Anti-Patriot Act effort hits Pa.
Four cities in the state have joined 123 local governments from across the U.S. in passing resolutions opposing the federal law. Toni Smith, a plucky 69-year-old councilwoman, hairdresser and grandmother, still has an Italian accent as thick as her best tomato gravy for pasta. As a child growing up in Rome, she knew what it was like to live under the thumb of Mussolini fascists as well as German occupiers. That’s why as an adult in York, Pa., she is speaking out against the USA Patriot Act, which broadens federal powers to investigate terrorist suspects. Smith introduced a resolution to the York City Council warning that the Patriot Act was a threat to U.S. freedoms. On Feb. 19, the council voted 4-1 in favor, making this down-at-the-heels city of 41,000 the first in Pennsylvania to take such a stand. Although the United States of today is a far cry from the Italy of her childhood, Smith is convinced the Patriot Act is chipping away at personal liberties. Full Story