The Berkeley Police Review Commission (PRC) deserves praise for its resolution recommending that the city not cooperate with the Justice Department's request to interview local people on U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft's anti-terrorist list. Ashcroft and the Justice Department are misguided in their assumption that racial profiling and ethnic scapegoating will protect us from future terrorist attacks.
Instead, such tactics promote suspicion of and alienation from our government at a time when national unity is more important than ever.
Mayor Shirley Dean should ask the City Council to join the PRC in its opposition to the Justice Department's request. The Mayor does not need to wait for additional information before standing up for the rights of the citizens she represents.
I urge the Mayor and Council to adopt a resolution supporting the PRC without delay.