RealNews

Local Officials Rise Up to Defy The Patriot Act

This North Coast city may look sweet — old, low-to-the-ground buildings, town square with a bronze statue of William McKinley, ambling pickup trucks — but it acts like a radical. Arcata was one of the first cities to pass resolutions against global warming and a unilateral war in Iraq. Last month, it joined the rising chorus of municipalities to pass a resolution urging local law enforcement officials and others contacted by federal officials to refuse requests under the Patriot Act that they believe violate an individual’s civil rights under the Constitution. Then, the city went a step further. This little city (pop.: 16,000) has become the first in the nation to pass an ordinance that outlaws voluntary compliance with the Patriot Act. “I call this a nonviolent, preemptive attack,” said David Meserve, the freshman City Council member who drafted the ordinance with the help of the Arcata city attorney, city manager and police chief. Full Story

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