February 26, 2004

Dallas council votes for resolution denouncing federal Patriot Act

"There is something happening here, but you don't know
what it is, do you, Mr. Rove?"

Bill Miller, Star-Telegram: After a round of
impassioned debate, a resolution denouncing the USA
Patriot Act was approved Wednesday in a 9-6 vote of
the Dallas City Council. In approving the resolution,
Dallas joins three states and 225 local governments
that have taken stands against the Patriot Act.

Save the US Constitution, Show Up for Democracy in
2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/8045589.htm


Posted on Thu, Feb. 26, 2004


Dallas council votes for resolution denouncing federal Patriot Act

By Bill Miller
Star-Telegram Dallas Bureau

DALLAS - After a round of impassioned debate, a
resolution denouncing the USA Patriot Act was approved
Wednesday in a 9-6 vote of the Dallas City Council. In
approving the resolution, Dallas joins three states
and 225 local governments that have taken stands
against the Patriot Act.

The measure states that city officials will uphold
citizens' constitutional rights and monitor the
implementation of the act.

It does not, however, have authority over the federal
legislation.

The Patriot Act, passed soon after the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks, must be reauthorized periodically
by Congress.

It expands law-enforcement officers' surveillance and
investigative powers, allowing them to, for example,
examine library patrons' records.

It has been criticized by some civil-rights
organizations, including the Bill of Rights Defense
Committee, which was represented at the council
meeting by dozens of people dressed in blue shirts and
waving small American flags.

Fourteen people were allowed to speak on the issue,
but only Ray Trap spoke in favor of the Patriot Act.

He said its critics represented a narrow
special-interest group that was trying to assail
President Bush during an election year.

"There is no obvious evidence that this [resolution]
reflects the will of the people," he said.

Councilman James Fantroy responded by being the first
of several council members and speakers who linked the
resolution to the civil rights movement.

"I remember when the majority was for slavery," he
said. "So the majority is not always right. I don't
have anything against President Bush; I have a
disagreement with the Patriot Act."

Mayor Laura Miller and council members Lois Finkelman,
Veletta Forsythe Lill and Gary Griffith noted that
while they are no less concerned about civil
liberties, the City Council has no authority over the
actions of Congress and should focus on municipal
issues.

Councilman Bill Blaydes supported the act in an
emotional recounting of how poor intelligence
capabilities kept U.S. officials from detecting the
Sept. 11 threat and from finding weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq.

His voice quavered while declaring support of
relatives in the military and their fellow troops.

"They are red, yellow, black and white," Blaydes said.
"They are facing an enemy that is killing our soldiers
at random, without respect to race, creed or color."

Councilman Mitchell Rasansky, who later voted against
the resolution, rose and placed his hands on Blaydes'
shoulders.

"This," said Blaydes, crying, "is not a
social-conscience issue."

Councilman John Loza, a leading proponent of the
resolution thanked Blaydes for his heartfelt comments.

He added, however, that the resolution was aimed at
respecting the rights of others by protecting their
civil liberties.

"As far as I'm concerned, there is no more important
issue to come before this horseshoe," Loza said.


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ONLINE: Dallas City Hall, www.dallascityhall.com
Bill Miller, (972) 263-4448 wmiller@star-telegram.com


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2004 Star Telegram and wire service sources. All
Rights Reserved.
http://www.dfw.com


Posted by richard at February 26, 2004 02:02 PM