Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants

Please join the Civil Liberties Defense Coalition

April 18th

LACP Friends,

This past Tuesday (April 15th), the Civil Liberties Defense Coalition met at the ACLU to discuss actions that we will take in opposition to Patriot Act I, its affiliated programs (Total Information Awareness, CAPPS II, Carnivore, Magic Lantern, and so forth) and the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003.

This is a citywide coalition that is in its neonatal stage. It includes religious, political, non-profit groups who are all working towards the end of doing as much as we can at as many levels as possible to protect our civil liberties from the likes of Bush, Poindexter, et al. The ACLU is an active participant in the coalition.

It was the 2nd meeting of the coalition and its name was just decided upon. We also made some organizational structure decisions, such as working committees and temporary leadership, and defined some action plans. For fairly short-range goals, the Civil Liberties Defense Coalition has the following in mind:

Los Angeles City Council to issue a resolution opposing the unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Acts, certain Justice Dept. directives, and Executive Orders. We plan to have signatures to support our petition and to present it to City Council by early July (when the new City Councilmembers take office).
Education and outreach to encourage other organizations to join the coalition and to educate the public concerning the ways in which our civil liberties are being eroded.

At this point, we would love for everyone who is interested to participate in continuing to define the organizations objectives and goals, and to participate in working committees. Since the leadership structure is temporary, you might also consider your interest in working at that level. You do not need to participate under the auspices of an organization. Individuals with no organizational affiliation are involved.

I cannot find my notes! but I recall that we formed several committees:

Resolution drafting
Publicity/media campaigns
Education (to inform the public)
Outreach (to grow the organization and ensure that its organizational representation matches our city demographics closely)

I'm sure that there were other committees and I will post that info when I find it. I don't yet have a list of the organizations in the coalition and the individuals and will send that to those who express interest.

I hope that you will join us in fighting off the quite overt efforts that have already essentially nullified several Constitutional amendments, all in the name of the war against terrorism and fraud.

The next meeting of this coalition will be Sunday, April 27th from 1:00 - 3:00 at the ACLU of Southern California building, which is located at 1616 Beverly Boulevard. The coalition meets in the downstairs library.


Bob Squires
Mt. Washington