For Immediate Release
Hearing/Press Conf on Federal Lawsuit Seeking Injunction Against the Implementation of National Defense Authorization Act
NEW YORK - At 9:00 AM this Thursday, March 29th at the Southern District of New York Federal Courthouse, multiple plaintiffs will testify in support of a worldwide lawsuit against the United States government over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA, also known as the “Homeland Battlefield” law, permanently suspends due process and Habeas Corpus for persons accused by the federal government of being involved in hostilities against the United States, or being an “associated force” of terrorists. The law authorizes military policing of US citizens for the first time in over 200 years.
The first round of plaintiffs in this historic case, dubbed “the Freedom Seven”, include Chris Hedges, Daniel Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir, and three women leaders working at the vanguard of civil liberties and basic human rights who have reason to believe they are in imminent danger of harm under the NDAA. Naomi Wolf and Dr. Cornel West are in the process of becoming plaintiffs in this lawsuit; Wolf will read her statement in court that day.
As Hedges noted this week, "If there is no rolling back of the NDAA law we cease to be a constitutional democracy. Totalitarian systems always begin by rewriting the law. They make legal what was once illegal." He continued, "Crimes become patriotic acts. The defense of freedom and truth becomes a crime. Foreign and domestic subjugation merges into the same brutal mechanism. Citizens are colonized. And it is always done in the name of national security. We obey the new laws as we obeyed the old laws, as if there was no difference. And we spend our energy and our lives appealing to a dead system."
"The Homeland Battlefield Law is as Orwellian as its name implies. America is not a "battlefield"; it is a democratic republic. This law is unconstitutional because it violates the free speech and due process rights of American citizens." Carl Mayer, lead attorney on the case.
Plaintiffs and attorneys on this case will hold a press conference on the courthouse steps at the conclusion of the hearings, some time after noon. Occupy Wall Street will express solidarity and support for this lawsuit with a gathering and silent march beginning at Foley Square at 3 PM.
"The NDAA is a sweeping invasion of the traditional right of all Americans to live as free citizens without the threat of arbitrary detention and incarceration and to speak and express themselves openly without fear of government." Bruce Afran, attorney on the case
This lawsuit is accompanied by a global campaign geared to alert the US public and galvanize people to protest this egregious assault on the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Two groups, a small, international and all-volunteer organization called RevolutionTruth, and the million-member civil liberties group Demand Progress, have teamed up to ensure the general public has a strong platform for standing against the unconstitutional aspects of the NDAA. Over 45,000 emails have been generated to US Congress members from their constituents in support of the lawsuit in Round One. Round Two will be opened up to the US public and to people around the world who wish to become plaintiffs. For more information, go to www.stopNDAA.org
Address for trial and press conference:
United States District Court
Southern District of New York
Daniel Patrick Moynihan
United States Courthouse
500 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10007-1312
Tel: (212) 805-0136
Demand Progress works to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing, lobbying, and elections in the United States.