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15 and Counting. Berkeley, CA Rejects NDAA

In recent weeks, resistance to federal kidnapping powers in the 2012 NDAA (specifically sections 1021 and 1022 of the Act) has been catching on like wildfire. Virginia this year became the first state in the country to pass a binding law refusing compliance with the act. And yesterday, the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a resolution rejecting the NDAA – becoming the sixth state to do so.

Harder to tame than a willful statehouse might be a cluster of cities and counties, each one individually nullifying through local law. Local communities are standing up to say NO as well. Towns, cities and counties around the country are being presented with model legislation that they can use to consider a resolution or a binding ordinance and in quick time – a number have already voiced their approval of such action.

On February 5, 2012, the Berkeley City Council passed Resolution No. 61,449-N.S. establishing a policy that “the City will cooperate only with constitutionally valid requests from the federal government, and all actions by the Berkeley Police Department will remain in accord with Amendments 4-8 of the U.S. Constitution, the due process clauses of the California Constitution, and the United Nations Charter, Article 55.” Last night, the Council followed on that resolution with another – this one specifically aimed at the “indefinite detention” provisions of the 2012 NDAA.

After unanimously passing the resolution, Berkeley is now the fifteenth local government around the country to have passed similar legislation.

It states, in part:

the indefinite military detention of any person without trial violates the 5th and 6th amendments of the Constitution of the United States, Article III of the Constitution of the United States, and the Posse Comitatus Act;

But the Council, acting on recommendation from the City’s Peace and Justice Commission, didn’t stop at simply denouncing the unconstitutional federal act. They included language to take their response a step further. It states that they will:

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Rhode Island House Rejects Indefinite Detention

On Tuesday June 12, 2012 the Rhode Island House of Representatives passed a Resolution in opposition to the new Federal government kidnapping powers in the NDAA. As this is a House resolution, no other legislative action is required for transmission to the Federal Government, including the entire Rhode Island congressional delegation that voted for the NDAA. Currently five other states have passed laws or resolutions in response to the NDAA. Rhode Island Rep. Dan Gordan shepherded the resolution to obtain over half the House of Representatives as cosponsors, and won final passage 52-15.

The final Resolution states in pertinent part:

“The indefinite military detention of any person in the United States without charge or trial violates Article III and the 5th and 6th Amendments of the Constitution of the United States;”

The Resolution also states that the NDAA’s “authorizing the indefinite military detention of civilians captured abroad far from any battlefield violate the laws of war by which the United States is bound and which it helped to establish, and harm our Nation’s reputation for upholding the rule of law and democratic values; these civilians should be prosecuted in our federal courts if there is evidence of wrongdoing, not detained without charge or trial;”

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