Alaska City Passes Civil Liberties Protection Resolution; ACLU Says National Backlash Growing Quickly

January 8, 2003 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today hailed this week’s passage in Fairbanks, Alaska – known generally as a fairly conservative community – of a pro-civil liberties city council resolution as a further indication of the broad scope of the national backlash against repressive federal security policies.

“Americans of all stripes, from right to left to center, are worried about the implications of a White House that disregards their rights to privacy, equality and fair justice,” said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington National Office. “That Fairbanks would sound off against Bush hints at the expanse of this concern.”

The Fairbanks resolution, pushed for by City Council member Donna Gilbert, take concrete steps to insulate the community from the broad new surveillance and law enforcement powers taken by the Bush Administration since the attacks of September 11. The resolutions specifically single out provisions in the USA Patriot Act, the controversial anti-terrorism law passed in October of 2001. Consideration of another pro-civil liberties resolution — sponsored by council member Scott Kawasaki — was postponed until the council’s next meeting.

A large cross-section of American communities have also passed similar resolutions. Fairbanks and Fairfax, CA are the first two of the new year, Fairfax having passed its resolution late last night in an almost unanimous vote. Other cities as diverse and divergent as Detroit, MI; Carrboro, NC; Northampton, MA, and Denver, CO have joined the chorus against the White House. A full, chronological list of communities that have passed resolutions can be found at:

The ACLU’s 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 nforcement 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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