Resolution to Defend the Bill of Rights

Whereas, the Town of Provincetown has a long and distinguished history of protecting and expanding civil rights and civil liberties, often being a beacon for our country's citizens when liberties are threatened; and

Whereas, the Town of Provincetown houses a diverse population, including non-citizens, whose contributions to the community are vital to its character and function; and

Whereas, the Town of Provincetown has with gratitude for their supreme sacrifice memorialized those in the Armed Forces who have died in battle protecting these same cherished rights and liberties; and

Whereas, several acts and orders recently enacted at the Federal level, including sections of the USA PATRIOT Act and several Executive Orders, now threaten these fundamental rights and liberties:

        Freedom of speech, religion, assembly and privacy;

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

        Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures;

All guaranteed by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights;

Therefore, we the Town of Provincetown, Massachusetts, acting in the spirit and history of our community, do hereby request that:

1. Local law enforcement continue to preserve residents' freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and privacy; rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures even if requested or authorized to infringe upon these rights by federal law enforcement acting under new powers granted by the USA PATRIOT Act or orders of the Executive Branch;

2. Federal and state law enforcement officials acting within the Town work in accordance with the policies of the Provincetown Police Department, and in cooperation with the Department, by not engaging in or permitting detentions without charges or racial profiling in law enforcement;

3. The U.S. Attorney's Office, the Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Massachusetts State Police report to the Provincetown Board of Selectmen regularly and publicly the extent to and manner in which they have acted under the USA PATRIOT Act, new Executive Orders, or COINTELPRO-type regulations, including disclosing the names of any detainees held in Provincetown or any Provincetown residents detained elsewhere;

4. That the Town instruct the Library not to divulge information concerning books, magazines or other material read by Library patrons to any authorized agency.

5. Our United States Congressman and Senators monitor the implementation of the Act and Orders cited herein and actively work for the repeal of the parts of that Act and those Orders that violate fundamental rights and liberties as stated in the Constitutions of the Commonwealth and the United States.