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The Chattanooga Declaration

A history making battle cry for change?

by Michael H. Thomson
October 10, 2007

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The Chattanooga Declaration
The Chattanooga Declaration was drafted and approved by delegates to the Second North American Secessionist Convention on 4 October 2007.
We, the delegates of the Secession movements represented at the Second North American Secessionist Convention, acknowledging our differences, yet agree on the following truths:
1. The deepest questions of human liberty and government facing our time go beyond right and left, and in fact have made the old right-left split meaningless and dead.
2. The privileges, monopolies, and powers that private corporations have won from government threaten everyone's health, prosperity, and liberty, and have already killed American self-government by the people.
3. The power of corporations endangers liberty as much as government power, especially when they are combined as in the American Empire.
4. Liberty can only survive if political power is returned from faraway and self-interested centers to local communities and States.
5. The American Empire is no longer a nation or a republic, but has become a tyrant aggressive abroad and despotic at home.
6. The States of the American union are and of right ought to be, free and self-governing.
7. Without secession, liberty and self-government can never be sustained, and diversity among human societies can never survive.
Different groups of secessionists met in ChattanoogaTennessee last week in what is billed as the largest secessionist meeting since the Civil War. The unique characteristic of this gathering was not its theme – secession from the United States, but the diversity of the conference participants. Northern secessionists – who can be characterized as freethinking, tree-hugging folks – joined with Southern secessionists who are much more conservative and wrap themselves in the confederate battle flag.
This summer I traveled to New England. The tranquility of driving through Vermont lowered my blood pressure by several points. Yes, Vermont is a beautiful state with a low crime rate, towns, and townships who govern themselves by town meetings. Vermont is a small state with a population of nearly 650,000 residents.
According to a recent University of Vermont poll, approximately 37,000 registered voters in Vermont would like to secede from the United States. Other polls indicate that as many as 13 percent of Vermont's population would favor secession. This number is growing rapidly – especially among the young. A recent article in the online edition of the Boston Globe reports on the gains being made in the Vermont Secession Movement. 
Dr. James Michael Hill, president of The League of The South is very conservative and is upset with corporate America having the influence it has over the U.S. government and the U.S. governments attempts to dilute southern culture. Many of the large membership of this organization are very disgruntled by the lack of action on the U.S. government's part to stem the tide of illegal immigration. He and his organization have been branded by The Southern Poverty Law Center as racist. Of course, the Southern Poverty Law Center and its founder Morris Dees have a tendency to brand a lot of people racist including popular CNN journalist Lou Dobbs. As Dobbs raises the level of awareness on illegal immigration SPLC's attacks have become more strident.
Kirkpatrick Sale, founder of The Middlebury Institute – a liberal oriented secessionist movement based in New York, responds to the SPLC' racist remarks against Dr. Hill by saying:
"They call everybody racists," Sale said. "There are, no doubt, racists in the League of the South, and there are, no doubt, racists everywhere."
I am not going to be smug and say that secessionists are doomed to failure. I am going to say there are many angry people in America. An incidence last week in Reno, Nevada occurred when a veteran tore down a Mexican flag flying above the American flag. Another indication of American unrest is that Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul has raised as much money in his campaign as John McCain and almost as much a Democratic candidate John Edwards.
The Buffalo Springfield song, What's Happening Here?" which was penned back in the days of the peace movement is appropriate for these unsettled times:
What's Happening Here
There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

I think it's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
You step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
An interview conducted by Glenn Beck with Thomas Naylor, president of the 2nd Vermont Republic secessionist movement and Dr. J. Michael Hill, president of the League of the South says it all. Glenn Beck: America is Angry
Until next time…
Read The Southern Split - a fanciful tale of modern day secession.

Comments (3)

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Rebecca Em Campbell from Seattle, WA writes:
October 10, 2007
Here is what I wrote in October, 2005 -- two years before the Chattanooga Declaration:

Cleaning the Lamp of Liberty

The people of the United States need to demand -- supported by massive nonviolent action if necessary -- replacement of the current presidential administration, the current Congress and the current Supreme Court for their myriad violations of the Constitution of the United States and national and international law. This would include a full investigation by genuinely independent authorities of the interrrelated stolen US Presidential Elections of 2000 and 2004, the secret Cheney Energy Commission, the September 11 Attacks and the War in Iraq, so that the American people might end their denial of the need to radically alter their unsustainable mode of life which presently endangers the planet; that treason in the highest reaches of our federal government might be thereby exposed, and the lamp of Liberty might once again shine forth as a beacon throughout our land and throughout the world.

A More Perfect Union for This Age

We the people of the United States, in order to create a more perfect union for this age, can, using the rights of the people enumerated in our constitution, command a constitutional convention to correct the evils caused by our present politicoeconomic disenfranchisement by corrupt, corporate-controlled government destructive of the general welfare, creating amendments which explicitly empower:

o Shifting the basis of our tax structure to taxation for the use of natural resources, including land, and minimizing all others. We will thereby eliminate poverty by correcting the historic centralization of wealth and power in the hands of the few, and by providing sufficient funding for programs as shall benefit the many, including:

o Legalized secession, allowing localized living laboratories of democracy without interference;

o A Guaranteed Annual Income -- lifelong Social Security -- predicated on the principle that healthy citizens desire to contribute to their communities when provided with sufficient support to do so;

o Universal healthcare, cost-effectively based on natural, preventive methods, rather than the present privatized profiteering on disease;

o Sustainable, locally-based economies, predicated on abundance and cooperation, rather than on global corporate-controlled scarcity and competition; on sustainable energy, rather than on dangerous, expensive, inefficient nuclear/fossil-derived fuels and long-distance transport;

o The precedence of human and natural rights over corporate rights, and the right of the people to abolish the charters of those corporations violating these rights.

I would be interested in working with you all; please contact me ASAP.

Steve Rankin from Jackson, Mississippi writes:
October 11, 2007
Circa 1815, when the Federalist Party became defunct, there was a secessionist movement in New England. This, of course, was some 45 years prior to Southern secession.

Beautiful Vermont is essentially a socialist state today. Calvin Coolidge, who was born and grew up in Vermont, must be spinning in his grave.

The song whose lyrics you quote is actually entitled, "For What It's Worth." It was written in the wake of a confrontation between young demonstrators and the Los Angeles police. Its author is the brilliant Stephen Stills, who later performed with Crosby, Stills, and Nash. (The name "Buffalo Springfield" came from the two cities.)

larry slay from brewton alabama writes:
October 18, 2007
Mike, all I can say about this article is that " it is food for MUCH thought". I live by this one principle, if I don't learn something every day it is a wasted day and this day I have learned something from your article.

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