Mary Lou Seymour

Mary Lou Seymour is a long-time libertarian activist and author. She lives in South Carolina.



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Liberty Action of the Week
July 1, 2003: Don't just mourn, organize!
by Mary Lou Seymour

OK, it's time for July 4 again. It used to be my favorite holiday because on July 4, Independence Day, we honor that band of revolutionaries, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who pledged "our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor" to gain independence and freedom for us all. This is our holiday, my fellow freedom fighters and liberty activists, just as it is our job to keep that revolutionary spirit alive ... or to fan the dying embers.

But for the last 3 years, I've watched the dying embers of the revolutionary spirit fade away to only a dim glow. Even a mention of the word "revolution" in many so called libertarian circles brings gasps of horror and dismay. Oh no, we can't mention the word "revolution," they say, we may get carted off to Guantanamo Bay, or worse, scare the sheeple who we are hoping to sucker into voting for Libertarian candidates as "bold by major party standards." Well, hogwash.

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Many of us (who are still into electoral politics) think that it's counterproductive to elect "nerf libertarians" to office, even if it were possible (which it apparently is not, in large numbers, to partisan posts, as the "populace" isnt quite that dumb, and if they want to elect a mainstream politician, they have plenty of choices which don't include "us").

Many of us think that in order to elect "hard ball libertarians" to office and thus effect real change, it's necessary to work on changing the culture to one that values freedom over security. And many of us think the electoral system is too broke to "fix," and advocate spreading the liberty meme in other ways, by simply "living free" ourselves, or by actively working to monkey wrench the state and "bring it down." But whatever our chosen method of bringing about a "new revolution," we need to reach out and FIND those in the public who believe as we do, who may only be waiting to be contacted by a "like minded" person.

And that's where we come in. "We" being the members of our "disorganization," the C.L.A.W. (Community Liberty Activists Whatever).

For many years I have used July 4th to promote the idea, first proposed by Karl Hess when he was editor of the LP News, of handing out (in meatspace or cyberspace) a "New Declaration of Independence," written in today's language. It's a worthy cause to try to get celebrants to take time away from the hot dogs and fireworks and really think about freedom, and perhaps to identify other freedom lovers in your community.

As Karl pointed out, many will refuse to sign, saying "it's radical, it's treasonous," just like many did in 1776. But if you even find one freedom lover who would boldly sign, then it's a worthwhile action.

For those who are interested in this action, see my Liberty Activist page for July, which has printable versions of several "New Declarations." I also recommend the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) version, by Vincent H. Miller and Jarret B. Wollstein, originally published in May 1992 and revised in January 2000.

And this year, Rob at Strike the Root is collecting MORE personal Declarations, and on July 4, will publish the personal declaration of independence for those people who send theirs to him. "If I publish your declaration, I'll send you a free STR T-shirt (after I have some made)," Rob says.

For a great Independence Day flyer of a more traditional bent (with an American flag, Gadsden Flag and radical statements from the Founding Fathers), print out and distribute some of these July 4 Flyers at your local community "Wave the Flag" celebration. And for a poster that just about says it all, take a look at the Save our Guns poster "Not everyone can celebrate the 4th," which would look great in your local independent gun shop.

Last year, for July 4, 2002, Tom Knapp at Rational Review had a wonderful idea ... "Mourn on the Fourth." It's a national day of protest where participants will do one (or more) of several things: wear a "mourning band" around one arm all day, "drape the front page of their web page in mourning" by changing the background to black, or fly the American flag upside down from their front porch (an upside-down flag is the international symbol of distress).

Along the same lines, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) is again promoting the idea of flying the flag upside down, and, saying the "Freedom Pledge" (as mentioned in a prior Action of the Week, "Fly the Flag of Freedom").

I have no idea how many freedom fighters participated in last year's "National Day of Protest" or the JPFO suggestion. I did. And I hope YOU join me this year.

Another idea from JPFO: Get the JPFO CD "I Will Live Free," an entire CD of songs celebrating and explaining The Bill of Rights, our precious national treasure in tothe hands of sympathetic folks in local radio stations who will agree to play some or all of the songs on July 4th. Key songs would be "A Time of Kings" "What is Freedom/ Freedom's War" and "The Best."

And while we're on the subject of radio stations ... for those of you who hadn't heard, Ernie Hancock's famous (or infamous) hard hitting hard core libertarian radio show, "Declare your Independence", will be airing its LAST broadcast July 24. I am a huge fan of Ernie's show (and not just cause he had the excellent taste to have me as a guest on June 16), and think Ernie's show should be nationally syndicated ... and instead, it may be silenced forever. Ernie, of course, has something up his sleeve, which he promises to announce on, appropriately, July 4, but in the meantime, he's asking all his fans to send emails and FAXes to the the radio station to thank them for airing his show, albeit briefly. According to Ernie, "All of these e-mails, faxes and letters are printed out and piled up for me to use as part of a very impressive resume for the future of the show." So send an email or FAX to KXAM to support Ernie: 4725 N. Scottsdale Road Suite # 234, Scottsdale, AZ 85251; Telephone 480-423-1310; Fax 480-423-3867; Call in Line 480-874-1311; email

The last 2 years have been especially hard for freedom lovers, as the "War on Terror" engendered the draconian Patriot Act and the even worse "Son of the Patriot Act," the neo-con fascists in control of our government started their imperialist push towards a "New American Empire" with a War of Aggression in Iraq (which is quickly turning into Vietnam without a jungle), and the soccer moms and security pops nationwide decked out in American flags made in Taiwan to cheer to rise of the Fourth Reich.

Is there ANYONE out there, in reality TV land, who has even the teeniniest spark of revolutionary spirit left? Well, of course there are ... there MUST be ... or we are doomed.

So, for this Independence Day, 2003, let's remember the clarion call of resistance of the martyred lefty radical, Joe Hill -- "don't mourn, organize" --with this slight difference ... we can't HELP but mourn that the ideals of freedom personified in the Declaration of Independence seem to be almost forgotten, but let's not JUST mourn ... let's organize.

Til next week,

For Freedom

Mary Lou

PS: Don't forget to share your thoughts and actions with me, if you'd like me to share them with others, I'll post them to the Liberty Activist Blog.

PPS: For those of you who have donated $15 or more to LAotW and have gotten the "key" to the Liberty Activist Resource Directory ... yes, the Directory (as well as the whole RR site) suffered a server crash. The main site is up again, and, we hope the dbase will also be restored. If not, I'll rebuild the Directory as soon as humanly possible.

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