UPDATE 1x: Thomson's Mayor Jerry "Duke" Hebeler says turning Thomson Correctional Center into a supermax prison to house Gitmo detainees while they await military or civil trial is his "dream." Sure, a few of the 559 locals may be concerned about Gitmo-in-Thomson, but Hebler told the Sun-Times today "they haven't contacted him."
The Village of Thomson's phone number is 815-259-3905, if anyone out there wants to "contact" him.
Members of various state-wide organizations who oppose the use of Thomson Prison for the housing of Guantanamo Bay detainees are staging a protest rally to run in conjunction with a public hearing conducted by the Illinois Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability regarding the sale of the prison to the federal government.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. at the Sterling High School Centennial Auditorium. The address for the Sterling HS Auditorium is 1608 4th Avenue in Sterling, Ill.
One of the organizing groups is the Illinois TEA Party Patriots.
"Last Spring, our Senate in a rare show of non-partisanship voted 90 - 6 to keep Guantanamo open," points out Denise Cattoni, Illinois state coordinator for TEA Party Patriots. "We built Guantanamo for over $400 million dollars, we are already compensating soldiers to stand guard there, and now our government wants to spend more money to transfer these detainees to American soil? No other country will take these 215 enemy combatants, so why will Illinois? Because we have an under-utilized prison? Taxpayers should not pay the price of compromised security for reckless government planning and poor fiscal responsibility."
Also on hand will be The Band Of Mothers, who stand together in efforts to garner support and respect for their children who are serving in our armed services.
Speaking for The Band of Mothers, Bev Perlson says, "The transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Thomson is a slap in the face of every family with an active soldier and every Gold Star Family in this country. These brave Heroes serve each day to preserve our liberty, and many have given their lives to keep us safe. It is wrong and twisted to bring these terrorists here or anywhere in this country where they will be given the rights of American citizens and jeopardize our safety and security."
The TEA Party movement began with a tirade on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade by Rick Santelli, echoing the Boston Tea Party and its revolt against unfair taxation. Today, TEA Party stands for "Taxed Enough Already" and is comprised of individuals from different political persuasions who volunteer their time. The group is comprised of "citizens committed to maintaining our culture of independence, liberty, and personal responsibility embraced by the constitution, through free markets, low taxes, and limited accountable government."
For more information, visit www.illlinoistea.com .