I am a steadfast member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization founded in 1920 to defend individual rights guaranteed in this country by our Constitution.

During this unprecedented pandemic threat, I also generally support the steps that Gov. Jay Inslee and other government leaders have taken to protect public health and safety.

Lately, relatively small numbers of people are protesting what they claim to be unconstitutional restrictions on their civil liberties and livelihoods.

In this current public-health crisis, while I do not support the protesters’ objectives, I wish the ACLU would clearly articulate what additional powers governments might have during a pandemic and address the civil-liberty claims of the protesters. I urge the ACLU to identify criteria for what constitutes justifiable liberty restrictions for public-health purposes, and to use that criteria to support or oppose government actions that have been under attack by people who feel their liberties have been curtailed.

So far, the organization has been silent on this question. Lives are on the line now. The courageous tradition of the ACLU calls for an outspoken response.

Daniel Farber, Olympia