This post is from David Dodd, California Library Association (CLA) Intellectual Freedom chair...
August 29, 2005
Dear CLA Member,
A newly unsealed federal lawsuit confirms the FBI has used controversial Patriot Act powers to demand records from an organization that possesses a wide array of sensitive information about library patrons, including information about Internet usage and reading materials borrowed by library patrons.
The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking an emergency court order to lift a heavy FBI gag order on the lawsuit, so that its client--an ALA member--can participate in the public debate. That debate will heat up in days, as Congress prepares to reauthorize or amend the Patriot Act in September.
Because of the importance of this issue to libraries and their patrons, the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the California Library Association is partnering with the ACLU to encourage all CLA members to host a public event about the Patriot Act. We are making immediately available to all member libraries a DVD copy of Beyond the Patriot Act, the first episode of The ACLU Freedom Files, a new TV series from producer Robert Greenwald (Unconstitutional, Outfoxed).
Beyond the Patriot Act is 30-minute program designed to reveal how civil liberties affect real people everyday. It features stirring accounts of current cases, as well as well-known actors, activists and comedians. All the necessary resources for a succesful event--publicity tools, invitations, event agendas, Patriot Act talking points--are also available.
If you schedule your event on Thursday September 8, you and your patrons can join in an 8:30 p.m. national conference call with Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU, to learn the most up-to-date news about this important new lawsuit and the status of Patriot Act legislation. The call will take place after the satellite TV premiere of Beyond the Patriot Act.
To participate in this national happening, and order your DVD contact the ACLU's distribution partner at FreedomFiles@activevoice.net, or call (415) 553-2841.
Help protect the First Amendment and our American tradition of intellectual freedom.
Chair, Intellectual Freedom Committee
California Library Association