Lawyers Protest Bush Administration's Assault on the US Constitution and International Law
|SAN FRANCISCO - May 1 - |
Who: National Lawyers Guild, Law Students and Legal Workers
When/Where: Thursday, May 1, Noon- SF Federal Building
The National Lawyers Guild, together with concerned lawyers, law students and legal workers from throughout the Bay Area, will assemble at San Francisco's Federal Building (450 Golden Gate Avenue) on May1st and Oakland Federal Building, May 15th, 2003, at noon, to protest President Bush's unwarranted invasion and occupation of Iraq, and his administration*s unprecedented assault on the Bill of Rights and the protections afforded by our constitution and laws. May 1, an international day of labor solidarity, is also celebrated as "Law Day" in the United States. As lawyers committed to the rule of law in a free and democratic society, we claim this occasion to demand an end to the administration's brutal policies of aggression and repression at home and abroad.
Contrary to the propaganda disseminated by the Bush administration and promoted by a compliant corporate media, the United States had no right to wage a preemptive war against Iraq, a nation that had not attacked the United States and had no capacity to do so. Under international law, a preemptive war under these circumstances is an unjustified war of aggression, specifically made illegal by the United Nations Charter. Having unlawfully invaded, at the cost of great suffering among the population, a poor country weakened by years of debilitating sanctions, the United States clearly has no legal right to occupy that country under military rule, while plundering the rich oil reserves that lie beneath its soil. We demand that the United States respect the rule of law, end the occupation and bring the troops home. Let the United Nations assume its historic peacekeeping role.
Here at home, the domestic policies of the Bush administrators have been equally violent and repressive. In addition to relentless war against poor and working people, education, health care and our natural environment, our civil liberties- the very bedrock of our civilization- are under attack as seldom before in our nation's history. John Ashcroft's Justice Department has unleashed what amounts to a domestic war of aggression against the basic rights of the people, assaulting their privacy, snooping on their constitutionally protected associations and communications, and even monitoring the information they access on the internet and the books they withdraw from the library.
Constitutional protections against warrantless searches and electronic surveillance have been gutted and plans are afoot for a vast new storehouse of data filled with personal information on all of us, much of it constructed from rumor, gossip and lies, as well as from secret informers encouraged by the new security apparatus. People from Arab or predominately Muslim countries are being subjected to forced registration, unexplained detentions, summary deportations and other terror tactics. Emboldened by a largely acquiescent and intimidated judiciary, the government has even spirited U.S. citizens away, to confine them in secret facilities without access to legal counsel or contact with their families. Based on the President's virtually unreviewable designation of these citizens as "enemy combatants," the government is holding them incommunicado, blatantly violating their constitutional right to counsel, while they are "interrogated" by police agents.
As always in repressive times, the State has taken special aim at the independence of the criminal defense bar, the right to counsel and the confidentiality of Attorney-Client communications. In New York the Justice Department has gone so far as to indict Lynne Stewart, a highly respected and ethical defense attorney who, under the established facts, did nothing more than vigorously and honestly represent her client, accused by the government of terrorist activities.
The limits to this encroaching totalitarian expansion of Executive power have been hard to find. Cowed by often-spurious claims of "National Security," the courts have failed shamefully to curb these abuses and protect the Constitution. On this first day of May, this Law Day, we call on lawyers, law students, legal workers and all persons devoted to the rule of law, to demand that the government honor its asserted commitment to constitutional democracy under the law by taking these concrete actions: 1. End the illegal occupations -- Abandon this ill-conceived new imperialism and leave the Middle East
2. Bring the troops home now -- Support them by removing them from the great hazards of war and occupation
3. Defend the Constitution
4. Repeal the USA Patriot Act
5. Defeat Patriot Act II
6. Protect the Right to Protest -- The First Amendment has stood the test of time and is essential to liberty.
7. Preserve the Attorney Client Privilege, and the sanctity of confidential communications -- Without these our legal system- arguably the best in the world- cannot survive.
Links to Our Pages
The Purpose and The Vision:
Our National Proposal and Vision
In Defense of our Civil Liberties
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The Day Democracy Was Put On Hold by Norma Sherry
Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose by Norma Sherry
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Dear American Worker (Outsourcing American Jobs) by Norma Sherry
Once Upon a Time in America (Not a Fable) (Outsourcing American Jobs) by Norma Sherry
I Believe (A Retrospective and a Promise) by Norma Sherry
We Can Make a Difference by Norma Sherry
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Genocide by Norma Sherry
A Tribute to the Life of Reverend Dr. Taylor Scott IV by Norma Sherry
Articles by Philip J. Rappa
Warning on Yawning by Philip J. Rappa
What Have We Learned Since 911? by Philip J. Rappa
Rhapsody for Democracy by Philip J. Rappa
Help Me if You Can, I'm Feeling Bad by Philip J. Rappa
In God We Trust by Philip J. Rappa
Fear and Loathing in America by Philip J. Rappa
Open Letter to the President of the United States of America by Philip J. Rappa
The House Always Wins by Philip J. Rappa
Alpha and Omega by Philip J. Rappa
Oh-Sum-Bodies-Been-Lying by Philip J. Rappa
Requiem to the Silliness I Learned in Civics Class by Philip J. Rappa
Storm and Strife by Philip J. Rappa
The Ill-Begotten: Reflections of Unconstitutional Precedence by Philip J. Rappa
High Noon in America by Philip J. Rappa
Do the Hokey Pokey by Philip J. Rappa
Articles by Others
Lawyer's Band to Save the Constitution
Raid on Patrons
Philip's Personal Story
Philip's Presentations on Personal Responsibility
A Little About Norma:
All About Outsourcing:
Businesses that Outsource
What You Can Do About Outsourcing?
Front Page Story of Creator's Norma & Philip
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