- March 3 - The American Civil Liberties Union today hailed passage
of the 50th city council resolution protesting the Bush Administration's
continuing disregard for civil liberties.
demonstrates that this backlash is not an isolated movement,"
said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington National
Office. "Millions of Americans, from the Heartland to the coasts,
from Alaska to Florida, now live in communities that have through
these resolutions voiced their insistence that American society
can be both safe and free."
The city of
Cotati in Sonoma County, California this week unanimously adopted
a resolution making it the 50th community to organize in support
of civil liberties since 9/11. The movement to pass these resolutions
and city ordinances, several of which seek to limit the implementation
of repressive federal policies, has been gaining momentum over
the past several months. With today's resolution, the number of
Americans living in communities that have passed such measures
stands now at approximately 5.5 million people.
support for the resolutions has not been isolated to smaller municipalities
nor has it been limited to communities generally considered liberal
or libertarian. Over the past several months, major cities and
communities such as Seattle, Detroit, Denver, San Francisco, Burlington,
VT, and Flagstaff, AZ have passed resolutions. Likewise, resolutions
have passed in communities as politically diverse as Fairbanks,
AK, Carrboro, NC and Northhampton, MA.
the resolutions contain strong limitations on cooperation with
controversial government policies, most notably the USA PATRIOT
Act. Common provisions require city officials not to spy on constitutionally
protected political and religious activities, to prohibit profiling
based on race, ethnicity or religious beliefs and to limit local
police from participating in the enforcement of federal immigration
laws. Particularly strong are the Madison, Detroit and Fairbanks
democratic participation at its best and most effective," Murphy
said. "Millions of Americans are rightly concerned about an
Administration that enforces our laws selectively based on race,
ethnicity or religion; that has established a parallel system
of quasi-military arrest and detention that's used to lock people
up when we don't have evidence to put them through civilian
courts, and that has no reticence about spying on innocent Americans
who are not suspected of being involved in any criminal activity."