Great news! As reported by Nick Hankoff (in the Facebook status above), chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Los Angeles County, AB 351 has passed the Public Safety Committee thanks to the trans-partisan efforts by the ACLU of Southern California, Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Tenth Amendment Center, Republican Liberty Caucus, 99% Coalition, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Coachella Valley, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Japanese-American League, and many antiwar groups.
What is AB 351? Sponsored by Assm. Tim Donnelly (R-33th), AB 351 codifies non-compliance by California state agencies against federal agents’ attempts to indefinitely detain Americans making it the most comprehensive non-compliance anti-NDAA bill in the country:
This bill would enact the California Liberty Preservation Act. The act would prohibit an agency in the State of California, a political subdivision of this state, an employee of an agency or a political subdivision of this state, as specified, or a member of the California National Guard, on official state duty, from aiding an agency of the Armed Forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of a person within California pursuant to (1) Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA), (2) the federal law known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force, enacted in 2001, or (3) any other federal law that could lead to the indefinite detention of a person within California, except as specified. The bill would also prohibit the use of state funds and funds allocated by the state to local entities on and after January 1, 2013, to engage in any activity that aids in implementing the NDAA, as specified.
This is a great victory, but the war against indefinite detention (aka Obama’s Gulags) is not over. It took many phone calls from committed activists all over California to overcome this first hurdle. If you are in California, hook up with the various coalition forming locally to put pressure on city’s to support AB 351. Check out BORDC or TAC or contact your local ACLU to find out how to work with coalition near you.
I am working with the Los Angeles v. NDAA Coalition and we just launched the Coachella Valley v. NDAA Coalition two weeks ago, so if you are in any of those areas, let me know. We always need people to testify in local city councils on behalf of anti-NDAA efforts to pass non-binding resolutions at the city level and non-compliance at the state level.
What can I do? If you are in a YAL chapter, I highly encourage organizing panels to educate your fellow activists and students in your campuses as a first step. Instead of turning into a partisan diatribe against a particular politician, make an effort to make it a trans-partisan and include ideologically diverse panel against NDAA (and yes, you do not need to have a pro-NDAA person). An additional activism effort would be getting anti-NDAA resolutions passed by your student councils. Form coalitions with other YAL chapters in your colleges. Altogether, makes for a powerful statement in defense of civil liberties.
1. NDAA: Liberty Preservation Act Tracker–The Tenth Amendment Center has a map on their website with details on where anti-NDAA legislative battles are being fought by state and city level.
2. Activism toolkits–BORDC provides amazing resources to empower local and state activism.
3. NDAA: A Primer–Young American for Liberty’s own Aaron Tao compiled this great primer about the NDAA. I have also attached a draft taking points to this blog post.