SEIU 503 Resolution Against the Patriot Act
On Saturday, July 12, SEIU 503, the Oregon Public Employees Union took an important step in passing (unanimously) the following resolution. It should be noted that this text was fashioned from an earlier resolution that was passed by the Student Government of Southern Oregon University http://rogueimc.org/2003/05/607.shtml
Students and Oregon State Workers workin' together in the protection of our civil rights. Now, that's a pretty damn good thing!!!
TITLE OF RESOLUTION: A RESOLUTION OF NON-COMPLIANCE WITH THE USA PATRIOT ACT, THE DOMESTIC SECURITY ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2003, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DIRECTIVES, AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS THAT UNDERMINE OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS GRANTED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
WHEREAS, the mission of the SEIU Local 503, OPEU is to improve the lives of working people and their families, and lead the way to a more just and humane society; and
WHEREAS, SEIU Local 503, OPEU has a diverse membership whose contributions to the Union are vital to its character and function; and
WHEREAS, SEIU Local 503, OPEU and its members are governed by the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights; and
WHEREAS, fundamental rights granted by the United States Constitution are threatened by actions taken at the federal level, notably by the passage of sections of the USA PATRIOT ACT, the Homeland Security Act, the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, and several Executive Orders which, among other things:
· Violate the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution through the expansion of the government's ability to wiretap telephones, monitor e-mail communications, survey medical, financial, and student records, and secretly enter homes and offices without customary administrative oversight or without showing probable cause;
· Violate the First Amendment to the Constitution by limiting the freedom of association and assembly;
· Give law enforcement expanded authority to obtain library records, and prohibit librarians from informing patrons of monitoring or information requests;
· Grant potential unchecked powers to the Attorney General and the United States Secretary of State to designate legal domestic groups as "terrorist organizations", while lifting administrative regulations against covert surveillance, counter-intelligence operations by the FBI that in the past targeted domestic groups and individuals;
· Violate the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution by establishing secret military tribunals, and in subjecting citizens and non-citizens to indefinite detention even when they have not been allowed an attorney, brought to trial, or even charged with a crime; authorize eavesdropping on confidential communications between lawyers and their clients in federal custody;
WHEREAS, SEIU Local 503, OPEU adheres to the principle that no law enforcement agency may profile or discriminate against any person solely on the basis of ancestry, race, ethnic, or national origin, color, age, sexual orientation, gender, religion, physical or mental disability; or apparent socio-economic status; and
WHEREAS, SEIU Local 503, OPEU recognizes the commitment it has to uphold the legal and human rights of all people; and
WHEREAS, secret searches of records, library materials and circulation records, and secret surveillance and monitoring of computers systems, hardware, networks, correspondence and internet traffic represent a grave threat to the freedom of the entire community; and
WHEREAS, more than eighty-five (85) communities from around the country, including Ashland, Oregon; Talent, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Flagstaff, Arizona; Palo Alto, California and San Francisco, California have passed similar resolutions reinforcing local efforts to support and defend legal and human rights of their residents;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY SEIU LOCAL 503, OPEU that it has been, and remains, firmly committed to the protection of civil rights and civil liberties for all and affirms its commitment to embody democracy and to embrace, defend and uphold the inalienable rights and fundamental liberties granted under the Constitution of the United States;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SEIU Local 503, OPEU continues to preserve and uphold its members freedom of speech, assembly, association, and privacy, the right to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings, and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, even if requested to do otherwise and infringe upon such rights by federal or state law enforcement agencies acting under new powers created by the USA Patriot Act, The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, or by Executive Order;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that SEIU Local 503, OPEU urge our federal legislative delegation to actively monitor the implementation of the USA Patriot Act, the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003, any new Executive Orders, or COINTELPRO-type regulations and work actively toward the repeal of those portions that violate the guaranteed civil liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that upon passage by the SEIU Local 503, OPEU Board that President Kathie Best shall mail this Resolution to International President Andy Stern, the Governor's office and the Oregon federal legislative delegation.
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