In dealing with the City and attend the boooooooooooringly long meetings (GAWD how do they stay awake?!) some of the speakers speak in monotones!
I heard a 3 minute speaker tonight that blew my socks off. They were petitioning the Council to protect our rights.
This is what they said:
Just six weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon, a jittery Congress exiled from its anthrax contaminated offices and confronted with warnings of more terrorist assaults were soon to come capitulated to the Bush Administration's demands for a new arsenal of anti-terrorism weapons. Over vigorous objections from civil liberties organizations on both end of the political spectrum, Congress overwhelmingly approved the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to intercept and obstruct terriorism act. Known as the USA Patriot Act.
Anyway to hit the highlights of this long discussion: The Act radical in design has far reaching implications. The Act enhances the executive's ability to conduct surveillance, gather intelligence ( now that is a conflicting term), places an array of new tools at the disposal of the prosecution, including new crimes, enhanced penalties, and longer statues of limitations and grants the Immigration and Naturalization Service the authority to detain immigrants suspected of terrorism for lengthy and in some cases indefinite periods of time.
Already the Dept of Justice (DOJ) has admitted to detaining more than 1,100 immigrants, not one of whom has been charged with committing a terrorist act and only a handful of whom are being held as material witnesses to the 9/11 hijackings. An just look at the Federal Register.. what a disaster that was.
Section 802 of the USA Patriot Act creates a federal crime of " domestic terrorism" that bradly extends to "acts of dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal law" if they "appear to be intended.. to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion" and if they"occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. Because this crime is couched in such vague and expansive terms, it may well be read by federal law enforcement agencies as licensing the investigation and surveillance of political activists and organizations bast on their opposition to the government policies.
So in other words, have vigorous protest activities by their very nature could be construed as acts that "appear to be intended to influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion."
Further,clashes between demostrators and police officers and acts construed as " dangerous to human life" and in "violation of the criminal laws". Enviromental activists, anti-globalization activists, and so on who use direct action to further their polictical agendas are particularly vulnerable to prosecution as "domestic terrorists". An find themselves and their organization the subject of governmental surveillance. It opens a door to many issues.
This act also erodes the 4th Admendment, resulting to the loss of our privacy. The USA Patriot Act allows a three pronged assault on our privacy. The act grants the executive branch unprecedented and largely unchecked , surveillance powers, including the enhanced ablity to track email and internet usage, conduct sneak-and -peek searches, obtain sensitive personal records, monitor financial transaction, and conduct nation wide wire taps. All on just probable cause.
Sneek and Peak searches or covert searches of a person's home or office is allowed under Section 213 of the USA Patriot Act. This allows federal agents to conduct searches with out notifying the person of the execution of the search warrant until after the search has been completed. All on "Reasonable cause" and all they have to do is knock on the door and in they come. They can also take any property under the warrant.
A great ebook read on this: "Post-September 11 Antiterrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties," by Nancy Chang. Available by Seven Stories Press. also you can go to the website:
also see: http:// www.cdt.org/security/011030doj. ( Need Adobe to read this file) Interesting!!!!
What are your thoughts on the loss of these rights ?
Edited by - xandria on 4 February 2003 4:14:29