Permits? We don’t need no stinking permits, say the organizers of the Occupy National Gathering, scheduled for July 4 in Philadelphia.
We are gathered here in Philadelphia – America’s “cradle of liberty” – to assert our human rights in this supposed democracy. We are here to give meaning to the still unfulfilled promise that all of us are created equal. our only plans are to peaceably assemble, freely speak our minds, and openly debate the future of our movement and our world.
We refuse to seek a permit for our gathering because no piece of paper can guarantee that our fundamental rights will be respected. As has been demonstrated time and again, not even the Bill of Rights guarantees that we may speak or associate freely, or assemble peaceably, without government interference or outright repression. In the face of these realities, we contend that we, the people, ourselves must define and defend our liberties.
Therefore, we hereby issue this people’s permit to declare that it is our right to occupy public spaces in Philadelphia. It is also our right to share food, music, and ideas with anyone. And it is our right – even the signers of the Declaration of Independence agreed – to discuss our shared future and question whether or not the very form of government under which we live has become irremediably destructive to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As the Declaration says, “it is [the people’s] right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”