Minneapolis, MN – More than 75 people rallied here, Feb. 3, as a part of the National Day of Protest against the provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allows for indefinite detention without trial. The protest occurred outside the Obama campaign headquarters. President Obama signed this unconstitutional bill into law Dec. 31. According to Anh Pham of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR), “This law allows the government to continue to oppress anyone who doesn’t agree with them.”
Sam Richards of Occupy Minneapolis stated, “The NDAA of 2012 is the largest assault on our rights since the Patriot Act. Obama ran as a champion of civil liberties. We demand an end to the attack on our civil rights.”
This demand rang clear as activists joined in chants, speeches, guerrilla theater and an occupation of the Obama headquarter building as part of the direct action. The message of the protest was apparent, with signs such as “No war on our rights: No NDAA,” and chants like “Hey Obama, pay attention! We say no to indefinite detention!”
After hearing representatives from organizations such as the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Occupy Minneapolis and the Anti-War Committee, protesters performed a skit to illustrate what the NDAA laws could look like. During speeches by activists, guerrilla actors dressed as military and FBI personnel attacked and hooded them, thus silencing the progressive voices. A member of the Anti-War Committee called out “I have a constitutional right to protest!” as an ‘FBI agent’ threatened her and led her out of the demonstration.
Then the crowd entered the Obama headquarters building, to press their demands for civil liberties. Many stayed to occupy the headquarters for over two hours and were successful in getting a future meeting set up with state director of the Obama campaign.
Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, whose home was raided by the FBI on September 24, 2010 stated, “The government is already engaging in attacks on anti-war and international solidarity activists. While the U.S. government spends billions waging war on people of the world, they want to criminalize our right to speak out against their unjust wars.”