Just in time for the New Year, President Obama signed a law that allows for indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. The president, who signed the bill as part of an overall defense spending bill, also said he would not allow the new legislation, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, to be used that way.
The president's pledge did nothing to reassure members of Occupy Philly. About 15 of them gathered at 15th and Market streets to blast the act, saying it denied basic protections in the Bill of Rights. The act's backers, mostly Republicans in the Senate, argue that it will allow the government to move more easily against terrorists. The NDAA allows such detentions for suspected members of Al Qaeda or its allies, or those who substantially support them.
"We're here to remind you that the United states of America, formerly the land of the free, has been claimed as a battlefield in which citizens can be detained without trial, " one protester shouted - and the others repeated, using Occupy's well-known "human microphone" system.
Chase Doyle and Shawn McMonigle said act disturbed them.
"People deserve to know what they are being charged with," McMonigle said.
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