27 Feb 2012

Group Presses City Council to Oppose NDAA

Author: Eric Lagatta | Filed under: Bowling Green City Council, Spring 2012, Student Contributor

By Eric Lagatta

About 15 people showed up at last Tuesday’s city council meeting to urge the council members to take action against the National Defense Authorization Act.

The act, which was drafted and signed by the federal government on New Year’s Eve and will take effect this year, allows the government to indefinitely detain anyone suspected of being a terrorist, said Ian Zulick, a member of PANDAA and a sophomore at Bowling Green State University.

After the council voiced doubts about the proposed resolution at the February 6 meeting, three members from People Against the National Defense Authorization Act addressed the council again, along with a member of Occupy BG and a member of the Libertarian Party.

They returned with almost 500 signatures for city council to look at the resolution again, said Daniel Johnson, the founder of PANDAA and a freshmen at BGSU.

The group also has the backing of three constitutional lawyers, he said.

“The NDAA is dangerous to everyone’s personal rights and liberties,” said Peter Fisher, a member of PANDAA and a junior at BGSU.

PANDAA plans to start small in Bowling Green and then move to the state level and then the federal level to get the NDAA overturned, he said.

“We want to get more people aware of it and get people talking about it,” Fisher said.

The group wanted to start at the local level because that is where citizens have the most voice, said Sam Link, a member of PANDAA and a student at BGSU.

“I have a lot of respect for the local government,” Link said. “It’s the closest to the people.”

The council could not nullify the act but, the resolution, if adopted, would be a symbolic gesture for city council to “codify its position on it,” Johnson said.

The council decided not to introduce legislation against some of the provisions of the NDAA but appreciated the group’s activism and respectfulness.

“As a citizen and as a member of this council…I too am offended by the NDAA,” said Fourth Ward Incumbent Greg Robinette.

Robinette said he respectfully disagreed with their approach and urged PANDAA to instead either go to federal officials or challenge the act in court.

“I cannot recommend a resolution,” he said.

Sandy Rowland, council at-large, also thought the group took the wrong approach but appreciated their civility.

“[Thanks] for being respectful and for trying to make a better world for all of us,” she said.

Daniel Gordon, first ward incumbent, urged the group to continue to come to the council with their concerns.

Even though PANDAA did not accomplish what they wanted at city council, they don’t plan to give up.

“We will continue to fight it no matter where it is,” Johnson said.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.