Free All the detainees!


Our basic rights are in danger. A year after 9/11, the Bush administration continues to hold hundreds of people in detention without charges or trial and more are being rounded up every day.  The names of the detainees are being kept secret.  We do know that several hundred are being held in jails in New Jersey, New York and elsewhere in the US and 500 more at Guantanamo Bay.  While almost all of the detainees are foreign-born, two, Jose Padilla and Yassir Hamdi, are native-born US citizens.  Not one of the detainees has been charged with a crime.


Who is a detainee?  A detainee is anyone held by the US government who has not been charged with a crime.  Such detentions are in violation of the Bill of Rights which forbids deprivation of liberty without a charge brought by a Grand Jury.


The Bush Administration now claims the right to detain anyone, anywhere in the world and to hold them without charges indefinitely. The Administration started out by detaining what they think is an easy target – men from Muslim countries who are undocumented aliens.  But that is only the thin edge of the wedge.  Anyone could be next.  THE USA-PATRIOT Act allows deportation without trial of ANY non-citizen deemed by the President to be a terrorist.


Don't believe citizens are beyond the reach of this new policy either. In court papers the Administration officially states that for the duration of the "war on terrorism", the President, as Commander in Chief, can direct US military personnel to detain ANYONE, ANYWHERE in the world, and be beyond any judicial challenge in any court on any grounds. It asserts that the President, in this global, unending "war" has authority to detain any "individuals" he pleases, term them "enemy combatants", and imprison them for life without trial.   No charges would ever be brought and no judge would ever hear the case.


In simple terms, this "Bush doctrine" means that military police could come to your door anywhere in the US, or in the world, "detain" you and hold you indefinitely without charge or trial.


Despite the Bush administration’s lies, the detentions in the US and at Guantanamo Bay are in flagrant violation of the most basic rights guaranteed to all, whether US citizens or not. The Sixth Amendment in the Bill of Right states that ALL accused are entitled to "speedy and public trial", to know the nature of the charges against them, to have the assistance of counsel, in short to have all the rights that the detainees are now denied.


The Government has no proof that any of those detained are terrorists. If it had, it would charge them with these crimes. But it has not charged one. The real reason for these detentions is to get American s to accept the idea that the government has the right to lock people up for whatever reason it chooses, or for no reason at all. 


All people in this country must unite together in opposition to our rights being stripped away.  We have a long tradition of civil rights movements demanding that the Government abide by the Bill of Rights.  Today we must stand together – workers, students, immigrants – and demand that the detentions stop immediately.


We must stop this attack on our rights, while we still have them! We must stop the detentions now, when there are hundreds in the detention camps, not hundred of thousands. We demand that ALL the detainees be freed, NOW!



Hands off our Rights! Free All the Detainees!



Paterson, NJ

2PM Saturday, October 12