If you’re like me, you’re feeling pretty frustrated and maybe even overwhelmed. There’s a lot of bad news these days, and it seems like it just won’t stop coming.
Just this morning, the New York Times reported that Trump looks likely to give the CIA his approval to reopen torture black sites. Stopping that from happening will be really difficult work. It’s easy to get discouraged when we try to push back against federal level national security policies, where too often the voice of the governed and constitutional law don’t play starring roles in setting policy.
But we have real power at the state level. And right now, we can take action in Massachusetts to push a bold civil liberties agenda.
Please take a few minutes out of your day today to call your state legislators and urge them to co-sponsor legislation endorsed by the ACLU of Massachusetts. These bills would, among other things:
- Bar state and local employees and agencies from helping Trump set up any discriminatory “Muslim registry”;
- Prevent state and local police from collecting and sharing “intelligence” information about people unless those people are suspected of criminal activity;
- Require state and local law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants to access emails, chats, files, and other information held by third party providers like Google, Facebook, and Dropbox; and
- Establish a state warrant requirement for law enforcement use of controversial “stingray” technology, which allows cops to track and monitor cellphones.
We’ve got to make these calls before February 3, to give legislators time to sign up as co-sponsors to these bills, so act now.
Don’t despair at the state of this country; take action to demand policies that protect and expand civil liberties in Massachusetts. After you’ve called your legislators, spread the word to your friends and family to do the same.
There are a lot of threats to civil liberties and civil rights on the horizon. But the most serious threat is that people of conscience stand by and do nothing. Take action now!