Imprisoned activist and former Marine Adam Kokesh – arrested last Saturday for exercising his First Amendment right at a protest – has called for a “new American revolution” to begin on July 4 with a march on all 50 state capitols.
Kokesh remains in a federal prison in Philadelphia on what many of his supporters claim are trumped up charges of assaulting a police officer and has been denied bail.
The former Iraq war veteran was already planning to lead a controversial armed march on Washington DC on Independence Day, but has rapidly expanded the scope of his plans, calling on an, “American Revolutionary Army (that) will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property.”
DC police responded to Kokesh’s plan for an armed march by vowing to arrest Kokesh and any other armed demonstrators who take part.
Kokesh and fellow activist N.A. Poe were arrested as they spoke at a permitted marijuana legalization rally at Independence Mall National Historic Park in Philadelphia last Saturday. Neither of the two were smoking or carrying drugs at the time.
Video of the incident shows Kokesh holding his hands up as he is dragged away by police. At no point does Kokesh appear to be resisting arrest (for which he is also charged) and he certainly does not assault any law enforcement officer.
The United States district court filing (PDF) claims that Kokesh “physically blocked and obstructed the Ranger” and also “grabbed the Ranger by the arm to hold him back.” The video does not appear to show any of this.
Kokesh says the 50 state march is “necessary to secure liberty and ensure peace,” and that, “Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible.”
While Kokesh has attracted numerous supporters, others fear his plan for an armed march on D.C. and his aggressive rhetoric could grease the skids for gun owners to be demonized as violent extremists, in addition to increasing the chances of provocateurs being used to stage an incident during the march.
Read Kokesh’s full statement below.
“When a government has repeatedly and deliberately failed to follow its own laws, violated the fundamental human rights of its citizens, threatened the sanctity of a free press, created institutions intended to eliminate privacy of communication, waged war at the behest of special interest that threatens the public safety, killed hundreds of children with drone strikes, imprisoned and destroyed the lives of countless individuals for victimless crimes, stifled economic opportunity to maintain the dominance of the financial elite, stolen from the people through an absurd system of taxation and inflation, sold future generations into debt slavery, and abused its power to suppress political opposition, it is unfit to exist and it becomes the duty of the people to alter or abolish that government by whatever means necessary to secure liberty and ensure peace.
“A new American revolution is long overdue. This revolution has been brewing in the hearts and minds of the people for many years, but this Independence Day, it shall take a new form as the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property. Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible.
“The time to sit idly by has passed. To remain neutral is to be complicit, just doing your job is not an excuse, and the line in the sand has been drawn between the people, and the criminals in Washington, D.C. While some timid souls will say that it is too early, that we can solve this problem through democratic means provided by government, that current levels of taxation are reasonable for the services provided, and that the crimes of this government are merely a tolerable nuisance, it may already be too late.
“While there is risk in drastic action, the greater danger lies in allowing this government to continue unchallenged. So if you are content with the status quo, stay home, get fat, watch the fireworks from a safe distance, and allow this Independence Day to pass like any other. But if you see as we see, and feel as we feel, we will see you on the front lines of freedom on July 4th, 2013 for this, The Final American Revolution.”
Signed, Adam Kokesh, May 23, 2013 from a cage in the Philadelphia federal prison.