Community Resolution for Manchester-by-the-sea, MA

July 14, 2005
A Resolution of the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

We believe that the USA PATRIOT Act threatens our civil rights and liberties by:

1. Greatly expanding the government's ability to secretly enter homes and offices to conduct searches without warrants;
2. All but eliminating judicial supervision of telephone and Internet surveillance;
3. Granting unchecked power to the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to designate domestic groups as ""terrorist organizations"";
4. Allowing the Attorney General to subject non-citizens to indefinite detention or deportation even if they have not committed a crime;
5. Giving law enforcement officials broad access to sensitive medical, mental health, library, business, financial, educational, and other records about individuals without first showing probable cause or evidence of a crime;
6. Creating a crime of ""domestic terrorism"" that is so vaguely defined it could be applied to political activism and lead to the criminalization of legitimate political dissent.

Our civil rights and liberties are further threatened by orders and rules of the executive branch that:

1. Establish secret military tribunals for terrorism suspects;
2. Permit wiretapping of conversations between federal prisoners and their lawyers;
3. Allow the government to designate citizens as ""enemy combatants"" and place them in military custody indefinitely without access to counsel or judicial review;
4. Limit the disclosure of public documents and records under the Freedom of Information Act.

We call upon the citizens of the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea to affirm the civil rights granted to all of its citizens and residents in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the Declaration of Rights of the Massachusetts Constitution;

AND finally we call upon the Town of Manchester-by-the-Sea to request that the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation monitor the implementation of the USA PATRIOT Act, and the above- mentioned executive branch orders and rules, and simultaneously, actively work for the repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act and those orders and rules that violate fundamental rights and liberties as stated in the Constitution of the Commonwealth and the United States

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