THE ATTACK ON FREEDOM

MoveOn Bulletin
Friday, May 30, 2003
Co-Editors: Tai Moses and Rachel Neumann, AlterNet

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CONTENTS:
1. Wes Boyd: Freedom is Our Strength
2. Rachel Neumann: Your Rights and Liberties: Use Them or Lose Them
3. Matt Welch: Get Ready for Patriot II
4. Tram Nguyen: Immigrant Families Condemn Racial Targeting
5. Jason Halperin: Patriot Raid
6. Farai Chideya: Getting Ashcrofted
7. Kari Lydersen: Selling Civil Liberties
8. Karen Charman: Environmentalists = Terrorists
9. Nat Hentoff: Liberty Vanishes While the Press Sleeps
10. Annalee Newitz: Surveillance 101
11. Jim Hightower: Shredding Ashcroft
12. About the Bulletin

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-->AlterNet: The Intelligent Alternative
Want to stay abreast of the Bush administration's attack on civil liberties? Looking for an alternative to corporate mainstream media? At AlterNet you'll find news you can use from sources you can trust, as well as a lively variety of views and voices. Visit us and subscribe to AlterNet's Rights & Liberties free email newsletter, or any of our other newsletters:
http://email.alternet.org/?p=subscribe

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FREEDOM IS OUR STRENGTH
MoveOn Bulletin Op-Ed
by Wes Boyd

In 1814, the British marched on Washington and burned down the White House. In World War II, the United States fought a virulent fascism that took tens of millions of lives. During the cold war, we faced down tens of thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles pointed directly at our cities. These conflicts struck at the very heart of our survival as a nation.

Although there have always been men who call for dictatorial powers in times of crisis, our Bill of Rights survived these threats intact because our leaders knew that these freedoms are the foundation of our strength as a nation and must be protected.

Today we hear from the Bush administration that freedom must be traded for security -- that unless we cede our rights as citizens to the proper authorities, we will never be safe. Showing no historical perspective, callow pundits claim that the threats we face today are overwhelming compared to anything in the past.

Luckily, Americans are made of sterner stuff. We'll continue to protect freedom, and it will make us strong.

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YOUR RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES: USE THEM OR LOSE THEM
Rachel Neumann, AlterNet
The administration's attack on civil liberties is so overblown as to seem surreal. And if that weren't enough, currently proposed legislation would increase the PATRIOT Act's powers. Our right to think and speak for ourselves, without fear of spying neighbors, surveillance cameras or retaliation, is gravely threatened and only our collective and coordinated resistance will stop that threat.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16014

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GET READY FOR PATRIOT II
Matt Welch, AlterNet
The first USA PATRIOT Act was written, passed and signed into law within seven weeks of 9/11. As a result, the government gained new power to wiretap phones, confiscate property of suspected terrorists, spy on its own citizens without judicial review, conduct secret searches and snoop on the reading habits of library users. Now Attorney General John Ashcroft wants to finish the job.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15541

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IMMIGRANT FAMILIES CONDEMN RACIAL TARGETING
Tram Nguyen, ColorLines RaceWire
A series of "Public Truth" forums planned around the country highlight the impact of the war on terrorism and national security on the lives of immigrants, refugees and communities of color. Despite widespread fear in their communities, participants are outspoken in condemning the policies and practices that have unjustly targeted them.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15943

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PATRIOT RAID
Jason Halperin, AlterNet
Loaded guns pointed in faces, people made to crawl on their hands and knees, police officers kicking in doors, keeping their fingers on the trigger even after the situation was under control. All a mistake. And, according to the ACLU a perfectly legal one, thanks to the PATRIOT Act. People who thought these laws would never affect them, who thought that the PATRIOT Act only applied to the guilty, should heed this story as a wake-up call.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15770

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GETTING ASHCROFTED
Farai Chideya, AlterNet
Everybody wants to cash in on the marketability of biometrics, the technology of identifying people based on biological traits. Biometrics extends far beyond electronic fingerprinting to retinal scans and, perhaps most controversial, face recognition from video surveillance. Let's face it: the biometrics industry is fast becoming Big Brother, Inc.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15781

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SELLING CIVIL LIBERTIES
Kari Lydersen, AlterNet
Americans are used to being bombarded with ads for everything from shampoo and SUVs to dating services and weight loss regimens. But now they are also seeing paid ads selling them on an issue that many previously either took for granted or didn't think about much at all: the importance of our civil liberties. The campaign represents the first time in its 80-year history that the ACLU has run paid TV ads.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15757

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS = TERRORISTS
Karen Charman, TomPaine.com
If legislation crafted by the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council becomes law, some fundamental rights of American citizenship -- like signing a Sierra Club petition or publicly protesting for animal rights -- could become illegal.
http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/7748

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LIBERTY VANISHES WHILE THE PRESS SLEEPS
Nat Hentoff, Village Voice
The media, with few exceptions, are failing to report consistently and in depth precisely how Bush and Ashcroft are undermining our fundamental individual liberties. For instance, how many Americans know that if PATRIOT II is passed (and Bush certainly won't veto it), they can be stripped of their citizenship if charged with giving "material support" to a group designated by the government as "terrorist"?
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15630

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SURVEILLANCE 101
Annalee Newitz, AlterNet
Is New York City a laboratory for a "future surveillance state"? U.S. privacy laws allow public surveillance because, their proponents say, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy on the street. But some activists think New York's mechanical eyes violate human dignity, converting our anonymous public lives into somebody's private video collection.
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15587

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SHREDDING ASHCROFT
Jim Hightower, AlterNet
One of the most inspiring -- and unexpected -- sources of resistance to Ashcroft's wild schemes are America's librarians. These gutsy defenders of liberty are distributing information and joining public discussion groups to tell us about the freedom-busting legislation that Ashcroft cynically titled the "USA PATRIOT Act."
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15843

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