ALA 2012 Anaheim

Council I

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nominations for the Committee on Committees and for the Planning and Budget Assembly were presented.

Keith Michael Fiels reported on actions since Midwinter.

Council conducted a self-assessment. The results were discussed by Maureen Sullivan.

We broke into small groups to brainstorm ideas of how to move the Council forward to improve our work and effectiveness.

We heard a report from Sari Feldman, and Robert Wolven about the Digitan Content & Libraries Working Group.

Whereas voting is an essential citizenship right;

Whereas past attempts to restrict voting have included poll taxes and literacy tests;

Whereas the 2008 national elections were the most racially diverse in American history, helping to close the longstanding gap between whites and voters of color;

Whereas voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, purging of voter rolls, and cuts to early voting are the latest tactics for suppression of voting by historically disenfranchised groups, including people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities;

Whereas up to 11% of Americans lack government-issued IDs, and up to 7% lack official documents proving their citizenship;

Whereas proponents of voter suppression laws have failed to show that voter fraud is a problem anywhere in the country, and that voter fraud is exceedingly rare; and

Whereas voter suppression laws have been passed by 15 states, and are pending in 5 more states (and passed but revoked in Maine); now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):

1. opposes voter ID laws, restrictions on voter registration, cuts to early voting, and any other laws resulting in the restriction of lawful access to voting; and
2. encourages libraries and librarians to provide information to citizens to mitigate these restrictions should they remain in effect on Election Day.
Mover: Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975

Seconder: Mary Biblo, Councilor at Large

 I voted for this and it passed.

 Resolution in Support of Whistleblower Bradley Manning

Whereas in May 2010 Pfc. Bradley Manning of the U.S. Army was arrested for
allegedly leaking classified materials to the anti-secrecy website, WikiLeaks;
Whereas for these alleged actions Bradley Manning now faces numerous charges,
including aiding the enemy by indirect means,” punishable by the death penalty or life in prison;
Whereas the materials Bradley Manning is charged with releasing contained important
revelations related to U.S. foreign and military policy, including the fact that the U.S. military withheld important information about the killing of journalists and innocent civilians in Iraq; the fact that, contrary to assertions by both the Bush and Obama administrations, there is an official tally of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan; the fact that it was official U.S. policy to ignore torture in Iraq; the fact that U.S. civilian contractors were complicit in child trafficking activities in Afghanistan; the fact that known Egyptian torturers have received training from the FBI in Quantico, Virginia; and the fact that the State Department authorized the theft of the UN Secretary General’s DNA;
Whereas Daniel Ellsberg has compared the actions of which Manning is accused to
the release of the Pentagon Papers;
Whereas the American Library Association has strongly supported the principle of
​government accountability and the protection of whistleblowers;
Whereas Bradley Manning was detained for eight months on the Quantico Marine
Corps Base under conditions described by Amnesty International as “unnecessarily severe” and “inhumane”, denounced by more than 300 legal scholars in the United States as “a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against punishment without trial”, and characterized by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture as  “cruel, inhuman, and degrading”; and
Whereas public statements by both President Obama and by Martin Dempsey, the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that Manning broke the law may have prejudiced his right to a fair trial; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the American Library Association calls upon the Secretary of the Army
and the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army to release Pfc. Bradley Manning from pre-trial confinement and drop the charges against him.
Mover: Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975
Seconder: Mike Marlin, Councilor at-large, 916-243-9778
​2011-2012 ALA CD#43
​2012 ALA Annual Conference

I voted against this and it failed.
Whereas WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization that publishes submissions of secret document ​from anonymous sources and news leaks;
Whereas WikiLeaks has made available thousands of critical documents concerning United
​States foreign and military policy;
Whereas WikiLeaks is performing a vital watchdog role by expanding citizens’ knowledge on
matters of vital public concern, following in the steps of the newspapers that published the Pentagon Papers, courageously supplied by Daniel Ellsberg;
Whereas Support for WikiLeaks should be a concern for all those who believe in the right to
know and intellectual freedom, and most especially librarians;
Whereas WikiLeaks is under tremendous pressure from many governments, elected officials,
​and prominent personalities to stop publishing leaked documents; and
Whereas the American Library Association has signed a joint letter with many other
organizations asking the United States government to reverse its order to US government agencies blocking access to WikiLeaks, in support of publishers’ and citizens’ first amendment rights, and against the possible application of the Espionage Act against WikiLeaks; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA):
1.​supports the rights of WikiLeaks to publish leaked government documents;
2.​commends the efforts of WikiLeaks to expunge from documents names and other material deemed potentially harmful to innocent people;
3.​commends WikiLeaks for performing a public service by making available important documents related to foreign and military policy;
4.​recommends that libraries consider linking their websites to the WikiLeaks website where appropriate; and
5.​condemns any harassment of WikiLeaks.
Mover: Al Kagan, SRRT Councilor, 217-819-9975
Seconder: Mike Marlin, Councilor at-large, 916-243-9778
I voted against this and it failed.


16,404 attendees

19,826 New Orleans

25444 Washington, DC
We adjourned.

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