The 21st Century Declaration of Independence
July 5, 2013
Carl Gibson / Reader Supported News
We, the human race, are riding a wave of revolution against greed, injustice, hatred, and oppression that has swept across the globe. Countries around the world have begun to cast off the shackles that a few have put on the majority of humanity. In the US, our reason for writing this document is a struggle against the moneyed corporate, military, and political powers not unlike the struggle faced by Thomas Jefferson when rebelling against the crown in 1776.
(July 4, 2013) -- We, the human race, are riding along the wave of revolution against greed, injustice, hatred, and oppression that has swept across the globe over the past two years. Countries around the world have begun to cast off the shackles that a few have put on the majority of humanity.
In the United States, citizens of all walks of life have tried to stop this tyrannical oligarchy from continuing their class war on humanity as a whole. Despite our best efforts, we have been treated with disdain and brutality by the government of the United States and those associated with it.
Our reason for writing this document is a struggle against the moneyed corporate, military, and political powers not unlike the struggle faced by Thomas Jefferson when rebelling against the crown in 1776. The tyranny we face today, however, is global.
The people of Iceland, Spain, the UK, Greece, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, Bulgaria and others are all rising up against corporate-owned governments that work in the interests of the few rather than for the good of all.
In the course of human events, it is often necessary for the people to dissolve the political and economic bands which have endeavored to enslave them, and gather as one to devise a new, just political system that works for all those who must live within it. A decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that we should declare our grievances for all who are affected by the monumental decisions that are to be made as one people.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all persons are created equal, that they along with nature are endowed with unalienable rights from the very beginning of their existence, of which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
To secure these rights for all, regardless of race, class, gender, ethnic background, abilities and limitations, sexual orientation or political ideology, the people must form a government that is capable of holding their nation’s political and economic powers accountable.
A just government’s authority is only legitimate with the consent of the governed. And whenever any form of government becomes too corrupt to truly represent the people whom it has been elected to govern, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government if they so choose.
A truly representative government must lay its foundation on just principles, and only wield its authority in ways in which it will be most likely to improve upon the safety and happiness of all people.
That being said, an established government should not be changed for light and transient causes. Human history has shown that while all political and economic systems will inevitably come with imperfections and have aspects that are not agreed upon by a full consensus of the people, to hastily abolish a political system to which a great majority of the people are accustomed is unwieldy and likely to create more problems than it would solve.
But when a long train of human rights violations, violations of the natural world, and outright redistribution of wealth and resources from the poor and impoverished to the wealthy and privileged power elite are regularly forced upon the people, it is the people’s right to throw off such government and firmly establish new sets of rules to check abuses by political and financial powers.
The people have, for too long, politely tolerated such abuses and are now called together out of necessity to right the wrongs that beset us. The history of the present Congress, Executive Branch, and Supreme Court is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all of which project an absolute Tyranny over all fifty United States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
• They have ignored and breached long-established fundamental rights bestowed upon the people in the U.S. Constitution, most notably our First Amendment rights to Free Speech, Free Assembly, and a Free Press.
• They have established habitual breaches of our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, as evidenced in the National Security Agency's warrantless monitoring of all citizens' emails, calls, texts and social media.
• They have intentionally disenfranchised people of color through wage theft and discrimination in the workplace, attacks on voting rights, and excessive, unprovoked brutality at the hands of law enforcement, as seen in the stop-and-frisk policy of the New York Police Department and frequent abuses of power by various other law enforcement agencies.
• They have deemed 9 of themselves "Supreme" and used this arbitrary label to strip disenfranchised Americans of their right to vote, enabling states wishing to further disenfranchise those groups with unfair and discriminatory laws to do so.
• The country's highest court has ruled in favor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – the chief lobbying firm for multinational corporations – moreso than at any other point since the 1940s. This has resulted in the steady chipping away of workers' rights and domination of our food supply, conducted by judges with ties to the corporate world.
• They have breached our fundamental rights to a speedy and fair trial by jury, as evidenced in the case of Private First Class Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and other political activists and whistleblowers.
• They have shown utter contempt for the right of Habeus Corpus, as evidenced in the indefinite detention language included in the passage of the 2012 and 2013 National Defense Authorization Acts, the existence of the Guantanamo Bay prison facility, CIA-sanctioned “black sites” where unlawful torture of political prisoners is conducted in foreign jurisdictions, among other facilities known and unknown to the people.
• They have allowed the unprecedented concentration of wealth into the hands of a minute fraction of the population, despite longer working hours imposed on workers, stagnant wages, and record profits enjoyed by those who own at the expense of those who create.
• They have recklessly plundered funds for Social Security, repeatedly attempted to undermine necessary health care programs, and attacked the Constitutionally authorized U.S. Postal Service, which the people have spent their whole lives supporting, under the false guise of financial prudence. Meanwhile, they exempt the lavish tax subsidies and tax breaks lobbied for by their campaign contributors.
• They have halted all passage of laws through unprecedented partisan obstruction, slowing necessary governmental functions to a standstill in their failure to compromise on even the most basic legislative tasks. The few laws they do allow to pass intended to do good for the public or hold criminal enterprises accountable, have been riddled with loopholes and exemptions at the behest of corporate lobbyists, allowing evildoers to escape unscathed.
• They have refused to pass laws that aimed to protect large swaths of natural resources and a stable climate, which are essential to the survival of the planet and the continuation of the human species.
• They have ensured that successful political campaigns must be funded by millions of dollars from wealthy corporations averse to being held accountable for wrongdoing. This process has compromised their positions as representatives of the people who elected them to serve, and converted them into puppet representatives of their corporate masters.
• They have allowed excessively unfair gerrymandering of districts to favor their own partisan ideology, which makes their political ouster impossible in spite of widespread discontent among the people of the district.
• They have used their vast surveillance infrastructure to treat nonviolent dissenters as terrorism suspects while letting actual terrorism suspects run free.
• They have trod upon the sovereignty of indigenous people both domestically and internationally, pillaged their resources for profit, and neglected to provide them with even the most basic of services while simultaneously refusing to share the benefits of the wealth they’ve generated on those oppressed people’s behalf.
• They have made a mockery of the judicial system, corrupting it to the point where justices work openly for the benefit of a privileged few in the corporate and financial halls of power.
• They have turned cabinet, executive, and judicial appointments into political payoffs for privileged friends and campaign donors, establishing a precedent of allowing only the most corrupt to serve on the judicial bench or at the top of regulatory agencies.
• They have erected a sweeping surveillance structure, a vast prison system, and an oppressive police state, whose key purpose has become to excessively monitor and violently suppress political dissent, as well as imprison nonviolent political activists, financed by tax dollars of taxpayers who have not consented to the authority of such agencies.
• They have acceded to the moneyed interests of the military-industrial complex, creating war not out of the necessity to protect the continued existence of the nation, but to fund the insatiable greed of the for-profit arms industry.
• They have breached the Constitution’s requirements for war, allowing war to be outsourced to privately-owned and operated mercenary agencies and conducted under a veil of secrecy, conducting extrajudicial assassinations of citizens whom they have deemed enemies of the state without affording them their right to a trial under the necessary and lawful presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
• They have allowed the military to be unaccountable to civil powers and to operate independently of oversight or regulation.
• They have allowed unaccountable private corporations to assume powers previously only afforded to accountable public institutions, such as prisons, schools, and law enforcement.
• They have allowed the monopolization of our food supply by a select few corporate conglomerates, without requiring due care for the health of the people affected by the foods they produce, and they have gone so far as to exempt them from laws and regulations that apply to other businesses and institutions.
• They have prolonged and exacerbated the enslavement of the people by debt, which has currently become the norm for attaining an education required for a career, or for receiving treatment for even the most basic of ailments, injuries and sicknesses.
• They have allowed banks to create fraudulent mortgage agreements for millions of homeowners, and to forcibly and violently evict those families from their homes while escaping all governmental accountability and oversight all for the sake of unchecked and untaxed profit.
• They have allowed control of our nation’s currency to fall into the hands of a select few private central bankers, who are unaccountable to all rules and regulations that normally apply to other government agencies.
• They have corrupted regulatory agencies through prolonging and encouraging a revolving door culture between corporate suites and government, allowing executives of corporations to serve as official regulators of the same corporations from which they came.
• They have refused implementation of contemporary replacements for outdated and unsustainable sources of energy, transportation, and other public infrastructure, putting the health and safety of the people and the planet at tremendous risk.
• They have allowed for the dangerous monopolization of our media by corporate entities, corrupting democracy by suppressing information necessary for the education of the people.
• They have enabled the corporate takeover of our healthcare system, allowing the pain, injury, sickness and suffering of the people to be commodities from which corporations can profit without effective regulatory oversight.
• They have repeatedly interfered with women's rights to have access to birth control as well as safe reproductive health options. Further, they have continued to stand in the way of true equality for all women whether through gainful employment opportunities, financial parity with male counterparts, family and maternity medical leave accessibility, or justice for themselves and their children at the family court level.
• They have refused the right of workers to collectively organize and bargain for fairer wages, working conditions and hours, while simultaneously crushing their efforts to form unions aimed at accomplishing those goals.
• They have enabled the oppression of undocumented workers by legislating reckless free-trade agreements that exempt corporate entities from necessary regulations, creating an environment where those entities exploit the labor of their workers while simultaneously rendering workers incapable of speaking out for fear of deportation.
• They have established the rule of money, patriarchy, ableism and white male supremacy, in spite of a population that is becoming increasingly more diverse, and ignored the demands of the people for a government more representative of the poor and middle class, women, people of color, and persons with disabilities.
In the face of continued and constant oppression, we have lobbied peacefully through all necessary channels, whether through writing, calling, emailing, circulating and delivering petitions, or nonviolent street demonstrations.
And despite our best efforts to be heard through all aforementioned channels, our cries for justice have only been met with the boot and the handcuff, and have not reached the eyes and ears of our elected officials.
For these reasons, we deem our elected officials to be tyrants, no longer fit to govern.
We have, for a time, been attempting to make our voices heard through all available channels. When the corporate-owned media largely ignored our efforts, we established our own media to amplify our efforts to be heard. We have repeatedly visited our halls of government and met face-to-face with those elected to represent us.
We have made films and documentaries seen by millions, written countless articles for publication in mainstream and alternative media sources, and exhausted all available means to make our demands heard loud and clear by those in power.
These calls for justice have fallen on deaf ears beholden not to the needs and wishes of their constituents, but to the orders of their campaign contributors.
For these reasons, we deem it necessary to abolish this current government through the constitutionally-granted mechanism outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution and to address our grievances by forming a new sovereignty which we will, through our own unmolested will and consent, grant legitimacy.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these fifty United States and its Territories, solemnly publish and declare,
That these United States are, and of right are absolved from all governance by the 113th Congress, the Supreme Court, and the administration of Barack Obama, and that all political connection between them and the states ought to be totally dissolved.
As citizens of these United States,
We acknowledge the fact that a two-thirds numerical threshold is required in Congress to call for an Article V Convention under Article V of the US Constitution. In our capacity as oppressed and exploited citizens, we demand that Congress call an Article V Convention to order, with the explicit purpose of addressing the aforementioned charges and establishing true and final accountability to Us, the People.
Barring such action, we regard the current government to be illegitimate, choose to live our lives free of coercion from it, and advocate for its dissolution. We call on our fellow citizens to do the same. For the support of this Declaration we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our Honor.
Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on twitter at @uncutCG
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