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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Twelve True Patriots For July 4th

Twelve True Patriots For July 4th

By Bill Quigley
Dissident Voice
July 3rd, 2013

On July 4, 1776, over fifty people signed the Declaration of

They were openly resisting the legal authority of the King of
England. Thousands joined them. They were outlaws.

They were breaking the laws of England and risked capture,
prison and even death for their belief in independence,
equality, unalienable rights, and liberty.

They were far from perfect as slavery, the slaughter and removal
of Native Americans and the exclusion of women demonstrated.

But they did resist their globally powerful government.

Who are the true patriots of today?

Not the flag-wrapped politicians who send other people’s children
off to be killed or disabled in wars to make the world safe for big

Not the flag-waving profiteers who view their successes as their

Not the crowds who chant USA, USA, USA, upon learning of death
of Osama bin Laden.

Not the religious hypocrites who worship this nation and its flag
as yet another one of their gods.

The true patriots are people like Rosa Parks.

People who courageously resist illegal and unjust actions of

They are who should be celebrated today.

Here are a dozen of the thousands who are courageously resisting
illegal and unjust government actions.

They risk their freedom to challenge the state for freedom and
truth and justice.

They are the true patriots.

Edward Snowden is a 30 year old risking a lifetime in prison to
expose massive extensive wrongful secret government surveillance
of hundreds of millions in the US and even more globally.

Rosanell Eaton, 92, a 70 year member of the NAACP, was
arrested on June 24th in North Carolina in one of the weekly
actions resisting government cutbacks and mistreatment of
the unemployed.

Nearly 600 others have also been arrested in the last two months
in the NAACP led protests.

Tim DeChristopher, 29, was just released from two years in federal
prison for disrupting an improper government auction of oil and gas
rights around national parks in Utah by making false bids for leases.

Bradley Manning is a 25 year old Army soldier who has been in jail
since May 2010 because he exposed evidence of illegal US airstrikes,
murder, and other embarrassing confidential political information
about the US and other governments.

U.S. Army Private Kimberly Rivera is in military prison in Colorado
after she refused to participate further in the illegal war in Iraq
and moved to Canada where she spoke out publicly against the war.

Rivera has been described as a prisoner of conscience by
Amnesty International.

Sister Megan Rice is an 83 year old catholic nun who is in
a Georgia jail facing up to thirty five years in prison.

Sister Rice was convicted of federal sabotage for peacefully
protesting against US nuclear weapons by walking onto the
Oak Ridge Nuclear Production facility outside Knoxville TN.

Two who walked with her, Greg Bortje-Obed, 57, and Michael
Walli, 63, both veterans of the US military, are also jailed
awaiting sentencing.

The three cut through several fences and painted peace slogans
on the supposedly secure building storing hundreds of metric
tons of nuclear weapon materials to expose and symbolically
disarm the thousands of nuclear weapons the US is upgrading,
each of which would end life as we know it.

Glenn Greenwald is a hard charging journalist who has been
challenging US misdeeds around the world for years.

People in Congress and the media are calling for his arrest on
criminal charges for helping expose the truth about crimes by

Joy First is a Wisconsin grandmother of five who has been arrested
over 30 times for protesting against the Iraq invasion, the war in
Afghanistan, the US drone assassinations.

Rafil Dhafir is a NY doctor who is in federal prison after being
convicted of providing humanitarian and financial aid to people
in Iraq in violation of US sanctions.

Medea Benjamin, cofounder of Code Pink, has been arrested
numerous times for challenging injustices by the US and other

Most recently she was thrown out of President Obama’s speech
on National Defense after interrupting him by shouting questions
about Guantanamo prisoners and drones.

Robert Chantal, 60, is in prison in Georgia for jumping over the
fence outside Fort Benning GA to protest the extensive human
rights abuses by graduates of the US Western Hemisphere Institute
for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) formerly the US Army School of
the Americas, located on that base.

Over 300 resisters have been sentenced for federal crimes in GA for
protesting there with School of Americas Watch and many more have
been arrested in DC.

Thousands of other people are resisting unlawful, illegal and unjust
government action all over the country.

The Keystone XL pipeline resistance has resulted in arrests of over a
thousand people in Texas, Oklahoma, Chicago, DC and other venues.

Anti-drone resistance has resulted in hundreds of arrests in Syracuse,
Nevada, California, DC and Wisconsin.

Hundreds of immigrant activists have been arrested in protests
across the country.

Arrests in DC continue to challenge the holding of prisoners in

Resisters continue to be arrested at nuclear weapon production and
deployment sites in California, Washington, Las Vegas, the Pentagon,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The Occupy movement resulted in the arrest of over seven thousand

So, this July 4th, celebrate the true resistance to unjust and unlawful

Bill Quigley is a professor of law at Loyola University New Orleans
and Associate Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

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