Community Resoluton for Berks County, PA
RESOLUTION NO. I97-04
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RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF CIVIL LIBERTIES AND OPPOSING CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF THE USA PATRIOT ACT AND RELATED REGULATIONS AND
WHEREAS, the Commissioners of Berks County strongly denounce and condemn all acts of terrorism;
WHEREAS, notwithstanding the dangers encompassed by the threat of terrorism, the Constitutions of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania guarantee all persons living in the United States certain fundamental rights, including freedom of religion, speech, assembly and privacy; the right to bear arms; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; the right to due process and equal protection under the law; and presumption of innocence, access to counsel and fair, speedy, public trial;
WHEREAS, the preservation of civil rights and liberties is essential to the well being of a democratic society;
WHEREAS, the ""Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act"" (""USA PATRIOT ACT') and related executive orders and regulations weaken, contradict and undermine such fundamental rights and liberties; and
WHEREAS, the Berks County Commissioners believe that a threat to any citizen's Constitutional rights is a threat to the rights of all.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED AND IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the Commissioners of the County of Berks:
1. Affirms its strong support for the rights of all persons, including United States citizens and citizens of other nations in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and opposes any measure that singles out individuals for unreasonable or warrantless scrutiny, investigation or law enforcement based on their beliefs, ethnicity or country of origin.
2. Calls upon all citizens, businesses and institutions in the County of Berks to be guided by respect for the Constitutional protections afforded to all persons.
3. Directs all officials and employees of the County of Berks, including law enforcement officers, to protect the civil rights and liberties of all members of this community, including those who are citizens of other nations and to vigorously uphold the constitutionally protected rights of all persons to peacefully protest or express their political views without unreasonable interference.
4. Requests all schools in the County of Berks to display a copy of the Bill of Rights in each classroom and review the importance of Constitutional protection for civil liberties with all students.
5. Strongly urges the United States Congress to promptly amend or repeal the USA Patriot Act in order to restore and protect our nation's fundamental liberties on or before the sunset date provided in such Act and strongly urges the President and members of the Executive Branch to rescind executive orders and policies adopted since September 11,2001 which limit or impinge upon liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment.
The Chief Clerk of the County of Berks shall provide copies of this Resolution to those members of the United States Congress and the Pennsylvania State Legislature who represent the people of the County of Berks, to the Attorney General and Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to the Attorney General and the President of the United States.
ADOPTED THIS 8th DAY OF APRIL, 2004.
COUNTY OF BERKS