The ramifications of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, will be felt in our city and throughout the country for years to come as seen with past acts of terror in the US. BORDC aims to educate people about the significance of our rights and to convert concern, outrage, and fear into debate and action, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a commitment to civil liberties in the wake of tragedy.
The events of the Boston Bombing have the potential to make all of us less secure in our rights. The called-for increases in police profiling, the police’s expanding powers, and their further militarization all have ramifications that reach much further than securing a marathon or a plane. Boston—and the rest of the country—is confronted with one question to answer: what will the impact of the envisioned police powers be on members of all communities that call this city home?
At BORDC, we work with community organizations to identify and reach out to local allies in ways that build cross-issue, cross-community, and even cross-city movements to restore our civil rights. As part of this strategy, we aid groups in developing their organizing plan and offer model ordinances as a starting point, which groups can then adapt to local circumstances. This approach has seen remarkable success in over a dozen cities/counties including Alameda County, CA.
Last month, BORDC released ground-breaking model legislation prohibiting or curtailing the use of drones. In one of its versions, the ordinance would declare the local airspace above a town or city to be a drone-free zone in which drone use is completely illegal. In its other incarnation, it would provide for the organizers’ choice of a non-police use exception, a warrant exception, and a private use exception. As calls for increased aerial surveillance mount, such an ordinance will be critical in ensuring that we don’t cede our privacy to the skies.