Albany Common Council upholds U.S. Constitution!
Finally, some good news to report.
On Monday, Oct. 7, the Albany Common Council (ACC) unanimously voted to make Albany the first city in the USA to outright prohibit indefinite military detention of its citizens without charge or trial, declared that the city is not in fact a battlefield and that said citizens are not subject to the “detention under the law of war,” all of which are specifics under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The ACC declared to the US government that the U.S. Constitution, the unabridged, unadulterated version, as the framers intended it, reigns supreme in Albany. All ACC members can expect to be on the non-mythical NSA watch list now -- if they weren't already -- as THAT part of the government is still up and running. Come to think of it, the parts of our government that kill people and spy on us are all fully operational, as it the Congressional gym/spa. Headstart and government burial funds for soldiers killed in action are not. Says volumes doesn't it?
I come from four generations of veterans and the two that are still living (father and brother) are very pleased that the ACC has enough appreciation and respect for the fact that they risked their lives in their military service to defend the rights and freedoms guaranteed by that sacred document, to take the risk to uphold it themselves. I say with all certainty that if the other two generations (grandfather and great grandfather) were alive they too would share in that appreciation.
For those not familiar with the NDAA, this law declares the entire United States of America to be a battlefield in the “war on terror” (which oddly enough has come to look like a war on our rights and freedoms). Sections 1021 & 1022 give the military the authority to hold indefinitely, without charge or trail, ANYONE, including American citizens accused of “support” for terrorist actions or for committing a “belligerent act” -- with neither “support” nor “belligerent” being specifically defined. Purposely. Despite the fact that this violates several sections of the U.S. Constitution, as well as at least seven amendments, the NDAA overwhelmingly passed Congress in 2011 and Obama was only too happy to sign it on Dec. 31, 2011, as he had specifically requested the two sections that the ACC repealed for Albany.
It is the strongest rebuke in the country to the NDAA, recognizing it to be unconstitutional. Other states that voted to block the law require that the state “stand down,” allowing federal officials to drag people off to G-d knows where, under G-d knows what conditions (you can bet it will not be a four star hotel), for G-d know how long. In Albany, they have to protect you.
What does this have to do with peacemaking as this blog is supposed to be about that? People who disagree with the U.S. government have been declared “low level terrorists” by the Pentagon. If you're working for peace and your government is at war....remember the vague definitions referred to earlier?
Many thanks go to People Against the NDAA (PANDAA) -- find them on Facebook, the Tom Pain Chapter of Veterans for Peace, 518 Liberty Action Alliance, Project SALAM, Campaign for Liberty New York, and numerous other organizations and citizens who wrote letters, sent messages, called and attended Monday's meeting. The later being a real sacrifice, as any one who has ever attended one of these meetings can tell you, they can be deadly long and there are not enough o's in boring to describe them.
Daniel Hogan of PANDA and John Amidon of VFP were two folks that worked hard on this issue. I would like to thank them and say, “I am proud to know you both.”
I am hoping that people in other cities and towns across America follow suit and take back their rights, their freedoms, their government. PANDAA has the material already for you to get stared. Download it here and get to work.