Letter to President Barack Obama: Protect Peaceful Protesters in Ferguson, MO

Dear President Obama,

I’m writing to you because of what is happening right now in St. Louis. This morning (on November 26, 2014), a group protesting peacefully on public property was broken up with pepper spray and arrests, for no reason other than expressing their constitutionally guaranteed right to speak out. Leaders of this group are also being targeted by police simply for trying to organize for change in their community.

I will be honest, your speeches on the unrest gripping this country have been lacklustre, and I fear only serve to embolden those now using force to quell dissent. Make no mistake, this is not about maintaining law and order, this is about allowing citizens of this country to protest peacefully against injustice and inequality.

I implore on you to use the power of your office, and that of the Department of Justice, to act decisively to allow the peaceful, well-organized protesters in Ferguson and elsewhere to continue their work. Since you’ve been elected, I’ve watched a lot of people in the upper echelons of American society get a free pass to commit fraud and embezzlement on the American people, while those fighting for racial and economic justice at the bottom of the scale have been subjected to aggressive intimidation and the full force of the state against them.

Knowing what I do about your own story, I have to believe this does not sit well with you. This is a pivotal moment in the American story, and I sincerely, deeply, hope that you will step up to the occasion and act decisively on the side of people fighting for a better, more just America.

The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act Must be Stopped

I could try to give a good background on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but there are articles out there that explain it better than I ever could. Here’s one: Obama’s Most Fateful Decision – go ahead and read it, then hit the back button and come back to this page. I’ll wait.

No, really, go read it. I’ll be here.

Ok, done? You worried for the future of this country yet? This piece of legislation represents the latest in the slippery slope we’ve been on since 9/11. This country has been slowly chipping away its own civil liberties in the pursuit of “security”, and this Act is the final nail in the coffin.

The United States of America, the country that stood strong against the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and fought against itself to end slavery, this shining example of freedom and liberty throughout the world, is now being slowly dismantled and destroyed. Not with bombs and bullets, but by the hands of our own elected representatives.

The provisions of this Act stomp all over the Constitution and give our government the ability to essentially make any American disappear if it perceives a threat. If you think this is an overstatement, ask yourself this: do you really believe any large institution – including our government – won’t do anything in its power to preserve itself and its authority? ALL institutions, public and private, look out for number 1. Just ask the victims of Jerry Sandusky about how Penn State protected them from a predator.

Now ask yourself, how all the countless Americans who fought and died on foreign soil protecting YOUR rights and freedoms would feel, seeing the people they sacrificed for tossing away their liberties like yesterday’s garbage?

This legislation is an insult, a spit in the eye, on all who have sacrificed for this country. It turns its back on this country’s history of standing up for freedom and liberty against all dangers. This legislation would turn America into a police state, so fearful of everything and everyone that its most cherished freedoms are tossed aside.

This is why EVERYONE needs to let their representatives know that they do not support this. There will always be dangers to this country, and there will always be bad people out there trying to take us down. But the fundamental strength of this country is its resilience and resolve in the face of attack. These provisions in the NDAA do not secure this country. They will irreparably harm it.

Contact President Obama and let him know he must veto it.

Contact your representatives and let them know they must fix this NOW. (This link is to the ACLU – not everyone agrees with them, but their page is set up to help you automatically send a note to your elected representative. Very handy.)

Open Letter to President Obama re: National Defense Authorization Act

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to you for the first time, because I am deeply disturbed by the news I am seeing regarding clause 1031 of the National Defense Authorization Act, which will shortly be on your desk to be signed.

While I appreciate the efforts all levels of government have taken to ensure our nation’s security, this clause, allowing for indefinite imprisonment of US citizens suspected of terrorism, is a dangerous breach of due process that is one of the cornerstones of this country.

I urge you in the strongest possible terms to veto this bill. To sign into law a clause that effectively allows any future leader to imprison Americans without due process is to turn your back on the sacrifices millions of Americans have made before you to secure the peaceful, open society we have today.

PLEASE, do not allow this to become law.

Brian Haigh

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