City councilors condemn Patriot Act

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Burlington’s city council says the federal government is overstepping its bounds in combating terrorism. City councilors voted 10-to-2 Monday to condemn the Patriot Act, a law passed in reaction to the September 11 attacks. They say the powers given to law enforcement are too broad and will erode civil liberties.

Richard Kemp is a co-sponsor of the resolution, which asks Vermont’s congressional delegation to monitor how the law is implemented and to work for the repeal of portions of it. Kemp says public comment was strongly in support of the resolution.

(Kemp) “Citizens were allowed to present their views around the issue of the Patriots Act. And they were given three minutes. And it’s very interesting to note that there was no real opposition to our resolution. And there were a number of people that spoke of the impact of the provisions of the Patriot Act, and how it’s going to affect people in our society.”

(Host) The resolution also asks the Burlington police to provide public reports on how the department uses the Patriot Act, including providing the names of any local detainees held under the law.

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