December 2006 Newsletter

29 December 2006

The “war on terror” has become the pretext for an unprecedented assault on the Bill of Rights. Only through your continued support can we maintain the struggle to defend and one day even expand our liberties. As we embark on a new year, with a new Congress and fresh possibilities, we must express our gratitude for your generous support and encourage you to do whatever you can to keep us going.

As reported earlier, we are embarking on a project called “Acting Free,” in which CCDBR and Pegasus Theater will collaborate to generate dramas on civil-liberties themes written by high-school students: the best of these have the chance of receiving a full production at Pegasus. Teachers, students, and coaches we plan to provide will work together in this unusual educational effort targeted at the young people whose future is most compromised by the current onslaught on freedom.

We have recently taken note of reports that a subsidiary of the Boeing Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, has carried out “rendition” flights leading to torture of detainees in secret locations. CCDBR has called upon Boeing to meet with us and and answer our questions about such allegations, which have received increasing attention from the European Union parliament and media.

In other areas, CCDBR, with the Chicagoland Coalition of Civil Liberties and Rights and other groups, is participating in efforts to curb police brutality, abolish the death penalty, reform the criminal justice system, protect the rights of vulnerable immigrants – including the – habeas corpus rights just abrogated by the Military Commissions Act, and, of course, oppose the violation of peoples’ privacy through government surveillance. As always, our special concern for First Amendment protections requires us to oppose the series of actions of the Chicago city government abridging the right to demonstrate publicly against the Iraq war or for other causes. Dissatisfaction with the “Burge report” on police brutality has led us to join with lawyers for the victims of police torture in approaching the County Board to take action.

As previously announced, we are organizing a major evening event for 15 March 2007 to honor Sister Helen Prejean and her campaign against the death penalty. More details will follow.

The vast majority of our funding comes from individuals who support us in a variety of ways. There is no way can we fully express the depth of our gratitude to our supporters for their help year after year. Being a member and a monthly sustainer of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights provides a means of expressing the courage of your convictions.

Become a member by writing your check to CCDBR for whatever you can afford,
$25 … $50 … $75 … $100 … $500 … or another amount

If you prefer, pledge an amount each month … quarter … year … or other period

To make your contribution to our educational programs tax-exempt, write your check tothe “Bill Of Rights Foundation.”

Send contributions to CCDBR, 1325 S. Wabash, Suite 105, Chicago IL 60605-2506

Again, thank you for making our work possible.

Bob Clarke, President.