27 Feb 2012

Student Protestors Made Their Way Into City Council

Author: Elyette Yert | Filed under: BGSU, Bowling Green City Council, Spring 2012, Student Contributor

By Elyette Yert 

About 15 student protestors came to the Bowling Green City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, arguing against the National Defense Authorization Act.

The protestors were from a group on Bowling Green State University’s campus called PANDA, which stands for People Against The National Defense Act. This act gives the government the ability to arrest anyone suspected as a terrorist without due process, Dan Johnson, founder of PANDA, and freshman and political science major, said.

A few of the members spoke in front of the council. Their goal was to get one resolution and two ordinances passed, however only a resolution can be adopted on council’s stance. They also wanted to spread awareness of this issue and how it could affect us. A representative from the Bowling Green Occupy Movement also spoke with the same goals in mind.

The group mentioned having received 500 signatures in only a week as well as letters from faculty members showing their support.

Some of the council members gave the protestors a response. Greg Robinette, fourth ward incumbent, said he disagreed respectively. He also said it appears to be an unconstitutional law and should be challenged in court.

Sandy Rowland, at-large, said she respects what they are doing, but doesn’t agree with their approach.

Daniel Gordon, first ward incumbent, commended all of them for coming forward and hopes that this doesn’t stop anyone from coming forward in the future.

John Zanfardino, second ward incumbent and city council president, said the meeting really shed some light on the issue. He also said they should keep the council informed and could possibly gain their support, if they decide to take the issue to a federal level.

No actions were taken to change the act, but the students were able to make the city council and audience members aware of this law.

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

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