An organization best known for its “tax honesty” movement is planning a nationwide event to draw attention to and protest what it views as routine unconstitutional behavior by the federal government.
The event, called “Freedom Drive 2002,” is being sponsored by the We The People Foundation for Constitution Government and is set to begin Nov. 11 – Veterans Day. Organizers say the plan calls for supporters to begin an automobile caravan in a few major West Coast cities, then pick up more supporters in various other cities on the way to the nation’s capital.
By the time the caravan reaches Washington, D.C., officials say they hope vehicles – and participants – will number in the thousands.
“What this really comes down to is the Constitution and the rule of law,” said Joseph Banister, a California accountant and former IRS special agent who is assisting in event planning. “If the government can be arrogant and non-responsive, if they’re not held accountable, all of our rights are at risk. It’s frightening.”
According to published information, the first caravan participants will leave from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and San Diego, proceeding eastward to converge in Salt Lake City. From there, the caravan will continue on to Denver and Kansas City, then to St. Louis, Lexington, Ky., and Charleston, S.C., before heading into Washington, D.C.
Once in the nation’s capital, the caravan will “drive around the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court Building” before stopping “to participate in a rally at the Washington Monument.”
“The groundswell of public support is coming, and we invite you to join us in making it happen,” said promotional materials for the event.
Organizers would like to get a coordinator for the event in every county in the nation, Banister said.
We The People founder Robert Schulz was traveling on Friday and could not be reached for comment.
According to published information, the purpose of the event is to call attention to five major points:
- That the Constitution is more than a piece of paper and the People will not let it become a dead letter;
- That none of the unalienable rights of the People are subject to modification or seizure by the government;
- The government is limited by the words of the Constitution;
- There are legions of people who are willing to stand and defend their rights, liberties and freedoms and the essential principles of “popular sovereignty” and “government of, by and for the people”; and
- The people now realize it is their duty to meet force with force to defend against the government’s unconstitutional attempts to seize power from the people.
“Many Americans have been quietly enduring their private frustrations as they have watched the steady erosion of their liberties, rights and freedoms. They have felt isolated and powerless. Some have even been ready to give in and give up,” says information posted on the group’s website.
“To all Americans we say join with us as we unite with those who have struggled for freedom in all generations. The willing sacrifice of life and treasure won America’s freedom and will be required again to preserve it,” says the site.
Prior to planning Freedom Drive 2002, Schulz led an effort to force Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service officials to participate in congressional hearing-like proceedings to answer questions about the U.S. tax code and the 16th Amendment, which authorized the federal government for the first time to collect taxes on income.
After initially agreeing to attend, government officials and one lawmaker – Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., eventually backed out, leaving Schulz to instead sponsor a “tax honesty forum,” which had far less impact.
Nevertheless, regarding the fall event, Banister said he hopes it “gets people’s attention about the Constitution.”
“If enough Americans get the message,” he said, “maybe we can get something done.”
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