San Francisco Condemns USA Patriot Act
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Source: Common Dreams
Published on Friday, January 24, 2003 by the San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Supervisors Reject USA Patriot Act
by Ilene Lelchuk
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday a resolution condemning the USA Patriot Act, making it one of the largest cities in the nation to oppose the Bush administration policy, according to supporters.
The board's action asks city agencies to not aid federal authorities in investigations that jeopardize a person's civil liberties, whenever legally possible.
Congress passed the Patriot Act less than two months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It grants law enforcement greater surveillance and search powers and the ability to detain noncitizens.
Supervisor Jake McGoldrick introduced the resolution and was backed by eight other board members who agreed the act encourages racial profiling. Only Supervisor Tony Hall opposed them, and Supervisor Gavin Newsom was absent.
"I have introduced this resolution to send a message to the Bush administration that individual citizens will not tolerate these widespread violations of their civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism," McGoldrick said in a prepared statement.
Hall, however, said he'd rather defer to the federal experts when it comes to immigration issues and national security.
"I was elected to take care of the streets, look into the homeless problem and address our city budget," Hall said.
Hall added that "It's possible if they had leverage before 9/11,
9/11 wouldn't have happened. . . . I think it's foolish that we are not cooperating with the federal government."
The act contains provisions that expand the government's authority to plant wiretaps, enter homes, search computers and subpoena customer records from libraries, bookstores, hospitals and credit card companies.
In California, San Francisco now joins Oakland, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Fairfax and Sebastopol in condemning the act. Other cities include Boulder, Colo., and Detroit.
Copyright 2003 San Francisco Chronicle
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