[NEW YORK, NY] The first rounds of statements from seven high-profile plaintiffs suing President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, House Speakers and DOD Representatives for injunctive relief barring the implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)‘s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions of indefinite detention and suspension of Habeus Corpus will be heard in federal court today, March 29, 2012.
The hearings will begin at 9am at the US District Court Building at 500 Pearl Street in Manhattan (Room 15A) and will be immediately followed by a press conference outside the court at 2:30pm beside the center statue at nearby Foley Square (Junction of Center Street & Federal Plaza map link). Taking questions at the press conference will be Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and plaintiff Chris Hedges, film maker Michael Moore, author Naomi Wolf, lead counsel for the plaintiffs Carl Mayer, as well as other plaintiffs and their activist supporters. At 3pm, following the press conference, activists with Occupy Wall Street are expected to stage at the square for an anti-NDAA protest action.
The plaintiffs in Hedges v. Obama include: New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, celebrated writer and linguist Noam Chomsky, Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, Tangerine Bolen founder of the activist media group RevolutionTruth, Occupy London activist Kai Wargalla, and Alexa O’Brien founder of the web campaign “US Day of Rage.” Each of the plaintiffs share common narrative that their constitutionally protected work, either in activism or in journalism will be chilled by the over-broad provisions set forth 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 today.
“I have had dinner more times than I can count with people whom this country brands as terrorists. But that does not make me one,” said Hedges ”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” says Carl Mayer, lead attorney on the case.
You can read or print a copy of the plaintiffs lawsuit at THIS LINK the text of the NDAA in it’s entirety is available at THIS LINK. For more information on the case and it’s plaintiffs visit www.stopNDAA.org