PETITION TO THE TOWN OF ORLEANS

 

                TO SEE IF THE TOWN WILL VOTE TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION TO  PROTECT CIVIL LIBERTIES OF ORLEANS RESIDENTS

 

                               

                Whereas the citizens of Orleans have a long and distinguished history of defending the liberties of the  Colonies and the Constitution of the United States,  in 1772 and 1773(as the South Precinct of  Eastham) protesting British violations of their rights and liberties, in 1776 vowing to “defend  [independence]  with our lives,” later fighting in the Revolution, the War of 1812 including the Battle of Rock Harbor, the Civil War and Regional and World Wars and Conflicts, and

 

                Whereas the rights and liberties of the citizens and non-citizen residents of  Orleans  protected  by the Constitutions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America include:

 

                                --Freedom of speech, assembly and aspects of privacy;

                                --The rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and

                                --Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures; and

 

                Whereas the Constitutional protections of Orleans residents are eroding under provisions of existing and proposed laws and regulations including the U.S.A. Patriot Act, The Homeland Security Act, the Patriot Act II, the Total  Information Awareness and T.I.P.S programs and executive orders, which authorize or would authorize:

 

                                --detaining Orleans citizens and residents  without bringing legal charges, and denying their right to counsel; and

                                -- monitoring their telephone,  internet and library use, video rentals, book and grocery purchases, banking and medical records and other activities  without evidence of criminal behavior and without court order; and

                                --spying on domestic organizations without evidence of wrongdoing,  designating  organizations as “terrorist” without evidence of intent to act against the United States of America,  and deporting Orleans citizens and residents who contribute to these organizations, even if  unaware of the “terrorist”  designation; and

                                --conducting secret military tribunals without fundamental legal protections for the accused; and

                                --secretly searching the homes of Orleans residents when they are absent; and

                                --blocking public access to meetings of government advisory committees and some public records, and

                                --unregulated ethnic profiling of individuals; and

 

                Whereas the United States Attorney General has made threatening statements regarding legal opposition to these policies, and

 

                Whereas these aforementioned laws, regulations and executive orders are currently impacting all  residents and citizens alike, including those exercising their Constitutional rights to speak out against local, State or National policy,

 

.               It Is Therefore Resolved and the Town Meeting is petitioned to forbid all local and non-local officials in Orleans,  in the absence of probable cause of criminal activity, to the extent legally permissible:

 

                     1.  Participating in or cooperating with any inquiry, investigation, surveillance or detention; and

                     2.  Recording, using and keeping any intelligence information about  persons and organizations in Orleans, including political views and media use,  even if authorized by federal law enforcement officials acting under  the cited or allied laws or executive orders.  Intelligence information  currently held shall be identified and disposed of at the direction of the Selectmen.       

                    3.  Enforcing immigration matters, and

                    4.  Profiling based on race, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, or political values.

 

                It Is Further Resolved that all  Federal, State and County law enforcement officials are requested, and local law enforcement  officials directed, to the extent legally permissible, to report to the Orleans Board of Selectmen publicly in writing monthly the extent and manner in  which they have acted under the cited and allied laws and executive orders, including but not limited to:

 

                                --the names of any Orleans residents detained here or elsewhere and non-residents detained in the area for more than 48 hours as a result of terrorism investigations, and the circumstances,  charges against, and names of counsel for  each detainee;

                                --the number of search warrants that have been executed in Orleans without due notice to the subject, and the legal justification for each warrant; and

                                --the extent of governmental electronic surveillance, monitoring of political, religious and other activities, and obtaining of education, library, video and  bookstore records  in  Orleans.

 

                It Is Further Resolved that the OrleansTown Clerk shall communicate this resolution  to all town departments, all Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials, the Governor of Massachusetts,  the President and Attorney General of the United States, and the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, and to  ask that Delegation  to act to repeal provisions of the cited and allied laws and executive orders that violate the protections of the Massachusetts and United States Constitutions.

 

                It Is Finally Resolved that that if any part of these provisions or their applicability is declared  invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, that part shall be severable and the remainder shall remain in full force and effect.