Resolution and Appeal
To the Sheriffs, Police Agencies, Adjutants General, Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the National Guard and State Militias of the Fourteen Southern States
We the Delegates of the Southern States, in Congress assembled, find and affirm the following:
The Southern people have traditionally been strong supporters of the rule of law, properly founded upon impartial justice. Instructed by our history, culture, and religion, we grasp the nature of human evil and understand that threats to the commonwealth exist. They must be restrained, sometimes by force. This is the principal role of civil government, from which it derives its legitimacy under God and in covenant with the People. However, the Southern tradition does not embrace order at the expense of liberty. When government becomes lawless and despotic, it forfeits its legitimacy, and thereby the allegiance and obedience of citizens.
Southerners respect our uniformed public servants and honour their high calling to be protectors, not punishers. They are to be agents of justice, not injustice. Their powers, including the proper use of physical force, up to and including the use of deadly force, exist only as delegated to them by the People and are for the protection of the community, not its oppression and enslavement. This responsibility may include protecting the People from government officials when they act in a lawless and despotic manner.
We acknowledge the dilemma peace officers face when given wrongful orders by a rogue government. But the state is not exempt from the rule of law. Law enforcement have been confronted with such fundamental moral choices before, and history does not exonerate those who follow tyranny rather than God’s law and their own good consciences. “Just following orders” has never excused anyone for committing unlawful, cruel, or oppressive acts against innocent citizens.
We believe today’s emphasis on “law enforcement” is destructive to our society and changes the mission of police toward enforcing the will of the government upon the people rather than protecting and serving the public. Law enforcement procedures requiring abject, immediate obedience and deference under the threat of unwarranted force is unnecessarily demeaning and threatens the well-being of good citizens who may only have been accused of a minor violation or misdemeanor.
We believe most peace officers are rightly patriotic and dedicated to the welfare of the citizens in their jurisdictions. However, in these troubled times, converging challenges to public order – economic, social, and political— may test as never before their fidelity to their oaths to uphold their State constitutions, the United States Constitution, and just laws made in pursuance thereof.
We now suffer under a regime in Washington, D.C. that treats Americans as if they were the enemy. Its open contempt of the rule of just law demonstrates that “national security” is a pretext for grasping unlimited power. Its increasingly unconstitutional and unlawful acts, including the militarization of local law enforcement, are ignored or abetted by the Congress and insufficiently restrained by the courts, which are supposed to safeguard our freedom.
Today law-making is no longer rooted in timeless Godly principles, but is the prize of the highest bidder, especially the moneyed interests whose vast sums have purchased a compliant United States Congress that scarcely bothers to read the bills brought before it. As government increasingly puts itself above the law, raw power and greed become the coin of the realm. The deterioration of law as an institution demands greater moral courage on the part of law enforcement officials. They must be more steadfast, not less, in keeping their oaths of office. More than ever, they must know and understand the State and Federal Constitutions they have sworn to defend.
We note with alarm the preparations by Federal authorities for massive unconstitutional acts in the event of a national emergency, which the Government itself may declare at will. Such acts may include unleashing the Armed Forces on the population in violation in posse comitatus and habeas corpus, and mass arrests of citizens for dissident speech, public assembly, or political associations, even though these are fully protected by the State and Federal Constitutions.
Law enforcement and military officers who obey unlawful orders and take part in suppressing liberty no longer possess any legitimacy. In the event of civil strife, which their acquiescence to despotism will have partly caused, they must not expect obedience, much less the deference they now demand, from an oppressed, aroused, irate, yet armed citizenry.
Therefore, in light of the foregoing findings and affirmations, and in the name of the Southern People, we appeal to all law enforcement officials, the National Guard, and State militias to:
- Remember whom you serve. Remember your oath. Remember that your power and authority come from the People and the commonwealth, not loyalty to the temporary occupants of political or judicial office.
- Practice and demonstrate moral courage, especially in troubled times when it is needed most.
- Defend the lives, property, and liberties of the citizens in your jurisdiction from all threats, even that of the lawless state, and treat them with respect and dignity.
- Interpose yourself when necessary between the People and open acts of tyranny by Federal or State officials.
- Refuse any order to disarm citizens or in any way restrict their lawful means of self defence.
- Refuse to conduct warrantless searches of citizens, or of their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects; for example, house-to-house searches for weapons or persons.
- Refuse to participate in mass arrests or to obey an order to detain citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal without due process of law.
- Refuse to obey orders to impose martial law or a state of emergency on a State, or to enter with force into a State or County, without the express consent of the governor or sheriff, respectively.
- Refuse orders to invade and subjugate any State that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that State entered the Union.
- Refuse orders to force citizens into any form of Federal detention camp under any pretext.
- Refuse to confiscate the property of citizens, including firearms, food, and other essential supplies during a natural disaster or under a declared national emergency or similar pretext.
- Refuse to enforce judicial orders that violate fundamental natural rights or the Constitutions of the several States or of the United States.
- Respect the right of the People to free speech and worship, to assemble peaceably, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances, freedom from illegal search and seizure, and right to due process under law.
Adopted 12 September 2009 by the Second Southern National Congress at Delta, Alabama and ordered to be transmitted to the Governors, County Sheriffs, State Police, and Adjutants General of the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia; and to the President of the United States; and to the Congressional delegations of the fourteen Southern States.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
What is liberty without wisdom and without virtue?