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Sunday, February 29, 2004

Political Unrest in the Red States

Apparently, the University of Kentucky Student Government Association has narrowly passed what Beth Wilson, Executive Director of the Kentucky ACLU, called a "strongly worded resolution against the USA PATRIOT Act." That pointer is to the text of the proposed resolution -- not to a story about its passing. I do not know if it was amended. Supposedly the website is going to be updated very soon.

I searched Google News for the "Patriot Act" resolution and learned that similar resolutions are being debated and passed all over the US -- including in many Bush Red states.

Elko County Nevada unanimously passed a resolution opposing any parts of the act that are unconstitutional.

Kansas City's Council voted 11-1 for a resolution that "warns against violating civil liberties and discriminating against racial or ethnic groups in the process."

Dallas County, Texas approved a resolution denouncing the Act. According to the story from the Star-Telegram, 3 states and 225 local governments (I've read that it is actually 250 now) have taken stands against the Act. The Austin City council is apparently one of them, though Austin is a left-leaning island in a sea of conservatism.

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee has a full list, and as of February 25, 2004, the 257 "local resolutions, ordinances and ballot initiatives" cover 44.8 million people. Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is another Red state area that has recently acted on this issue. Page down the list and some areas stand out because of their size (LA, NY, King County, WA, which is where Seattle is located), many college communities, and some typically conservative areas. In addition to the ones I mentioned above, I note Durham, NC, Boise, ID, Dillon, MT, Tucson, AZ, the entire state of Alaska (plus many local areas)...check out the list (pdf file).

The other 2 states are Vermont and Hawaii.

Update: The daily independent student newspaper of the University of Kentucky (the KY Kernel), confirms that the SGA did pass the resolution by a single vote after an hour-long debate.

The Bill of Right Defense Committee has a separate webpage listing student resolutions.

Oh, and the ACLU has an interesting map identifying areas of the country covered by anti-Patriot Act resolutions. Note the large chunks of Wyoming, Idaho and Arizona. Libertarians are not happy.

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