Bringing the War on Terrorism Home: Congress Considers How to ‘Disrupt’ Radical Movements in the United States
[ Many observers fear that the proposed law will be used against U.S.-based groups engaged in legal but unpopular political activism, ranging from political Islamists to animal-rights and environmental campaigners to radical right-wing organizations. There is concern, too, that the bill will undermine academic integrity and is the latest salvo in a decade-long government grab for power at the expense of civil liberties.
David Price, a professor of anthropology at St. Martin's University who studies government surveillance and harassment of dissident scholars, says the bill "is a shot over the bow of environmental activists, animal-rights activists, anti-globalization activists and scholars who are working in the Middle East who have views that go against the administration." Price says some right-wing outfits such as gun clubs are also threatened because "[they] would be looked at with suspicion under the bill." ]
[ One pressing concern is definitions contained in the bill. For example, "violent radicalization" is defined as "the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change."
Alejandro Queral, executive director of the Northwest Constitutional Rights Center, asks, "What is an extremist belief system? Who defines this? These are broad definitions that encompass so much. ... It is criminalizing thought and ideology." ]
Tell your congress critters NO! to The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 (H.R. 1955) and its companion bill, S. 1959.
You can do so here.