Printed from Kansas City IMC

News: Civil & Human Rights
The Civil Liberties Defense Committee has written an anti-Patriot Act resolution and needs community support to ensure its passage in the Kansas City, MO, city council.
from the Civil Liberties Defense Committee's web page
Under the guise of addressing the September 11th terrorist attacks, Congress hurriedly passed the USA PATRIOT ("Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism") Act. Additionally, the White House has pursued a number of initiatives, including Operation TIPS ("Terrorism Information and Prevention System"), the Total Information Awareness system, and the forced registration of legal immigrants from 24 predominantly muslim nations under the National Security Exit-Entry Registration System (NSEERS).
Civil libertarians familiar with the government's penchant for limiting freedoms during wartime know that even when the war is over it's hard to reclaim our liberties. That's why, since spring 2002, the Kansas City's Civil Liberties Defense Committee has been working on a local anti-Patriot Act resolution similar to those that have already passed in 42 town and cities across the country. These efforts have included:
  • Writing a resolution that the committee will take before the Kansas City, MO city council for approval
    The nonbinding resolution requests that local law enforcement protect our community against legitimate terrorist threats but asks them to refrain from racial profiling, targeting people for attending antiwar rallies or meetings of groups targeted by the government, and to prevent local government abuses that could return our country to the dark days of CIA infiltration of social justice groups.
  • Holding an educational forum
    Last fall the committee held a well-attended forum in which local community leaders discussed historic civil liberties abuses and current threats posed by the Patriot Act and other government efforts to infringe on freedoms in the name of security
  • Collecting signatures from resolution endorsers
    A city council member advised the committee that 10,000 signatures would be deemed by the council as credible evidence that the community backs our efforts to create a "Patriot Act free zone" in Kansas City. The committee has collected 2000 signatures to date.
  • Creating a web page to educate the public about committee efforts
    In February 2003, the committee added an information page to the America Friends Service Committee web site that provides information about national efforts to marginalize, modify or repeal the Patriot Act and to prevent expansion of the act under the recently announced Patriot Act II.
In the coming months, the committee will be collecting more signatures, looking for new opportunities to educate the public about the threat to civil liberties posed by the Patriot Act and possibly expanding its web presence to add a page to collect online signatures of support for the resolution.

The next meeting of the KC Civil Liberties Defense Committee is Monday, Feb. 24 at 6:30pm at the AFSC office, 4405 Gillham Rd., KCMO. For more information or to learn how you can get involved call (816) 931-5256 or email

See also:


Amazing. I'm all for it.
There is not time when protection of our rights to criticize and examine and get information is more important than during wartime when there are such crucial decisions to be made.
We have learned from unfortunate actions in past wars how easy it is for leaders who seemed to be intelligent and concerned to make serious mistakes of judgment and action for which some people paid a high price in sacrifice and being the objects of unjustified hostility - sometimes being put to death.
Let's hope that a lot of people in the KC area will give a little of their time to find and sign petitions -- and even get their friends to sign.
Democracy requires attention and action by everyday citizens. This is a way to support and defend it.