Letter to Judge Thapar asking for leniency for the Oakridge 3
Fadi Saba signed a letter dated January 9 2014 asking for leniency for the "Oakridge 3":
- January 9, 2014
- The Honorable Amul R. Thapar United States District Judge 800 Market Street, Suite 130 Knoxville, TN 37902
- Dear Judge Thapur: The Defending Dissent Foundation is a 53 year old civil liberties organization that recognizes the value of dissent in a vibrant democracy. As such, we regard the actions of Sister Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli on July 28, 2012 as nonviolent civil disobedience in the finest American tradition. Therefore, we respectfully request that you exercise your right to judicial discretion in sentencing these three individuals. The Defending Dissent Foundation takes no position on nuclear weapons facilities or the content of the protest, but it is clear that the three sought to call attention to an issue of national importance and, through symbolic action, voice their concern and opposition. Their goal never was to harm anyone, and no one was harmed. The fact that the three were able to find their way into the facility and reach the uranium storage unit reflects the abysmal security system of the facility. These activists should not be held liable for the closure of the plant for two weeks to address security lapses. It should not be a factor in their sentencing. Non-violent civil resistance and civil disobedience have long played an important role in our democracy, bringing important issues to the public sphere and advancing our society toward justice, freedom and peace. Like others who have undertaken such action, Sister Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli are willing to serve time in jail, which they have done without complaint. However, to sentence the three to terms of up to twelve years would be an injustice. In your October 1, 2013 Memorandum Opinion and Order you wrote, “Of course, the defendants’ non-violence will be relevant at sentencing, since the Court must account for both the “nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics” of the defendants… Given the obvious differences between the defendants and the paradigmatic saboteur, those factors surely will be worthy of discussion”. We applaud your wisdom and insight and strongly encourage you to sentence the three with downward departures from the sentencing guidelines.
"Is Islam taking the place of communism..."
According to Naomi Nakamura on June 2 2002, members of the San Jose Japanese American community met at the Yu-Ai-Kai (Japanese American Seniors' Center). They were there to learn more about the attacks on Arab Americans, Muslims and civil liberties following Sept. 11. Susan Hayase moderated the program on behalf of the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee. In her introduction, Hayase said, "It is happening again," and pointed the connection between the mass arrests of Japanese Americans following Pearl Harbor and the detention of Arab and Muslim Americans today.
Fadi Saba, a member of the Coalition for Civil Liberties, said that the attacks on Arabs and Muslims today echo the Palmer Raids of the 1920's, where the U.S. government rounded up and deported thousands of immigrants suspected of being communists. Mark Schlosberg, of the American Civil Liberties Union, warned the audience about the USA Patriot Act, which expands police powers, labels civil disobedience as terrorism, and targets immigrants. Maha Elgenaidi, of the Islamic Networks Group, raised the question, "Is Islam taking the place of communism in a new cold war?" She also called on individuals to educate themselves and for the community to speak out as a group.
After the panel presentation, members of the audience shared web sites on civil liberties, the concentration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II, and anti-war information. There was a discussion about the Arab Americans who had been fired by Cadence Designs and Macy's. Towards the end of the discussion, Masao Suzuki, a member of the Nihonmachi Outreach Committee, said there was a need to "build a base in the Japanese American community, build ties with Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Americans, and criticize U.S. foreign policy."
National Committee Against Repressive Legislation
- https://www.scribd.com/document/197919376/Transform-Now-Plowshares-Sentencing-letter Kate Martin accessed December 10 2019
- [Fightback News, War Hysteria, Then and Now by Naomi Nakamura | June 2, 2002]
- Dissent website: About