Community Resolution for Chatham, MA

Document Date: May 18, 2004

549 Main Street
Chatham, Massachusetts


I, Julie S. Smith, duly appointed Clerk of the Town of Chatham, hereby certify that the May 10, 2004 Annual Town Meting adopted Articlc 30 as follows:

Article 30 – Patriot Act

To see if the Town will vote to adopt the following resolution to protect the civil liberties of Chatham residents.

Since our Town’s founding, the men and women of Chatham have demonstrated a fervent sense of patriotism, whether in wartime military action or in defending their rights to utilize the natural resources surrounding our community. This community believes in its right to defend and protect what is sees as Creator-given.

It is within this context that we protest acts which we see as jeopardizing rights guaranteed to us by the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States. We view the action we recommend not only as a right granted under the Constitution, but also as an obligation placed on us as citizens of a free state and a free nation who love our country and desire to protect those rights and liberties. In this we wish to join with our fellow citizens in the towns of Brewster, Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet and Provinectown in adopting the following resolution to protect our civil rights.

Whereas the rights of Chatham residents are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, specifically:

Freedom on speech, assembly and religion
Right to rcasonable privacy
Right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings and
Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure

And whereas the Constitutional protections of Chatham residents are threatened under provisions of existing and proposed federal laws and regulations, including the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T Act, the Homeland Security Act, data-gathering and spy programs such as the Terrorist information Awareness and Terrorist Information & Prevention System (TIPS) and Executive Orders which authorize or would authorize:

– detaining Chatham citizens and residents without bringing specific legal charges and denying their right to counsel;
– monitoring residents’ telephone, internet and library use…banking and medical records…book and grocery purchases.. .video rentals and other activities without evidence of criminal behavior and without a court order;
– spying on domestic organizations and religious groups without evidence of wrongdoing.. .designating organizations as “terrorist” without evidence of intent to harm or terrorize any population or any government inside or outside the United States…imprisoning Chatham citizens and deporting non-citizen residents who contribute to such organizations even if they are unaware of any “terrorist” designation;
-conducting secret military tribunals without fundamental legal protections for
the accused:
– secretly searching the homes of Chatharn residents;
-blocking public access to meetings of government advisory committees and to some public records; and
-unregulated ethnic profiling of individuals…

And whereas the Attorney General of the United States has made threatening statements regarding legal activities opposing these policies, and…
Whereas these aforementioned laws, regulations and executive orders impact American citizens and legal residents alike, including those exercising their
Constitutional rights to speak out against local, state or national policy…

Be It Therefore Resolved that the Town directs all local officials, and requests all non-local officials in Chatham, in the absence of probable cause of criminal activity and to the extent legally permissible, to refrain from:
1. Participating in or cooperating with any inquiry, investigation,
surveillance or detention which has not been judicially sanctioned;
2. Recording, using and keeping intelligence information about Chatham
persons and organizations, including their political views and media use.
Any such information currently held shall be identified and disposed of at the
direction of the Selectmen;
3. Profiling based on race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion or political views.

Be It Further Resolved that local law enforcement officials are directed, and
non-local officials requested, to the extent legally permissible, to report to the Board of Selectmen regularly and publicly all their actions under the cited and allied laws and executives orders. And

Be it Further Resolved That the Chatham Town Clerk shall communicate this Resolution to all town departments, all federal, state and local law-enforcement officials, the Governor of Massachusetts, the President and Attorney General of the United States and the Massachusetts Congressional delegation.. .and shall ask that delegation to act to repeal such provisions of the cited and allied laws and executive orders as violate the protections of the Massachusetts and U.S. Constitution. And

Finally Be It Resolved That if any part of these provisions or their applicability is declared invalid by a court of competent jursidiction, that part shall be severable and the remainder shall remain in full force and effect.

(By Petition)

MOTION: Nancy Erskine moved that the Town vote to adopt the resolution as printed in Article 30 of the Town Warrant.

Board of Selectmen Recommendation: Approve 3-2-0
Finance Committee Recommendation: No Recommendation 5-1-0

MOTION: Mr. St. Pierre moved to indefinitely postpone article 30.

and successful vote to “move the question”).

Voice. The Moderator determined the No’s have it.

Hand count was requested by more than 7 voters.

Hand Count: Yes: 118
No: 203

The Moderator declared “The Motion is not indefinitely postponed”.

(after motion and successful vote “to move the question”).
Voice. Moderator determined the ayes have it. Moderator asked for show of cards. He determined that it has passed. Rand count was requested by more than 7 voters.
Hand Count: Yes: 183;
No: 126
Article 30 is adopted, declared the Moderator.

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