Civil Rights or Satellite Rights ?

root - Posted on 01 November 2005

Homeland Security/Patriot Act civil rights abuses in full effect in San Francisco

by Dee/PNN

In January of 2003 San Francisco became the largest city to pass a resolution which "affirms that any efforts to end terrorism not be waged at the fundamental civil rights and liberties of the people of San Francisco"

On Thursday June 3rd at about 5 pm PNN co-editor tiny and I were driving up Larkin st. in San Francisco. As we approached the Federal Building we noticed a very large sparkling white van with the words Homeland Security in bold black letters written on the side. Tiny and I immediately started fumbling around the car desperately searching for a camera. Finding nothing we raced to Walgreens to buy one. When we returned minutes later the van was gone. However, we questioned why it was there. Tiny said it resembled a satelite spy vehicle and it was
probably parked in the garage of the federal bldg

I thought it must be here for the June 5th anti-war march or the June 8 bio-tech conference, especially since according to the wording of the act itself, " The Patriot act has removed legal barriers that prevented the law enforcement, intelligence and national defense communities from talking and coordinating their work to protect the American people and our national security".

Considering what occurred at the protests for the racial justice rally and the entire reclaim the commons protest of the bio-tech conference with so many people arrested and the extreme amount of unnecessary law enforcement that was present it seemed that if Homeland Security had "worked with" the SFPD in the arrests or the planning of the police action that it was in a direct contradiction to the resolution passed by the city against the Patriot act.

In order to find out just how much the Homeland security had been involved in the police action against the biotech protests I called the mayors office and asked the first person that answered why there was so much police presence at the biotech conference protests," Because the community wanted it" , was the answer. Then click.

I called back again only to talk to the same person who said, "are you just calling to fuss with me?" I said no I wouldn’t waste my time and that I would like to speak to someone who could answer some questions and was then transferred to an office manager who answered the same question by saying, " No comment and I mean no comment." This person gave me another number for the press person and I proceeded to leave a question on their voice mail which was, "What part did homeland security play in the police action against the protesters at the bio-tech conference?"

Two days passed and noone called back to answer the question. On Friday June 11th. "President" Reagen's holiday, I called and left the same question for the press persons for the supervisors, Matt Gonzalez, Chris Daly, and Jake McGoldricks own voice mail as well as another message for Gavin Newsom’s press person. None of them returned the call even though I said there was a deadline for the report for the Bayview paper and PNN

Because there were no return calls and no other information except our hunch and because we hadn’t seen the homeland security van again during the whole week of protests, we began to wonder if our hunch was correct. Then as I was trolling the internet for research I discovered a clever person had captured a photo of the same homeland security van on Friday June 11th parked in front of city hall with people boarding it.

There concentrated police/surveillance work completed, the Homeland Security Army could leave San Francisco and help other police departments in other protests attack the civil liberties of Americans who dare to disagree with the policies of the justice dept and the amerikkan government and perhaps undermine resolutions made by cities to help protect Americans in their city against the abuses of the Patriot act. Even though those cities have perhaps been promised by resolutions of their city governments to protect its citizens against those abuses, such as the resolution made by the SF Board of Supervisors, which it seems was a resolution with out any substance.

Dee is co-editor of POOR Magazine/PNN for more work on issues of poverty and racism go on-line to



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