever they are violated.

    • Fred, exactly. And that’s why their rights are taken away from them. They’re participating in their own enslavement.

      Oh, well. I’m tired of ringing alarm bells. Let the sheeple bleat on their way to the slaughter.

  • From the LA Times:

    . . . Guitron credits efforts by Goldenvoice. In 2011, the organization began using microchip-embedded wristbands to avoid counterfeiters. While a move to protect its brand and business, Guitron said it has paid off for security as well.

    Guests, for instance, are scanned multiple times before entering the grounds. No one can so much as get within a mile of the Empire Polo Field, where Coachella is held, without wearing one. Local residents, whose homes surround the polo field, also have to wear one just to get to their houses, and Guitron said homeowners must also register their cars.

    The initial goal, of course, was to keep people from crashing the Coachella gates, but Guitron said it created a safe perimeter for the event, where every concertgoer and resident can be identified via a microchip.


    Yeah, this is the Land of the Free.

    • Susan Richart

      That article is enough to make one nauseous. I wonder what would happen to a resident who refused to be register and have all his/her movements tracked by scanner during the course of the event?

    • Daisiemae

      NO WAY!!!! I would never allow these fools to bar me from my own property. I would never register my car with them or wear their tracking bracelet just to have access to my own property.

      • I know. It’s unbelievable how people just roll over for this stuff. I can’t believe nobody’s tried to fight it in court, but maybe they can’t afford to. There are a few execs there, but the town of Indio, which is where Coachella takes place, looks to be an area of mostly low-income people. Which is why the powers-that-be can get away with this shit. If you’re a minimum-wage or less-than-minimum wage worker at the local Home Depot or the school district, you can’t afford to make a fuss.

    • Chris Bray

      “Local residents, whose homes surround the polo field, also have to wear one just to get to their houses, and Guitron said homeowners must also register their cars.”

      WTFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!?!?!?!?!? Who the fuck would put up with THAT!?!?!?

      • TSAisTerrorism

        These people —–>

        “Don’t you want to be saaaaaaaaaaaaaafe?!?!?!? They’re just doing THEIR JOBS!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Boston Police Officer for rescuing me by beating on my door during a martial law lockdown and commanding me to leave my home at gun point to be frisked multiple times. I feel so safe now!”

        • Chris Bray

          “Get your fucking hands up, motherfucker!”


          “You’re welcome!”

        • Dolt

          ^^This^^ …. This explains the basics of everything discussed on this website and more.

    • perlhaqr

      Ok, that is insane.

  • nveric

    That was the time and place to speak with your wallet. Paying to submit to that crap shows a real decline/degeneracy of the citizen. They stab the rest of us in the back. I grudgingly accept that some people must fly, but that concert was strictly an optional event.

    It’s bad enough few, maybe a dozen in the USA, will take on the more important issue of lack of representation in Congress and how to solve that problem, but to pay for ending liberty and freedom is the mark of un-American activity.***

    However, this does provide a ‘heads-up’ for future events where confronting these ‘Pay-a-Gropers’ comes to your town with a message of their un-Civil, anti-citizenship, and un-American activities.

    *** Yes, it’s the much hated right-wing patriotic slogan, but this time it’s appropriate, and shows how critical the situation is becoming when perceived ‘anti-establishment’ types use it.

  • Agenda

    If it was the TSA wouldn’t they be dressed in their TSA band uniforms? And if they weren’t why are people submitting to these searches? They are illegal, aren’t they?

    Apparently, Americans everywhere have chosen to voluntarily give up their rights. It became glaringly evident in Boston after the tragedy and lock-down, how easily citizens were manipulated.

    The war on terror is over and America has lost. They have submitted to the fear-mongering tactics of their government and they lost their 4th amendment rights after roving bands of troops forced people out of their own homes at gunpoint. The precedent has been set. It was sickening to watch those video clips and view the dozens of photographs portraying images of a martial law scenario just to search for two teenagers who have not yet been convicted in a court of law. Afterwards, there were no enraged Bostonians. They had been docile and had followed orders and later they paraded through the streets with the age-old chant of the mob that had clearly lost all capacity to reason critically, cheering the destruction of their own rights.

    • Agenda, Amen.

    • Daisiemae

      Yeah, it’s pretty sickening. I keep wondering whether these two are the ones who actually did it or whether they are being framed by the government. I wonder if the government enticed them into doing it to keep the terror ratcheted up and keep people onboard with all their oppressive security measures. If so, it’s pretty convenient that one of them is dead and the other can never speak again, isn’t it? Also very convenient he’s not allowed to have a lawyer.

      Somehow the whole thing seems fishy to me…how they identified these two guys from the video tape. I mean really…how easy could that be with thousands of people and poor quality video. I find that very hard to believe.

      The government has been caught before enticing vulnerable people to commit “terrorism” so they can make a big arrest. The government has been caught before lying. The government frequently prosecutes and terrorizes innocent people, so I don’t trust anything they are saying.

      If these two guys did it, then obviously I’m glad they have been caught. The sad part is we can’t trust our government, and here they are once again doing something in a fishy manner and not being transparent. We’ll never know for sure if these two are the guilty parties or innocent victims of government run amok.

      That’s the real tragedy in this…that we cannot trust our government. And the government just keeps on giving us reasons not to trust them.

      • TSAisTerrorism

        This whole thing stinks.

    • perlhaqr

      They are illegal, aren’t they?

      Sadly, probably not.

      Coachella is a private event, on private property. They can set whatever rules for entry they like, effectively. The only real way to push back is to not go. And as you say, that’s not very likely.

      But given that we send our kids to prison-like schools starting as young as 3 or 4 these days, and make them regiment around in lines and through metal detectors with see-through backpacks, and subject their lockers to drug-dog searches, is it any wonder that they grow up with no innate resistance to this sort of tyranny? It’s not exactly like we train them to be anything other than passive in the face of it.

      • Agenda

        I realize that now. Probably “legal”. By the way, how do you italicize your text.

  • Daisiemae

    Who was doing these gropedowns? TSA? Private security? Police?

    • I don’t know. I doubt the TSA. Coachella is now a corporate event. So probably whatever goons the corporations that sponsor the event hired.

      • Daisiemae

        If this was not law enforcement but private security, then they could be subject to criminal charges and lawsuits, couldn’t they?

        • Have no idea. There were also cops there. See the LA Times link I posted. I don’t know who was doing the actual groping. But really, does it matter? Whether private or public, there was no probable cause, and people just lined up like good little sheep. Nobody’s going to press charges.

        • perlhaqr

          Doubtful. I’m sure it would be argued that the people who were assaulted “consented” to the search. After all, I’m sure that anyone who objected had the option of leaving the event.

          It depresses me to say this, but in that sense, it was probably actually better than the airport. If you decide you don’t want to be microwaved or molested there, you’ll get arrested for trying to leave.