About 30 residents expressed outrage and disdain at a meeting Friday at the idea of welcoming a Guantanamo Bay detainee to Newton, and tossed around ideas from rehabilitating the city’s image to recalling the aldermen responsible for the contentious proposal.
But most of all, they wanted a public hearing and vote on the proposal, instead of seeing it dismissed through parliamentary procedure, even as the board seeks to dispose of the item without an up-or-down vote.
“I don’t want to see it go away, I want to see people take a position,” said resident Robert Cera. “Cowards walk away … the city raised the issue, I want to see them deal with it.”
Alderman Charlie Shapiro, who opposes the proposal and previously said he would stop it from being approved, held the public discussion at City Hall to get a sense of how residents felt about welcoming Abdul Aziz Naji, a 34-year-old Algerian, to Newton should he be cleared to enter the United States. Naji has been detained as an enemy combatant and alleged to be a member of terrorist group Lashkar al-Tayyibi. Naji has said he worked in a legally operated charitable wing of the organization and he was cleared for release in May 2009 by the President Barack Obama’s Guantanamo Detainee Review Task Force.
Let's hope these citizens at least get to vote on this matter and not get it past with a council vote with just a few getting the privilege