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Announcement :: DNC : Human Rights
Support the DNC Resolution to Uphold Constitutional Rights of Protesters
10 Jul 2004
A resolution to Uphold the Constitutional Rights of Protesters goes before the Boston City Council in a matter of days. Aimed at stopping the increasing trend of police repression seen during the FTAA in Miami and the G8 in Georgia The resolution will need your help in order to pass.

If this resolution passes it will be one of the most strongly worded resolutions in the country against the repression of protesters, setting a precedent for other cities to follow. As a city council resolution, it may not be able to reign in the FBI/JTTF & Secret Service, but the reality is that the feds need local agencies to carry out many of their repressive tactics. In the final section, the resolution draws clear lines against police brutality, harrassment of protesters, false arrests, use of force, etc.

Save Our Civil Liberties Petition
Full Text of Resolution (PDF)

[Update, 7/15/04: The resolution did not receive the unanimous vote it needed to pass and has been referred to the Boston City Council's Committee on Human Rights for a hearing on Wednesday, July 21 at 1:00 PM in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall.]
cityhall.jpg
Actions to take:

1) E-mail or call your Boston City Council representatives immediately and urge them to support this resolution. Please also call or write the 4 other ‘at-large’ councilors. (info below) 2) Sign the on-line petition at http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition 3) Attend the City Council meeting on July 14th.

The full text of the resolution can be found online here: http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition/DNC_Resolution.pdf

SUPPORT THE BOSTON RESOLUTION TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF PROTESTERS

If this resolution passes it will be one of the most strongly worded resolutions in the country against the repression of protesters, setting a precedent for other cities to follow. As a city council resolution, it may not be able to reign in the FBI/JTTF & Secret Service, but the reality is that the feds need local agencies to carry out many of their repressive tactics. In the final section, the resolution draws clear lines against police brutality, harrassment of protesters, false arrests, use of force, etc.

NOTE! On the strategic front, Boston City councilors almost *never* get e-mails or calls. Therefore when people do send them e-mails, it affects them a great deal. We were told as little as 10 e-mails could influence a councilors vote. That's nothing! That's totally achievable it the word gets out soon enough. We only have 4 days left.

Please spread the word on this quickly. http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition

A MESSAGE FROM CITY COUNCILOR FELIX ARROYO

Dear friends and fellow activists,

We are asking you to support the upcoming city council resolution to uphold constitutional rights in Boston. As you know, recent large protest events in the US like the upcoming Democratic National Convention have been met with new police tactics which, under the direction of federal agencies have severely limited people’s rights to free speech and their protections from unlawful search and seizure. We are often told that this protects us from terrorists, yet in practice most of these policies seem aimed at stopping large groups of people from speaking their minds, in other words, suppressing dissent.

With the support of the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild, local activists along with my office have crafted a resolution aimed at ensuring that improper police procedures recently seen during large demonstrations in other cities do not happen during the upcoming DNC.

Your action is needed to get this resolution passed.

1) E-mail or call your Boston City Council representative and urge them to support this resolution. Please also call the 3 other ‘at-large’ councilors.

2) Sign the on-line petition at http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition

3) Attend the City Council meeting on July 14th.

A list of the Councillor’s contact information is at the bottom of this e-mail.

Recently in Miami, Florida during the Free Trade Area of the Americas protests, (in which many Boston-area residents participated) police used an unprecedented level of violence on non-violent crowds of people. Students, unionists, journalists, retirees, and many others were roughly treated. Many were hospitalized, some with critical injuries. Not one of the 283 people arrested have been found guilty. The police department now faces several lawsuits. It was a lose-lose situation for everybody.

After the questionable law enforcement practices that confronted protesters during the national party conventions in 2000 - and more recently in Miami and the G8 summit in Georgia - activists and civil liberties groups are seeking prior commitments from local law enforcement. While the overarching focus of the resolution re-asserts protesters’ First and Fourth Amendment rights, it specifically addresses a number of police tactics that have presented serious problems for demonstrators, and for our Constitution. New York City has already passed a similar resolution for the Republican Convention.

This is a national event, so your voice is important even if you don’t live in Boston. We want to make civil liberties and police repression an ongoing issue in Boston. This resolution can set a precedent for other cities to follow. It’s time to address these issues of police repression and start reclaiming our civil liberties.

Best,

City Councilor Felix Arroyo

Supported by: The American Civil Liberties Union, The National Lawyers Guild, Bill of Rights Education Project; Save our Civil Liberties.

For all the relevant information related to this resolution, and to sign it yourself, visit: http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition

Contact the Boston City Council

Paul J. Scapicchio, District 1 Telephone: (617) 635-3200 Paul.Scapicchio@cityofboston.gov

James M. Kelly, District 2 Telephone: (617) 635-3203 James.Kelly@cityofboston.gov

Stephen J. Murphy, At-Large Telephone: (617) 635-4376 Stephen.Murphy@cityofboston.gov

Maureen E. Feeney, District 3 Telephone: (617) 635-3455 Councilor.Feeney@cityofboston.gov

Charles C. Yancey, District 4 Telephone: (617) 635-3131 Charles.Yancey@cityofboston.gov

Maura Hennigan, At-Large Telephone: (617) 635-4217 MauraH@cityofboston.gov

Rob Consalvo, District 5 Telephone: (617) 635-4210 Rob.Consalvo@cityofboston.gov

John M. Tobin, Jr., District 6 Telephone: (617) 635-4220 John.Tobin@cityofboston.gov

Chuck Turner, District 7 Telephone: (617) 635-3510 Chuck.Turner@cityofboston.gov

Michael P. Ross, District 8 Telephone: (617) 635-4225 Michael.Ross@cityofboston.gov

Michael F. Flaherty, At-Large Telephone: (617) 635-4205 Michael.F.Flaherty@cityofboston.gov

Jerry P. McDermott, District 9 Telephone: (617) 635-3113 Jerry.McDermott@cityofboston.gov

See also:
http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition/
http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition/get_passed.php3

This work is in the public domain.
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Comments

Re: Support the DNC Resolution to Uphold Constitutional Rights of Protesters
12 Jul 2004
GREAT POST by the author! I is timely and constructive in order to get the Police action during a specific protest to be by policy as ya'll see done in an appropriate manner. While I don't personally agree with all the goals and perceived rights, I do have to give ya'll a "thumbs up" for operating within the law and redressing your greivances appropriately.

Getting pissed off during or after the protest is a waste of energy. During a protest is too late to present you case on how police should be treating you. While I don't agree with some of the characterizations of police action at miami, seattle and etc I have to urge everyone protesting, marching, vigil and etc to act on this message use the rights you have to ensure your voice is heard by the policy makers.

Remember, police are people too!

bob gorman
Call-to-action for the Red Sox Bloc
14 Jul 2004
There will almost certainly be a Black Bloc as well as various Khakiflage style blocs at the DNC in Boston. We're calling for another uniform: Red Sox fans clothes. Would Boston police actually hit an avowed Red Sox fan? Will the media be able to fear-monger and demonize protesters wearing the emblem of the city? All out in Red Sox clothes!
Re: Support the DNC Resolution to Uphold Constitutional Rights of Protesters
14 Jul 2004
Oooh, Sox Bloc--I love it! Be a nice change from protesters shutting themselves off from others in the community...
update
15 Jul 2004
I received this e-mail from City Councilor at Large Maura Hennigan (who I e-mailed asking to support the resolution):

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for the resolution that
my colleague, Councillor Arroyo, sponsored. Like you, I believe that free
and open expression of dissent is critical to the health of our democracy.

As you know, my colleague's resolution states that the City Council
acknowledges the serious responsibility Boston has to continue the City's
long tradition of upholding the free exercise of First and Fourth Amendment
rights while protecting public safety during the 2004 Democratic National
Convention. Although I supported the passage of the resolution, it did not
get unanimous support, which is required for it to pass. Instead it was
referred to the Boston City Council's Committee on Human Rights for a
hearing. Please know that I look forward to this hearing, which is next
Wednesday July 21, 2004 at 1:00 PM in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth
floor of Boston City Hall.

Again, thank you for contacting me regarding your support for this
resolution. I hope you will be able to attend next weeks hearing. Should
you need any further information or assistance, please don't hesitate to
contact me. In the meantime, please accept my best wishes for you and your
family.

With warmest regards,

Maura A. Hennigan
-----------------------------------------
Maura A. Hennigan
At-Large City Councillor
Boston City Council
One City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201
Phone: 617-635-4217
Fax: 617-635-3734