Feeling uncomfortably full?

There’s a heaviness in the air today, and it’s not just the dulling influence of a cloudy autumn morning. It’s the cumulative effect of an overstuffed summer picnic basket of administrative abuses of power that have included the chilling of peaceful dissent, government eavesdropping without a warrant, the continuing denial of due process for detainees at Guantanamo, and the acknowledged existence of secret prisons. Who wouldn’t have a belly ache?

I, for one, am tired of having my stomach in knots. I want to see the faces of the other people out there who are also finding our administration’s ounce of prevention to be more like a pound. And where is the cure?

Congress is not stepping up to provide a counter to the White House’s power grab, let alone challenge its definition of the problems facing our country. Even today, the Washington Post reports that the House GOP leadership is working on limiting proposed controls to warrantless wiretapping.

So an appeal is in order to all of you out there in Pennsylvania and the surrounding region who are feeling bloated and uncomfortable, heavy and chilled as our backyard BBQs are winding down and we have to turn inward and face what the summer has delivered:

This Sunday is Constitution Day. It’s a federal holiday recognizing the signing of the Constitution right here in Philadelphia. And on this Sunday, here on Independence Mall, we’re going to be unveiling an 8-foot Constitution; we’re going to have John Dean speaking – former White House counsel during the Nixon administration – along with Ann Beeson, the ACLU attorney who successfully argued the recent case against the NSA warrantless wiretapping program. Hamell On Trial will be performing, and we’ll have even more local speakers and readings of poetry by Guantanamo Bay detainees.

This sunny Sunday, Sep. 17, 2:30 p.m. on Independence Mall in Philadelphia (5th and Market St.), the ACLUs of PA, NJ, and DE want you to join us for one more summer fling – but this time, we’re dumping out the picnic basket and calling on Congress and our administration to account for its contents.

Jess in Philly

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