In response to the demands of our readers and to the demands of all Americans who have sought a remedy to the outrage represented by the despotic and illegal Bush Administration, we have formulated a Renewal of the Declaration of Independence. This is NOT a petition, but an historic document which will be delivered personally to Washington. We urge you to celebrate the Fourth by Re-affirming the guarantees and promise of the original Declaration and demanding the reforms that will insure their continuance, once reaffirmed.
For an elegant printable version, click here.
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Two-hundred twenty-five years ago this month, the founders of these United States signed a document which forever changed the history of the world. In this document, the rights necessary to a free people were avowed and the grievances against the American people by the despotic King George III were listed. It has become the unsought, heavy destiny of the American people in 2001 to once more be confronted by a leader who has transgressed intolerably on the rights of the people. These transgressions so fully parallel and in fact exceed those perpetrated by King George III that it now becomes the obligation and responsibility of present freedom-cherishing Americans to renew their Declaration of Independence. The following document not only renews the original declaration, it also clarifies those secondary rights required to insure life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and provides a list of remedies to the present grievances.
As with the original signers of the Declaration in 1776, we do not undertake this step lightly. As we believe this declaration is an historic document of great importance, we suggest the following steps be taken by signers:
1. Print the document. Once printed, as long as its content is not altered, it may be reformatted in any way necessary for ease of distribution and signing.
2. Sign the document in ink. This can be done individually or in large groups. We suggest a July 4 ceremonial/celebratory signing. Use goose quills if you want!
3. We strongly recommend that the document, as any legal document of importance, be notarized.
4. As the recipient and guardian of the signed documents, we have selected Senator James Jeffords because he has proven himself a man of courage, honor, and principal, and because he, of all men and women now serving could best be considered bipartisan in the true spirit of the word and is thus the representative most appropriate for proposing the changes called for in the Senate. We will personally see that the document is presented from thence to the Bush Administration and every member of the House and Senate.
5. Mail the document to the following address: Democrats.com PO Box 20594 New York, NY 10021 We shall personally deliver the documents to Senator Jeffords. Or, if you prefer, you may send the document directly to Sen. Jeffords at the following address: Senator James Jeffords,728 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510. We strongly suggest that the document be sent by registered mail; keep the receipt. It will provide proof of all mailings, if necessary.
The following document adheres closely to the original. The original text is in italics.
Declaration of Independence by Citizens of the 50 States (and Protectorates) of the United States of America on (or around) July 4, 2001, on the 225th Anniversary of the Signing of the Original Declaration
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The following supporting rights are considered basic and necessary to foster and maintain life, liberty, and the ability to effectively pursue happiness:
*Adequate healthcare as defined by healthcare practitioners
*Education in an environment conducive to effective learning
*Housing that is safe, comfortable, adequate in size, and affordable
* Clean air both indoors and outdoors
*Affordable, safe food sufficient in quality and quantity to promote health
*Clothing commensurate with climate and work requirements
*An unpolluted water supply, both for drinking and recreation
*A harmonious environment - free from unreasonable sounds, noxious emissions, visual blights and any form of harassment.
* A public news outlet free from the influence of commercial interests in any form and from political agendas
*A healthy, sustainable environment
* Maximum biodiversity in the natural environment, thereby insuring the persistent availability of natural resources
*Decision-making power through referendums on all matters strongly affecting the common welfare
-That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men,and Women deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
To secure these rights, we call for the establishment of a national set of priorities to which each and every law proposed and implemented shall adhere and not in any way transgress. We further propose that environmental health, both national and global, be made the highest priority, for without a viable environment, all other priorities are of no avail.
Such has been the sufferance of the majority of American voters and such is now the necessity that constrains them to call for the removal, or sufficiently far-reaching change of course, of the present administration headed by George Walker Bush. The history of said acting president, G.W. Bush and his cabinet and other appointees, is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having been directed at establishing an absolute and oppressive regime.
He has refused to uphold laws created for the public good. He has acted and permitted and/or encouraged those in his administration to act in blatant conflict of interest and in collusion with special interests, most especially the oil, power, natural gas, pharmaceutical, tobacco and coal industries. He has intentionally called for the suppression of protest and thus free speech against his policies. He has appointed people in the public trust who are unfit, by experience, background, moral character, and conflict of interest, to perform their jobs in a manner conducive to the public welfare. He has allowed those acting on his behalf to block the course of justice by preventing an accurate election in a state presided over by his brother, Jeb Bush.
He has failed to in any way discourage or prevent the use of the nation’s highest court to subvert the will of the people. He has intentionally deceived those who elected him in good faith, promising to support initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide and to act as a political uniter and in a politically moderate manner; once elected, he has not only failed to keep these promises, he has acted in complete opposition to them. He has failed to uphold the accepted and necessary boundary between church and state, which was established and has been maintained to aid in insuring domestic tranquility as guaranteed by the Preamble of the Constitution. Instead, he has promoted a single model of religious tenets, that of Fundamentalist Christianity.
He has ignored the will of the people on several occasions, even when that will was expressed with overwhelming and unmistakable clarity. He has failed to show the compassion, ability to think independently, and true leadership qualities required by a leader of any large country, especially one as powerful as the U.S. Instead, he has proven himself unable to make independent decisions based on the public good and not on pure self-interest and has relied overwhelmingly on the opinions and direction of persons neither elected nor approved by the majority of the people for that role, including Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Karen Hughes, and his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, who not only is unelected, but was in fact voted out of office on an earlier occasion. He has also sought counsel on issues of great importance to the public welfare from persons whose names he refuses to divulge and with whom he met under highly secretive circumstances.
Let the Following FACTS be submitted to a candid world:
1. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good
He has sought to overturn, delay, or dilute regulations aimed at protecting workers, including ergonomic rules, as well as regulations in the general public interest, including regulations pertaining to arsenic in drinking water, wilderness roads, the preservation of George’s Bank and other shore areas from exploitation by the oil or natural gas industries.
2. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance.
He has refused to allow California governor Gray Davis to impose caps on energy prices during a time of crisis or to regulate gasoline formulation, he has refused to recognize the right of states to uphold protective regulations pertaining to wildlands, air and water pollution, and trade.
3. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation, a right inestimable to them and the Legislature and formidable to tyrants only.
The present budget clearly discriminates against regions, especially urban areas, that did not favor Bush in the election, a systematic form of discrimination that implies that to receive equal consideration, a region must relinquish their right of Representation by the party of their choice.
4. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
Bush arranged meetings in Europe in sites such as Slovenia and Sweden that were far from the true political centers of the EU, and where accommodations and police resources were consequently strained.
5. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He dissolved gatherings of protesters representing large blocks of the American people by having them removed to distant locations and/or “First Amendment Zones,” even when such gatherings were not only legal and the fundamental right of citizens.
6. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without and convulsion within.
Through subverting and impeding the election process in Florida, he prevented the election of Gore and thus the appointment of many others who would have made up his administration. In so doing, he also created conditions of instability, divisiveness and strife, attended by a loss of public confidence in the electoral and judicial systems.
7. He has endeavored to prevent the population of these States, for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners, refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of lands.
He has promoted legislation that makes immigration to the U.S. by eligible candidates more difficult and costly.
8. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has abused and subverted the Judicial system by encouraging and permitting the Supreme Court to overstep its constitutional boundaries and to interfere with the election process.
9. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has exerted an unacceptable degree of influence over the majority in the Supreme Court and has rewarded their compliance with favors, including bestowing nominations for lucrative positions on the sons of Judges Rehnquist and Scalia.
10. He has erected a multitude of New Offices and hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has named swarms of corporate employees and/or corporate campaign donation recipients to public posts who have acted in direct conflict with the public good (notably Gail Norton and those appointees under her) with the sole intent to harass the public into relinquishing control of its natural resources to corporate exploitation, which will, effectively “eat out the substance” of our resources.
11. He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
Though we are at peace with our global neighbors, he has, without input from the Congress or Senate, taken actions which constitute a shift toward military mobilization, including the bombing of Iraq without just cause and without going through the legal and reasonable channels required for making such a decision.
12. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has sought to divert billions of dollars for the development and deployment of a missile defense shield and has pressed for a suspension of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty without regard to the wishes of the majority of Americans or their representatives. In so doing he has exposed the U. S. and the entire world to the danger of a renewed arms race and decline in stability.
13. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to the Acts of pretended Legislation.
He has allowed the Supreme Court to create a constitutional crisis through its extraordinary behavior during the election of 2000, and has further allowed it to make rulings aimed at furthering his objectives, including eroding the separation of church and state. In addition, he seeks to consolidate this subversion of the Judiciary by seeking to appoint political extremists to this bench.
14. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us.
For imposing destructive military operations on the people of Vieques against their will. For deploying large numbers of police and other security measures about the capitol in a way that impedes public access. For deploying large numbers of police personnel throughout public gatherings with the express intention of preventing expressions of dissent.
15. For protecting them by a Mock trial from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these shores.
His judicial department allowed the federal charges to be dropped against the FBI officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman during the Ruby Ridge incident.
16. For Cutting off our trade with all parts of the world.
For creating an animosity against the United States by people in large areas of the globe, thereby endangering our ability to trade and for seeking to usurp the power to negotiate trade on the behalf of the people, thereby cutting off our right in all parts of the world to assent to those trade agreements we deem beneficial, for failing to protect the ability of American steel workers and others to fairly compete in world trade, thereby cutting off their trade with all parts of the world.
17. For imposing taxes on us without our consent.
For imposing a tax cut, to which the majority did not consent, aimed at benefiting solely the wealthiest minority.
18. For depriving us in many cases of the right to a Trial by Jury.
By allowing, through the action of his Supreme Court, the oppressive right of police to arrest and detain civilians even for the most minor infraction, which thereby eliminates just cause.
19. For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses.This is the only article lacking a counterpart in the present time
20. For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to rend it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies.
For basing his model of oppressive government on that set up by corporations in foreign lands through subversion or force, including nations in Southeast Asia and South Amerca, where land was seized for exploitation by oil, gas and mining companies and the dissent of the people ignored and brutally suppressed.
21. For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our government.
For seeking to overturn many of our fundamental and most cherished laws and principles: separation of church and state, the Anti-ballistic missile treaty, the Kyoto treaty, the sanctity of public wildlands and wildlife refuges, the right to free speech, the separation between the judicial and legislative bodies and many other smaller but indefensible violations.
22. For suspending our own legislatures and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
For overriding the rights of states to impose laws and regulations they see fit, such as those pertaining to the medical use of marijuana, price caps on energy, wildlands protections, air quality standards and other issues of importance to the people in those states.
23. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has abdicated his decision making to appointees not elected by the people but who instead represent corporate interests and in so doing has set the government against the will the of the people. This is evidenced most clearly in his flagrant disregard for the 1.6 million recorded comments by the public demanding that roadless areas in remaining national wildlands be maintained and protected. He has also refused to uphold and protect the right of those wishing to express dissent both during the election, inauguration and on numerous occasions since.
24. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burn our town and destroyed the lives of our people.
He proposes allowing corporations to plunder our seas (Georges’ Bank, in particular), ravage our coasts (the proposed coastal drilling in ANWR in particular), while abandoning our cities, which, like Cincinnati, burn as a result of this neglect.He has permitted the direct ravaging of the island of Vieques in the Caribbean by the military, despite the persistent and united protests of the people both there and in the U.S. He is thereby, and by failing to protect workers rights, the right to clean air and water, and by vetoing the patient’s rights bill, among other failures, destroying the lives of many Americans.
25. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete 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 head of a Civilized nation.
He is at this time seeking to overturn the ABM treaty crafted by the civilized nations of the world over a generation, to put in place a missile defense that serves as a symbol of aggression and arrogance and thus threatens the world with death, desolation and tyranny. He at the same time proposes removing all humanitarian services rendered by the military, as well as aid to those fighting disease and the misery of overpopulation in poverty, creating circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages and totally unworthy of the head of a Civilized nation.
26. He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren or to fall themselves by their hands.
He has forced thousands of government employees to participate in carrying out policies that are destructive to their country’s welfare, causing harm to their friends and brethren, to a point where men and women of conscience must withdraw from his association (notably James Jeffords) or quit public service.
27. He has excited domestic insurrection amongst us and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.
He has caused a state of extreme divisiveness among the American people to the point where compromise has become more destructive than resistance, unless the compromise is now entirely on the part of the administration. He has failed to actively discourage aggressive and destructive behavior on the part of his merciless ultrarightwing advocates, including hate crimes, death threats, intimidation, including the actions of the organized mobs who impeded the recount process in Florida in 2000 through harassment of election officials).
The majority of the American people have shown, through the popular vote in the last election, through the rejection of the effort to impeach Bill Clinton, through numerous polls, recorded public comments, and other means of expression, that a more moderate and indeed progressive position is demanded of its leaders. Yet these leaders have failed to acknowledge the common will and instead seek to subvert the judicial system and to exert control over our media, to consolidate its power through presenting knowingly unbalanced or even false information to the public.
We hereby proclaim that until such time as George Walker Bush shall make sufficient reforms to his administration, we are absolved of all allegiance to him and said administration. We further declare that as long as George Walker Bush shall remain in office and unreformed to the will of the people, we will not submit our taxes directly to his administration as to do so would clearly constitute TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. Instead, we shall place our taxes either into escrow accounts, turning over only a statement to the Internal Revenue service, into the special fund provided by the U.S. government for conscientious anti-war objectors, or shall direct the rightful amount of tax to those agencies and programs of the government we shall see fit. We also claim the right to refuse to participate in any military action incurred while Bush remains in office and unreformed. Further, to remedy the present wrongs against the American people and the principles of Democracy, we submit the following demands:
DEMANDS OF THE PEOPLE:
- A full investigation by the federal government into the Florida Presidential Election of 2000 to be conducted by an outside investigative team from the United Nations in a rapid and efficient manner.
- A full investigation of the Supreme Court’s actions during the 2000 election by a fully bipartisan team of legal experts overseen by a team from the United Nations.
- The immediate signing of the Kyoto Protocol and future adherence to its requirements.
- The immediate withdrawal of plans to pursue the Missile Shield plan.
- The immediate renewal in writing of the U.S. commitment to the Anti-ballistic Missle Treaty.
- An immediate review by Congress of ALL regulations implemented or overturned by this administration, with all regulations reinstated or abolished according to the will of the majority of the people, even if this requires referendums to be conducted nationally or state by state.
- The creation of a new energy plan in keeping with the will of the people by a fully bipartisan team elected from within and by the House and Senate.
- The suspension of the tax cut pending a national referendum on the issue at which time the American people will determine the scope and distribution of any cut.
- The formulation of legislation barring from office all persons whose connections to corporate interests in the 7 years preceding their seeking of office makes it impossible, through conflict of interest, for them to sufficiently represent the public good.
- The formulation of new criteria for the appointment of judges that will insure that nonextremist persons free from unduly strong corporate or political ties sit on all of the nation’s benches, including its highest court.
- The creation of legislation barring corporate and political influence from affecting the content of news and the creation of a new office of government (hereafter referred to as the media office) to oversee that the separation between news content and corporate and political agendas is maintained.
- The creation of an independent and completely noncommercial national television station, fully funded by taxpayers and devoted to the presentation of news and editorials provided for and by the public. The content and operation of this station will be overseen by the media office described above to insure freedom from organized political or commercial agendas.
In the Name of Those Principles Upon Which This Nation Was Founded, We Hereby Sign: