27 Feb 2012

Student Protestors Seek Support of Local Government

Author: Phillip Martin | Filed under: About Us, Bowling Green City Council, Local stories, Spring 2012, Student Contributor

By Phil Martin

Student protestors for the People Against the National Defense Authorization Act movement pleaded the Bowling Green City Council for support.

Dan Johnson, the leader of the PANDAA movement at BGSU, asked city council members at Feb. 21 meeting to take legislative action against the National Defense Authorization Act.

NDAA gives the U.S. the right to arrest any person suspected of being a terrorist without due process. The act was signed on New Year’s Day but will take effect later this year, Johnson and his supporters said.

PANDAA supporters said the act violates their rights in the Ohio and U.S. constitutions.
Johnson, a freshman political science major at BGSU, tried to convince the city council to pass a resolution and two ordinances against the act.

But, BG City Council members didn’t budge. Several council members commended the protesters for taking a stand, but they also said they could do nothing to nullify the act in BG.
Johnson said, however, that PANDAA will continue to defend its rights by presenting its views to other legislative bodies in Ohio.

Johnson told city council that similar legislative action has been approved in other places across the nation. PANDAA has also gathered 500 signatures on a petition, Johnson said.

Jonathan Pangle, 20, a PANDAA member, said the two ordinances would allow local police to release people if they were arrested because of the act. A resolution would give the city council the power to say it was against the act if the ordinances would not pass, he said.

Pangle, a sophomore at BGSU, also explained why he and his fellow protestors wore reflective tape at the meeting. Initially, 150 protesters were expected to come, and the tape that he and other members wore would allow the protesters to navigate their way to the meeting, he said.

About 10 to 15 PANDAA protesters showed up, but members of the Occupy BG movement and the Libertarian Party of Wood County came for support.

Michael Thurau, a graduate student in public administration at BGSU and a member of Occupy BG, also presented his thoughts about NDAA to the city council.

“Legislation like [NDAA] comes with a cost… The consequences outweigh the benefits,” Thurau said.

Thurau said protesters would like the city of Bowling Green to pass a symbolic resolution against NDAA.

Other actions at the meeting included:

• The council honoring former mayor John Quinn.

• John Zanfardino, the council’s president, read Quinn’s honors of distinguished public service for the community.

• The crowd applauded as Quinn accepted his honors.

• “Can I park anywhere special, emeritus style?” Quinn jokingly asked the council.

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