Time magazine called the protester the person of the year for 2011, but if the US government continues with its campaign against American freedom, defying corruption with demonstration as such will be outlawed in only a matter of time.
Concerned over how very real the collapse of the US Constitution is because of Congress’ passing of the National Defense Authorization Act, activists with the online collective Anonymous have proposed a national day of action against the controversial legislation to occur next month.
Hacktivists had initially proposed a massive campaign against the act for January, but have now moved the protest to launch on February 3.
The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA, was recently signed off by US President Barack Obama. Under the legislation, the Department of Defense is guaranteed spending appropriations for a 12-month span. Thanks to certain provisions snuck in, however, the US government is granted the powers to indefinitely detain and torture American citizens without charge, essentially creating Guantanamo Prison-style detention possibilities for anyone deemed a threat by American authorities.
US President Barack Obama insists that he will not abide by such provisions, although the laws are still written and approved under his own name. Although he could abide by his word and remove himself from endorsing any of the provisions, the fact that the legislation does still for such enforcement does not negate its existence.
“The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” says ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero of the dangerous realities promised under NDAA. Even if the president says he will not abide by the powers he has now been bestowed with under the legislation, Romero says that Obama “will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.”
Activists against the legislation have rallied in opposition since it first moved through Congress. Following Obama’s New Year’s Eve signing, however, widespread disbelief and concern has only increased and now Anonymous is urging Americans to take it to the streets before Congress begins to act on the damning bill.
“While we cannot force the American people to protest, we must tell them that this law will trip away any rights they thought they had including but not limited to free speech, free press, free access to information and the right to protest, assemble and bear arms,” recites a digitzed voice in a recent YouTube clip uploaded by an account alleging to be affiliated with the Anonymous collective. The narrator describes that NDAA allows for the government to detain suspects, “even American citizens, without trial” for any allegedly belligerent acts.
“What is a belligerent act?” asks the speaker. “Is protesting a belligerent act? Is being Anonymous a belligerent act? This is where we draw the line.” “This is when we revolt.”
In a written message that appears in the video, the operative says that the protests will spawn nationally. “Everyone will flood the street. The street is now your place of protest.” Since NDAA first entered Congress, protests have occurred across America although they have attracted relatively small numbers of participants and have almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media. Demonstrations were staged outside the White House for several days in a row with a handful of protesters being arrested for their actions.
“We are trying to get word out to the people that they need to petition laws like this,” one Anonymous operative participating in the campaign, Operation Blackout, tells RT. “NDAA was passed with minimum media attention, so ‘Anons’ and [those with the Occupy Wall Street movement] have been dedicated to raising awareness. So far word has spread pretty fast. Now we have to convince those who “represent” us to actually do what they were elected to do.”
Even people who’ve come to me trying to defend NDAA have quickly backed off when they realized exactly what this law means to US citizens,” adds the operative.
Previously, hacktivists aligned with the Anonymous collective attempted to wage cyber attacks on the creators and signers of NDAA, going after lawmakers involved in the bill by posting private information on the Web.
“No longer will you enslave the people. The world will know of your violations against the rights of the citizens you were elected to represent,” read a statement from one Anonymous operative at the time. In recent weeks, a similar online-organized attack against supporters of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, forced in part several major corporations from withdrawing support of the legislation.