I just got a call from the ACLU about this. They are looking for people to call Ed Lee's office to ask him not to veto a bill that would prevent the SF police from more closely cooperating with the FBI on "counter-terrorism" activities. I had a quick look at their web page, http://www.safesf.org/ and sympathize with their view. Maybe LPSF would want to endorse?
I would also urge LPSF to get involved in urging, in essence, nullification of the NDAA clauses of searches, seizures, indefinite detention, both at the City level and the CA state level. The state of Virginia has already done so; why can't we? I have been posting on my and LPSF Facebook about this. Also, I will write an e-mail to Lee today regarding the Board of Sups. ordinance.
I second Marc's suggestion the LPSF endorse preventing FBI-SF Police
Aren't they each abusive enough without the other's assistance?
Warm regards, Michael
Good ideas, both of you! I suggest the LPSF officers approve an official letter on behalf of our organization. Marc, did the ACLU contact you knowing that you're with the LPSF, or do you know how/why they chose to call you? It would be good to establish a regular contact between our group and whoever they have locally, since they share our positions on many issues.
By the way, speaking of "legal" abuses, I just went in for jury duty today. It was disappointing, because although I initially figured my chances of being selected were poor, mainly due to most people who are called not actually getting selected, or only being chosen as alternates, and also because I know my name is easily recognizable by the afternoon, I thought there was a strong chance I was on because I was the very first prospective juror seated and nothing that came up during voir dire (Latin for "jury tampering" in libertarian journalist Vin Suprynowicz's lovely quip) seemed like an obvious reason for either side to want to dismiss me.
And it would have been a good case to be on -- a young black man being represented by the public defender's office is facing several charges relating to have been carrying a loaded gun in the trunk of his vehicle. The district attorney's rep was asking stuff like whether we believed that people have a right to carry a gun in public without a permit, and I had to bite my tongue. The only questions I was asked directly were innocuous. But then we were all asked to leave the courtroom while they made their challenges to various jurors, and when we were summoned back in, my name was read out as one of those who'd been challenged.
When I was in jury duty before, jurors stayed in the courtroom during this process, but this judge (Ronald Quidichay?), at least, has a policy of keeping prospective jurors in the dark about the details of that screening. So I'm guessing that possibly the D.A. recognized my name, or maybe I just looked too liberal. As I was leaving, I tried to find out why and by whom I was dismissed, but the judge said knowing that was the whole purpose of having us leave the room, which elicited some scattered laughs. I asked "Isn't this supposed to be a public trial?" and he said the public was allowed to be there, but jurors were not. I couldn't immediately think of anything further to say to this, so I just blurted out, "Are you going to tell people about jury nullification?" He said "No," and I walked out. I don't know what happened after I said that and walked out of the building, but I thought there was some value in just getting the phrase out in the courtroom with all the prospective jurors sitting there. With luck perhaps some of them will be curious and look it up.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Good for you, Starchild!!! Thank you for getting in the word "nullification;" we need to use it lots more!
There are two good issues LPSF could put in its two cents -- Marc's ACLU effort, and the property rights issue posted by Phil.
Hi Marcy and Starchild! At least this FBI cooperation issue is much easier to deal with--clearly the FBI is often out of control, so local law enforcement should not work with them when their actions are unconstitutional. This is similar to the provision in the "Regulate Marijuana Like Wine" measure being circulated that local law enforcement is strictly forbidden to cooperate with federal authorities when they enforce marijuana prohibition. It is telling that the busiest Busybody on the Board (Supervisor Wiener) voted No on this measure. Too busy looking to come up with new laws like regulating dogwalkers than dealing with a real problem like overzealous law enforcement. This is a good measure, and we should endorse it and encourage Lee to sign it.
Anyway, let's try to come up with something in the next day or so and send it to the Mayor. Whoever wants to draft something, please go ahead and do so. The language doesn't have to be perfect--just something to the effect that we support the measure and encourage the Mayor to sign it to preserve the civil liberties of all citizens and residents of San Francisco.
By the way, Starchild, I knew you would never be selected for jury duty. Hair too long, outfit probably not appropriate, and definitely too intelligent!
I was mulling about writing something for the website on this issue, but wanted to see what you thought first. So, since you agree that LPSF should support this, I would be happy to write something short and to the point! that LPSF could use to send to Lee and with appropriate modification to post on LPSF website (assuming it is all up and running now). I will draft something tonight and post it here for review (and hopefully not too much back and forth on peripherals).
If anyone else would prefer to do this, please let me know. I do not feel any ownership of the subject.
Hi Marcy! Thanks for helping out--I always think your writing is great.
I spoke to the PR guy today about the Gold Dust Lounge hearing tomorrow, and I will try to write something short and sweet about property rights in defense of the building owner. I did not learn anything earthshaking about the case from the guy, but he answered all my questions satisfactorily. I did ask him about this "elder abuse" issue that has been talked about, and he told me he thought it was fabricated to draw sympathy to the bar operators (who are definitely elderly) and imply that they didn't know what they were signing when they signed the current lease, as if they were tricked in to it. He also said that the owner was trying to work with the bar operators to find another spot to relocate to, but after they started up with Historical crowd, it turned ugly and he is no longer keen to help them at all (and who could blame him?).
I'll write a little ditty, post it for review, and then send it over to the PR man to be read aloud at the meeting tomorrow. He said it would be better if one of us could show to read it, but if not, letters of support are welcome and would be read aloud tomorrow. I already told him that I'm working and hate public speaking, but maybe Starchild (if available and if in support of this stance) might possibly be interested in speaking.
By the way, I haven't forgotten about the NDAA issue that you keep on bringing up. It's an excellent issue right up our ally--just not sure where to start with it. It's next after these two issues.
Dear Aubrey and All,
Wohoo! We are on our way to being relevant in San Francisco politics. Good you are writing something on the Gold Rush debacle (senior abuse, bah!), Aubrey. I have written the SHORT AND TO THE POINT piece below, which addresses the main issues involving the "Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance," the ceding of control to the feds, the trend toward secrecy, and the fact that the ACLU is on this. I did not find significant relevance in speaking about "minorities," since civil liberties should apply to everyone.
There is a space on the Coalition website to cut, paste, and send, which I am suggesting I do with the piece below by tomorrow at 3:00 pm sharp : - ) before Lee vetoes the thing while we quibble with wording.
I would like to post on LPSF website with a little more background also (Mayor Lee does not need the informational background).
So here we go:
Dear Mayor Lee,
The Libertarian Party of San Francisco urges you to support Administrative Code #120046, the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance, to establish policy regarding participation in federal counterterrorism activities. We understand your desire to abide by Police Chief Greg Suhr's guidance. However, we urge you to be guided by the California Constitution, by the oversight objectives of the Police Commission, by the access to appeals represented by the Office of Citizens Complaints, and by the ultimate right of all San Franciscans to be confident that their civil rights will never be abridged. Increasingly Joint Task Terrorism Force agreements between the FBI and our City law enforcement relinquish local control in exchange for FBI assistance in intelligence gathering. Increasingly agreements are made in secrecy, extra judicially. We urge you to support this Ordinance, which places restraints on this troubling trend. The American Civil Liberties Union is fully in favor of this Ordinance. The Coalition for a Safe San Francisco is committed to publicizing the need for an end to the trend toward federalization of our local law enforcement.
Mayor Lee, as you have read in Administrative Code #120046, the office of your colorful predecessor Willie Brown, announced when confronted with the question of participation in the JTTF, that Mayor Brown "would not go along with or support any attempt to circumvent local policy." We Libertarians would not expect any less of a commitment from you.
Hi Marcy! I was not disappointed in your writing, and I like the little bit of humor at the end. A little humor goes a long way--our Mayor is coo-coo if he vetoes the ordinance. I have no changes to suggest--please give the others who don't stay up until ungodly hours a chance to make whatever suggestions they have and then get it in the Coalition website for sure tomorrow.
Many Thanks For Your Hard Work!
What you wrote generally sounds good, and thanks for taking the initiative. I do suggest modifying this section somewhat:
We understand your desire to abide by Police Chief Greg Suhr's guidance. However, we urge you to be guided by the California Constitution, by the oversight objectives of the Police Commission, by the access to appeals represented by the Office of Citizens Complaints, and by the ultimate right of all San Franciscans to be confident that their civil rights will never be abridged. Increasingly Joint Task Terrorism Force agreements between the FBI and our City law enforcement relinquish local control in exchange for FBI assistance in intelligence gathering. Increasingly agreements are made in secrecy, extra judicially.
Here is some proposed substitute wording which I think expresses our concerns a little more clearly:
We understand that Police Chief Greg Suhr is your appointee and enjoys your confidence. However it is vital that all police officers and chiefs of police be strictly and actively overseen by civilian authority. In San Francisco this means by yourself as mayor as well as by the members of the Police Commission and by the checks and balances represented by the Office of Citizen Complaints, in order to ensure that our local police are held accountable to the standards of respect for human and civil rights established by the United States and California constitutions, even when personnel attached to other levels of government are violating these standards. We specifically demand an end to the practice of relinquishing local control over local law enforcement personnel in exchange for assistance from the FBI or other federal or state agencies in intelligence gathering, especially when such agreements are made secretly or lack due process.
I also suggest that we endorse the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco (see description at http://www.safesf.org/?page_id=95 ), and seek to have the LPSF listed on their endorsement page ( http://www.safesf.org/?page_id=189 ). In keeping with this, I propose rewording the final sentence to identify ourselves as part of the coalition, so that...
The Coalition for a Safe San Francisco is committed to publicizing the need for an end to the trend toward federalization of our local law enforcement.
As members of the Coalition for a Safe San Francisco, we are committed to publicizing the need for an end to the trend toward federalization of our local law enforcement.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
I say your piece is fine, and suggest you go ahead and send it to Mayor Lee.
Thanks. I cede to Starchild. I ran out of time to move words around for this week. As long as something DOES get sent, fine with me.
However, I thought there was a proposal to endorse the Coalition. I say fine, here also, and others have too. Your say?
Hi Starchild, Aubrey, and All,
Starchild sent in his version to Lee? We have more other exciting stuff we could deal with if we adopted the Nike moto, "Just Do It!". Aubrey could we discuss the Just Do It vs Sit On It Waiting for Perfection approaches at the next meeting?
I am posting the appeal to Lee on the website today. Next maybe NDAA, then the Presidential appropriation of food -- the last two in relation to city and state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws. It would be great if all on this list participated in keeping the website fresh to increase traffic and help spread our message. If you do not want to bother with the hassle of posting yoursrlf, send your thoughts to one of us with posting permission.
Hi Marcy, Starchild, and All! I'm not sure what happened with Starchild's version, but thanks for your work on this project and for posting it on the website today. Yes, it's on the next meeting's agenda already to discuss "Just Do It." I'm prone to perfection myself, but faced with a deadline, I can give a little, so that something gets done.
By the way, once I posted my letter about the dispute between the owner of the building and the bar operators of the Gold Dust Lounge, and I saw that at least one person was OK with it, and there were no objections, I immediately printed it out, signed it, and scanned it over to the PR guy so that it could be read at the hearing yesterday. As it turned out, the bar operators ended up requesting a delay of the hearing at the last minute, so not sure what happened yesterday, but I exchanged several emails with the PR guy and asked to be updated on the progress of the case.
We should make it a regular habit to support good measures publicly (like the Coalition for a Safe SF) and denounce outrages like the NDAA and the tax on millionaires that the politicians are pushing for November. Let's let people know what we stand for.
I promised I would post the article on the website "today", well it is 3:00 am, and no longer counts as "today", but there it is now. I also said the article had to be modified to provide background to website visitors (Lee would not need any background), but I ended up with more background than zippy catchy stuff.
Hopefully, we are not too late in posting abut the Safe San Francisco Civil Rights Ordinance. The Chronicle news article dated March 14, says that Lee is expected to veto the legislation unless "major changes are made when the board takes up its second and final vote, most likely in two weeks." To me that means Lee can veto it outright now, and see how the Board of Sups responds; or wait until next week to reach an agreement with the Board. If anybody knows how this work, I would love to hear it.
I have not heard enough "votes" about LPSF officially joining the "Coalition for a Safe SF," so I did not mention it on the website. Also, at the risk of heretical speech, I will venture to say that I do not like the emphasis on racial and ethnic "minorities" that the Coalition places on this ordinance. Civil rights are civil rights -- for everyone alike. The more we yap about race and ethnicity, in my opinion, the more we stir the pot of prejudice. However, let me know, Aubrey, if you feel LPSF has enough support for an endorsement of the Coalition, and I will include it on the website article.
Now it is 3:15 am, and I have done ALL I am going to do for this ordinance (except as I said add the Coalition endorsement if deemed appropriate; and of course if anyone catches a typo or a factual error I will correct - emphasis on factual!)
Hi Marcy! Sorry I did not respond earlier--busy as always. I really like your posting on the website, and I have nothing to add that would improve it (and I found no bloopers). I agree with you on the racial angle--the less said about race, the better--but the ordinance's purpose is more important, so I think we should endorse it. True, there weren't many "votes" either way, but since I didn't read major objections, my sense is that we do support it. Please endorse.
Thanks for your continuing efforts to make us relevant!
Hi Aubrey and All,
Done. I added the blurb abut the Coalition on the LPSF website and updated the article, since now the Board of Supervisors is considering rewording or scrapping the ordinance.
Also, I added a poll relating to the article, which might be nice if all activists on this list participated. Again, it does not really matter what details the poll (or article, or letter to the editor, or anything we write) contains; what is important is getting out to the general public the ideas we are supposedly trying to spread!
Hi Marcy! I just voted and reread your article. Thanks for updating it and adding Ben Franklin at the bottom. I like having him on our website!