the Oakland City Council is poised to join a national grassroots movement that
seeks to defend fundamental civil rights and liberties that may be violated by
the USA Patriot Act signed by President Bush on Oct. 26, 2001.
The movement began last February in Northampton, Mass., and 18 towns and cities
-- including Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Sebastopol in California -- have already
passed resolutions that direct local agencies to protect citizens from such questionable
practices as domestic spying, ethnic profiling, secret detentions and the unauthorized
release of personal records.
The American Civil Liberties Union, according to Laura Murphy, director the
group's Washington legislative office, is working with dozens of communities "to
go on record against repressive legislation."
Oakland's "Resolution to Oppose the USA Patriot Act and Related Executive Orders,"
which has received strong support from council members, affirms the city's strong
opposition to terrorism, but also calls upon city agencies and private organizations
to defend citizens' basic constitutional rights.
These local resolutions would be unnecessary if members of Congress were as
bold in standing up to the Bush administration's excessive proposals to peel back
©2002 San Francisco Chronicle