How are you going to vote on May 17? On that night Williamstown Town Meeting voters will have to decide whether to send a message to state and federal governments resisting allegedly resisting aspects of the so-called USA Patriot Act which abridge First Amendment and Fourth Amendment freedoms through surveillance, privacy intrusion. To help you decide, Williamstown resident Ray Warner (a retired New York Times copyeditor) has provided a text of the Town Warrant Article he authored and has penned an op-ed column in support of its approval. The warrant article calls for the town to join more than 350 U.S. communities in urging caution in the way they observe the act, portions of which will expire automatically, and a remarkable left-right coalition wants it gutted. Warner's resolution is pretty simple . . . it asks selectmen to direct the police department to "refrain from engaging in surveillance of individuals and groups based on their participation in activities protected by the First Amendment, such as political advocacy or the practice of religion." It directs town police not to act alone or help federal or state officials spy on the the political, religious, social views, associations or activities of anyone unless as part of a criminal investigation. It requires the town library to post a notice saying that records of your book- or tape-borrowing activities can be inspected and seized by federal agents -- and the library can be gagged from telling you about it (all this under the act as currently in force). Here is a link to the text as a regular HTML file: Download willamstown_MA_patriot_act_resolution.htm and also as a PDF file (better for printing): Download willamstown_MA_patriot_act_resolution.pdf . Our selectmen, by the way, have declined to give their support for this resolution. Why? How will you vote at town meeting?