City of Oakland, California

Council Resolution

 

Resolution to Oppose the USA PATRIOT Act and Related Executive Orders

WHEREAS, the City of Oakland houses a diverse population, including citizens of other nations, whose contributions to the community are vital to its character and function; and

WHEREAS, the United States Constitution guarantees all persons living in the United States the fundamental rights including - freedom of religion, speech, assembly and privacy; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; due process and equal protection to any person; equality before the law and the presumption of innocence; access to counsel in judicial proceedings; and a fair, speedy and public trial; and

WHEREAS, The USA PATRIOT Act signed by George W. Bush on October 26 2001, has a number of provisions that contradict the above mentioned rights and, in the words of Oakland's representative in Congress Barbara Lee, "fundamentally alters the nature of our civil liberties" and "…does little to increase public safety"; and

WHEREAS, examples of the provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act and Executive Orders that may violate the constitution and the rights and civil liberties of Oakland residents are as follows:

·        Significantly expands the government's ability to access sensitive medical, mental health, financial and educational records about individuals; and lowers the burden of proof required to conduct secret searches and telephone and Internet surveillance

·        Gives law enforcement expanded authority to obtain library records, and prohibits librarians from informing patrons of monitoring or information requests

·        Gives the Attorney General and the Secretary of State the power to designate domestic groups, including religious and political organizations, as "terrorist organizations"

·        Grants power to the Attorney General to subject citizens of other nations to indefinite detention or deportation even if they have not committed a crime · Authorizes eavesdropping on confidential communications between lawyers and their clients in federal custody

·        Limits disclosure of public documents and records under the Freedom of Information Act; and

WHEREAS, Department of Justice interpretations of this Act and these Executive Orders particularly targets Muslims, people of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent and citizens of other nations, and thereby encouraging racial profiling by law enforcement and hate crimes by individuals in our community; and

WHEREAS, the Oakland Public Library Advisory Commission has already passed a resolution protecting patrons rights to privacy and confidentiality and opposing the US Patriot Act; now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the City of Oakland affirms its strong opposition to terrorism, but also affirms that any efforts to end terrorism not be waged at the expense of the fundamental civil rights and liberties of the people of Oakland, the United States and the World; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Oakland affirms the rights of all people, including United States citizens and citizens of other nations, living within the City in accordance with the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that, to the extent legally possible, no City employee or department shall officially assist or voluntarily cooperate with investigations, interrogations, or arrest procedures, public or clandestine, that are in violation of individuals' civil rights or civil liberties as specified in the above Amendments of the United States Constitution; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that the Oakland City Council calls upon all private citizens and organizations, including residents, employers, educators, and business owners, to demonstrate similar respect for civil rights and civil liberties, especially but not limited to conditions of employment and cooperation with investigations; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Oakland call on our United States Representative and Senators to monitor the implementation of the Act and Orders cited herein and actively work for the repeal of the Act and those Orders that violate fundamental rights and liberties as stated in the US Constitution and its Amendments.

 

Introduced By Councilmember Nancy J. Nadel

Passed Dec, 17, 2002 (vote of 7-1)