20. Reinstitution of Civil Rights

Reinstitution of Civil Rights Including the Repeal of the NDAA. Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, legislation has been enacted to curtail the privacy and civil rights of American citizens. Foremost among these laws is the Patriot Act of 2001 and more recently, portions of the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) wherein the government may or may not require the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens suspected of planning or assisting “belligerent” acts against the United States.  

Under the current NDAA, civilian citizens of the United States may be indefinitely held, without review or oversight, in military detention and tried before a military tribunal without access to family, friends or an attorney.

This terrifying law could easily be abused in a time of crisis to make people “disappear.”  President Obama’s shameful decision to sign this law effectively repeals the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, The Bail Reform Act, suspends the Writ of Habeas Corpus and violates at least the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The Patriot Act has allowed for the increased surveillance of American citizens and CIA access to confidential credit reports, school records, communication records, Internet activity, and other personal information, without consent or notification. We call upon the United States government to repeal those portions of the Patriot Act that limit the civil rights of American citizens and repeal the aforementioned sections of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Click here to sign and show your support of this grievance.

“It was quiet in the cell. [he] heard only the creaking of his steps on the tiles. Six and a half steps to the door, whence they must come to fetch him, six and a half steps to the window, behind which night was falling.”Arthur KoestlerDarkness at Noon

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Tony Hanes commented 2012-03-12 08:32:50 -0700 · Flag
Inspired by Tim and Gary’s post; Its outrageous that we loose even one freedom under the guise of protection. Freedom is the absolute core of American fundamental philosophy; even something that right and left citizens can usually agree upon.

Personally, and I truly feel most people agree, that I do not care about my risk in a homeland terrorist attack if it means that to prevent that action; that I would be at risk of being detained by the government, per the decision of any government investigator that determines I should be “held” based on his opinion.

I would rather walk the streets FREE, knowing that my fundamental American right of due process was secure; and proudly take the risk of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, of any terrorist attack.

How could any president support any measure to limit our core foundation of freedom? Have they forgotten WWI and WWll ? Have they forgotten the revolutionary war? How did any American president allow a generalized fear, to manifest into a form of a military state. How then do we differ from Egypt?

The patriot act MUST go.
Tashia Berman commented 2012-03-11 18:31:10 -0700 · Flag
Remember: All that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. If you are losing your rights on a local level, you must stand up and demand them at the very moment they are infringed.

It is not at all beyond me to embarrass everyone I’m with by reminding people around me that they are infringing upon my civil rights and refusing to allow it.
Tashia Berman commented 2012-03-11 18:28:20 -0700 · Flag
I have to agree wholeheartedly again! I must say, I am surprised. I really didn’t think I was going to agree with much the “99%” had to say, because I didn’t think it really was 99%, but I agree with much.

I don’t think the Declaration of Independence needs to be rewritten, or the Bill of Rights. I simply think that they must be interpreted more broadly with an eye toward the new technology that our founding fathers could not have imagined.

If there was a reasonable expectation of privacy and it is invaded by prying law-enforcement or government snoops, it is an infringement. Habeas Corpus must apply and NDAA must go.

The Patriot Act is unnecessary. What is necessary is the education of the public about what to look for and report. We don’t need xray scanners at the airport. Ordinary metal detectors and a quick, simple questioning of anyone who appears to meet the profile is all that is needed to determine if they must look closer.

Ask the Israelis how it’s done? The terrorists would target them before anyone and they have the best system for prevention anywhere. They can’t believe that people can leave unattended bags without everyone bringing attention to them. That would NEVER happen there.
Eileen Sexton commented 2012-03-10 01:33:43 -0800 · Flag
It’s all well and good that we work to regain our Civil Rights on the National level, but what about on the local level? I just read a story about a Berkeley police chief that ordered one of his staff to go to a journalist’s home in the middle of the night and order him to make changes in a story that he felt was not accurate (in other words it made him look bad). Here is one of several story links http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_20143268/berkeley-police-chiefs-decision-send-sergeant-reporters-home.
Nathan Duncanson commented 2012-02-27 16:30:00 -0800 · Flag
With the eavesdropping power of modern technology, it might be prudent to separate privacy issues into two parts. The first part being the right to hide information, the second being free from unwanted intrusion.

Technology is quickly eroding the first part, as active and passive systems can spy on what you’re doing from well outside your home or car – and as evidenced by our airport security, they can even see through our clothing. Much of this technology can be acquired by private citizens and used to spy on government, corporations, or other private citizens. Instead of trying to protect this type of privacy, we should just grant everyone equal access in both directions. Private citizens should be able to watch the government at work, observing everything that they do. Likewise towards big corporations and the deliberations in their boardrooms.

As for the second part of privacy – there is no need to be entering people’s homes, automobiles, or clothing without their consent. So that aspect of privacy should remain – again it should be applied equally to all.
Tansk Irmish commented 2012-02-27 08:09:12 -0800 · Flag
The use of unmanned non-military drones by private and government interests on U.S. soil is something this grievance or another grievance entirely needs to address. This Yahoo! article (http://news.yahoo.com/pressure-builds-civilian-drone-flights-home-150120049.html) goes into more detail, but if civil liberties of privacy are so unimportant to anyone who actually is supposed to protect such rights perhaps this declaration needs to call for an equal transparency act wherein the government and private interests such as banks and corporations get to be as thoroughly invaded as the American people. If civilian drones come to this country I want my own drone squad devoted to spying on whoever I want. I want my own jurisdiction and the right to invade such jurisdiction with drone surveillance as I see fit for purposes of “personal security.” I want to operate my own aggressive journalism squad from my home with a drone army at my disposal. I want the right to protect my own airspace and any other ridiculous right any other private or government body seems to think they deserve over me. The whole reason the second amendment provides for the right to bear arms is specifically for the purpose of allowing citizens to protect their personal security from government invasion. We either need to re-institute American civil liberties and perhaps tack on a few new ones or we can have a BS “who’s-got-the-bigger-power” legislative war wherein equal transparency occurs. I mean, I’m being sarcastic, but shouldn’t I have the right to my own private nuclear arsenal since the government has the right to bear that weapon in the name of plutocracy? These really aren’t rights or entitlements at all. They’re privileges. All I’ve ever had is privileges and not one of them has made me a freer person or ensured my permanent HUMAN claims to life (i.e. ample first-rate health-care/healthy habitat/anything that inextricably guarantees high quality of life), liberty, property, or the pursuit of happiness (i.e. actual social mobility). Maybe we should all surrender and just watch our species extinct itself. I mean, it could be the single greatest gift to our planet and the single greatest leap in our evolution we might ever embark upon, right?
Timothy Price commented 2012-02-25 07:33:33 -0800 · Flag
There is much happening that seems will come to our aid. Please take a few days to read this collection of articles and follow the links too. As far as I can tell it all checks out. There is an enormous amount of great info here.

http://www.divinecosmos.com/start-here/davids-blog/1023-financial-tyranny

If this is true, then the military budget, the Federal Reserve, corporate control, and similar corruption will be things of the past, soon. Hope so.
chuck gregory commented 2012-02-22 15:44:40 -0800 · Flag
Penny, Gary, Tim, Hikaru, Bob, et al., I’ve been working on a re-write of the Declaration of Independence to reflect the crisis of these times. While most of the specific grievances are only a sentence long, they do provide the same sort of impact the original document— naming the ill for the general public to think about, not specifying a remedy for the public to argue over endlessly. Here’s a sample:

“1. That the Congress, President and Supreme Court have worked to diminish the quality of life of almost all Americans by depriving them of:
a. Fair wages in good times
b. An economic safety net in bad times
c. Protection against unsafe working conditions
d. Protection from the exercise of force against and fraud upon them in the worlds of commerce, finance, housing and telecommunication
e. Safety in the use and enjoyment of the nation’s infrastructure, including transportation, recreational and educational facilities.
f. Protection against deceptive and dishonest information propagated at will by commercial interests on the public airwaves.”

There are ten more specifications after this first one.

I think this is what the convention should be doing—identifying the grievances rather than arguing over solutions. Just as the colonists used the Declaration to win public opinion— and only after the Revolution started figuring out how to make a country— we should go for the high ground of principle rather than the middle ground of means. When candidates realize they can’t steal our title for a proposed solution, get elected and then abandon it, they’ll start proposing we vote for them on the basis of what they will do about fixing the problem their own way. Don’t hand them a possibility to co-opt the movement!
Penny Bernath commented 2012-02-22 15:32:58 -0800 · Flag
John Lockette: I agree. “Therefore, I suggest that we should stick to two or three paramount issues. I would argue that eliminating the influence of money in politics, instituting terms limits, and reforming some of our election practices are the bare minimum. All the other areas can be fixed if we the 99% can regain control of our democracy and our government through the enactment of new rules in those three areas. Essentially, that means going with #’s 2, 4, and 17.”
Gary Wiseman commented 2012-02-22 14:56:57 -0800 · Flag
The Patriot Act took away many of our civil rights. Some changes were needed to our laws to allow the FBI, CIA an dither agencies to work together, but the Patriot Act was a complete overreach.

Those who participated in the creation of, the selling of, and the voting for the Patriot Act gave away our civil rights under the guise that we would be safer if we had less freedom.

We were not attacked on 9/11 because they hate our freedom.

We have become we the corporation, for the corporation, by the corporation.

Citizens United promotes this also.
Timothy Price commented 2012-02-21 11:33:56 -0800 · Flag
Osama ben Ladin, my ass. He was a CIA operative all along, just part of the play. It is fear that the NWO controllers have used. There has been no external threat except from the European bankes, their oil companies, and the military industrial complex that they profit from… oh, and the drugs that they grow, manufacture, and sell with prices kept high by the “war on drugs”.
The USA government is rotten to the core and only a purge by the people can regain a Constitutional government.
Robert Hall commented 2012-02-21 10:20:05 -0800 · Flag
Since 9/11 we have been under the spell of terrorists. We have lost many of our rights. It is as if the Republican Parties fear, fear, fear campaign has worked. We do not live as Americans. We live in the land of FEAR. Osama Bin Laden’s plan succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Here we are almost 11 years later trying to pick up the pieces. That Obama would buy into the fear machine has been a great dissapointmen to me. Repeal of the Patriot Act, and it’s extension the National Defense Authorization Act would be first steps to regain our land of hope and promise and end the grip of fear that has grown since fear of our own goverment initiated by Ronald Reagan is ended.
John Lockette commented 2012-02-19 18:36:40 -0800 · Flag
@ chuck gregory – I disagree that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were merely stating what was unacceptable and they did not propose or state any solutions. In fact, they advanced two major solutions – elevating the colonies to the level of free and independent states and dissolving all ties to the British monarchy. At the same time, however, I agree with your sentiment that getting too specific in advancing too many solutions could create roadblocks in terms of gaining support for the cause.

Therefore, I suggest that we should stick to two or three paramount issues. I would argue that eliminating the influence of money in politics, instituting terms limits, and reforming some of our election practices are the bare minimum. All the other areas can be fixed if we the 99% can regain control of our democracy and our government through the enactment of new rules in those three areas. Essentially, that means going with #’s 2, 4, and 17.
Timothy Price commented 2012-02-19 07:23:00 -0800 · Flag
The United States Flag holds a moral code of ethics. It was adopted along with the first 10 amendments to protect the people from a deceptive government. We need to reinstate this code of ethics as was designed into our flag. White: innocence, lack of guile. Red: good natured, well intentioned, hardy people; Blue: Honorable behavior, justice, equality.
We no longer teach this, we do not pledge this in our pledge to the flag, and our Congressmen, our President, our political parties, all lie, deceive us, and prey upon the people for their personal benefit. This must stop. It is a violation of the trust all citizens share in a free society, doing good for the general well being of all the people, …. not for profits to the few.
Timothy Price commented 2012-02-19 07:21:54 -0800 · Flag
The United States Flag holds a moral code of ethics. It was adopted along with the first 10 amendments to protect the people from a deceptive government. We need to reinstate this code of ethics as was designed into our flag. White: innocence, lack of guile. Red: good natured, well intentioned, hardy people; Blue: Honorable behavior, justice, equality.
We no longer teach this, we do not pledge this in our pledge to the flag, and our Congressmen, or President, our political parties, all lie, deceive us, and prey upon the people for their personal benefit. This must stop. It is a violation of the trust all citizens must share in doing good for the general well being of all the people, …. not for profits to the few.
chuck gregory commented 2012-02-19 03:46:41 -0800 · Flag
There are a few themes that underlie all of the proposed reforms at this site. It would be more effectively presented to the public if the Declaration of the 99 focused on those themes rather than solutions. (I consider this particular page to be a much more effective presentation of a grievance than many others.)

When the revolutionaries drafted the Declaration of Independence, they did not propose specific solutions; using a radical philosophical framework, they stated what was unacceptable . If they had demanded a federal system of government, the United States would never have happened; they would have been abandoned by the public as they sank into a quagmire of quibbling over details. While the goal is admirable, to propose solutions instead of defining the problem (as the Declaration of Independence did) is to undercut the purpose of the movement. They

If you want people to rally to your side, do as was done in the Declaration of Independence and clearly state the problem rather than offer the solution. Solutions are much better after people deal first with defining the problem.
chuck gregory followed this page 2012-02-19 03:46:38 -0800
Hikaru Maxwell commented 2012-02-19 01:17:12 -0800 · Flag
Not just civil rights, but Human Rights. Perhaps change the title to Reinstitution of Civil and Human Rights. We need to make sure our government is held accountable when members of the government are party to or responsible for grievous human rights violations, as well.

As for civil rights, we could probably add: immediate creation of an oversight committee responsible for checking our governmental branches and submitting information regarding laws or proposed laws or actions by the government which are clear breaches of the constitution or civil rights laid out therein. This committee will have the right and ability to demand revision or repeal of a law or proposed law or action should it be found to be in violation of United States Constitutional Law, or in violation of current treaties such as the Geneva Convention.

The Committee on Civil Rights would work in conjunction with the US Convention on Human Rights (which would be forthwith formed), to ensure the government is not only keeping to the constitution and its signatory promises, but also that it is not committing violations to the rights that all humans have.

The Government shall immediately convene a Committee on Human Rights to work with the Committee on Civil Rights, as well as draft a Convention on Human and Fundamental Rights for the United States and her constituent territories, which will adopt as law the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (as writ by the UN to which we are a member), and including but not limited to the rights and fundamental freedoms of health, privacy, data protection, peaceful assembly without undue aggression (by law enforcement or governmental entity), security of person (aka the right to not get unnecessarily relieved of possessions or roughed up by law enforcement), right to equal treatment regardless to race, color, religion or ethnic origin (no more secretly surveiling people on suspicion of terrorism just because they are muslim), freedom of movement (no more no-fly-list just because you think they MIGHT be a terrorist. more to that, no more terrorist watch list. either you have evidence they are a terrorist and you arrest them, or you leave them be), and other fundamental liberties and rights that currently are being overlooked or outright ignored by our current government when in process of making laws or enforcing them. The Committee on Human and Fundamental Rights shall have the power in conjunction with and above the Committee on Civil Rights to address grievances and require the amendment, repeal, or prevention of legislation that violates the fundamental and human rights of American or foreign citizens, according to the US Convention on Human and Fundamental Rights, the UN Convention on Human Rights, and the Geneva Convention.

The Joint Powers of the Civil as well as Fundamental and Human Rights committees would allow for the members of those committees to call for civil and or criminal investigation or charges be brought against government entities found to be in gross and willful violation of these rights, with the Executive, Congressional, and Judicial branches not being exempt from these measures. (IE, if the president or members of the Senate or Supreme Court are found to be knowledgable about and willfully allowing gross human rights violations, they CAN and WILL be tried under the law the same as anyone else found to be doing so.)

(basically make it US law so our government can’t just break it the way they break a treaty, and put an institution in place to make sure they’re kept in check, that can order investigation and criminal proceedings on matters involving Civil, Human, and Fundamental Rights violations within the government.)

Hmm…..this might work better as broken into two grievances instead of the one, but as they’re somewhat connected I just put both suggestions here. >.
Nathan Duncanson commented 2012-02-17 23:43:01 -0800 · Flag
We need to go further and demand that our nation treat prisoners of war with the same respect I was taught during my time in U.S. Navy boot camp (in 1985). The atrocities commited by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan during the past 10 years should never have happened. Further, the way our nation is acquiring prisoners, holding then, transferring from place to place even into combat zones all violates the Geneva Conventions for the treatment of Prisoners of War – to which the United States is a signatory. These acts have directly or indirectly “allowed” our nation’s military and intelligence agencies to violate international treaties as well as our constitution.
Maria Cadwallader commented 2012-02-17 17:03:10 -0800 · Flag
Yes, we need to repeal this heinous act.
We also need to fight for LGBT rights and marriage equality.
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