With no further ado, then, here is the essay.
by Elisheva Levin
New Mexico Delegate to Continental Congress 2009
Our weapon is our refusal: our refusal to bow to any order but our own
--any institution but our own.'' - Michael Collins
"What does a free people do?" What does a free people do when repeated Petitions for Redress of Grievances is met with repeated injury? In November 2009, three delegates from each of 48 states met in Continental Congress to discuss, deliberate and debate and return with an answer to this question. For over 100 years the federal government of the United States has been engaged in the violation of the Constitutional limits to it's power.
For most of the past two decades, Bob Schulz of the We the People Foundation and We the People Congress, with the help of many dedicated patriots, has engaged in formulating and serving each of the branches of the federal government with petitions for Redress of Grievances. This capstone First Amendment Right to Petition is well established in the English Common Law, appears in the Magna Carta, and is discussed in the writings of the Founders, as well as in various state constitutions. The Magna Carta declares that any petition by a citizen to his government requires a response. The petitioner does not have the right to a specific answer, but the petition must be answered. The Magna Carta states that an answer to a Petition for Redress must be made within forty days or the petitioners may take any action necessary, up to and including war against the king, in order to force a response. The right to Petition is that important.
Each of the We the People Petitions for Redress addressed a specific violation to the Constitution of the United States by at least one branch of the federal government. Among the many petitions served on the federal government are those related to the Federal Income Tax, the Federal Reserve, and the USA Patriot Act. The federal government has refused to respond to any of the many Petitions for Redress served by We the People. Through this process of formal Petitions for Redress, We the People has therefore established a substantial record of this refusal, and it has become clear that our petitions will not be heard and that all of our petitions are only met with further injury to the Constitution and to our liberty. Therefore, through the We the People Congress, a Continental Congress was called to consider the next step in the restoration of Constitutional governance to the United States.
The stated purpose of Continental Congress 2009 was to gather a body of delegates, elected by supporters of the Constitution in their respective states, in order to consider the actions of the federal government with respect to several of the formal Petitions for Redress. The Congress had these specific tasks: 1) to document the violations of the Constitution related to the Petitions; 2) to compose remedial instructions for the federal government as well as to the governments of the respective states; and 3) to develop suggested civic actions that a mass movement of at least 5% of the people can take in order to return the federal government to its Constitutionally mandated limits of power. The written results were to be gathered into a document, now called the Articles of Freedom, which would, together with a plan of action, be used to gather that mass movement. All of this was accomplished at St. Charles, IL, last November, and most of the delegates signed the Articles on the evening of November 21, 2009.
The Articles of Freedom represent that Next Step for a Free People. They represent the intention of a goodly number of the people to be done with petitions and proceed to the step of giving our servant government instructions on how to place itself back under the rule of the Constitution, the highest Law of the Land. Although the delegates do not expect compliance from our servant government, this is a necessary step in documenting the abuses of power that these Constitutional violations represent. We have petitioned for redress of our grievances, and the violations to the Constitution and our rights and have been ignored. Now we will tell the federal government how we want those violations to cease, and our rights to be restored.
The Articles of Freedom also are intended to inspire a mass movement of the People who respect the Constitution and wish to see it restored. To that end, the closing sections include a Call to Nationwide Civic Action by the People, stating in part:
When a goodly number of millions of American people agree, we will withdraw our financial support from the federal government, in a lawful and constitutional manner, and implement other responsible civic actions, until all violations of the Constitution for the United States of America CEASE.
(Articles of Freedom, Christmas Eve “Miracle version, p. 61)
This is followed by a pledge that the delegates signed, and that is available for your signature online here. You may also read and download the entire document in pdf at the same location.
In signing the pledge, you are agreeing to becoming more than a “sunshine patriot and a summer soldier”; you are agreeing to take actions that signify your withdrawal of support to a government that has overstepped its mandate and has violated your rights. These actions will begin at such time as “a goodly number of millions of people” have signed the document, so that no one will stand alone in these actions and the consequences thereof. For make no mistake, history shows that every act of civil disobedience has first been met with further force.
The time for petitions is past. The time to restore the Republic is upon us. Your Continental Congress has deliberated and returned to you these remedial instructions to the government and these recommendations for civic action. The recommendations can be summed up as a refusal to continue to support tyranny. Our Constitution is the statement of our lawful order and our institutions. We must proceed to protect and defend it. It is our refusal to bow down to tyranny; our refusal to support a government out of control. Our refusal is our weapon.
Are you a patriot? Prove it. Sign the Articles of Freedom and join in Nationwide Civic Action. In April we will serve representatives of our servant government with the Articles of Freedom. Crisis Patriots and Winter Soldiers will be there to give their refusal to tyranny.