PHILADELPHIA- The ACLU of Pennsylvania will hold a series of five town hall meetings across the state in July about the ongoing abuse of executive power. The events will highlight recent federal actions and government abuses such as torture, the NSA's warrantless wiretap program, phone records collection, data-mining, secret prisons, surveillance of anti-war groups, extraordinary rendition, and indefinite detention and will offer actions that individuals can take to defend our endangered civil liberties.
"There are new revelations about abuses by this Administration almost everyday," said Nancy Hopkins, ACLU of Pennsylvania Executive Director. "This is not the America most people believe in, and it is not the America most people want."
The series, entitled "Constitution Under Siege," will kick-off in Harrisburg on July 11 with events to follow in Philadelphia (July 12), Allentown (July 13), Erie (July 19), and Pittsburgh (July 20). Each event will include a panel presentation followed by a question and answer period and a discussion of action steps. The panels will include staff from the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office, members of the local community, and legal perspectives from local attorneys.
All of the town hall meetings are free and open to the public.
Illegal government spying, indefinite detention, and government-sponsored torture programs are constitutional violations that undermine our most treasured values in the name of national security. There has never been a more urgent need for Americans to act to preserve individual freedom or privacy. The abuse of executive power threatens our system of checks and balances.
President Bush has violated his oath to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," and Congress has failed to hold him accountable for his actions. Our system of checks and balances must be maintained if American democracy is to be preserved. America cannot hold itself up as a moral beacon to the world if we violate the rule of law and engage in illegal spying, torture, and secrecy.