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5 More Years...
of NSA Warrantless Wiretaps?

September 11, 2012: The House of Representatives will vote this week (likely on Wednesday) on a bill that would extend the NSA's warrantless wiretap program for another 5 years.

Tell them NO!

Congress passed the FAA (FISA Amendments Act) in 2008, in effect legalizing President Bush's controversial warrantless wiretap program. Four years later, we know almost nothing about how the FAA has been implemented or about the scope of the surveillance that's being conducted under the Act.

And what we do know raises serious concerns...

  • the NSA intercepts 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other communications every single day (Washington Post, 7/19/2010)
  • the NSA says it cannot even give a rough estimate of the number of Americans whose communications have been swept up (Wired.com, 6/18/2012)
    the NSA has reportedly overstepped the bounds of this very lax law, intercepting private emails and phone calls of Americans illegally (New York Times, 4/16/2009)
  • all those communications are stored on a searchable database, allowing the government to get information on specific Americans without any suspicion that they have committed a crime (Huffington Post, 9/6/2012)

In spite of these concerns and others, Congress wants to reauthorize the program without adding any safeguards or doing any oversight!

It's a disgrace.

At the very least, before considering legislation to reauthorize the FAA, Congress should require the government to specify the nature and extent of this illegal surveillance and in any reauthorization legislation, Congress should impose statutory mechanisms to ensure that illegal surveillance does not recur under the FAA umbrella.

Please send an email to your Representative today!

 

Fix the NDAA!
The House of Representatives passed the $643 BILLION National Defense Authorization Act in May. Aside from budgeting an obscene amount of money to keep our nation on a permanent war footing, the House extended the restrictions on transferring detainees out of Guantanamo, failed to fix the indefinite detention provisions, and included an amendment that restricts access to Habeas Corpus rights (details here).

It is unclear at this time whether the Senate will vote on the NDAA this year (it's too controversial for either party to want to take up before the election, and there may not be time during the lame duck session). If the NDAA does come to the floor of the Senate this year, it looks like the leadership of both parties will try to prevent votes on any amendments that could fix the indefinite detention provisions that have activists so concerned.

So, the best path for fixing the NDAA is by supporting free-standing bills: H.R.5936 in the House, and S.2175 in the Senate. These are the only two bills that will really fix the problems with the NDAA by repealing the mandatory military detention requirement and banning indefinite detention and military commissions from the United States.

Send an email now.

Note: Senator Feinstein introduced the “Due Process Guarantee Act” last year to fix the problems with the NDAA. Her bill has garnered significant support in the Senate, but DDF and most other civil liberties groups oppose her bill because it singles out citizens and legal permanent residents for protection, thereby denying due process to people who are legally in the country on temporary visas, or people without documentation. So, we have a special message for Senator Feinstein:
If you live in California, click here!

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Please forward this message from NoPoliticalRepression to your networks:
Stop the Grand Jury Witchhunt!

Call In Day- Wednesday, August 29th : We are asking for people to call the US Attorney again this Wednesday, August 29th. Call Jenny Durkan at (800) 797-6722 and leave a message with the person who answers the phone. Last call in day, they tried to send people to a voicemail box. If they attempt to do that, tell whoever you are talking to that you would like to leave a message with them and not a voicemail.
An example of what you might say:
“Hi. I am Jolene Seaside. I am calling about the grand jury being impaneled in Seattle tomorrow, August 30th. This case clearly shows that the FBI and government are persecuting political dissent in our country. It is despicable that US attorney and the government are harassing and intimating this group of people for their political beliefs. I demand that the grand jury and investigation be ended immediately, that the governments repression of social movements stop, and that any items seized in the raids be returned. Thank you for taking my comments.”

When you call the U.S Attorney's office, please let them know that you are speaking for yourself and not the individuals resisting the grand jury subpoenas. Be aware of how the things you say will impact the people you are trying to help. If you make a call, please email us (nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com) and let us know how what kind of response you got from the Attorney's office.

Read more about Grand Jury Repression here.

What else you can do this week:
Thursday, August 30th: Come to Seattle to stand against the Grand Jury witch hunt! There will be a demonstration in solidarity with those affected by the raids and subpoenas starting at 12:oo pm The demonstration will be at the federal court house, 700 Stewart St., in Seattle.

Can't make it to Seattle? Plan another event or demonstration in solidarity! Please email us at nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com to tell us about your event or attend one of these solidarity events:
Portland, Oregon: Come show resistance to state repression and solidarity with those whose backs are against the way. 12:30 to 3:30 pm at the Federal Court House (1000 SW 3rd Ave). https://www.facebook.com/events/401156179937499/ .
Benefit film screening of "Better this world" at 7:00 pm at the Red and Black Cafe (400 SE 12th Av). 10% of sales go to the grand jury resisters. https://www.facebook.com/events/517636418251551/
Minneapolis, MN: A rally in solidarity with Northwest/Midwest grand jury resistors and local Occupy Homes organizers. 12-1pm at City Hall (350 S 5th St). http://twincitiesantirepression.tumblr.com/post/30111358127/a30-solidarity-against-state-repression
New York City, NY: Workshop on Grand Juries on Tuesday, August 28th 6:30pm-8pm at Brecht Forum (451 West Street). https://www.facebook.com/events/349579371789978/

Please donate! There is a “Donate” tab on our website. We are trying to raise legal fees for all of those affected. We also are trying to provide material support for those that are resisting the grand jury.

Please keep checking our website for updates: http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/. If you have questions, email us at nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com.

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May Alert:
Congress will begin debate on the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as early as May 15. They will be able to address the catastophe they created last year when they authorized the presidet to order the military to put civilians picked up far from any battlefield int indefinite detention without charge or trial. That's right, the mere suspicion of involvement with terrorism could land a person in military custody, forever, without the hope of a trial.

Fortunately Representative Adam Smith (D-WA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) will introduce an amendment to the 2013 NDAA that will fix the problems created last year by repealing the mandatory military detention requirement and banning indefinite detention.

Tell your Representative to support the Smith-Amash amendment. It's the only real fix to the NDAA on the table.

Click here to take action!

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Stop the NDAA Train Wreck!

Lawmakers who are justifiably concerned with the detention provisions in the National Defenese Authorization Act (NDAA) have introduced legislation to protect us from indefinite detention without trial. The problem is how they are defining "us." They are drawing a false distinction between citizens and everyone else, asserting that the Constitution applies to the former, but not the latter.

That is a very dangerous idea that could have far reaching consequences. Please take action to remind your members of Congress that the Constitution is meant to protect everyone in the U.S., not just citizens.

Read more here.

February 6, 2012

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Indefinite Detention Without Charge or Trial?

It's un-American, unjust, and it won't make us safer, but the National Defense Authorization Act gives the president the authority to indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without charge or trial.

That's right, the president need only accuse a person of being linked to al Qaeda or any other terrorist group hostile to the U.S. or to any of our "coalition partners" to command the military to haul them in. Without charging them of a crime, or bothering with a trial.

The House has already passed the bill, the Senate will vote soon, and President Obama will either sign or veto the bill

Call and email your Senators to tell them to vote NO on NDAA.

Click here to tell President Obama to veto the NDAA.

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"Why are y’all gearing up like this is war?"

-- Sgt. Shamar Thomas, a U.S. marine, confronting police at Occupy Wall Street in New York (10/15/11).

On October 25, police in Oakland, California, armed with lethal and so-called less-lethal weapons, dressed in riot gear, protected by helmets, shields and bullet proof vests, responded to unarmed protesters with tear gas, ‘flash bang’ grenades and ‘bean bag rounds’, resulting in the critical injury of one protester, Scott Olsen. Olsen, an Iraq War Vet who did two tours of duty in Iraq without injury, is recovering in the hospital, but the attack on him has brought necessary attention to police use of ‘less lethal’ weapons during protests.

DDF immediately issued a press release condemning the actions of the Oakland police and calling on police departments across the country to immediately pledge to stop using less-lethal weapons including rubber bullets, bean bags, tear gas, baton rounds or concussive (flash bang) grenades against unarmed and peaceful protesters. Use of these weapons can seriously injure protesters, and make a volatile situation more dangerous for both protesters and police.

Click here to sign our petition against disproportionate police force against protesters!

 

You love your technology, but did you know that it's all fair game for government snooping -- without a warrant? That means documents in the "cloud", pictures on your mobile phone, emails, even your phone's gps data... and that's a whole lot of information!

The government's power to read your email, access your private photos stored online and track your daily movements is defined in a 1986 law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. The privacy protections of ECPA have not been updated since 1986. They say that the government can access your communications and surveil you without getting a warrant from a judge. Isn't it time for privacy to catch up with technology? DDF has joined with Center for Democracy and Technology, Electronic Frontier Foundation, the ACLU and dozens of other civil liberties groups in a petition campaign. The petition says:

The government should be required to go to a judge and get a warrant before it can read our email, access private photographs and documents we store online, or track our location using our mobile phones. Please support legislation that would update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) to require warrants for this sensitive information and to require the government to report publicly on the use of its surveillance powers.

Join the call to get Congress to reform ECPA by signing the petition here.

 

Stop Team B!

A Commission to Study "Domestic Radicalization"?
A measure attached to the Intelligence Authorization Bill (passed by the House on September 9) will create a Counterterrorism Competitive Analysis Commission, or a 'Team B' of outsiders tasked with second-guessing Intelligence analysts. Many readers will remember the original 'Team B', created during the cold war by our good buddies Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, who thought CIA analysts were too soft on the Soviet Union. They needed a commission that could validate their view that Moscow was militarily dominant, so they created the commission, got the answers they wanted, publicized the findings and drove up the military budget. Problem is, that 'Team B' got it wrong.

Fast-forward to the war on terror, and an Administration that Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) thinks is soft on terror, or more specifically, soft on American Muslims. He needs a commission to provide an official platform and credibility for his views and those of the entire Islamaphobia industry. The language of the amendment obscures Wolf's agenda, stripping it of all reference to Islam, asserting instead that "terrorism and domestic radicalization represent evolving and dynamic threats to the United States."

A coalition of civil liberties and civil rights groups has written to Senator Feinstein asking her to cut the measure out of the Intelligence Bill. See the letter here.

Call Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, at 202-224-1700. Ask her to scrap the Wolf amendment (technically, Section 310 of the Intelligence Authorization Bill).

Talking points:
- The Wolf amendment is all about political and religious ideology, which is protected by the Constitution. Government efforts to fight terrorism should focus on criminal behavior, not constitutionally protected beliefs.
- Representative Wolf's fear-mongering agenda and attempts to vilify Muslims should not be given an official platform
- We don't need a "Team B" of political appointees to second guess professional U.S. Intelligence analysts

If your Senator is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, please call their office also. You can reach all offices by calling the Capitol Hill Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Democrats: Feinstein, Rockefeller, Wyden, Mikulski, Nelson, Conrad, Warner
Repubublicans: Chambliss, Snowe, Burr, Risch, Coats, Blunt, Rubio

 

Support the Irvine 11!

Public speakers get interrupted all the time. Usually the hecklers get carted off, maybe they spend the night in jail, and that is usually it. But when 11 Muslim students disrupted a talk by Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. at the University of California Irvine, authorities came down hard. The students were arrested and threatened with expulsion; the Muslim Student Union (the group that organized the protest) was suspended for a semester and put on probation for two years. The Orange County District Attorney charged the Irvine 11 with conspiracy to disrupt a meeting, which could mean six months in jail.

The protest occurred on February 8, 2010, so the D.A. has pursued this case for a year and a half. It is expected that the trial will last about a year. A bit much, isn’t it?

The trial started on August 29 with jury selection. Opening arguments are expected to begin on September 7.

Here is how you can support the Irvine 11:

1. Attend the Trial

We need as many people are possible to attend the trial. It's vital for the community to come out in solidarity with the Irvine 11 and their family members. A lot of media is attending the trial on a daily basis so we need to show them that we care about the cause.

To make it easier on the attendees, we have two daily shifts from 8:30am - 12:00pm and 1:30pm - 5pm. However, we encourage people to attend both shifts and attend multiple trial dates. We are estimating that the actual trial will take place from September 7th to September 23rd. If any unexpected changes occur, we will be sure to update all attendees via email the night before.

You can sign up here: http://www.irvine11.com/attend-the-trial/

2. Raise Awareness via Social Media

Over the past year, we've seen the power of social media to mobilize change and educate people about social causes. We encourage Irvine 11 supporters to use social media as a platform to inform others about the Irvine 11 and ask others to attend the trial.

Change your Facebook picture
- In order to raise awareness about the case, please change your facebook picture to the Irvine 11 flyer attached to this email. We want to be united community and this is one way to draw attention to the cause and stand in solidarity with the Irvine 11.

Update your Facebook/Twitter/Google + with Irvine 11 Updates
- Write your own personalized messages in support of the Irvine 11 and encourage people to attend the trial.
- We will be posting up daily updates on the Irvine 11 facebook and twitter so please be sure to repost them onto your own profiles.

3. Donate

The Muslim Legal Fund of America is still collecting donations to pay for the Irvine 11 legal fees. Please donate here: http://www.irvine11.com/donate-to-the-legal-fund/

4. Write Op-Ed Letters and respond to comments on Irvine 11 Media Coverage

We encourage supporters to write opinion articles and letter to the editor about the Irvine 11 case. If you'd like us to review your articles or would like a list of media outlets to submit your letters to, please email us at info@irvine11.com.

There are also a lot of negative and ignorant comments about the Irvine 11 on articles published about the case. Please take the time to respond to these comments to show support for the 11.

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Visit the DDF Action Archives here.
 

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