National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms (NCPCF)

Presents program in Tampa, Florida

Wake Up Call for Civil Liberties

Could Preemptive Prosecution Strip you of Your Freedom?

“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.” Thomas Jefferson

Date: Saturday, February 26, 2011 [Mark your Calendar]

When: 1:00 — 5:00 PM (Lunch served at 12.00 noon)

Where: Tampa, Florida— Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa

11400 Morris Bridge Road, Tampa, FL

Speakers: Prof. Peter Erlinder, Law Professor, NCPCF Board Vice Chairman

Steve Downs, Project SALAM, NCPCF Steering Committee

Ahmad Bedeir, Pres. Human Rights Campaign, Exec. Dir. United Voices

Jess Sundin, Peace Activist

Sharmin Sadequee, Victim Family Member

Dr. Bernice Jackson, Pastor, UUC

News Digest


1. Over 200 people attend NCPCF Citizens’ Hearing On Loss of Civil Freedoms:


The laws of material support need to be reformed because they are so broad and vague,” said Sahar Aziz. As a matter of law, the government cannot investigate citizens for acting on their first amendment rights, but the material support law “makes many first amendment rights criminal.”

-Attorney Steve Downs said its easier to convict Muslims using ill-founded legal techniques because of the idea of “collective guilt”, which he said is a way to “create exceptions to the ideal of equal protection under the law.”

Another federal initiative which encourages profiling is the SAR program — “Suspicious Activity Reporting”. Shahid Buttar listed some examples of what the government considers “suspicious activity” including taking notes, donating to charities, drawing diagrams, espousing extreme views, and photography. The FBI also recommended to its agents that falafel stands might be good targets for investigation, said Buttar.
-Attorney Padriss Kabriaei began the discussion talking about the unusually harsh measures put on Muslims detained for non-violent crimes, especially the extreme isolation they are made to endure. Key to this harsh treatment are SAMS — “Special Administrative Measures” — incarceration policies made individually for inmates and authorized with a signature from the Attorney General of the United States. “There is no opportunity to challenge the application of SAMS,” admitted Kabriaei.
-The family member testimonials were eye-opening even for family members themselves, as some of them did not know what other detainees were undergoing.

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2. Watch Preemptive Prosecution: RTV Important Series (To Catch A Terrorist)

A MUST SEE: Part I Part II

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3. Rand Paul against the Patriot Act: What’s wrong with the PATRIOT ACT?

Important Read

Excerpts from Rand’s letter:

My main objection to the PATRIOT Act is that searches that should require a judge’s warrant are performed with a letter from an FBI agent–called National Security Letter (“NSL”).

– First Amendment advocates should be concerned about an especially troubling aspect of the 2008 audit, which documented a situation in which the FBI applied to obtain an order (to get information).  The Court denied the order on First Amendment grounds.  Not to be deterred, the FBI simply used an NSL (National Security Letter) to obtain the same information.

I object to the warrantless searches being performed on United States citizens. I object to the 200,000 NSL searches that have been performed without a judge’s warrant.

– I object to over 2 million searches of bank records, called Suspicious Activity Reports, performed on U.S. citizens without a judge’s warrant.

See Washington Post (2/16): Rand Paul doesn’t get to be Russ Feingold yet ______________________________ ______________________________ ________________

Excerpts: [You could be a target- Ask your Congressman/Senator: Why?]

Here are the extended provisions at issue:
– The “roving wiretap” provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court, without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.
– The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason – even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.
– The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

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– ONE BY ONE the students rose in the auditorium, shouting and drowning out a lecture by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren last year at the University of California at Irvine. “Michael Oren, you are a war criminal!” yelled one student, as a group of others cheered him on.

-This is not the first time the student union has been embroiled in controversy. A sponsor of the campus’s annual Palestinian Awareness Week, the group has hosted speakers who have compared Israel to Nazi Germany and accused the country of carrying out a “holocaust” against Palestinians. Yet during Mr. Oren’s speech, no threats were uttered, no violence ensued and each of the protesters appeared to exit the hall without resistance when campus security approached.  The university suspended the Muslim Student Union from campus for the fall semester; each of the offending Irvine students was disciplined.

-Yet the Irvine 11 – as they have become known - now face criminal misdemeanor charges for “conspiracy to disturb a meeting” and one misdemeanor count of “disturbance of a meeting.” According to the prosecutor’s office, each student could face up to six months in jail, if convicted.

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