ACLU rally to restore habeas corpus in Tampa

06/26/07 Chris Geyer & Seán Kinane
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ACLU rally to restore habeas corpus in Tampa June 26, 2007 Sean Kinane and Chris Geyer

Today in downtown Tampa, the ACLU held a demonstration to draw attention to the loss of the writ of habeas corpus and to tell people what they can do to bring it back. WMNF’s Chris Geyer has more.

Mike Pheneger is a decades-long member of the ACLU, as well as a retired Colonel who spent 30 years working on Intelligence for the US Army. He pointed out what Habeas Corpus means.

ACT Pheneger-WhatIsHabeas.wav (19 sec) Great writ … you have the body … come to court justify detention.

But Pheneger said that the writ of Habeas corpus was repealed last fall when Congress passed the Military Commissions Act.

ACT Pheneger-MilitaryCommissions (33 sec)

ACLU Staff Attorney Zeina Salam explained why people should be concerned with the loss of habeas corpus.

ACT Salam-DetainedIndef (32 sec)

Carol Mehlman, an immigration lawyer, came out to support civil liberties. She believes the danger brought about by the Military Commissions Act can extend to anyone.

ACT Mehlman-Danger

The belief that this is an issue that affects everyone also brought Daniel Stow to this event.


An ACLU intern was there with her face painted blue and dressed as the Statue of Liberty. Her wrists were in chains to symbolize the constraints being put on our rights by the loss of habeas. However Mike Pheneger gave some insight to how those rights can be restored.

ACT Pheneger-RestoreConstAct

Becky Steele is the Director of the West Florida Office of the ACLU. She wanted everyone to know how to make a difference and get the word out.

ACT Steele-Petition

And if you’d like to find out more information, you can go to or to

For WMNF News I’m Chris Geyer

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