With the Constitution on our side, we can reverse the freedom-robbing government actions and policies

New York Times Ad Kicks off National Campaign

With Independence Day approaching, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC) is issuing a new declaration signed by nearly 600 people and organizations who reject sacrifices of their liberties in the name of security and who pledge their support for fully restoring Constitutional rights and human rights.

BORDC is running "A Declaration for Our Times" as a half-page signature ad in The New York Times on or around July 4. The group has also recorded the declaration as video and audio public service announcements.

According to Christopher Pyle, who wrote the Declaration, "The situation that we face today is in many ways worse than the situation that sparked the war for independence. George W. Bush's violations of liberty far exceed anything that King George III ever did."

"Many Americans feel dispirited by the continuing array of freedom-robbing laws, policies, and government actions, including warrantless domestic spying, torture, and unlimited detentions, which they see as un-American," BORDC director Nancy Talanian explained. "In this Declaration, we are calling out the administration for usurping our constitutional rights and committing ourselves to resolving our grievances through all lawful means available, as the founding fathers did."

The declaration launches BORDC's People's Campaign for the Constitution, which is organizing local grassroots coalitions during the 2008 election season and beyond to hold candidates for public office accountable to the constitutional principles to which they must swear an oath.

In 2002, BORDC spearheaded a nationwide campaign that put city, county, and state governments on record for upholding their residents' constitutional rights. The passage of eight statewide resolutions and more than 400 local resolutions and ordinances led Congress to strengthen its oversight when it reauthorized the PATRIOT Act in 2006. However, BORDC recognizes new approaches are needed.

"A major challenge we face," Talanian says, "is that Congress has been rubber-stamping the President's lawlessness on a range of constitutional abuses." She pointed to the administration's warrantless wiretapping program as an example. "Congress should be restoring the privacy of Americans' telephone calls and electronic communications and demanding specifics on how the administration violated the law. Unfortunately, Congress has repeatedly voted to change the laws that the administration has apparently been breaking," she said.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which signed the declaration, observed, "It is an immeasurable tragedy that as July 4th approaches, Congress appears poised to pass a bill that would betray the spirit of 1776 by radically expanding the president's spying powers and granting immunity to the companies that colluded in his illegal surveillance program." EFF is representing several alleged victims of the warrantless wiretapping program in a lawsuit against AT&T.

In order to end the practice of Congress giving in to fear mongering about terrorism, Talanian said, "The people need to organize themselves locally and to meet with legislators and candidates face to face, in coalitions. After all, the U.S. government was created to serve the people. Therefore, we need to set the government's agenda and communicate to our representatives clearly that we are unwilling to accept suspensions of our liberties and of anyone's human rights in exchange for our government's promises of greater security."

Links:

Declaration page at
//constitutioncampaign.org/toolkit/declaration.php
contains links to print, video and audio versions of "A Declaration for Our Times" and related resources.

Here are the direct links:

* Audio of the Declaration (MP3 -- 3 min. 22 sec.): //www.constitutioncampaign.org/toolkit/declaration_audio.mp3

* Video of the Declaration on YouTube (3 min. 22 sec): //www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC_MF4giZxw

* See the "Declaration for Our Times" as it will appear in the New York Times:
//constitutioncampaign.org/ad/ad.pdf

* People's Campaign for the Constitution website: //www.constitutioncampaign.org

Our signature ad, "A Declaration for Our Times," is in the 3 July New York Times on page A-17. You can see the ad with its nearly 600 signatories here.

You can also use our audio and video recordings of the declaration to spread its message beyond the pages of the Times.

The declaration will help bring the administration's constitutional violations into focus. Just as importantly, it will promote the People's Campaign for the Constitution (PCC) as a means for people to act locally, within community coalitions, to hold incumbents and candidates for congressional seats accountable for the oaths they must take to defend the Constitution. Correcting the unbalanced concentration of executive branch power that this administration has amassed will be extremely challenging, no matter who wins the presidential election.

We ask you to support this grassroots organizing and education campaign by bringing it to your community. With the Constitution on our side, we can reverse the freedom-robbing government actions and policies that are threatening our nation's future. Please sign the pledge for the People's Campaign for the Constitution if you have not already done so.

Please forward widely.

Thank you for all you do.

Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Address: 8 Bridge Street, Suite A, Northampton, MA 01060
Web: //www.bordc.org/
Email: info@bordc.org
Telephone: 413-582-0110
Fax: 413-582-0116


Informant: mr_tjsmith

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