Introduction to “Minimal Rights and Freedoms of Individuals in a Sovereign State”
Because questions keep coming up as to the kinds of states that secessionist organizations are working toward, and because each organization in the movement has an interest in the objectives of any other organization, it seemed to us here that it might be appropriate to send out a suggested platform of the rights and freedoms that might be guaranteed to individuals in any future seceded state.
The idea is to provide to people in the movement, as well as in the general interested public, an idea of the basic nature of the independent states that we are working toward. That will help to assure that as individuals and organizations we will continue to give support to our sister organizations no matter where they may be, knowing that they stand together with us on certain bedrock principles.
We invite all organizations in the secessionist movement to sign on to the principles drafted below if they seem just and adequate. At the same time we might begin a dialogue on whether these are too restrictive or too liberal, whether they should be added to or amended—or, indeed, whether this sort of statement of rights and freedoms is necessary and appropriate as we here at the Institute feel them to be.
There are important issues here and we hope you take them seriously.
Life, liberty, security
Equality before the law
Trial before competent tribunal, due process, counsel, appeal
Possess property and not be arbitrarily deprived thereof
Periodic elections with universal adult suffrage
Secession by any coherent unit
Speech, opinion, expression in any media
Peaceable assembly, association
Belief, thought, religion, worship
Movement within any state, and to leave and return
Slavery or servitude
Discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion,
political belief, nationality, property, or birth
Torture or degrading treatment
Arbitrary arrest or detention
Invasion of privacy
Arbitrary deprivation of citizenship
Any action by the state to destroy or deny any of these rights and freedoms
Middlebury Institute, February 2007
Second Vermont Republic, March 2007
Southern National Congress Committee, March 2007