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August 24, 2006

Association Issues Letter Condemning Security Fence for Independence Mall

PHILADELPHIA –Alan M. Feldman, Chancellor of the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association, sent a letter to the National Park Service on Wednesday condemning the proposed plan to erect security fences throughout Independence Mall.

“Particularly in Philadelphia, the birthplace of our freedoms and the place where our devotion to the rule of law originated, the notion of fencing off from public view the building where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Constitution was adopted is a dreadful idea which should be abandoned,” Feldman’s letter states.

Feldman’s letter calls for the National Park Service to take a “fresh look at security” but stresses the necessity to strike a balance between the protection of historic sites and the need for Americans to have access to such national treasures as Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

“We are concerned that increasing already-formidable security measures will make Independence Square even less accessible to the public.  Such an outcome is surely at odds with the importance of these historical shrines, which are icons of our free and open society.  We do not need a cure which is worse than the disease,” Feldman said on behalf of the Association.

Read the full text of the Chancellor's letter.

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