Bill of Rights Defense Campaign

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June Action and Independence Day 2007

Actions in Washington, D.C.

June 26 has historically been the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This year, many organizations are honoring the day by joining together to rally in Washington, D.C., calling for the restoration of habeas corpus, the end of U.S. involvement in torture and extraordinary rendition, shut down of Guantánamo Bay, and near complete dismantle of the Military Commissions Act.

Leading the action is the American Civil Liberties Union. Among its allies are:

Learn more about the rally in Washington, D.C., including bus transportation. There is also more information about events in June and July on BORDC's June 5 Conference Call notes page.

Outside Washington, D.C., local rallies, vigils, readings, and other actions are beginning to take shape.

Please contact our East and West Region Organizers to let us know about your upcoming events.

Create Your Own Independence Day/Week Actions

Meetings with Congressional Representatives Your representatives will be back in their districts from July 2 to July 6, so it's not too soon to begin scheduling meetings through the local office. Take along members of ally groups, and check out the BORDC Congressional Meetings Workshop for more tips and tools.

Join in the local Independence Day celebration, be it parade, festival, potluck, or other gathering.

Run for Liberty The Run/Walk for Liberty in Denver, Colorado has become an all-day tradition at Washington Park. Beer garden, prizes for kids, and the Festival of Rights are also part of the day-long event, including a "GrafFREEti" wall, plastered with compositions of "What Freedom Means to Me.". Click here for more information.

Create A Tree of Liberty, using colored paper with quotes or excerpts from the Bill of Rights and Constitution, or names of those who have sacrificed for the liberties we hold dear. According to stories of the American Revolution, Trees of Liberty were places where colonists plotted against the British. "Liberty Tree" is also a poem by Thomas Paine. Remember the quote from Thomas Jefferson, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Ideas and Resources

Read Up on Habeas Legislation

The BORDC Legislation Page has information about the many bills that have been introduced on the issue of the Military Commissions Act and habeas corpus. The two basic approaches to legislation are these:

  • H.R. 1415 and in the Senate, S. 576, titled "Restoring the Constitution Act," attempts to dismantle the Military Commissions Act, including restoring habeas corpus and eliminating the use of testimony gained by torture.
  • H.R. 1416 and in the Senate, S. 185, titled "Habeas Corpus Restoration Act," attempts only to restore the right of habeas corpus, and does not further attempt to change the Military Commissions Act.

Local Readings

Run an ad in the local paper. Collect contributions from allies to run a full-page newspaper advertisement signifying that each person who contributed to fund the ad asks that your Congressional representative work to restore habeas corpus, dismantle the Military Commissions Act, shut down Guantánamo, and end U.S. involvement in torture and extraordinary rendition. Send a copy of the ad to your Congressional delegation, or take it with you when you meet with your representatives.

Meet with your elected representatives, or call their office.

Use local media to educate the public.

  • Start a letter to the editor campaign.
  • Write an opinion editorial with other leaders in your community.
  • Create a program for public access television with an interview of a local law professor, law dean, or perhaps a local Guantánamo attorney. Check in with to see if we know of a local speaker, or check with the Center for Constitutional Rights for an attorney to speak.
  • Write and submit a series of public service announcements to your local radio station.

Distribute Flyers

Raising the level of public awareness in every way possible will draw attention to these violations of human rights and the growing shame of the United States throughout the world.