28 November 2011


From Stephen D. Foster, Jr. ~ "Since Occupy Wall Street began, American police officers have arrested thousands of people for exercising their constitutionally protected right to protest. On Monday or Tuesday, the US Senate will vote on a bill on a bill that would give the President the ability to order the military to arrest and imprison American citizens anywhere in the world for an indefinite period of time.

"A provision of S. 1867, or the National Defense Authorization Act bill, written by Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, declares American soil a battlefield and allows the President and all future Chief Executives to order the military to arrest and detain American citizens, innocent or not, without charge or trial. In other words, if this bill passes and the President signs it, OWS protesters or any American could end up arrested and indefinitely locked up by the military without the guaranteed right to due process or a speedy trial."

This flies in the face of every constitutional guarantee of protection for those accused of a crime, not to mention those who have committed no crime other than speaking their minds. We are innocent until proven guilty. And the U.S. is not a war zone or a police state, in spite of the ambitions of those Republicans and few Democrats who sponsored the "arrest and detain" amendment to the defense funding bill.

This brief video reminds us of similar past mistakes, e.g., the internment of Japanese-American citizens during WWII, and the summary arrest without just cause of thousands of Americans during the McCarthy era. Now it appears we must resist the impulse to excessive power yet again.

Time is of the essence. You can sign the American Civil Liberties Union petition here. Better still, call your Senator now. Here is a list of all U.S. Senators and their contact information. And here is a list of contact information for all federal and state executives and legislators. Make your voice heard !

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