Friday, February 27, 2004
Resolution opposing Patriot Act on Warrant for May 3 TM
A resolution opposing certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act will be presented to the town for a vote at the May 3 Annual Town Meeting. A newly-formed local citizen group, the Carlisle Civil Liberties Committee (CCLC), appeared before the Board of Selectmen on February 10 seeking to place the resolution on the Warrant.
CCLC coordinator Susan Stamps stated that the resolution, patterned on one to be placed before the Concord Town Meeting, requests to "reaffirm the fundamental and unalienable civil liberties secured by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the U.S. Constitution for all people within the town," and to oppose the provisions of the so-called Patriot Act as "assaults on these long-cherished civil liberties." The resolution urges our elected representatives in Congress to monitor the implementation of the Patriot Act and to actively repeal those portions that violate rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and due process of law .
Selectmen Chair Tim Hult asked Stamps whether her committee would attempt to get the petition on the Warrant by petition, if the Selectmen voted against placing it there. Stamps replied, "Yes, it will be on the Warrant."
In the ensuing discussion among the Selectmen, Doug Stevenson and Tony Allison opposed using "valuable Town Meeting time" for such general resolutions. Vivian Chaput said it was her opinion that "Town Meeting is the purest form of democracy, and why not? It is an appropriate issue for Town Meeting." Tim Hult and John Ballantine agreed. The vote to place the resolution on the Warrant passed by three to two.
If the resolution passes, Carlisle will be joining such organizations as the American Library Association and the American Booksellers' Association as well as 255 communities and states nationwide and 19 Massachusetts cities and towns, including Cambridge, Brookline, Lincoln, Newton and Arlington, that have already passed similar resolutions.
© 2004 The