The Notion Of Liberty
On Boston's Freedom Trail
From: Judith Moriarty
"History is filled with the sound of silken slippers going downstairs and wood shoes ( jack boots-jm ) coming up". Voltaire
It's July 2004, and the Democratic Convention (infomercial) is being held in the birthplace of our nation-Boston. On a distant July day in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was first proclaimed from the balcony of the Old State House. Later that day (July 18-1776) the lion and the unicorn, along with other symbols of royal authority, were taken down from the roof off the building and burned in a great bonfire in Dock Square.
Symbols and words determine the culture of a people. The Declaration of Independence in July of 2004, and all that its words stand for, instead of being read to a jubilant crowd from a balcony, found itself relegated to a girded underpass. "We hold these truths to be self-evident", was surrounded by concrete barriers. " A decent respect to the opinions of mankind was 'respected' with six foot high chain-link fencing.
"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it etc.", was tangled in the razor wire overhead and surrounded by Boston police, the Secret Service, and the National Guard. "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government and to provide new GUARDS for their future security"; was threatened with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, clubs, and pepper spray!
"The history of the present King of Great Britain (George III) is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world: He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be ordained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them."
"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the consent of our legislatures. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation" . These historic words, echoing down through our 228 years, were drowned out by the F-16s, helicopters, and roar of customized armored vehicles.
Bostonians, with their red brick Freedom Trail, have apparently forgotten the blood of the ages that now has them a tourist site recognizing our country's struggle for freedom. The Freedom Trail Foundation tells us; "What makes the sites on the Freedom Trail so special is that they are real. Each one has a role in the beginning of a nation, each one connects us to the spirit of Boston's early patriots, whose hearts were ignite by the spark of liberty. 'The notion of liberty'. As a notion, an idea that royal leadership was not imbued with divine authority, and that people had the right to govern their own lives. They imagined it, whispered it, and finally they spoke it, out loud. It swelled into a battle cry, this notion liberty, advancing to a movement, a conflict and finally a Revolution. It changed the world."
"It was impossible to beat the notion of liberty out of the people as it was rooted in them since childhood." General Thomas Gage, Commander of the British Forces in North America.
One can't help wondering what tactics General Gage might have used had he only had a Time Machine and had been able to visit Fort Boston (2004) with its thousands of police, military, and snipers on rooftops? He might have ascertained that intimidation, threats, color coded fear days, the repetitive usage of the word evil, and forces dressed for the Battle of Armageddon, were all that was needed for unruly colonists? One wonders what Thomas Paine might have penned as he walked through the metal corridors of Boston to visit the "Free Speech Zone" with its guards, razor wire, chain link fence; for the "notion of liberty"? Remembering the blood of battle, the stench of gun powder choking the air; would he still write, "We fight not to enslave but to set a people free". Is this the "freedom" that President Bush tells us those of distant lands are "jealous of"? When he said, "Bring them on", did he mean troops in the streets of America against the Sons of Liberty? Will the Freedom Trail Foundation of Boston add a 17th site to show those of a future age how the "notion of liberty" came to be caged?
More important than the scripted rock-a-billy, costumed-orchestrated conventions (Democrat and Republican) is the ominous precedent being set. As delegates do the "Butt Dance" adjust their block cheese hats, and slurp down free tumblers of booze-the "notion of liberty" is being wrapped in razor wire, gassed, clubbed, photographed and asked for its papers. With the "implosion" of the towers that fateful Sept 11-2001 day; were our freedoms and liberties also pulverized into clouds of volcanic ash? There was no distinction of races that day-those who came out of the cloud were ghostly specters of our past-present and future. The cloud spread out throughout the land. In July of 2004 it reached Boston and choked LIBERTY.
Forgotten in the chaos, the falling bodies, the cry of the Jersey mothers, the brave firefighters, rescue crews, and police, of that day (9-11) was the ominous hoof beats of a Paul Revere. His cry was for the people to awaken to danger-that the enemy was at their doorsteps. Nobody heeded the cry. It was lost amidst the cries of the victims, and their survivors. It was lost in the numerous photo-ops and memorial services. It was lost in the usual blame game. It was lost in the prepared- draconian- legislation that quickly passed in a nation's grief. And soon it was just a distant echo as the sounds of cluster bombs, bunker busters, and missiles silenced the millions upon millions from all lands who dared to march and voice the "notion of liberty".
With history relegated to dusty files, who is there to question the presence of troops on our streets to silence dissent, to silence the right of the people, to partake in decisions that would send their fathers, mothers, sons and daughters off to war? A war that told the people of a distant desert land, that we'd come to liberate them with Shock and Awe weaponry, blowing up their hospitals, schools, and history. The shot heard round the world of Liberty's Minutemen would soon see them in Democracy's embrace, amongst the melted-shredded bodies of their neighbors. Those not desirous of such McFreedom would see themselves taken to the prison named "The Father of Strangers". Here they would be convinced, through various perverse and sadistic tortures, that only depraved men could invent, how liberating freedom and the "notion of liberty" would be.
Nonsensical hearings on the home front, red, white and boo electioneering, gay marriages, an eight day send off; for the President of another tortuous era, the Iran-Contra massacre, kept citizens distracted. Distracted, while the razor wire was strung, the cage for freedom's voice built, and the Armageddon battle dress handed out to those assigned to club down the "notion of liberty". With Sherwin William-color-coded-fear days announced daily, citizens didn't question (if they even knew) the dismantling of The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. This Act defines the role of the US Military in our lives and keeps us from becoming a dictatorial-tyrannical state.
This dismantling is of course being done under the guise of protecting the citizens from future careening planes, hordes of Arabs, and vague biological and chemical attacks. "Our way of life has forever changed" wrote Senator John Warner R-Va., in an October 2001 letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "Should this law (Posse Comitatus Act) now be changed to enable our active-duty military to more fully join other domestic assets in this war against terrorism" In a nutshell this act bans the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines from participating in arrests, searches, seizure of evidence and other police-type activity on US soil. The Coast Guard and National Guard troops under the control of state governors are excluded from the act.
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitiz, testifying in October-2001 before the Senate Armed Services Committee, agreed that it might be desirable to give federal troops more of a role in domestic policing to prevent terrorism. "In certain cases we can do more than anyone else in the country because of the special capabilities that we have", he said.
Per chance anyone visiting Boston and later New York; with their drums, posters and puppets, to participate in the "notion of liberty" find themselves met with walls of Ninja Armageddon troops, and wonder how Freedom's Trail became militarized, now they know. The clouds of ash had hardly cleared and bodies were still buried deep in the rubble when hearings were already discussing a future scenario that would have Boston locked down.
Donald Rumsfeld in the Wall Street Journal-5/27/03 remarked; "As Thomas Jefferson put it, 'we are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed', It took time and patience, but eventually our Founders got it right-and we hope so will the people of Iraq-----over time." Hmmm! With the likes of Seattle-Miami-and now Boston, I imagine given the perverseness of the times, that today, we should not expect to be translated from liberty to despotism in a featherbed. Indeed our Founders did get something right and it only takes a few clowns with hatchets marching up Freedom's Trail to bring it to ruination
Here's the URL to this article,which also has some very frightening photographs of Boston as the DNC is going on.I urge everyone to go to this link,so you can really see how real this insanity is.I will go back and get the clickable link also,as I was unable to do both at the same time.