Who needs the ACLU when you’ve got the CCR?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

For reals. The ACLU completely stabbed the animal advocacy community in the throat when it failed to take a stand against the AETA. Even now, 2 1/2 years later, a search of the ACLU’s website turns up one pithy reference to AETA – this despite the government’s use of AETA, as feared, to prosecute First Amendment activities. Like, WTF, ACLU?

Luckily, the BORDC has had our backs from the beginning, and since the persecution of the AETA 4, CCR has become increasingly vocal in its opposition to AETA as well (as evidenced by their latest action alert, which I’ve included below).

So, seriously, who needs the ACLU when you’ve got the BORDC and the CCR? Yawn. ACLU, I’m so over you.

If you’ve got any extra money to throw around and would like to make a donation to a civil liberties group, please consider supporting our real allies, namely, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Center for Constitutional Rights – as well as the Civil Liberties Defense Center, which is listed as an ally on abolishtheaeta.org – and/or drop them a note to let them know you appreciate their solidarity.

Further recommended reading/agitating:

Green is the New Red

Coalition to Abolish the AETA

Support the AETA 4

The Good Time Bill

(More below the fold…)

Bill of Rights Defense Committee: BORDC Issues New Booklet, The "War on Terror" and The Constitution

Monday, September 15th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Date: Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 12:47 PM
Subject: Alert: BORDC Issues New Booklet, The “War on Terror” and The Constitution

BORDC Issues The “War on Terror” and The Constitution

“This booklet .. provides the basic tools with which the citizenry can begin to act to make this America again.”
– Nat Hentoff

The Northampton, MA, September 17, 2008 — “The ‘War on Terror’ and The Constitution,” a new booklet by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC), is a concise summary of how key anti-terrorism laws and policies enacted since September 11, 2001, affect Americans’ constitutional rights. The new laws are organized into chapters corresponding to sections of the U.S. Constitution and articles of the Bill of Rights. Stories in each chapter show how the lives of innocent Americans and foreign detainees have been affected. BORDC is issuing the 24-page booklet on Constitution Day, the 220th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.

Nancy Talanian, BORDC’s director and the booklet’s author, sees the booklet as a roadmap to show Americans the current status of their rights and liberties compared to where they should be according to the Constitution. “Armed with that knowledge,” she said, “they can work with one another and with their legislators to restore the essential rights they have come to expect.”

Nat Hentoff, a nationally recognized authority on the Bill of Rights, agrees. “No matter who the next president is or what the composition of the next Congress is,” he said, “the extent and the depth of what the Bush administration has done to the Constitution and to our standing in the world will remain unless and until enough Americans know how much remains to be done-and this booklet by the Bill of Rights Defense Committee provides the basic tools with which the citizenry can begin to act to make this America again.”

According to Talanian, “We now have substantial proof that human failures within our government, not the laws and policies in place prior to September 11, 2001, contributed to the terrorist attacks on that day. Furthermore, no proof has been offered to substantiate executive branch claims that new laws and policies such as the USA PATRIOT Act have made this country safer. One could argue that the government is wasting resources prying into the lives of innocent people and storing millions of their private records in databases and treating potentially all of us as terrorism suspects.”

“The ‘War on Terror’ and the Constitution” (24 pages, $3.00) is available from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee at http://www.bordc.org/store.php. Download the booklet (PDF, 6.7 MB) at http://www.bordc.org/resources/war_on_terror.pdf.

In 2002, BORDC spearheaded a nationwide campaign that put city, county, and state governments on record for upholding their residents’ constitutional rights. The passage of eight statewide resolutions and more than 400 local resolutions and ordinances led Congress to strengthen its oversight when it reauthorized the PATRIOT Act in 2006. BORDC’s current focus is on the People’s Campaign for the Constitution, a grassroots effort to hold members of Congress accountable to their oaths to uphold the Constitution.

# # #

Links:

Download high and low resolution PDFs of The “War on Terror” and the Constitution: http://www.bordc.org/press/war_on_terror.php

Order booklets online: http://www.bordc.org/store.php

Bill of Rights Defense Committee, http://www.bordc.org

People’s Campaign for the Constitution, http://www.constitutioncampaign.org

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Address: 8 Bridge Street, Suite A, Northampton, MA 01060
Web: www.bordc.org/
Email: info [at] bordc.org
Telephone: 413-582-0110
Fax: 413-582-0116

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Good morning, Sunshine!

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Here’s wishing y’all a happy Sunshine Week from the dreary depths of the midwest.

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Via the Bill of Rights Defense Committee*:

“Sunshine is the best of disinfectants,” said Judge Louis Brandeis about the power of public scrutiny to scrub clean the dark corners of government abuse. The American Society of Newspaper Editors has named March 16-22 of this year “Sunshine Week”, a week-long assertion of the public’s right to know what its government is doing.

The week’s events include:

* March 14 – A National Freedom of Information Day Conference, sponsored by the First Amendment Center;

* March 17 – A National Freedom of Information Day Celebration, sponsored by Collaboration on Government Secrecy;

* March 18 – Remarks by Associated Press President Tom Curley at the National Press Club;

* March 19 – Webcast Government Secrecy: Censoring Your Rights with Mickey Edwards, from the Aspen Institute, and former Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma; Ann Beeson, from the Open Society Institute, formerly with the American Civil Liberties Union; and John Podesta from the Center for American Progress, formerly president Clinton’s Chief of Staff. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST at the Washington Press Club, and also available online.

* March 20 – Professor Lawrence Lessig on corruption in government, sponsored by the Sunlight Foundation.

In 2007, Sunshine Week marked an effort by Congress to pass “sunshine” legislation, such as:

* A bill protecting whistleblowers (H.R. 985), which passed the House 331-94 on March 14, 2007. The bill has not made it out of committee in the Senate.

* A Freedom of Information Amendments Act (H.R. 1309), which passed the House 308-117 on March 14, 2007. H.R. 1309, however, was unable to make it through the Senate, so in mid-December, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and John Kyl (R-AZ) pushed through a moderated version (S. 2488) on voice votes, which became law on December 31.

What You Can Do:

* Ideas for local Sunshine Week events can be found in Bright Ideas, an assemblage of insights first published in 2007.

* Campaign resources, including public service announcements, brochures and opinion editorials, are available by clicking here.

You can find out more at http://www.sunshineweek.org.

* They’re like the ACLU, but with principles n stuff.

(Crossposted from Smite Me! [.net])

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BORDC: Tell Your Senators to Let The "Protect America Act" Expire!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Bill of Rights Defense Committee – bordc [at] democracyinaction.org
Date: Jan 9, 2008 2:44 PM
Subject: Action Alert: Tell Your Senators to Let The “Protect America Act” Expire!

Please Forward Widely.

TELL YOUR SENATORS TO LET THE “PROTECT AMERICA ACT” EXPIRE!

Just before the December recess, the Senate came dangerously close to a floor vote on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s version of S. 2248, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act. That bill was touted as a “fix” of the so-called “Protect America Act” (PAA, or more accurately, the Police America Act). The PAA was rushed through Congress last August, legalizing executive branch domestic wiretapping without warrants.

See how your Senators voted on the PAA here.

Warrantless wiretapping started BEFORE 9/11

It’s incredible that even after learning that the Bush Administration began its warrantless wiretapping program as early as February 2001 — well before 9/11 — Congress would consider rubberstamping the administration’s and telecom companies’ FISA violations. But that’s exactly what Congress is considering. The Senate Intel Committee’s S. 2248 not only falls short of restoring critical Fourth Amendment privacy protections, but it would grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that enabled the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, endangering the lawsuits that have been moving through the courts.

Call or Meet With Your Senators Today

The Senate will be back in session on January 22. In the meantime, call your senators. (See Sample Script and Talking Points below.) Find both of your senators’ Washington office phone numbers at http://www.senate.gov OR find their district office phone numbers on their websites or in your local phone book. You may also call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask the operator to connect you to both of your senators.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Sanctuary, 09-13-07

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

Action Alerts

DawnWatch: Animal Testing — Three famous deaths and a ray of hope 9/12/07
Alex the parrot, Felix the monkey, and Anita Roddick the Body Shop founder who pioneered the mass marketing of animal friendly cosmetics, have died.

Defenders of Wildlife: Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — Forever
Write your elected officials today and urge them to support the Udall-Eisenhower Arctic Wilderness Act (H.R. 39), a bill that would permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Protect Yellowstone and the Greater Rockies
Help block drilling in Colorado wildlife refuge

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): Dozens of Allegedly Neglected Dogs in Meigs County, Tennessee, Need Your Voice!
PETA has received allegations of serious neglect of numerous dogs at 1627A Sam Davis Rd. in Decatur, Tennessee.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA): Tell University of Illinois to Stop Cruel Dog Lab!
Please urge the university to shut down the dog lab and mandate the adoption of FIDO immediately.

(More below the fold…)

easyVegan Link Dump Sanctuary, 7-25-07

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

Action Alerts

Best Friends Animal Society: Selling Bunnies Is Selling Out

Corporate Accountability International: National Day of Action Today! Will Pepsi “Move the Mountain”?

Defenders of Wildlife: Take Action for Wildlife Conservation on Farm and Ranch Lands

Environmental Defense: Take Action for Tougher Air Pollution Standards

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): Protect the Western Arctic Reserve

Campaign Updates, Press Releases, etc.

Help Get Justice for Bob! (Bob the Tortoise, that is; page last updated 7/19/07)

Bob the Tortoise on MySpace

Newsletters

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC): Dissent Is Patriotic: July 2007, Vol. 6, No. 6

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): BioGems News: July 2007

The Ocean Conservancy: eNewsletter: July 2007

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) Event: Diabetes Video Support Group Weekly Session

The Sierra Club: Club Currents: Volume VI, #74: July 24, 2007

Vegan Outreach: E-Newsletter, July 25, 2007

VegCooking.com: Recipe of the Week (Thai Vegetarian Chicken With Snow Peas)

Petitions

Stop using animals in the circus!

Stop Zoos from killing Tigers for collectors

Support Family Farms, NOT Mega-Farms

Environmental Demands

(More below the fold…)

Farm Sanctuary: Additional Actions Against AETA & More

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Even though AETA was signed into law by GW yesterday, Farm Sanctuary has further suggestions for opposing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

The following is excerpted from their website:

You Can Still Help!

Thank you to all who previously took action against the AETA by demanding that First Amendment activities such as demonstrations, leafleting and boycotts, should not be criminalized by calling such legal activities “disruptive” to business. However, rest assured that animal advocates shall persevere undaunted. Also, remember that that there is language in the sloppily-drafted bill which would make it difficult for prosecutors to overreach and chastise First Amendment-protected activities.

* Let House Judiciary Chairman Sensenbrenner, who spoke in favor of AETA, know how you feel about his attempts to criminalize animal advocates.

* Thank Rep. Dennis Kucinich for being the sole voice on 11-13-06 by speaking out that HR 4239 was voted on without more representation by the House. Urge others to do so as well.

* Please contact your U.S. (not State) Representative and express your disappointment, especially if they are co-sponsors of the bill.

* Contact your U.S. Senator and express your disappointment with her, or his, vote. Let your Senator know that compassion should not be a crime!

* All legislators may be contacted through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121. To identify your Congressperson, go to http://www.house.gov or http://www.senate.gov, or simply enter your zip code at http://www.vote-smart.org.

I’d also like to add the following:

* Contact the ACLU and politely express your disappointment/frustration/anger at their last-minute withdrawal of their opposition to the bill. A history of the ACLU’s stance re: AETA is available here; detailed contact info for the ACLU is listed here (scroll to the bottom of the post).

* Contact the BORDC and thank them for opposing AETA (and defending our First Amendment freedoms) when the ACLU would not. More on the BORDC here and here.

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BORDC on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

The following is an excerpt from the Bill of Rights Defense Committee’s November 2006 newsletter. I’d never heard of the BORDC until a commenter on GreenIsTheNewRed.com pointed it out (so thanks, commenter Sheila!). My understanding was that the next step was for AETA to go to Bush’s desk for signing (something that’s probably futile to protest – Bush doesn’t exactly *heart* civil liberties), but according to this alert, the “suspension calendar,” which includes AETA, still has to be voted on by the House. So please take a moment to write your rep and ask that s/he vote against the “suspension calendar” – and explain why.

Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

On November 13, the House passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) as part of a list of “non-controversial” bills that will be voted up or down in one bundle. The bill is considered a threat to activists, because it expands the definition of terrorist, and could impinge on First Amendment activities. Heidi Boghosian, director of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), said the bill “sets a dangerous precedent for going after people based on the content of their speech.” NLG President Marjorie Cohn said, “The AETA could lead to the prosecution of undercover investigators, whistle-blowers and other activists as ‘terrorists.’” The Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill in September so if the House votes “aye” on its “suspension calendar,” the AETA will become law.

What you can do: Contact your Congressional representative at 202-224-3121 and ask that she or he vote no on the “suspension calendar”—which is the bundle of bills which will be presented to the House of Representatives for an up or down vote. Tell your representative the “suspension calendar” contains a toxic bill which interferes with First Amendment rights.

Kinship Circle also sent out another email regarding AETA today, this one dealing with common questions/myths. One concerns the ACLU’s support/opposition of the bill; KC’s conclusion is that the ACLU did oppose it. Given what I’ve read – both on GreenIsTheNewRed.com and from the ACLU itself – it still looks to me as though the ACLU rescinded their opposition to AETA somewhere between March and October of 2006. In other words, they screwed us. But I’ll refrain from posting the Kinship Circle alert and my comments until I hear more. As a longtime ACLU supporter, I so desperately want to be wrong.

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