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July 4, 2002
10:18 PM   Subscribe

Nat Hentoff tells the story of the Northampton Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a grassroots group of citizens dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights "--not only against the USA Patriot Act but also against subsequent Presidential executive orders, and actions by John Ashcroft, that 'threaten key rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens and noncitizens by the Bill of Rights and the Massachusetts Constitution.'". Visit their Web site to find out what you can do to help, including signing the Petition to Repeal the Patriot Act.
posted by mr_crash_davis (3 comments total)

 
Cities across the country have been quietly staging a revolt against the USA Patriot Act, saying it gives law enforcement too much power and threatens civil rights.

It's a start.
posted by homunculus at 10:50 PM on July 4, 2002


Portland PD, I think, reneged on their dissent from the Patriot Act. Don't quote me on that -- search through the Williamette Week archives.

Denver recently had an interesting run in with overzealous cops. Assorted activists were labeled violent criminals and put under surviellence. This spurred unanimously angry media coverage. The cops totally backed off claiming faulty record-keeping. They pledged to let everyone they have records to review them, then (I think) destroy the records. The atmosphere is just right in that square state to be skeptical of law enforcement bearing search warrants and cooing “for your protection.”
posted by raaka at 2:29 AM on July 5, 2002


I'm not terribly surprised by the actions in Northampton, there are some fairly serious activists and whatnot that live there...as well as some really groovy folks, like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Kitchen Sink, a long time publisher of underground and adult comics. (Not sure if KS is still publishing.)

As to the "petition" thingy...I'm not sure I trust that a bit. The site gives no information about what is going to happen with all that personal info, there's no privacy policy, and there's no links to the actual people behind the pledge or the "legal" organization. At the risk of sounding too paranoid, it seems like a particularly good way for the government or agents thereof to collect information on potential dissidents. (Yeah, I know...I read waaaay too many conspiracy theories into darn near everything.)

Information I'd like to see included; the board of directors of the organization, a physical address of the organization, a privacy policy, a letter of intent as to what's going to happen with the collected signatures, real contact info for real people within the various organizations including phone number(s)...and things of that nature.

Else, it just looks like a contact harvester to me.
posted by dejah420 at 10:01 AM on July 5, 2002


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