On Tuesday, February 26 2013, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of a resolution entitled: ” Resolution expressing opposition to the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act”.
The resolution was sponsored by SF Board President David Chiu and co-sponsored by Supervisors Avalos, Breed, Campos, Kim, and Mar. Chiu said of the NDAA at the SF BOS meeting last night: “….These indefinite detention provisions violate fundamental American legal principles like the presumption of innocence, [and] the 5th amendment right to due process…”.
Chiu joined a few dozen people who gathered for a rally to introduce the legislation outside City Hall recently.
“I thought we had left behind the dark days of World War II,” Chiu said, citing the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Japanese immigrants during the 1940s.
Joseph Nicholson from the San Francisco 99% Coalition, one of the groups that joined Chiu at the rally, said the NDAA “crosses an important line.”
Nicholson said, “It takes the rules of war and applies them here at home.”
While non-binding, the resolution instructs San Francisco agencies to decline federal requests for detention powers granted by the NDAA, asks state and federal agencies to work in accordance with local laws and urges Congress to repeal those provisions of the law.
The resolution says, in part: “.. San Francisco public agencies are instructed to decline requests by federal agencies acting under the detention powers granted by the NDAA or any authorization of force that could infringe upon the constitutional freedom of speech, religion, assembly, privacy, or rights to counsel…” and further: “…asks our US Senators and members of the Congress to… actively work for the repeal of the NDAA’s detention provisions…”.
Chiu thanked “the large coalition that has come together to ask us to support this… the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, The Coalition for a Safe San Francisco, the Asian Law Caucus, the San Francisco Labor Council,[and] the San Francisco 99% Coalition… .
With this vote, San Francisco becomes the 18th (and by far the largest community) so far to pass a resolution against the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA.
On a similar principle, a bill has been introduced into the California State Assembly, which would declare NDAA indefinite detention to be unconstitutional and would also criminalize any attempt to use such detention powers within the State of California.
Michael Boldin, Tenth Amendment Center executive director, noted that such local resolutions as passed in San Francisco yesterday – and previously in Fairfax, Santa Cruz and Berkeley, CA – help build a coalition in support of the binding legislation in the state house.
“This is a big step forward. Since this country was founded on the principle that “we the people” are supposed to be in charge, it makes sense that the most effective activism would start out on a local level. I congratulate all those who worked hard to get this resolution passed in San Francisco. I hope that coalition will stay strong and support Assembly Bill 351 which is now live in Sacramento. As the saying goes – “as California goes, so goes the nation…” If California can do the impossible, and nullify “indefinite detention,” which is nothing more than government kidnapping, we can stop this criminal act dead in its tracks.”
ACTION ITEMS for California
AB351 is pending referral to a committee. This is likely to happen soon and the bill could be heard in committee as early as Marcy 16th. Your action is needed right NOW to help move this bill forward.
1. Contact your representative in the California Assembly. Strongly, but respectfully, let them know that you want their support on AB351. Urge them to “vote on principle and not on party lines.”
It is highly recommended to CALL rather than email. Contact information here:
Make sure to ask where they stand not only on AB351, but on the power of “indefinite detentinon” in general. If you leave a message on their voicemail, make sure to ask for a call back so you can actually speak with the legislator or their staff.
2. Encourage your local community to take action as well. Present the Liberty Preservation Act to your city county, your town council, or your county commissioners. Various local governments around the country are already passing similar resolutions and ordinances. Local legislative action present a great way to strengthen a statewide campaign against NDAA indefinite detention
model legislation here:
3. Join the NDAA activist group on Facebook. Connect with others, plan strategy, build a coalition, and help get AB351 passed!
4. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family. Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state. Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.