First Published: The Worker, for Hawaii, Vol. 1, No. 7, April 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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The following proclamation has been issued by the July 4 Coalition.
East and Midwest regional conferences were held in March by the Coalition in Philadelphia and Cincinnati to develop plans for a series of actions in Philadelphia at the time of the July 4, 1976 Bicentennial. Over 500 people took part in all and one is upcoming in the South, next month. The Worker will report on these meetings and further plans for the demonstration.
1976–Millions walking the streets looking for jobs and still more shoved out the door while plants close down. Those still at work, worked to death, chained to the bosses’ machinery. Our cities falling apart. Our schools, hospitals, and firehouses shut down. Half finished construction sites standing next to burned out tenements and the drums of another war beating louder. All this amidst lies of recovery and the fireworks of celebration.
No! This is not what we worked so hard for. No, this is not the future we want for our children. One thousand outrages slap us in the face. No, we can’t live like this. And we won’t.
Our class, the working class, men and women of all nationalities–we build and we produce. But their class, the capitalist class, takes it all. They own what they have never built–the mills, mines and banks. Owning all, they take all we produce. And for us, only enough to keep us alive so we can slave for them some more.
They take our hard work and twist it. We work together. They steal, each as much for himself as he can, and try to keep us apart. Everything has a price for them. Their uncontrollable drive for profit makes this whole society run like it does. Crisis after crisis, war after war, injustice upon injustice. Ten generations of profits bled out of ten generations of our lives.
Our whole history proves this. We have fought for all that is worthwhile in this country. We are not animals but that’s how they would have us live. No! Not in 1776, 1876, or 1976. Our history is filled with storms of resistance, battling back and standing tall. We are men and women. We will not be slaves. We are the backbone of the whole country, millions strong. They are a handful of murderers and slavedrivers, rotting even as they claw to grab more.
1976. These thieves call all of us to celebrate with them. National unity....all together and many happy returns. No! We shall not celebrate their rule. Despite all their sickening lies and broken-record hoopla, we have nothing in common with them. For them–200 years of plunder. For us–200 years of slavery and oppression. All they have they took from us. All we need we have wrenched from them through bitter battle. It is they and their never-satisfied thirst for profit that stand between us and our fight for a better life and a brighter future for our children.
Fellow workers! Today as before our class battles every last abuse–on picketlines and shop floors, in neighborhoods and communities and everywhere throughout society. Our fight is a just fight, our demands are just demands. In building this struggle on July 4th in Philadelphia, we will proclaim especially our demand for “Jobs or Income Now!” and our determination that “We Won’t Fight Another Rich Man’s War!”
We have the strength to mobilize. We have the ability to unite all the battles, all the people, all the anger at the way we have to live. The future belongs to us. We are the only ones who can push things forward, and we are deter mined to break through.
Now is the time to pull it together. All our forces. All our battles. As we have always fought them we will fight them on the day they choose to celebrate their bloodsoaked rule. We will come together, thousands strong, to expose their crimes and build our movement, on that day and for the great battles ahead.
On to Philadelphia! We’ve carried the rich for 200 years, let’s get them off our backs!
The July 4 Coalition. Initiated by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Unemployed Workers Organizing Committee, Revolutionary Communist Party and Revolutionary Student Brigade.