Modified from the original Declaration of Independence to reflect current and specific issues relevant to the people of Rhode Island, with as little alteration to the original text, spelling, and themes.
R.I. Declaration of Independence
IN Virtual CONGRESS, JULY 4, 2023
The unanimous Declaration of the People of the thirty-nine cities and towns of Rhode Island
When in the Course of Ocean State events it becomes necessary for its people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with those elected officials who have abused the powers of government, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of the subjugated requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Rhode Islanders are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted – and Representatives are elected – deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Representative in Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish him, and to elect new Representation, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their own Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Representation long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
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 Representation, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Cities and Towns; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Representatives of Government.
The history of the recent Governors and their feckless Assemblies is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these Municipalities. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
They have refused his Assent to Ethics, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
They have forbidden duly elected officials to pass Laws of actual and pressing importance, instead naively and corruptly consumed in the propagation of false narratives; that so consumed, they have utterly neglected to attend to the real needs of the people.
They have refused to pass other Laws for the betterment of the education of large districts of people, instead, acceding to special interest factions who have no elected Representation in the Legislature, a practice inestimable to the people and advantageous to tyrants only.
They have ignored public transparency, by scheming together at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, and refusing to provide such records when petitioned, for the sole purpose of fatiguing the people into compliance with their measures.
They dissolved Representative Houses during the pandemic, refusing with manly firmness to address their many invasions on the rights of the people.
They have instituted new measures for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others of their sort to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, may never be returned to the People at large for their exercise; the People remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion of tyranny from those within and without government.
They have endeavoured to tribalize the population of these Municipalities; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to restrict illegal migrations hither, and diminishing the paltry conditions of Schools and Housing.
The have obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to anti-revolving door Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
They have made Judges dependent on their Will alone for the lifelong tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
They have erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of unelected Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
They have kept among us, in times of commerce, Armies of Regulators with and without the Consent of our legislatures.
They have affected to render Departmental bureaucrats with police powers independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
They have conspired with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of Marxist sympathizers within their Offices:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Indoctrination which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these Localities:
For Tolling our Trade with other parts of the nation:
For imposing Taxes and Fees on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases due to unjust lack of standing rules, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For charging us beyond Lawful Reason to be tried for pretended offences:
For arbitrarily imposing upon our local Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Rights of our local Governments:
For suspending their own constitutional limits of governance, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
They have abdicated good Government here, by considering us out of their Protection, instead granting perpetual favor to cronies, that are against our future well-being.
They have plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts with windmills and electric pipelines, defiled the beauty of our towns with solar farms, and destroyed the original farmland of our people.
They are at this time creating large Committees of environmental Mercenaries to compleat the works of globalism, climate change fanaticism, and energy tyranny, already begun with consequences of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most monarchal ages, and totally unworthy the Heads of a free State.
They have designated as terrorists our fellow Citizens threatened with Prosecution in the High Courts by Federal Justice Department Offices against those who publicly defend the parental and other rights granted by their Country, such that they may become the persecutors of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. Such a Representative, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Ruling-class brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our residence and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence.
They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies of our Pursuit of Prosperity and Happiness.
We, therefore, the Residents of these jurisdictions of Rhode Island, in Virtual Congress, so Assembled and appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Municipalities, solemnly publish and declare, That we the people of these Localities are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent of the Representation that has for decades bound us, that they we are Absolved from all Allegiance to re-elect such Representation, and that all political connection between them and the People of the Ocean State, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent People, we have full Power to elect a new breed of Representative who will contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent People have may of right have.
And for the support of this R.I. Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.