Some Bronx residents rally against sections of the Patriot Act

Some Bronx residents exercised their First Amendment right Tuesday when they rallied outside the New York Public Library to voice their disapprobation over the Patriot Act.

The Patriot Act was drafted and pushed through Congress shortly after September 11 in hopes of finding and punishing terrorists both in and outside of the United States. This week Congress is holding hearings on controversial portions of the bill.

Members of the New York City Bill of Rights Defense Campaign rallied against contended elements under the bill that allows law enforcement to seize records and conduct surveillance. They are also concerned about the bill?s definition of domestic terrorism, citing cases in which people arrested for civil disobedience were labeled terrorists.

Campaigners say they want local congressional delegation to support two bills that would amend the Patriot Act -- one would cut out provisions they say violates civil liberties and the other would provide greater oversight of the powers granted to law enforcement.

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