Protesters reported pepper sprayed, with two arrests, as the protest of the legislative lobbyists begins in Scottsdale in the Phoenix Valley.
Senators Demand the Military Lock Up of American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window
While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.
Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.
The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate.
The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.
The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.
I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?
The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.
But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.
In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”
The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.
In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.
The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.
Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
UPDATE: Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.
But you don’t have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
There you have it — indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. And the Senate is likely to vote on it Monday or Tuesday.
URGENT UPDATE: The debate on NDAA has begun. Your Senator needs to hear from you RIGHT NOW!
When Your Education is Under Attack
“What do you do?” “Fight back!”
Message from Rudy Acuña
On Monday, December 5, from 6 PM to 9:30 PM, a fundraiser will be held for the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program at the Northridge Hall at the Student Union of California State University Northridge. It is important that we as a community show our support.
Our special guest will be the Sean Arce, the coordinator of the program, who has borne the brunt of the attacks of right wing zealots and special interests such as the Southern Arizona Leadership Council, the Tea Party and bought politicos such as Tom Horne and John Huppenthal.
It has been a particularly intense struggle and through the budget the Tucson program has dwindled to a fraction of what it was two years ago. The federal government has allowed the State of Arizona to nullify its laws and single out Mexican Americans and Latinos to discriminate against them.
Like in every civil rights struggle the state has deep pockets and outspends the plaintiffs a hundred fold. The media is hostile, captives of special interests. In the case of Tucson, it is the white business community led by the SALC that controls local officials and institutions.
SALC controls the University of Arizona that just signed a football coach to a $9 million plus contract, at a time that the university is raising tuition and cutting back academic programs. Arizona is near dead last in the per capita spending per child and the educational system is a disgrace. The TUSD Mexican American Studies program was an exception and doing something about the horrendous dropout problem. Students wanted to learn.
But in Arizona it is a crime to learn about Mexican American culture. It is a crime for Latinos to get an education. Charlatans such as former chair of the TUSD Board of Trustees Mark Stegeman say that Mexican Americans who employ the farm worker hand clap belong to a cult and that the use of term la raza is equivalent to Deutschland über alles.
Sean and his fellow teachers have been called racist, separatists, and assaulted while the media turns the other way and fails to check these lies.
The hardest part of the struggle is the stress on one’s family and relationships. Friends find ways to avoid you. It is a feeling similar to what cancer patients have described to me. The victim is blamed.
Then there are the egos that tear at the little headway you make. You understand how Sisyphus felt, rolling the immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down. Egos are the worse enemy, people who normally share your goals but rationalize their behavior and distort reality.
Lastly, there are the mistakes you and your cohorts make. You can’t take them back and must go forward lest the boulder run you over.
December 5th will honor this struggle; it is our opportunity to fight back!
It is being sponsored by CSUN MEChA and the Asian American students. The entertainment will blend both cultures. It is especially appropriate that the Asian American community be present since the Japanese American community was singled out and over 100,000 were sent to internment camps. They know the consequences of xenophobia.
December 5th will also honor the big guy, Sean Arce, who has not given up and has willed the struggle. Arce, the other defendants, the community and the students have fought against all odds. We should be at the event to let him and all the Tucsonenses know that they are not alone and that we will be with them til the end.
We shall endure. We have no other choice but to fight back!
Please order your tickets or come without them. $5 for students and $10 for others. No one will be turned away. Call 1-818-677-2739 leave a message or email me. If you want to make donation via PayPal go to http://saveethnicstudies.org/ and punch the “donate” button on the upper right side.
VOICES OF ARIZONA: Americans Harmed by ALEC “Model Bills” Speak Out Against Undue Corporate Influence in the Democratic Process
Concerned citizens hold community forum and press conference to expose the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)’s stronghold on the Arizona Legislature
WHAT: Community Forum and Press Conference to expose ALEC’s influence in pushing legislation in Arizona and across the country aimed at enriching specific industries by privatizing schools and prisons, suppressing the vote, blocking implementation of healthcare reform, rolling back environmental regulations and attacking workers’ rights.
WHEN: Forum: Tuesday, November 29, 6:00pm – 9:00pm CST, South Mountain Community College
(7050 S. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85042)
Press Conference: Wednesday, November 30, 11:00am CST, Arizona State House
On Tuesday, November 29, state and national advocacy organizations will hold a forum and panel discussion to engage Arizona’s progressive community and push back on the far-reaching influence that ALEC has on Arizona’s political landscape and its citizens’ daily lives. A panel discussion will focus on ALEC’s undue political influence at the national and state level, with a focus on Arizona. Panelists include:
• Doug Clopp, Common Cause (moderator)
• Lisa Graves, Center for Media and Democracy
• Marge Baker, People For the American Way Foundation
• Erika Andiola, Promise Arizona
• Hon. John Loredo, Consultant and former State Representative
• Sheri Van Horsen, President, AFSCME Local 3111
• Rebekah Friend, Executive Director, AZ AFL-CIO
• Joe Thomas, Arizona Education Association
On Wednesday, November 30, community leaders will speak out at a press conference at the Arizona State House about the real human toll of ALEC’s influence in Arizona. The speakers will identify specific ALEC legislation that has directly impacted their families and communities. Hundreds of activists have been invited to the event, and individual Arizonans to groups such as Occupy Phoenix are mobilizing in support. Speakers include:
• Hon. John Loredo, Consultant and former State Representative (Master of Ceremonies)
• Erika Andiola, Promise Arizona
• Caroline Isaacs, American Friends Service Committee
• Erin Kirchoff, Kyrene School District Teacher
• Rebekah Friend, Executive Director and Secretary-Treasurer, Arizona AFL-CIO
• Cyndi Chacon, member of the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 30
• Frank Piccioli, President, AFCSME Local 2960
• Todd Landfried, Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform
LIVE STREAM: The press conference will be live-streamed for remote viewers.
People For the American Way Foundation and Common Cause will release a joint report, “ALEC in Arizona: The Voice of Corporate Special Interests in the Halls of Arizona’s Legislature,” which examines the extensive influence wielded by corporations, with the assistance of ALEC, in shaping Arizona’s laws through a side-by-side comparison of ALEC model legislation and actual bills submitted by ALEC-associated politicians.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a vehicle through which global corporations and state politicians collaborate and vote behind closed doors to design legislation that benefits the huge corporations funding ALEC. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life, and carry serious consequences for the American people by disenfranchising voters, undermining environmental protections, scapegoating immigrants to profit from the private prison industry and defunding public education. Learn more here.
Some people never evolve.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is one of them.
Horne was the first guest on the Buckmaster Show today and the first question was about the Ethnic Studies issue in Tucson. Horne was still spewing the same pendejadas, like a broken record, since last year.
One of his favorite false statements is that these classes separate students by race, but nothing could be further from the truth!
These classes are not required and the student makes a choice to enroll in the class, and indeed you can find a diversity of students in the classes, from Native- to African-American, from Anglo to Pakistani.
Ironically, Horne has nothing to say about ELL classes, which forcibly segregates thousands of Latino students everyday in Arizona schools for FOUR HOURS A DAY, but in those classes students usually end up with lower academic success.
It seems that if you hurt Latino students, neither Tom Horne nor Mark Stegeman will step in, but if you have a successful academic program for not just Latinos but for anyone who enrolls in the classes, then they will step in to “Stop La Raza.”
Tom Horne also repeats the now proven lie that MAS courses do not treat students as individuals. This was item number 4 on a recent top 10 list of top myths regarding the Mexican American Studies classes in Tucson.
Myth 4. MAS advocates ethnic solidarity
No observable evidence exists that instruction advocates ethnic solidarity instead of treating pupils as individuals. The instruction witnessed by the audit team emphasized various cultures only for their place in history. No one culture was instructed as being more important than another.
• She spent a portion of her planning time showing the auditors around her room and discussing projects displayed and the role of multi-cultural education in her classroom. Her classroom is a showcase of several ethnic studies, not limited to Mexican American, African American, Asian American, many tribes of Native American, and traditional American history.
from Huppenthal’s $110,000 Cambium audit, page 60.
Then again, this is Arizona and since when do truth and logic matter to our Republican leaders?
This is perhaps why the Feds have had to step in, from SB1070 to banning teachers with accents, to violating the Voting Rights Act, Desegregation orders reimplemented in TUSD this year, and now a 9th Circuit Federal Judge will have a hearing on HB2281; the “Ethnic Studies ban” bill written by Tom Horne.