Remonstrance and Petition for a Redress of Grievances
Law, Liberty, and Governance
We, the Delegates of the Southern States, in Congress assembled, make the following Findings and Affirmations:
The Southern people are strong supporters of the rule of law, in keeping with our traditional commitment to ordered liberty. Instructed by our history, culture, and religion, we grasp the true nature of human evil and understand that genuine threats exist to the citizen and that the commonwealth must be restrained or defeated. This is the principal role of civil government, from which it derives its legitimacy under God and in covenant with the People. However, the Southern tradition does not choose order at the expense of liberty.
In recent years, we have seen the rise of grievous abuses of our liberty by the Federal Government, which has exploited the threat of foreign terror to justify its usurpations and aggrandizement of its powers. The ill-named PATRIOT Acts I and II, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and amendments to the Insurrection Act undermine the ancient right of habeas corpus, the foundation of liberty in the English-speaking world since the Magna Carta. They nullify posse comitatus, the historic prohibition against employing the Armed Forces in a domestic law enforcement role. The Executive Branch has created a near police-state, with massive warrantless surveillance of Americans in violation of federal law. The President and his officials claim the authority to declare anyone, U.S. citizen or not, innocent or not, an “unlawful enemy combatant.” They can then be held without charge, without notification, without recourse, for as long as the Government likes. These lawless acts are ignored or actively abetted by a craven Congress and supine Courts, institutions that are supposed to safeguard our freedom.
The Government’s contempt of the rule of law and claims of unlimited power have been accompanied by criminalizing of dissent, increasing prosecutorial misconduct, and militarizing of police. In summary, the Federal Government is pursuing “…a long train of abuses and usurpations,” and “…evinces a design to reduce [us] under absolute Despotism…” in the words of the great Southerner Thomas Jefferson.
The right of the people to petition the Government for redress of grievances is recognized by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Therefore, we, the Delegates to the First Southern National Congress, remonstrate against the growing police state and the assaults on liberty and petition the Federal Government to:
- End the abuses of our liberty and usurpations of power as enumerated above.
- End the suppression of anti-government speech and dissent.
- Scrap plans for “Real ID” or any form of national identity card or internal passport, which are the hallmark of totalitarian regimes.
- Cease and desist from encroachments on State and local law enforcement and the steady militarization of police.
- Punish misconduct of Federal prosecutors and police, including wrongful entrapment, lying to judges or grand juries, and withholding exculpatory evidence.
- Respect the God-given liberties which are the birthright of all Americans, and which are acknowledged and protected by the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution and our respective state constitutions.
Adopted 6 December 2008 by the First Southern National Congress at Hendersonville, North Carolina and ordered to be transmitted to the Delegations to the United States Congress of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia; to the President of the United States, and to the State Governments of these Southern States.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue?