Maryland Community Becomes Latest to Speak Out Against Repressive Bush Administration Measures, USA Patriot Act

Affiliate: ACLU of Maryland
October 29, 2002 12:00 am

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETAKOMA PARK, MD — In a move hailed by the American Civil Liberties Union as a sign of continuing grassroots unease about the Bush Administration’s response to the terrorist attacks, the Takoma Park City Council last night adopted a sweeping resolution protesting federal measures that violate civil liberties.

With its unanimous vote, Takoma Park became the 11th municipality to speak out in recent months against Bush Administration policies.

“”This resolution is part of an emerging national backlash against the disdain shown by the Bush Administration for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights,”” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office.

Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland, congratulated Takoma Park Mayor Kathy Porter and the City Council for recognizing the need to roll back policies and legislation like the USA PATRIOT Act that suppress American liberty and that are ineffective and unnecessary. “”We can be safe and free — free to say what we want, befriend whom we wish, worship as we desire and do so without our lawful actions landing us in jail or in deportation hearings,”” Goering said.

Goering also thanked Takoma Park resident Jim Kuhn, who led the effort to persuade the Council to adopt the resolution.

Other communities that have adopted resolutions protesting repressive federal action since September 11 include Madison, WI; Ann Arbor, MI; Boulder, CO; Carrboro, NC and Northampton, MA. More than 30 other localities around the country are considering similar initiatives.

In addition to language instructing local law enforcement officials to “”refrain from participating in enforcement of federal immigration laws,”” the resolution adopted by Takoma Park last night also calls for the repeal of all federal and state legislation that violates fundamental rights and liberties. The resolution also seeks details on the extent of electronic surveillance and the infiltration of political and religious activities in Takoma Park.

As part of the ACLU’s recently launched Safe and Free Campaign, Murphy said the ACLU would work with dozens of communities around the country to 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.””

The text of the Takoma Park Resolution can be found at:

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