American Civil Liberties Union : Press Release – ACLU Releases Report on Suppression of Dissent in a Post 9/11 America .
Taking their cue from the Bush Administration, law enforcement officials across the country have interrogated, detained and prosecuted hundreds of people for exercising their First Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly, according to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union on the suppression of dissent since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
“This report clearly illustrates how dangerous it has become since the terrorist attacks of September 11 to criticize the President of the United States or his policies,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “Government officials and political leaders must not be allowed to chill the free and robust debate that has made the American way of life the envy of nations and its Constitution a beacon to the world.”
“Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America,” describes how some government officials, including local police, have gone to extraordinary lengths to squelch dissent wherever it has sprung up, drawing on a breathtaking array of tactics – from censorship and surveillance to detention, denial of due process and excessive force.
The 18-page report finds that dissent since 9/11 has taken three principal forms: mass protests and rallies, messages on signs or clothing, and other acts of defiance by communities and individuals. These have ranged from silent vigils in parks to the passage of resolutions in more than 100 communities across the country protesting federal measures that violate civil liberties.
The report “Freedom Under Fire: Dissent in Post-9/11 America” (ed. Link is a PDF file) [Privacy Digest]