“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
I am opening this piece with a quote by MLK, one that was contained in a letter he wrote while in jail. I guess you could say the July 4th Civil Disobedience march on D.C. is very similar to the type of activism MLK practiced. Not to harp too much on that, but just chew on that for a moment before I get really get going.
So wait. What? What am I actually talking about here? Well, for any of you that may have been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks, there is going to be an open carry civil disobedience march on Washington D.C. on July 4th this year. It is expected to draw roughly 1,000 people to the capital to march – rifles slung, from the “National Cemetery…across the Memorial Bridge, down Independence Avenue, around the Capitol, the Supreme Court and the White House, then down Constitution Avenue to peacefully return to Virginia across the Memorial Bridge.” A very bold route for certain, but bold compared to what? It’s going to be a tight group of people moving through D.C. that day, and a peaceful group at that. The event organizer has even stated that anyone participating that meets resistance from the police should submit peacefully. Maybe they’ll need a bunch of handcuffs. Maybe they’ll need none at all.
So there are quite a few people out there talking about this event already and it’s more than a month away. But most of them are full of s***. Let’s start with the plain ol facts to calm the rustled jimmies of so many.
- This protest is a peaceful one and is not being organized as a violent march or an attempt to start the revolution. In many different ways this is solidified in truth starting with the statement above regarding police resistance. You also have to realize that the event organizer is going to have everyone get into a military type formation in order to literally march into D.C. The ranks will be inspected as to uphold the limitations that the group has imposed such as: 1. only active duty police are allowed to possess handguns in formation. And 2. all others are long guns only. It is said that all participants must be dressed professionally – which I am taking to mean no tactical vests full of ammunition (appearing outright ready for violence). Basically this is going to be a well-organized and respectfully armed group protesting against government. That doesn’t sound so bad right?
- This is a civil disobedience march. Laws are going to be broken and that’s the point. As with so many others in activism, arrest is inevitable and is sometimes a great tool to prove one’s point. We know what the laws are. We know what the consequences of breaking said laws are. And with those two points in mind, we are being adults about this in the strictest sense.
- The person organizing this event is not doing this just for themselves. This is not just for attention or fame. Like with anything this is for a cause and has a purpose. I can’t honestly prove this to you. However, I can say that anyone who questions the intent of the organizer should investigate for themselves and be wary of a lot of misinformation.
This isn’t going to be much different from what hundreds of Cop Block members do every single day, what Antonio Buehler of the Peaceful Streets Project does, what Adam ‘Ademo’ Mueller does constantly, what types of things Pete Eyre gets himself into or even to go back, MLK and Rosa Parks. This is a being called a march to mark the high water mark of government and to turn the tide. It is really that simple.
It is to provide the world, history, and all of us right here, right now, an indicator of where our government is and that we are under it. I could go into many a lofty ideals that this march could portray (or mean), but that’s up to each individual to decide for themselves while they are there. And yet so many are being talked down to by all their friends for wanting to go.
So many people are being attacked right now for their support of this event. I will flatly state that it is mostly due to who is organizing the event. Adam Kokesh has a history of being anti-military, and most of the GOP hates him for that. He has been very active over the years with in-your-face activism and has (in my opinion) been very successful in his endeavors. Still, I don’t think people understand how the Libertarian and Anarchist world works when it comes to mass organization. Some feel that we do not need leaders and some would say that we should simply not follow them as strictly.
Many say events like this only work with mass solidarity and that this event has no solid end goal to rally around and so it will be fractured. That’s not even remotely true. But to point out the fact that we are dealing with a group of Libertarians and Anarchists, we all pretty much have solidarity all of the freaking time towards a common goal – which I guess some are calling a bad thing.
This event will be historical. It may not be recorded in the textbooks or talked about much in the news, but it will be a moment when a group of people stopped hiding behind their little parties and elected officials e-mail inboxes, and go out of their way to say “F*** YOU GOVERNMENT.” Let me sum up exactly how I feel about it all with a quote that always goes over well except for with this event – a quote from a well-respected man whom I do not particularly like, but it speaks volumes of truth.
“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson
So ask yourself, “When was the last time the government feared the people?” When was the last time a group of people took a stand as nothing but individuals and stood up in peaceful protest against the government? We are NOT looking for bloodshed! Let’s make that clear. We are NOT looking to preempt the revolution! We ARE looking for some respect as human beings and also for an opportunity to showcase the atrocity in front of us known which is the Federal Government.
The only negative I have seen thus far is that now Alex Jones is calling for his army of tools to show up. That makes me say “thank goodness for the guidelines surrounding this event.” Not that him doing that will be all negative. It should bring many more cameras to the event which is never a bad thing when dealing with a police state.
Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/252728144871259/
Current Counts as of this Writing: Going 4,557 Maybe 4,039
Known Number of Federal Crimes: 4,450
Adam Kokesh : http://www.adamvstheman.com/
DC Police Chief’s response: http://libertycrier.com/government/d-c-police-chief-vows-to-take-action-against-july-4th-gun-marchers/
Miah Akston is a Guest Contributor at We Are Libertarians. She has been a presence on the We Are Libertarians podcast and is also the mastermind behind Creating Miah (if you don’t know look it up), and The Uncontrollables – a podcast at Indiana Talks.
Miah’s views do not necessarily reflect the opinions of We Are Libertarians as a whole – nor other WAL contributors. In fact, Miah was inspired to write this piece based on Daniel Peffers’ recent article opposing the Kokesh march. See his statement Adam vs. Activism here: http://wearelibertarians.com/peffers-adam-vs-activism/