Victory! Mayor Lee signs Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance

by Amy E. Ferrer,

In a victory for constitutional liberties and protections, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee this week signed the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance.

The ordinance, which passed the city’s Board of Supervisors last month, was an effort of the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco, a coalition that the Bill of Rights Defense Committee supported and advised based on our Local Civil Rights Restoration (LCRR) model. The ordinance alters a 2007 agreement between the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the FBI that created their Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in an effort to restore local privacy laws circumvented by authorities.

CBS San Francisco reported on the signing of the law:

“We want people to enjoy their civil liberties and fulfill the promises of you and your families and for generations to come,” Lee said.

Mokhtar Alkhansali from the coalition for a safe San Francisco applauded the law.

“I am thankful and proud that the San Francisco community has come together to speak for civil rights and human rights,” Alkhansali said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said this is really about improving communications.

“This doesn’t change our way of doing business. It just makes sure that it’s codified that we have to have the discussion we keep it on the front burner,” Suhr said.

Under the new law police can only assist the FBI in a manner that does not violate civil rights or an individual’s right to privacy.


Pushing Back on NDAA in Kansas

Kansas Representative O’Hara says that HR6021 (Opposition to NDAA) an important first step

In a hopeful attempt at interposition between the people of Kansas and the Federal Government, Chris Hong, wrote an April 25 article at L J entitled “House committee looks at measure that advocates individual rights” that “The Veterans, Military and Homeland Security committee held a hearing on HR:6021, which opposes the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act signed by Pres. Obama. According to the resolution, the NDAA allows the ‘arrest, detention and rendition of American citizens without trial.’”

With a number of Kansans concerned that individual rights of Kansans (as well as those of people all across the United States) are under threat by the Federal Government’s NDAA measures – a reported “high number” of concerned people attended the hearing in the hopes of offering verbal support for HR:6021. In fact, it was stated that with testimony being limited to five minutes – it was still expected to require more than one session in order to hear everyone.

However, according to L J World, some leaders amongst the Kansas House believe that even if HR6021 should pass, the resolution wouldn’t have any effect on the Federal law.  “It’s just a statement,” said Rep. Mario Goico, R-Wichita.

“It doesn’t change anything other than make a statement on what the position of the House is.”


College Students Stand up for the Bill of Rights

ASUCSD Denounces Drug Enforcement Administration

From April 21 to 25, nobody heard the screams and kicks from Daniel Chong, a UCSD engineering student, as he was dying in a 5-by-10 foot antechamber without anything to eat or drink. No window, no toilet, no nothing. He survived on urine and whatever he could find in the cell, which amounted to unexplainable traces of methamphetamine.

The Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego is responsible for this.

Immediately, it is clear there is absolutely no justification for such treatment of any person, no matter the crime. However the swift arm of justice is absent when armed bureaucrats are the offenders. William Sherman of the DEA issued an apology amounting to self-congratulation as “this event is not indicative of the high standards” to which he claims to hold his employees. Now Chong is suing for $20 million, but when their annual federal budget exceeds $2 billion, is this a realistic path to protecting the innocent from DEA desecration?

A wholly unrelated student also attending UCSD, Angad Walia, led the campus response by proposing a resolution to the Associated Students of UCSD condemning the intolerable DEA. The resolution in full can be found here. Read just a few of the highlights: