Another Action Planned During State Democratic Party on February 11th
Activists from around San Diego County demonstrated on Friday, February 3rd, against both Democrat Susan Davis and Republican Duncan Hunter for their support of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 – the bill signed into law by President Obama on the last day of 2011.
The Act allows the government to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens without charges or trials. Demonstrators staged simultaneous protests outside the offices of Davis and Hunter, both San Diego County legislators in the House of Representatives, who voted for the original bill.
On Adams Avenue, where Davis has her San Diego office, nearly 40 people rallied, waved signs – calling on Davis to either “repeal the NDAA or resign!” And in the El Cajon industrial park where Hunter has his office, another two dozen demonstrators called on Hunter to resign or get rid of the NDAA.
Several members of one of San Diego County tea party factions joined progressives at Hunter’s office site. This reflects the fact that both sides of the political spectrum oppose the NDAA.
The action at Davis’ office was organized by a recently-formed coalition called Save the Bill of Rights. It consists of members of different progressive organizations, such as MoveOn San Diego, Occupy San Diego, the Movement for a Democratic Society, the Democratic Party, and Progressives for a Democratic America. None of those groups have actually endorsed the new coalition, we are told.
It has a website: SavetheBillofRights.net Their website is up and running but is still accepting text and links from the group’s members.
The Ramona Forum – made up of progressives, independents and tea party members from that East County community – sponsored the action at Hunter’s office.
At the Adams Avenue protest in front of Susan Davis’ office, had gathered at 1pm, and after about a half hour, they gathered at the building’s front steps for a rally.
Frank Gormlie, an organizer of MoveOn and Save the Bill of Rights (and editor of this website), welcomed people to the gathering, giving some background to the passage of the NDAA and its effects. Anita Wucinic-Turner read a sample resolution that has been taken to other city councils around the country condemning the NDAA.
Bob Dorn then presented some historical background of government efforts over the centuries in curtailing freedoms in this country. Both Anita and Bob are also members of the Save the Bill of Rights group.
Dave Patterson, a key organizer for the Ramona Forum, was one of the main speakers at the Hunter office action. A local, Christian conservative businessman, Eric Anderson, also gave a few words.
Another protest against the NDAA is planned for the State Democratic Party convention being held in San Diego next weekend. The Save the Bill of Rights coalition and its supporters are calling for a march and rally during the convention to bring attention to the role that the Democratic Party has had in passing this Act. The group plans to rally at Children’s Park at First and Island at noon on Saturday, February 11th, and then marching to a site across the street from the Convention Center for a rally with speakers.
Even though the NDAA’s chief sponsors and proponents were US Senate Republicans, most Democratic Senators also voted for it when the Senate version came before them. Only 13 Senators voted against the bill, including Senators Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, and Rand Paul.
However, it was a different story in the House of Representatives when that body voted for its version of the bill. House Democrats were exactly split on it – as 43 voted for it and 43 voted against it. Those voting for the NDAA included just about the entire San Diego County delegation, including Darrel Issa, Brian Bilbray, Susan Davis, and Duncan Hunter. Bob Filner – still a member of Congress while he runs for San Diego mayor – was not in DC during the vote, and did not vote. (We assume he was in San Diego campaigning …)
February 3rd was a national day of action against the NDAA and there were protests at various Congressional offices around the country. In a sign that the push-back against this Act is gaining momentum, several bills have been introduced in both houses to either counter the worst provisions or remove the provisions that apply to American citizens.
In fact, staff at Susan Davis’ office, approached the demonstrators gathered outside their office and handed out fliers that claimed that Davis had worked to lessen the worst language in the NDAA and had even co-authored a new bill to counter the worst of the original Act. Yet, the language that Davis claims she had inserted into the bill only had to do with exempting American citizens from “military custody” and was silent on civilian custody, such as of the FBI, Homeland Security, or even local police departments. And in an example of ‘thou doth protest too much’, Davis’ assertion that she is helping to sponsor a new bill that that will work to undercut the worst of the old bill – speaks for itself. If the old bill – the one that passed – was okay – as she claims, why did Davis then feel compelled to have to sponsor a new “improved” bill?