Seattle City Council
2/18/2003 8:04:00 AM
Josh Belzman (206)684-8808
Council Unanimously Passes Civil Rights Resolution
Measure affirms City's Police Intelligence Ordinance
and denounces erosion of rights under USA Patriot Act
SEATTLE - The Seattle City Council today unanimously passed a resolution affirming the City's commitment to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all residents. The resolution states the Council's opposition to measures, particularly portions of the federal "USA Patriot Act," that infringe upon civil rights and liberties, or single out for scrutiny people based solely on their country of origin, religion, ethnicity or immigration status.
"In this time of heightened terrorist alerts and uncertainty of war, we must be especially vigilant in respecting the civil rights of all our residents-particularly our Muslim and southeast Asian immigrant communities," said Councilmember Heidi Wills, resolution co-sponsor, along with Councilmembers Jim Compton, Nick Licata and Peter Steinbreuck. "Our freedoms and hard-fought civil rights protections are the very values we are seeking to defend," she said.
The Council resolution affirms support for the Police Intelligence Ordinance, passed in 1979 to prohibit Seattle Police from collecting information on constitutionally protected activities of residents who are not suspected of criminal activity.
The resolution also requests all Seattle departments with public facilities to post copies of the Bill of Rights in prominent locations, and urges the Seattle Public Library to post signs advising visitors that the USA Patriot Act may compel the library to provide records of books and other materials checked out by individuals to federal agents under a court order.
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