Members of Occupy Wichita staged a demonstration outside Senator Pat Roberts’ office today, complete with detainees, a prison cell and private security personnel. Since President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law on New Year’s Eve, there has been little attention given to the detainee provisions of military funding bill, which according to civil liberties advocates, do allow for the possible detention of United States citizens without due process.
After performing a mock detention outside Roberts’ office, the “detainees” were escorted into the building to deliver a message detailing Occupy Wichita’s opposition to the indefinite detention of not just Americans, but people all over the world. Roberts’ assistant, Mel Thomas, let us into the office and even allowed us to film inside. Thomas was friendly and promised to pass our message along to the Senator.
While we staged our demonstration outside a Republican Senator’s office, we feel it is important to note that if President Obama had an office in Wichita, Kansas, we would protest there, too. This bill was passed by both Democrats and Republicans, with overwhelming support in both Houses. The president signed the bill despite “reservations” about the detainee provisions. You sign it, you own it.
More photos to follow…