resources for activists: bill of rights defense movement  
US Constitution: online texts | USA Patriot Act | Homeland Security Act | "Terrorism" Total Information Awareness | FOIA Basics

Oak Park, Illinois
On Monday January 5, 2004, the Oak Park Village Board of Trustees passed, by a vote of 5 to 1, a resolution titled "Resolution Urging the Repeal or Revision of Certain Sections of USA PATRIOT Act and Similar Legislation." A copy of this resolution can be found at tab

Chicago, Illinois
October 1, 2003: The Chicago City Council passed a resolution opposing the Patriot Act and related Executive Orders by a vote of 37 to 7, making Chicago the largest of more than 150 cities to date to pass such a resolution.

The Chicago City Council archive no longer has the council minutes online; however, we have a clip of the proceedings pages that include the text of the resolution here: [PDF] .

Yeas and Nays votes on the resolution were as follows:
Yeas: Aldermen Flores, Haithcock, Tillman, Preckwinkle, Hairston, Lyle, Beavers, Stroger, Beale, Pope, Cárdenas, Olivo, T. Thomas, Coleman, L. Thomas, Troutman, Brookins, Muñoz, Chandler, Solìs, Ocasio, Burnett, E. Smith, Carothers, Reboyras, Suarez, Mell, Colón, Mitts, O’Connor, Natarus, Daley, Tunney, Shiller, M. Smith, Moore, Stone
Nays: Aldermen Balcer, Burke, Rugai, Banks, Allen, Doherty, Levar

You may also want to check the text of the City Council's Call For Reform Of Immigration Laws and Endorsement of Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, which follows the text of the above resolution pages 9 through 11.

Evanston, Illinois
Evanston OKs 1st resolution in Illinois against Patriot Act, Andy Nelson, May 20, 2003, [The Daily Northwestern]   Amid cheers Evanston City Council passed a resolution Monday night urging Congress to repeal the USA Patriot Act. ¶ "We are opposed to terrorism," said Ald. Lionel Jean-Baptiste (2nd). "But we do not want to be terrorized."

The Muslim Public Affairs Council [MPAC] held a community forum on the USA Patriot Act on January 22, 2003. This link includes information on that forum and at the bottom of the page there are two streaming video links including video of the forum. This is the best forum video I've seen online to date. The links are at the bottom of the Patriot Act Forum a Success page.

From Free Speech TV: C. Clark Kissinger, a founding member of Refuse and Resist, first secretary of SDS and long time fighter for human rights, analyzes the "USA Patriot Act" and related acts and regulations. Good brief coverage of civil liberties legal history: Good sound, video a bit wavy. Online video interview: 25 minutes [Real audio file format]
Watch the video

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press website has an excellent resource called Homefront Confidential: How the War on Terrorism Affects Access to Information and the Public's Right to Know [PDF]. The website also includes a daily news gleaning on the topic in their Behind the Homefront section described as "daily chronicle of news in homeland security and military operations affecting newsgathering, access to information and the public's right to know." Check it often!

The Bill of Rights Defense Movement:
Growing Consciousness & The American Way
by Jennifer Van Bergen, t r u t h o u t
30 January 2003
tabAll across the nation, the municipal resistance movement has been spreading.
tabKnown as the Bill of Rights Defense Movement, after the original Bill of Rights Defense Committee in Northampton, Massachusetts, and, obviously, in defense of our most sacred Bill of Rights, this movement is growing rapidly, its roots planted firmly and deeply in the American soil.
tabThis is in the best American tradition. tab have been unable to locate the original at truthout was For now, I have a printed version dated 2/3/2003, found at Alternet: Read [pdf]

Repeal the USA Patriot Act Part I of a six part series by Jennifer van Bergen at truthout. Links to parts II through VI can be found near the end of Part I. [April 1–6, 2002]

Homeland Security Act: The Rise of the American Police State. Links to Part 2 and Part 3 are not on that page so I've linked here. [December 2–4]

March 16 is Freedom of Information Day
The public right to access government information is necessary for democracy to survive. Check out the American Library Association information on this topic. Celebrate! Help unchain some information.

American Library Association: Resolution Reaffirming the Principles of Intellectual Freedom in the Aftermath of Terrorist Attacks [January 23, 2002]

Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc. [AAPS]: Revised Draft Of Model State Emergency Health Powers Act (Dec. 21) Still a Prescription for Tyranny

National Security Archive at George Washington University Very important when assessing the present as well as the past.

tab Common Dreams
tab Truthout
tab IndyMedia

January - February 2003: Senior members of the Senate Judiciary Committee minority staff have inquired about Patriot II for months and have been told that there is no such legislation being planned as recently as last week, when The Center for Public Integretity obtained a draft of the planned legislation—and it isn't pretty.
[See also NOW with Bill Moyers, their February 7, 2003 show.]

You can click on the link to the Center for Public Integretity above for a full copy of the document. The original was scanned and is large. An OCR text copy of the document is available (mirrored at the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Son of the Patriot Act). The OCR-HTML copy is much smaller and searchable, but should be cross-checked with the original if quoting.

The Paul Revere Project at the Idaho Green Party website includes resources and analyses of various so-called security legislation and includes a Congressional scorecard on recent Senate/House votes by state and district.


ACLU's Safe and Free Pages allow you to fax your representatives in Congress. Actions as of the March 1, 2003 include actions to Stop Patriot II, Stop Government Plans to Mine our Privacy and Info on Passing Community Resolutions.

Here's our single-page information brochure (PDF format–in English, we hope to have it available in other languages soon)

What's So Patriotic About Trampling on the Bill of Rights?
Nancy Chang, Senior Litigation Attorney
Center for Constitutional Rights [CCR]
Summary with link to full PDF document
November 2001

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has a great website, but I havent been able to access it this weekend [Feb 1-2]. So, I'm posting a copy of their Guide to Provisions of the USA Patriot Act and Federal Executive Orders that threaten civil liberties locally. They also have the information on their website In case their website is still down, their e-mail address is

Counter-Terrorism Proposals page of texts and analysis put together by the Electronic Privacy Information Center [EPIC].

Will their burdens of compliance with anti-rights laws be a monetary burden that interferes with their added burden to actual defend against likely terrorist targets?


Here Today, There Tomorrow:
Commercial Nuclear Reactor Sites as Terrorist Targets
a report by Nuclear Energy Information Service, Chicago, Illinois [formerly Evanston]

Exerpt: IV. The Situation at Illinois Nuclear Power Plants
tab Illinois has 14 reactors and accompanying required spent fuel pools, all under the umbrella of Exelon Corporation (formerly Unicom/ComEd). Eleven are operating, three are currently closed. If Illinois were a nation, we'd be the 11th largest nuclear provider in the world. Illinois is also the site of the Nation's only (de facto) high-level radioactive waste (HLRW) repository. . . .

NUCLEAR TARGETS: Outside Illinois
TMIA's Nuclear Terrorism site by Three Mile Island Alert.

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