Bill of Rights Day in Southampton

July 4:

A diverse group of advocates for constitutional rights and Peace paraded at this week's Independence Day Parade in Southampton. Holding signs supporting the Bill of Rights and opposing the US Patriot Act the marchers (80 or more) discovered that - yes, the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution really do need defending - especially the first amendment.

The marchers had prepared literature to distribute along the parade route - asking the public to contact their elected representatives in support of the Bill of Rights. Parade officials informed them that if they distributed the literature they would be excluded from the parade. No ordinance or regulation was cited.

Here is a part of the sample resolution the South Fork Bill of Rights Defense Committee is asking the Town Boards of Southampton and East Hampton to enact:

....Therefore, we the Town of East Hampton, New York acting in the spirit and history of our community, do hereby request that:

1. Local law enforcement continue to preserve residents' freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and privacy; rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures even if requested or authorized to infringe upon these rights by federal law enforcement acting under new powers granted by the USA PATRIOT Act or orders of the Executive Branch;

2. Federal and state law enforcement officials acting within the Town work in accordance with the policies of the East Hampton Police Department, and in cooperation with the Department, by not engaging in or permitting detentions without charges or racial profiling in law enforcement;

3. The U.S. Attorney's Office, the Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and New York

State Police report to the East Hampton Town Board regularly and publicly the extent to and
manner in which they have acted new Executive Orders, or COINTELPRO-type regulations, including disclosing the names of any detainees held in New York or any East Hampton residents detained elsewhere;

4. That the Town instructs the East Hampton Library not to divulge information concerning books and magazines read by Library patrons to any authorized agency.

5. Our United States Congressman and Senators monitor the implementation of the Act and Orders cited herein and actively work for the repeal of the parts of that Act and those Orders that violate fundamental rights and liberties as stated in the Constitutions of the Commonwealth and the United States.or to take any other action relative thereto.

The Town of Huntington passed a similar resolution earlier this year.

For more information on the South Fork Bill of Rights Defense Committee contact Myrna Truit at or the national committee at