ACLU Hails San Francisco Passage of Pro-Civil Liberties Resolution; Bay Area Community Latest to Oppose USA PATRIOT Act

January 22, 2003 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today hailed passage of a civil liberties protection ordinance in San Francisco, which joined the ranks of communities around the country that have passed municipal resolutions opposing repressive federal policies in a nine-to-one vote at yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

The ACLU said that more than 4 million Americans live in communities that have taken action to protect civil liberties.

“I have introduced this resolution to send a message to the Bush Administration that individual citizens will not tolerate these widespread violations of their civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism,” said Supervisor Jake McGoldrick. “The USA Patriot Act encourages the use of racial profiling and creates an atmosphere of hate against immigrants who have done nothing wrong. This is something we in San Francisco will not tolerate.”

The San Francisco resolution, introduced by McGoldrick and co-sponsored by Supervisors Gerardo Sandoval, Aaron Peskin, Matt Gonzalez, Chris Daly and Tom Ammiano, takes steps to insulate the community from the broad new surveillance and law enforcement powers assumed by the White House over the past 16 months and “affirms that any efforts to end terrorism not be waged at the expense of the fundamental civil rights and liberties of the people of San Francisco.”

The resolutions specifically single out provisions in the USA Patriot Act, the controversial anti-terrorism law passed in October 2001.

With last night’s vote, San Francisco becomes one of the biggest cities to pass a resolution. Other large cities include Detroit, Oakland, Denver and Fairbanks, Alaska. A full list of communities that have adopted resolutions can be found at: /node/22773.

ACLU Washington National Office Director, Laura W. Murphy said her organization will continue to work – as part of its ongoing “Safe and Free” campaign — with dozens of other communities around the country to help them go on the record against repressive legislation.

“Local governments have the power to tell their law enforcement officers not to spy without evidence of crime,” Murphy said. “With the help of ACLU members and activists around the country, we will encourage them to say ‘no’ as strongly as possible.”

More information about the resolutions, including examples of the actual legislation passed and sample legislation prepared by the ACLU, can be found at:

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