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Waltham Democratic City Committee



WALTHAM DEMOCRATIC CITY COMMITTEE RESOLUTION AGAINST THE USA PATRIOT ACT and RELATED FEDERAL EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Whereas, the Waltham Democratic City Committee recognize that the United States is under threat of terrorism, but addressing that threat should not be at the expense of the essential civil rights and liberties of the people of Waltham and the United States; and,

Whereas, the Waltham Democratic City Committee are committed to upholding the human rights of all persons in Waltham and the rights and privileges secured by our Constitution and the laws of the United States, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the City of Waltham, which guarantees all citizens the following rights:

Freedom of speech, assembly, privacy;

Equality before the law and the presumption of innocence;

The rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and

Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; and

Whereas, we believe these civil liberties are precious and are now threatened by the USA PATRIOT Act, which

All but eliminates judicial supervision of telephone and Internet surveillance; and

Greatly expands the Federal government’s ability to conduct secret searches without warrants and without effective judicial review; and

Gives the Attorney General and the Secretary of State the power to designate domestic groups as “terrorist organizations”; and

Grants power to the Attorney General to subject non-citizens to indefinite detention or deportation even if they have not committed a crime; and

Grants the FBI broad access to an individual’s sensitive medical, mental health, financial, and educational records as well as accessing library usage records, without having to show evidence of a crime and without a court order;

And whereas these civil liberties are further threatened by Federal Executive Orders, which

Endanger the rights and security of both citizens and non-citizens who speak and act legally in opposition to Federal government policies;

Establish secret military tribunals for terrorism suspects;

Permit wiretapping of conversations between Federal prisoners and their lawyers;

Lift Justice Department regulations against covert, illegal counter-intelligence operations by the FBI that in the past targeted lawful domestic groups and individuals; and

Limit the disclosure of public documents and records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Therefore be it resolved that:

1.The Waltham Democratic City Committee will urge our US Congressional representative and Senators to monitor the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act and actively work for repeal of the parts of that Act and those Executive Orders that violate fundamental rights and liberties as specified in the Constitution and particularly in the Bill of Rights, by co-sponsoring or supporting HR 3171, the "Benjamin Franklin True Patriot Act" or similar legislation; and

2.The Waltham Democratic City Committee will further urge the U.S. Congressional delegation to: a) ensure that provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act “sunset” in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and b) take a lead in Congressional action to prohibit passage of the proposed Domestic Security Enhancement Act, known as “Patriot II,” and

3.The Secretary of the Waltham Democratic City Committee will send copies of this resolution to our US Congressional and Senate representatives, the US Attorney General, and the President of the United States.



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