Ashland, OR Resolution to Protect Civil Liberties

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Ashland, OR, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 2/18/03

Source File:




A. The City of Ashland is proud of its commitment to protect the civil rights and liberties of its residents and believes that the preservation of civil rights and liberties is essential to the well-being of a democratic society; and

B. The City of Ashland believes that there is no inherent conflict between national security and the preservation of liberty and that government can protect public safety without impairing civil rights and liberties; and

C. The new federal anti-terrorism policies may pose a threat to the civil rights and liberties of all persons within the City of Ashland, and a particular threat to those who are immigrants, Muslims, or people of Arab or South Asian descent; and

D. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that no law be made "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances"; and

E. The Fourth Amendment declares that "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"; and

F. The Fifth Amendment states that no person "shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"; and

G. The Sixth Amendment guarantees defendants "the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury .... and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense"; and

H. The Eighth Amendment states that "excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted"; and

I. The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the government from denying "to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"; and

J. Federal policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56) and related executive orders, regulations and actions may threaten fundamental civil rights and liberties by being interpreted as:

1. Authorizing the indefinite incarceration or deportation of non-citizens even if they have not committed a crime (USA PATRIOT Act, Sections 411 and 412);

2. Limiting judicial supervision and civil liberties protections in the application of telephone and internet surveillance (USA PATRIOT Act, Section 216);

3. Expanding the authority of federal agents to conduct secret searches so that the subject of a search warrant is unaware that the property has been searched (USA PATRIOT Act, Section 213);

4. Granting law enforcement and intelligence agencies broad access to sensitive medical, mental health, library, business, financial, educational, and other records about individuals without first showing probable cause or evidence of a crime (USA PATRIOT Act, Sections 215,218,219, 358,507, and 508);

5. Limiting constitutionally protected speech through unchecked authority of the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to designate domestic groups as "terrorist organizations" using overbroad definitions of "terrorism" (USA PATRIOT Act, Section 411 );

6. Authorizing the indefinite incarceration of citizens designated by the President as "enemy combatants" without access to counsel or meaningful recourse to the federal courts (see Hamdi and Padilla cases);

7. Authorizing the FBI to conduct surveillance of religious services, internet chatrooms, political demonstrations, and other public meetings without evidence that a crime has been or may be committed (Attorney General's guidelines and procedures relating to criminal investigations and national security, issued May 30, 2002);

8. Limiting the disclosure of public documents and records under the Freedom of Information Act ("Memorandum for Heads of all Federal Departments and Agencies," Attorney General John Ashcroft, Oct. 12, 2001 );

9. Permitting wiretapping of conversations between federal prisoners and their lawyers (28 CFR 501.3); and

10. Establishing secret military tribunals for terrorism suspects (Military Order, Nov. 13, 2001).


Section 1. The City of Ashland affirms its commitment to preserve the constitutional rights of all persons within the City of Ashland, including equal protection of the laws, freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, and privacy, without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, economic status, marital status, citizenship status, or disability.

Section 2. The City of Ashland directs the Ashland Police Department:

A. To request written assurance from the applicable federal authority, when an individual in the custody of the City of Ashland who is not a member of the U.S. military forces is to be placed in federal custody under the authority of the USA PATRIOT Act, that the individual will not be subjected to military detention, secret detention, secret immigration proceedings, or detention without access to counsel, and to refrain from assisting the federal authority in obtaining custody of that individual absent such assurance;

B. To continue to determine particularized suspicion of criminal activity before engaging in surveillance of individuals or groups, and to refrain, whether acting alone or with other law enforcement agencies, from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual or group unless such information directly relates to a criminal investigation (in accordance with ORS 181.575);

C. To continue to carry out investigations without regard to race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender, economic status, marital status, citizenship status or disability, except when such factors are part of the description of a particular suspect, or an element of a state crime as provided in the Oregon Revised Statutes, and to refrain from participating in enforcement of federal immigration laws, which are the responsibility of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (in accordance with ORS 181.850);

D. Except as provided in ORS 133.619, 133.724, and 133.726, to continue to provide prior or simultaneous notice of the execution of a search warrant within the City of Ashland to the person whose property is the subject of such a warrant, and to refrain from participating in a joint search with any law enforcement agency where prior notice has not been given to the subject pursuant to section 213 of the USA PATRIOT Act; and

E. To refrain from undertaking or participating in any federal clandestine program such as the Terrorism Information and Prevention System (TIPS), which encourages members of the general public to spy on their neighbors, colleagues or customers, while continuing to participate in programs such as Amber Alert which depend on widespread dissemination to the public of information relevant to specific criminal activity.

Section 3. The City of Ashland requests that the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oregon State Police, and any other federal, state or local law enforcement office having relevant information, report annually to the Ashland City Council the extent and manner in which they have acted within the City of Ashland under the USA PATRIOT Act and new Executive Orders, including but not limited to disclosing:

A. The names of all residents of the City of Ashland who have been arrested or otherwise detained by federal authorities as a result of terrorism investigations since September 11,2001; the location of each detainee; the circumstances that led to each detention; the charges, if any, lodged against each detainee; and the name of counsel, if any, representing each detainee;

B. The number of search warrants that have been executed in the City of Ashland without prior notice to the subject of the warrant pursuant to section 213 of the USA PATRIOT Act;

C. The extent of electronic surveillance carried out in the City of Ashland under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or powers granted in the USA PATRIOT Act;

D. The extent to which federal authorities are monitoring political meetings, religious gatherings, or other activities protected by the First Amendment within the City of Ashland;

E. The number of times education records have been obtained from public schools and institutions of higher learning in the City of Ashland under section 507 of the USA PATRIOT Act;

F. The number of times library records have been obtained from libraries within the City of Ashland under section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act; and

G. The number of times that records of book purchases have been obtained from bookstores within the City of Ashland under section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

Section 4. The City Administrator is directed to transmit a copy of this resolution to Oregon's elected officials in Congress, to the Governor and to the members of the Legislature representing Ashland, to President George Bush, to Attorney General John Ashcroft, to Jackson County and the Jackson County Library, School District #5 and Southern Oregon University.

Section 5. This resolution takes effect upon signing by the Mayor.