March 1 protest: A Declaration of Grievance
As announced yesterday, at noon on March 1 Unite/Resist is organizing a protest rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Below is a formal Declaration of Grievance against the U.S. Government, and footnotes with sources and proofs. Read, digest, and disseminate as you see fit.
A Declaration of Grievance on behalf of the People
of the United States of America
The Declaration of Independence was penned by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 as an explanation before the world for thirteen New World Colonies' deliberate severance and secession from the British Crown. It is a statement of intent and a list of grievances against the government of George III. It is a declaration coming on the heels of a long and fruitless period of petition and plea for the redress of wrongs, all mocked and ignored.
This is not a matter merely of dead parchment and dusty history. . .the grievances set forth in that document are by and large applicable today—and in far greater proportion and malice than our Founding Fathers ever conceived.
Ours is a government that has forsaken the mandate of the people which it serves. It is a government which has turned its back on liberty in all but word. It is a government which is committing treasonous acts—for any government which functions no longer by the consent of the governed has committed treason against its citizens and against the world.
There is, however, one way by which the government has our consent: by our apathy and willingness to surrender our very liberty into its hands. How long will our voices be voluntarily silenced; how long will we exercise our right and responsibility solely at a ballot box which is continually bought by the most prosperous and least scrupulous among us? How long before Government of the People, by the People and for the People is reborn on the earth?
For surely that government has indeed "perished from the earth" as Lincoln feared. While U.S. troops make war worldwide in the name of Democracy, the American People rush to surrender their liberty to the most charismatic demagogue to arise every two or four years. The American people have been taught that in this "two party system" a vote for real change is a wasted vote. The American People have been made to believe that dissent is treason, that unity is subservience, that black is white, and that justice consists merely in the rule of the strong.
We declare that it is time for the American people to stand up and raise their voice, time for us to reclaim our minds, our conscience, our liberty, and our lives. It is time because the surrender of these things has gone on for far too long. It is time because at no time before in our history has such naked tyranny and willful deception gone unchecked. And it is time because soon it may be too late.
Jefferson wrote that "it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish" any government that ceases to safeguard the rights of its citizens. In fact it is more than our right; it is our duty. We do not call yet to abolish. We do plea first that it be altered. And so we declare these grievances against the Government of the United States of America, which it must redress if it is to regain our consent:
(words in boldface are quoted verbatim from the Declaration of Independence)
1) It has refused its Assent to Laws, or altered or repealed existing ones, most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
2) It has signed into Law bills not conducive to the public good, but rather to the benefit of a privileged few, or by means of exceptions and provisions allowed this few to avoid the severest of the bills' penalties and restrictions.
3) It has signed into Law bills directly or indirectly abridging the Rights and Freedoms granted citizens in the Constitution.
4) It has corrupted the very electoral process by which the Freedoms of our Republic are maintained, by failing to prevent the lobbying of influence over our Representatives by those with wealth to persuade them.
5) It has made makers of policy dependent on its Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, for the accounting of their actions, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
6) It has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out our substance.
7) It has through inability or unwillingness failed to act within the financial limitations of its revenue, thus incurring an alarming and preposterous debt and laying it upon the American People.
8) It has failed to allocate sufficient funds to programs for the Health, Welfare, and Education of the People, while increases in its own salary and frivolous expenditures continue unabated.
9) It has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of the People.
10) It has waged frivolous wars under false pretexts without the Consent of our Legislatures.
11) It has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
12) It has combined with various industries to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving its assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
a) For quartering large bodies of troops in all parts of the world:
b) For protecting them, by unacknowledgment of the jurisdiction of a World Court, from punishment for any violence or Murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of occupied countries:
c) For sending our Trade to all parts of the world:
d) For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
e) For depriving us and foreign prisoners, in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
f) For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments.
13) It has engaged in the grossest hypocrisy against our fundamental representative principles, by the discouragement of Free Speech at home, and the enforcing of its will on sovereign powers by armed force abroad.
14) It has plundered the seas, ravaged the coasts, burnt the towns, and destroyed the lives of various peoples worldwide.
15) It is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Government of a civilized nation.
16) It has constrained the citizens of various nations to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves into their hands.
17) It has to these unlawful military ends sent our own Sons and Daughters overseas to die in conflict not concerning the defense or security of their own Country.
18) It has so doing inflamed the just wrath and hatred of divers sovereign Nations and their citizenry, which now comes to rest on the heads of every citizen of the United States whether directly complicit in their government's crimes or no.
This then is the state in which we find the nation that finds its only mandate of governance in the will and welfare of the people. It is this state of affairs which compels us to echo Jefferson's indictment in the Declaration:
At every stage of these Oppressions We have petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
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