neighbors take on travesty known as patriot act

On Tuesday, June 14th, the Common Council will be asked to pass a resolution:

To:  The Mayor and Common Council of Norwalk

Whereas multiple provisions of the USA Patriot Act are unconstitutional and dangerous to the legal rights of Norwalkers and all Americans in that they allow authorities to:

1.Search A Private Home Without Notifying The Owner (section 213),

2. Collect Information About What Books We Read, What We Study, What We Purchase, Our Medical History, And Our Personal Finances (section 215),

3. Label One A “Terrorist” For Belonging To An Activist Group (sections 411 and 802),

4. Monitor Our E-Mails And Watch What Internet Sites We Visit (216),

5. Confiscate or Impound Our Property Without A Hearing (section 806),

6. Spy On Innocent Americans (204 and 901),

7. Jail Targeted Immigrants Indefinitely (412), and

8. Wiretap Citizens Under A Warrant That Does Not Even Contain Their Name (216).

We Citizens of Norwalk Petition the Mayor and The Common Council Of The City Of Norwalk, to:

1. Inform the White House and our elected federal representatives of our objections to these provisions and seek their repeal and specifically that the Common Council President transmit as soon as possible a copy of this resolution to Senators Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman, and Representative Christopher Shays, accompanied by a letter urging them to support Congressional efforts to assess the impacts of the PATRIOT Act, monitor federal anti-terrorism tactics, repeal provisions of the USA PATRIOT ACT and other laws and regulations that infringe on civil rights and liberties, ensure that provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act “sunset” in accordance with the provisions of the Act and prevent passage of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act, known as “Patriot II.”

2. Instruct all departments of the city of Norwalk to refuse to comply with any provisions of the law found to be unconstitutional by the City’s Law Department, and

3. To notify all appropriate state and federal enforcement agencies of the City’s position of noncompliance.

Norwalk residents are being asked to sign this petition online—go to http://www.petitiononline.com/norwalkp/petition.html. It’s easy.

This resolution is being sponsored by council members Carvin Hilliard, Bruce Kimmel, Bill Krummel, and Peter Wien. (Though word is that Bill Krummel won’t be there to vote on this resolution.) It is supposed to be a bipartisan deal, since the Patriot Act tramples on everyone’s rights, dem, republicans, independents, non-voters—everyone.

In addition to signing the resolution, NEIGHBORS (Norwalkers Engaged In Giving Hope to the Bill of Rights) Freedom Committee (organized by Paul Cantor) is urging supporters to show up at the council meeting on Tuesday as a show of strong support, and sign up to speak in favor of the resolution.

This afternoon, Stanley and I went to the NEIGHBORS meeting to find out what is going on. We already signed the petition, and wanted to find out what else we could do in addition to showing up at the Council meeting on Tuesday (we’ll be there). Not much, as it turns out, except get people to show up and sign up to speak. So we will.

We were informed that there is “powerful opposition” to the resolution by “people with influence,” mainly because of parts 2 and 3 of the resolution. The council member who is one of the presenters of the resolution, Bruce Kimmel, said, in essence, that if he doesn’t think the resolution would pass unless provisions 2 and 3 are dumped (which he apparently already decided is the case), he would cut them when the Democrats have their closed caucus on Monday. He’s decided that it’s better to pass just section one than nothing at all. Some people agree. Others, like me, think this is the typical kind of namby-pamby nonsense that lost two presidential elections.

And, we learned, there’s not a thing we can do if the Dems decide to drop 2 and 3 unless we show up in force and insist that they be put back in (and even then, who knows?)

He also said, when I asked him about why he would de-fang the resolution (which, without teeth, I think is an exercise in futility—though I hope I’m wrong), that he didn’t care what I thought. Guess he’s too powerful to care about what mere citizens think. And he said this without knowing who I am. He said that he has to play politics with this because he’s up for reelection in November.

What shocked many of the people at this meeting was that the Dems have this closed meeting to decide what gets on the agenda, even though they’ve already got the resolution petition circulating for signature. We won’t know what the resolution actually says until we show up on Tuesday—though Kimmel did assure us that it will really, truly be on the agenda. Though we don’t know in what form.

So, bottom line: sign the petition, show up Tuesday to show your support, and call and write to the members of the council and let them know what you think. In particular, write to the dems to let them know they should present the resolution as it stands.

Council Members At-Large
Representing all residents of Norwalk
Kenneth Baker D 838-5457 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Matthew T. Miklave D 852-7051 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Jeanette Olmstead-Sawyer D 845-7949 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Douglas Sutton D 846-9862 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Michael W. Coffey D 849-9404 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Council Members in District A
Representing residents of Central Norwalk
Peter Wien D 838-2806 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Richard A. Mcquaid R 838-0454 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Council Members in District B
Representing residents of South Norwalk
Carvin J. Hillard D 866-4284 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Leona Williams D 831-0356 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Council Members in District C
Representing residents of East Norwalk (our district)
Fred Bondi (Majority Leader) D 853-0793 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Kevin Poruban D 838-4862 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Council Members in District D
Representing residents of Northern Norwalk , Cranbury and Silvermine
Bruce Kimmel (Council President) D 847-2301 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Douglas E. Hempstead (Minority Leader) R 846-1054 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Council Members in District E
Representing residents of HarborView, Village Creek, Rowayton, Brookside and West Norwalk
Betsy Bain D 838-1109 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
William Krummel D 853-7147 .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

UPDATE: Here is a link to resolutions pending in Fairfield County (thanks, Alice!) http://www.ctgreens.org/fairfield/Coalition.htm

Here are some resolutions passed by other CT towns:

Hartford, CT Community Resolution
This is to certify that at a meeting of the Court of Common Council, May 12, 2003, the following RESOLUTION was passed, as amended.

WHEREAS,  The City of Hartford is proud of its long and distinguished tradition of protecting the civil rights and liberties of its residents; and

WHEREAS,  The preservation of civil rights and liberties is essential to the well-being of a democratic society; and

WHEREAS,  The City of Hartford has a diverse population, including immigrants and students, whose contributions to the community are vital to its economy, culture and civic character; and

WHEREAS,  Federal, State and local Governments should protect the public from terrorist attacks such as those that occurred on September 11, 2001, but should do so in a rational and deliberative fashion to ensure that any new security measure enhances public safety without impairing constitutional rights or infringing on civil liberties; and

WHEREAS,  The Hartford Court of Common Council supports the premise that there is no inherent conflict between National security and the preservation of liberty; and

WHEREAS,  Some Federal policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56) and related executive orders, regulations and actions that raise concerns over the loss of fundamental rights and liberties; and

WHEREAS,  New Legislation has been drafted by the Bush Administration entitled the Domestic Security Enhancement Act (DSEA) (also known as PATRIOT II) which contains a multitude of new and sweeping law enforcement and intelligence gathering powers, many of which are not related to terrorism, that would severely dilute, and could undermine, many basic constitutional rights, as well as disturb our unique system of checks and balances; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED,  That the Mayor and Hartford Court of Common Council:

1.            Affirms their strong support for the fundamental constitutional rights and its opposition to Federal measures that infringe on civil liberties; and

2.            Strongly supports the rights of immigrants and opposes measures that singles out individuals for legal scrutiny or enforcement activity based on their Country of origin; and

3.            Calls upon the law enforcement officials working within City and outside boundaries to continue to preserve residents’ freedom of speech, religion, assembly; privacy; rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; and to not engage in nor permit detentions without charges or racial profiling in law enforcement; and

4.            Affirms the privacy rights and intellectual freedoms of it’s residents and supports librarians, booksellers and other communications dealers in protecting those rights; and

5.            Directs the Town Clerk to transmit a copy of this resolution to our United States Senate and Congressional representatives, Governor John G. Rowland, President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft. 

Attest:
Daniel M. Carey,
City Clerk.

Copies to:  City Manager, Corporation Counsel, Mayor Perez, State Delegation, Governor John G. Rowland, President George W. Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

New Haven Resolution
Passed on December 2, 2002, by the Board of Aldermen of the City of New Haven, CT

A Resolution to Defend the Civil Rights and Liberties of the People of New Haven

WHEREAS the Declaration of Independence of the United States holds as self-evident that all people are created equal and are endowed with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness;

WHEREAS the First Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that no law be made “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances”;

WHEREAS the Fourth Amendment declares that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”;

WHEREAS the Fifth Amendment states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”;

WHEREAS the Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury., and to be informed of nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense”;

WHEREAS the Eighth Amendment states that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted”;

WHEREAS the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the government from denying “to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of New Haven affirms the rights of all people- including United States citizens and citizens of other nations-within the city- in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Aldermen calls upon all City officials and employees to respect the civil rights and liberties of all members of this community, including those who are citizens of other nations;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Aldermen calls upon all private citizens-including residents, employers, educators, and business owners-to demonstrate similar respect for civil rights and civil liberties, especially but not limited to conditions of employment and cooperation with investigations; 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, to the extent legally possible, no City employee or department shall officially assist or voluntarily cooperate with investigations, interrogations, or arrest procedures, public or clandestine, that are judged to be in violation of individual’s civil rights or civil liberties as specified in the above Amendments of the United States Constitution;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Clerk communicate this resolution to all City Departments, the Courts, the Governor and Attorney-General of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Congressional delegations, the United States Attorney-General and the President of the United States;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the provisions of this Resolution shall be severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this Resolution is declared by s court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Connecticut or the applicability thereof to any agency, person, or circumstances is held invalid, the validity of the remained of this Resolution and the applicability thereof to any other agency, person or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

Submitted by: City of New Haven Peace Commission

Mansfield, CT Resolution
RESOLUTION CONCERNING CIVIL LIBERTIES IN MANSFIELD

The Mansfield Town Council is concerned by the erosion and violation of the rights and liberties of citizens and legal non-citizen residents of the Town of Mansfield, rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and other amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, and by the Declaration Rights of the constitution of the State of Connecticut.

The Mansfield Town Council notes with growing concern that such erosion and violation is taking place under certain provisions of the U.S.A. Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act and other actions of the Federal Government of recent years and through certain administrative actions of the U.S. Department of Justice. In particular, the detention of persons without the bringing of legal charges; denial of detained persons’ right to counsel; expansion of authority to conduct unregulated electronic surveillance of lawful activities; limiting access to public documents; expanded information gathering about persons without any demonstrated evidence of criminal behavior and without court order; the threat of secret military tribunals; the unregulated ethnic profiling of individuals; and the threatening public statements by the U.S. Attorney General regarding legal public opposition to these policies.

The Mansfield Town Council now therefore resolves that:

1.    Officials of the Town of Mansfield are hereby urged, to the extent legally permissible, not to cooperate or participate in actions which appear to violate constitutionally-guaranteed civil liberties.

2.    The Council shall urge other municipalities and the State of Connecticut similarly to prohibit government actions within their control from violating such civil liberties.

3.    The Council’s concerns shall be communicated to state and federal representatives who shall be urged to work toward repeal of the unconstitutional provisions of the U.S.A. Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act.

This resolution was unanimously approved on January 13, 2003

Bethany, CT Resolution

Resolution as amended at Special Town Meeting

WHEREAS, many people throughout communities across the nation including the Town of Bethany are concerned that certain provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act threaten civil rights and liberties guaranteed under the United States Constitution, whereas the Town of Bethany has been and remains committed to the protection of civil rights and liberties for all people as expressed in the United States and the Connecticut Constitution; and

WHEREAS the Declaration of Independence of the United States holds as self-evident that all people are created equal and are endowed with the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and

WHEREAS the First Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that no law be made “respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances”; and

WHEREAS the Fourth Amendment declares that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, and papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and person’s things to be seized”; and

WHEREAS the Fifth Amendment states that no person “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself”; and

WHEREAS the Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants “the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury, and to be informed of nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have Assistance of Counsel for his defense”; and

WHEREAS the Eight Amendment states that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted”; and

WHEREAS the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the government from denying “to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection laws”; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOVLED that the Town of Bethany affirms the rights of all people—including United States citizens and citizens of other nations—within the Town in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Selectmen calls upon all Town officials and employees to respect the civil rights and liberties of all members of this community, including those who are citizens of other nations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Selectmen calls upon all private citizens including residents, employees, educators, and business owners to demonstrate similar respect for civil rights and civil liberties, especially but not limited to conditions of employment and cooperation with investigations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, to the extent legally possible, no Town employee or department shall officially assist or voluntarily cooperate with the investigations, interrogations, or arrest procedures, public or clandestine, that are judged to be in violation of individual’s civil rights and civil liberties as specified in the above Amendments to the United States Constitution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town Clerk communicate this resolution via certified mail, return receipt requested to all Town Departments, the Courts, the Governor and the Attorney-General of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Congressional delegation, the United States Attorney-General and the President of the United States.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the provisions of this Resolution shall be severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this Resolution is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to the Constitution of the United States or of the State of Connecticut or the applicability thereof to any agency, person, or circumstances is held invalid, the validity of the remained in this Resolution and the applicability thereof to any other agency, person or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolutions be made available to the residents of Bethany upon request.

Resolutions have also been passed by Hampton and Lyme, though I don’t have the text of those.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06/12/05 at 03:54 PM
  1. You may want to check and see if the town charter and/or the Connecticut Democratic Party bylaws allow for closed meetings.  Most Democratic party orgs don’t allow closed meetings except under extreme circumstances, so it’s worth a look-see.

    Posted by Rudi Riet  on  06/13  at  07:57 AM
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