Two excellent Fourth of July plans

As Congress considers reauthorizing the Patriot Act, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee is sponsoring a nationwide Patriot Week of Action (starting July 2) to remind people of their Constitutional rights. They also offer language for letters to the editor and suggestions for making your own true Patriot Celebration.

And why not spend this Independence Day helping shut down an institution that's in direct contradiction to American moral values: the prison at Guantánamo Bay? A diverse coalition of organizations ranging from Code Pink to the Center for Constitutional Rights is passing out American flags that say "Torture Is Immoral and Unpatriotic, Shut down Guantánamo." They're asking people to stage local readings of the play, Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, and gathering signatures and volunteers for a massive lobbying campaign.

For those who were thinking more along the lines of a parade and a barbecue, Code Pink has a page of ideas for your own parade outfits, talking points in case you get into an argument with your cousin Frank at his barbecue, and even a fireworks-watching anthem.

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