Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Repeal law denying citizens’ right to peaceably assemble on federal property
On March 8, 2012, President Barack Obama signed the H.R. 347: Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011. Its obscure title may belie its insidious invasion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and so to be clear: this law removes the rights of citizens to peaceably assemble on government grounds. Our constitutional right as American citizens to voice our concerns when we vehemently disagree with the decisions of our elected officials has been quietly removed, and our voices silenced. The American people are no longer welcome to participate in the legislative process.
Furthermore, under the National Defense Authorization Act, there is a risk that those arrested and detained during protests on federal grounds may not be released, because President Obama–with the full support of a bi-partisan Congress–has reserved the right to detain prisoners indefinitely without trial or legal representation if they are considered a ‘potential threat to America.’
The United States Senate unanimously approved this completely and directly unconstitutional bill, and the House of Representative had only three dissenters: Representatives Ronald Paul, Paul Broun, and Justin Amash.
We have been seeing more and more Americans detained while doing nothing more than exercising their constitutional rights. Elderly men and women are forcibly removed from courthouses in North Carolina and Texas, and students are sprayed directly in the face with pepper spray while they sit together in protest, notably peaceable. The violence enacted against Americans in the practice of their rights is an affront to democracy, and it must be stopped.
Please sign this petition to exercise your first amendment right to petition the government, in defense of your other first amendment right to peaceably assemble. We must not allow the government to strip our rights away from us. We will not be silent.
Dear President Barack Obama,
In March of 2012, you signed a bill into law that stripped Americans of their right to peaceably assemble. Under the broad definition outlined by this law, Americans can be detained by police indefinitely just for exercising their constitutional rights too near to a federal building. Federal grounds are not places that you can cordon off from the masses, and in fact they exist strictly for the benefit of the people.
You cannot quietly strip away the rights of the people and expect it to go unnoticed. This dangerous and unconstitutional law is an insult to democracy and a stain on your presidency. Your legacy is becoming one of wrongful imprisonment, the loss of freedom and liberty, and an increasingly powerful federal government that is slowly transforming into a police state, silencing the American people with threats of arrest and indefinite detainment. Repeal this law immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brandt Luke Zorn via Wikimedia Commons