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We The People

Social Consciousness in a Terrifying New World

Conclusion

"If we appear to seek the unattainable, as it has been said, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable."

- The Port Huron Statement of 1962

There once was a dream called America. In the beginning, it did not reside on a particular patch of earth. It had no borders, no mountains, no rivers, no forests. It had no seas, crops, roads, or cities. It claimed no army, nor navy, nor air force. No nuclear weapons were coiled in the soil, waiting for the order to spring.

The dream that was America was born in turbulent days surrounding the final collapse of the Stuart monarchy in England. King James II believed it within his purview to dismiss, ignore and override Parliament, who were the representatives of the People. He held citizens in prison without charging them or bringing them before a magistrate. He deigned to have them tried before secret courts. Troops loyal to him entered private homes as they pleased. Citizens who did not practice the religion of the King knew fear.

When William of Orange marched on London in 1688, trailed by an army once loyal to James and backed by the will of Parliament, the last Stuart monarch was sent across the English Channel to live in disgrace in France. It is believed that he threw the Great Seal of the Stuarts into the frigid waters, a final symbolic drowning for a disgraceful era.

From that day forth, England was to be ruled by the people, through their representatives in Parliament. Parliament was to rule the King, and not the reverse. A Bill of Rights was drafted, in which was enshrined the first true habeas corpus laws protecting the basic rights of citizens against the infringements of government. Troops could no longer enter private homes, citizens could not be held without charge or trial, and religious freedom was at long last established.

This was the first germination of the dream that was America. The idea, realized in the wake of a tyrant, demanded that the citizens of a nation have the right to self-determination and self-rule. They were tasked to decide for themselves who would represent them in government, and had the power to rescind the invitation if a particular representative did not perform as required. The days of an absolute monarchy, a single ruler whose word was law, were at an end.

There was a responsibility inherent in this: if government spun out of control, it was the people who had to set it right. In payment for this responsibility, the people knew security in home and church, in person and belief.

Over the next 300 years, the idea that was America carved out a space on the planet that became a powerful nation. It found borders and mountains, seas and rivers, crops and sky. It created an army, a navy, and an air force. It buried nuclear dragons in the soil, and poured out great roads across it. Magnificent cities rose into the clouds, housing people rich and poor.

Underneath it all lay two sheets of tattered paper, upon which were scrawled words straight from the heart of John Locke, who was there when the Stuarts were sent on their way. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights defined the dream that was America, and codified the rights that each citizen could expect. Amendments were attached over time, a remarkable thing, that extended these rights and freedoms to places never before known in the history of humanity.

This was the dream: Americans had the right, the right! to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They had the right to be secure from governmental searches of their homes. They were free to practice whatever religion they chose, or to practice no religion at all. They could say or write anything they wished, so long as those words did not overtly threaten or unduly frighten any other citizen.

They could not be imprisoned without charge or trial, could not be punished cruelly, and had the right to zealous representation by a lawyer in whom could be placed absolute trust, thanks to the protection endowed by privilege. With elastic restrictions, Americans even had the right to arm themselves with incredibly powerful and deadly weapons.

To be sure, the dream had never been truly realized. The birth of the dream came only after the death of another, when the people who occupied the land first were driven and butchered. Citizens were denied many of the basic rights outlined in those tattered documents due to foul souls and wretched bigotry. Other barbarous crimes were committed within and without the borders of the nation that housed the idea. Chattel slavery was one. There were failures, and failures again.

This was the magic of the dream, the poetry and beauty of the idea: that such wrongs could and would be righted, that the idea would march ever onward to a greater perfection, that those illegitimately excluded would be brought inside the fold, because according to the idea, that was the only right thing to do. For 300 years it was happening, and would continue to happen, unto the end of the world.

On September 11th, 2001, the dream that was America died in a ball of fire, flesh and dust.

It was not murdered by the killers who brought such hideous carnage to the land. A dream so powerful, an idea so pure and good, was too strong to be shattered by outsiders. No, such a thing can only be destroyed by those who live within it, by those who had for so long pulled the warm blanket of liberty to their chins that they came to take it for granted. The dream that was America died by the hand of those who were most warmed by it.

The dream began to die long before September 11th, 2001. Cracks began to appear every election day, as more and more Americans decided they wanted no part of the responsibility that guaranteed the safety of the rights and privileges. On the night of the 2000 election, one hundred million citizens - fully one half of the voting populace - did not participate in that most fundamental of obligations. The result, after a contested election and the intervention of a politically biased court, was a government that represented only the narrowest slice of the nation.

This court had been installed years before by representatives who won office through elections in which great swaths of the populace did not participate. By abdicating responsibility, the citizens guaranteed this outcome.

It is all finished now. Today in America, it is dangerous to speak feely. Officers of the government may enter private homes without notice and perform invasive searches of personal property. Officers of the government may listen to private conversations between client and attorney, thus tearing the shroud of privilege and the guarantee of zealous representation. Individuals are being held without charge or trial, their fates to be determined by secret courts.

It was said once that the Constitution is not a suicide pact, and there is wisdom in this. The physical nation that is America endured a catastrophic attack, and there must be a response. Today in America, that response has been to murder the idea that is America. The idea is more important, far more important, than the land or the borders or the treasure, or even the people. Without the idea, the nation is worthless. In the death of the idea lies complete and total victory for those who attacked the country. They need never come here again, for their job is well and truly done.

The war to combat the evils of September 11th is not a suicide pact, either. The only hope, the last hope, for a nation based upon an idea is the simple truth that no good thing ever truly dies. Like the phoenix, it can rise in glory from the ashes of its own conflagration. Today, the dream that was America has ceased to exist. Tomorrow, it may come again. If it does, it will happen only because the citizens of the country who are the keepers of the flame decide once more to place upon their shoulders the yoke of responsibility that was for so long scorned and ignored.

The citizens of that idea must take back the government that has robbed them of their freedoms. They must snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. They must send these newly incarnated Stuarts out into disgrace. They must cast the Great Seal of a corrupted, failed ruler into frigid waters, drowning it once and for all.

In the paralyzing aftermath of September 11th, it stands to reason that good people stand unsure of what to do and how to act. The idea that dissent equals treason has been well promulgated. The sense that any criticism may be construed as an insult to those who died and those who grieve is ever present. The time has come, however, to shoulder these burdens and cast aside fear. So much damage has already been done. If we do not act, and soon, there will be nothing of this country worth fighting for beyond worthless stock options and tattered flags strapped to car antennas.

On March 15th, 2003, the creators of this Manifesto will be hosting a massive protest on the steps of the Capitol in Washington D.C. The purpose of this gathering will be to highlight the deadly concerns articulated in this document, but moreover, to motivate the citizens of the United States of America to move towards an active participation in the governance of this nation. We believe that this participation will go a long way towards addressing and solving some of the terrible problems we face, only a few of which have been captured here. We seek, in the end, to ensure that the dream that was America shall not perish from the earth at the hands of those who have so benefited from it. No terrorist can destroy this nation. Only we the people can do that. Only we the people can save it.

The time has come to act.

Author's Note: Portions of this document have been culled from William Rivers Pitt's book, 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence," slated for publication by Pluto Press in February 2003. Any and all bibliographic notations regarding the statements within this Manifesto may be located in the book upon publication.

Come Wind, Come Weather...

"Beware the Ides of March!"

Unfortunately, we were not able to gather the permits for our March Protest in Washington D.C. We are revamping this web site to coinside with a national flyer campaign in partnership with The Alliance For Democracy. Stay tuned.

Manifesto:

I. Preamble: We The People - New social consciousness in a troubled world

II. The Port Huron Statement - Participatory Democracy 40 Years Later

III. Defending the Essence - The Constitution under attack

  • Understanding the PATRIOT Act
  • Understanding the TIPS Program
  • Destroying Freedom to Save Freedom

IV. The Return of the Robber Barons

  • Understanding the current state of the economy
  • The murder by inches of functional capitalism
  • A roll call of criminals

V. War Without End

  • A rudderless global conflict with no end in sight
  • The promulgation of fear as a political tool

VI. Conclusion

 


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