Not Even The Castro Card Could Knock Common Sense Into Marco Rubio
Occupy Miami activists tried their hardest to urge Florida’s two senators to vote against allowing the military to detain American citizens without trial indefinitely, even going as far as playing the Castro Card during a surprise visit to their offices Monday.
But when it came time to vote on Tuesday, it was Democratic Senator Bill Nelson who voted in accordance with the Constitution.
Republican Marco Rubio – the Cuban-American pretty boy who has played the Castro Card throughout his short but flourishing political career – voted in support of the Stalinist bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act.
“This one is being organized by Move On,” said Bruce Wayne of Occupy Miami, one of the activists who visited the senators’ offices on Monday.
“They invited us to come but we have a lot on our plate now, so we’re not sure.”
Wayne said Occupy Miami is organizing actions, events and even art displays for Art Basel where thousands of high-money tourists are visiting.
Occupy Miami must also deal with the fact that the county plans to evict them from Government Center on Friday, even though they faced that threat in the past only to get extensions.
But whatever happens on Friday, it is clear Occupy Miami was ahead of the curve in trying to derail the controversial bill, which was sponsored by John McCain (R-Az) and Carl Levin (D-Mi) and being opposed by everybody from the ultra-conservative senator Rand Paul (R-Ky) to the ACLU, perceived by many to be ultra-liberal.
“People accuse Occupy Miami of lacking clear goals and objectives, but here we were mobilizing a group of activists to speak out against this bill prior to it going to vote,” Wayne said.
“This is an amendment that was added in secret the day after Thanksgiving and successfully rushed through without so much as a mention or critical analysis by the mainstream media.
“And we were not just standing outside with signs. We got inside and spoke with Rubio’s representative. She listened to us without cutting us short.”
As you can see in the above video, Rubio’s representative, Alyn Cruz Higgins, kicked me out of the office because I insisted on video recording the exchange. Here is some background on her.
She didn’t have an issue with the activists snapping the photo below.
I was also threatened with a lawsuit by Nelson’s intern because I insisted on video recording the exchange there.
And anybody who follows my blog, Photography is Not a Crime, knows how common it is to get harassed, threatened, assaulted or arrested for shooting video.
That is why it is crucial for this bill to be killed as soon as possible.
After all, it would allow the military to indefinitely detain citizens whom they suspect of being terrorists.
And that could mean the number of citizens who get accused daily of terrorism for simply taking photos of buildings.
Or citizens who drop unexpectedly into their senator’s office to voice their concerns about pending legislation.
Or citizens who criticize their government on blogs, forums, Facebook or Twitter.
It wouldn’t be any different than Cuba, stressed Mario Garcia, a Cuban-American who was part of the Occupy Miami brigade that visited Rubio’s office on Monday.
“If you allow the military or anybody in the government to round up your citizens of the country for anti-government or anything having to do with not agreeing with the government, that is basically what is happening in (Cuba),” he said.
But Rubio failed to see the irony when he cast his vote on Tuesday. And neither did 59 of his senate peers, most of them republicans.
Fortunately, President Barack Obama is vowing to veto the bill unless those unconstitutional provisions are removed.
But he also vowed to shut down Guantanamo Bay detention camp before the election and that still remains open three years into his presidency.
And that’s just a little too close for comfort considering the language of this proposed bill.
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