The Democrats are coming to town for a three-day state convention, beginning today – Friday, Feb. 10th. Big name Dems like Governor Jerry Brown, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and US Senator Al Franken, will be here. There was even a rumor that President Obama would make a showing.
Yet the State Dems will be facing an angry crowd on Saturday rallying across the street from the convention – an angry crowd made up of Democrats, independents, progressives and yes, even some Republicans. Angry because most Democrat senators and half of the House Dems voted for the Bill-of-Rights-gutting National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, that was then signed by another Democrat – the one in the White House.
The NDAA allows the government to pick up and detain American citizens without charges, without trials and without habeas corpus, and has been roundly condemned by the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, Human Rights Watch, and just about every civil libertarian in the country.
A local coalition called Save the Bill of Rights is sponsoring a march and rally on Saturday at noon. The group is made up of Democrats, MoveOn members, activists from Occupy San Diego and Movement for a Democratic Society, as well as independent progressives. They plan to meet up at Children’s Park – just a short distance from the Convention Center, march over to the site across from the Center, and hold a rally with speakers and song.
Last week, the coalition and another group, the Ramona Forum, held joint protests at both Duncan Hunter and Susan Davis’ San Diego County offices. The coalition holds both Democrats and Republicans responsible for the NDAA. It was Republican Senators like Lindsay Graham who pushed it in their chamber – but both parties voted for it – except just 13 Senators, including Al Franken, Bernie Sanders, and Rand Paul. In the House, half of the Democrats voted against it, whereas all the Republican members voted for it. But it was a Democratic President who signed the bill into law on December 31, 2011.
Save the Bill of Rights has a website: SavetheBillofRights.net and holds weekly meetings, and is planning more actions in the future, including some teach-ins. As most have not even heard of the NDAA, the group believes that its main task is one of education.
Rally Against the NDAA of 2012
Saturday, February 11th
Noon – Children’s Park – First and Island in downtown San Diego
March and Rally across from the Convention Center with speakers and song
wear orange – the international color of detention