CONGRATULATIONS to all, especially our SF 99% Coalition Civil Liberties Committee, who called, emailed, faxed and appeared before legislative committees in Sacramento, to support this legislation targeting the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which bars state cooperation with any attempt by the federal government to indefinitely detain people.
On October 2, 2013. Governor Brown signed into law AB351 which goes beyond any other state in rejecting federal indefinite detention power. The law reads, in part:
“It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detenion of a person with in California.”
The NDAA allows the US military to indefinitely detain anyone – without charges or a trial – on the basis of “national security” concerns. California joins two other states, Virginia and Alaska, which states have also signed bills into law prohibiting their states to cooperate with federal government ttempts at indefinite detention.
Friday, Sept 27 in SF Federal District Court
This Friday, the San Francisco Federal District Court will hear important arguments in the leading lawsuit against government dragnet surveillance of Americans since 9/11, Jewel v. NSA. The government’s claims of state secrets and privilege have failed to get the case dismissed entirely, and are still being litigated. Charges that the government violated the public’s first and fourth amendment rights remain.
This public case may determine not only the limits of government spying, but also the limits of its powers of secrecy and immunity from prosecution under the US justice system. The hearing is Friday, September 27th at 1:30 pm at 450 Golden Gate Ave., 19th Floor. Read this analysis:
Smackdown NSA: Constitution vs. the National Security State,
by Karen Nyhus
A knock-down, drag-out fight between basic constitutional rights and government surveillance will go another round in San Francisco federal court this week. In Jewel vs. NSA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing the federal government and several high officials of the Bush and Obama administrations, charging they authorized illegal dragnet surveillance against millions of Americans in the wake of 9/11. Despite recent revelations of a much wider surveillance program, none of it has yet been proven illegal, stopped by a court order, or led to any government official being held responsible. In Jewel, the EFF has defeated the government’s initial claims of total state secrecy and immunity from prosecution. While some charges have been dismissed, those alleging violations of Americans’ First and Fourth Amendment rights remain, as do some alleging statutory violations, and claims against government architects of the NSA surveillance individually. So this public trial may expose and judge the nature and legality of government spying.
According to Oakland attorney Joe Nicholson, interviewed for this story, Jewel and related cases are the leading legal challenge to government spying currently ongoing in the US (while others were dismissed: Hedges v. Obama, for lack of standing, and cases against the telecoms after Congress granted them retroactive immunity in 2008), and this Friday’s hearing will be pivotal. As Nicholson notes, President Obama has stated that government surveillance should be debated publicly and with respect to the rule of law, and this public trial provides such an opportunity.
While outcomes of Friday’s hearing are uncertain, Nicholson believes it will set the pace and tone of the legislation. Though the 9th Circuit has already ruled that the Jewel plaintiffs have initial standing to bring their lawsuit, the court will ultimately determine whether the evidence now in the public domain is sufficient to make a ruling on the merits of the case and, if so, to prove the surveillance is illegal. Evidence supporting the charges has come primarily from declarations and undisputed documents provided by whistleblowers. In 2006, AT&T employee Mark Klein exposed the secret room AT&T built in a downtown San Francisco building to copy bulk Internet communications for the NSA. Most recently, Edward Snowden and others have provided evidence of the global reach, broad nature, and corporate involvement of spy programs.
This hearing will also set the timetable, determining whether the case can be resolved relatively quickly, or drag on indefinitely.
Interested members of the public are convening outside the court building at 450 Golden Gate Ave. at noon on Friday. Seating in the courtroom is limited, and any protest activity must occur outside (of court).
PROTEST/ RALLY OUTSIDE FEDERAL BLDG:
“Nancy Pelosi, Stop NSA’s spying on US!”
Wednesday, September 4 – Noon to 1:00 PM
New Federal Building, 7th & Mission Street, San Francisco
PLEASE JOIN the SF 99 % Coalition and other concerned citizens to tell Nancy Pelosi: “Stop NSA’s spying on US! and live up to your oath to defend the Constitution, including the 4th Amendment!.” Please attend and spread the word!
Background: On July 24, 2013, House of Reps Democratic “leader” Nancy Pelosi was THE key to pushing the excellent Amash-Conyers “Defund the NSA phone records collection” down to a narrow defeat. She also voted NO, one of only 2 congress members from the SF Bay Area delegation (Thompson was the other) to vote against this first “stop buying spying” legislation following Ed Snowden’s revelations. Pelosi is completely out of step with her SF constituents on this.
Please call Pelosi’s office between now and then, to let her know that you disagree with her vote and actions to defeat the Amash-Conyers amendment:
Phone numbers: (202) 225-4965 in DC office; (415) 556-4862 San Francisco office
Tell her to abide by her oath of office to protect and defend the US Constitution, including the 4th Amendment; and to stop funding the broad NSA surveillance of everyone who lives in this country!
A free, interactive workshop for those who are, or want to become, active in restoring our Constitutional rights:
Sunday, August 18, 3:45 – 6 PM
Unitarian Universalist Center, Martin Luther King Rm
1187 Franklin St. (at Geary), San Francisco
This workshop will feature short presentations about NSA surveillance by attorneys and organizers, followed by breakout groups meeting to plan actions, write materials, and network. The goal is to define common goals and propose strategies for ending blanket surveillance of our phone records and electronic communications. A statement of support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden will be available for your signature.
Hosted by Unitarian Universalists for Peace-San F rancisco
& the SF 99% Coalition
RSVP: email@example.com or Call: 415-595-7306
In support of BRADLEY MANNING, EDWARD SNOWDEN and other courageous whistleblowers:
Thursday, June 27, 7 pm
First Unitarian Universalist Church
1187 Franklin Street (corner Geary Blvd), San Francisco
DANIEL ELLSBERG, revered whistleblower of the 1970s, will tell his own story and talk about recent American truth tellers: Edward Snowden, the intelligence analyst who recently “blew the cover” of secret US government surveillance, and Bradley Manning, the openly gay Army intelligence specialist now facing life in prison for acting upon his conscience by exposing US war crimes in Iraq and elsewhere around the world. Manning is currently a Nobel Peace prize nominee.
MICHAEL THURMAN of the Bradley Manning Support Network will speak on the logistics of the Manning Contingent at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and how best to organize ourselves to participate. Michael is a “Global War on Terrorism”-era Air Force veteran whose experiences with surveillance aircraft led him to oppose our nation’s wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
COME OUT! BRING FRIENDS and JOIN US AT THIS TIMELY PLANNING EVENT!
FREE ADMISSION – WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE
SPONSORS: Progressive Democrats of America-San Francisco firstname.lastname@example.org -
San Francisco 99% Coalition http://sf99percent.org -
Unitarian Universalists for Peace-San Francisco email@example.com
Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 7:30 pm
St. John’s Church
2727 College Avenue, Berkeley 94705
A $10 contribution for Bradley Manning legal defense fund will be requested. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Americans’ civil liberties are vanishing at an alarming rate, jeopardizing not only democracy but even the rule of law. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by President Obama in January 2012, gives the President indefinite detention powers that threaten essential rights.
On June 11, an accomplished and energetic panel of speakers will outline the threats posed by the NDAA and as well as actions underway to challenge it. They will address critical questions such as: How can we act together to restore the rule of law? Is it too late to protect the civil liberties of future generations?
Daniel Ellsberg: America’s most well-known whistleblower, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers and changed Americans’ attitudes about the Vietnam War. He is a founding board member of the Bradley Manning Support Network and the Freedom of the Press Foundation and plaintiff-litigant in the NDAA case Hedges v. Obama.
Birgitta Jonsdottir (MP Iceland – Pirate Party): Poetician, Director of the International Modern Media Institute, co-producer of the aerial weapons team WikiLeaks “Collateral Murder” video, Bradley Manning supporter, and plaintiff-litigant in the NDAA case Hedges v. Obama.
Nadia Kayyali: Legal fellow and organizer with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. She has worked at the ACLU of Northern California, Bay Area Legal Aid, Common Ground Collective in New Orleans, and Occupylegal, where she supported Occupy activists at sites across the Bay Area.
Norman Solomon: Journalist, media critic, anti-war activist, and author of “War Made Easy” and co-founder of RootsAction.org.
Moderator: Robert Jaffe, Volunteer Attorney challenging the NDAA in the case Hedges v. Obama.
Sponsors include ACLU Berkeley Chapter, Alameda County Against Drones, Aquarian Minyan, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, CodePink, San Francisco 99% Coalition, St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, Occupy Bay Area Jewish Contingent, RootsAction.org.
Below is the Press Conference announcing the vote by the Board of Supervisors: