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ACLU Santa Cruz to Establish Liberty Watch
Protection of Individual Freedoms Requires Constant Vigilance
Benjamin Franklin famously said “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”. Historically, the American Civil Liberties Union has been our country's guardian of that Liberty, working to defend and preserve the individual rights that the Constitution guarantees to everyone. This duty is particularly important when fear and misunderstanding crowd out rational thought and reason. As witnessed by the new city ordinances restricting where our street artists and performers can assemble to play and ply their arts, now is the time to be ever more vigilant in protecting our basic civil liberties. At a recent forum on surveillance and privacy co-sponsored by ACLU Santa Cruz County, attendees were unanimous in their shared concern that threats to individual liberties needed to be regularly monitored and potential abridgement of those liberties brought the public’s attention. ACLU SC is addressing that concern by establishing a new initiative called Liberty Watch to provide an ongoing review of the state of civil liberties in our community. They will be regularly highlighting those ordinances, issues and governmental mandates that arguably impinge upon the free exercise of our collective liberties. It is hoped that Liberty Watch will serve as a model of how an engaged and activist ACLU can serve the citizens of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County whose civil liberties it has pledged to defend.