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A Declaration for Our Times

A Declaration for Our Times was written by Christopher Pyle, a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. The declaration echoes the original Declaration of Independence and highlights the constitutional violations perpetrated by the U.S. government since the onset of the so-called War on Terror. It calls on the President, Congress, and the public to take note of and rectify these grievances.

Independence Day Ad

Declaration AdThe declaration will be printed on or about July 4, 2008, as a signature ad in The New York Times. Nearly 600 individuals and organizations from 48 U.S. states and territories signed on to the ad. View the ad as it appeared in The New York Times on July 3 (PDF). You can also download an 8x11 flier with the ad and signatures (PDF).

On Independence Day, The Nation published an article by John Nichols discussing the importance of this new declaration. Download the article with the portions about the declaration highlighted.

Audio and Video

To help spread the word about A Declaration for Our Times, we have created audio and video recordings of the declaration, each of which runs 3 minutes 22 seconds. Download the audio (mp3) version of the declaration for use by any radio station or programmer. The video is available on YouTube now, or you can watch it below.

Creative Commons LicenseA Declaration of Our Times by Bill of Rights Defense Committee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The declaration is read by leaders in the movement to preserve and protect the Constitution. They are, in order of appearance:

Buz EizenbergBuz Eisenberg is a civil rights attorney representing several Guantanamo detainees and the President of the International Justice Network, the only non-governmental organization currently providing legal representation to detainees held abroad in the “War on Terror.”

Nancy Talanian is a co-founder and the founding director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Further, she is an experienced activist and professional writer who converted local successes in western Massachusetts into a national movement to restore Americans’ civil liberties.

William Newman is a civil rights attorney in Northampton, Massachusetts who is currently representing a detainee at Guantanamo. He is the director of the Western Regional Office of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and a member of BORDC’s Advisory Board.

Christopher Pyle is the author of “A Declaration for Our Times” and a professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College.

Barbara Haugen is the administrator of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. She has worked previously as a Unitarian Universalist minister and as a legal aid attorney.

Ben Grosscup is a campaign coordinator for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Before joining the BORDC, he worked for the Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

Mohamed ElgadiMohamed Elgadi is a torture survivor from Sudan, a global human rights advocate, and a board member for both the Liberty Center for Torture Survivors and the Group Against Torture in Sudan (both of which are based out of Philadelphia).

Juan Carlos Aguilar is the development officer for the National Priorities Project and a board member for the Commonwealth Center for Change. Recently, he initiated a program to provide English language classes to immigrants working in the United States.

About the Producers

Emily G. Lewis designed the Independence Day ad in The New York Times. She has long been active in local organizing to fulfill the promise of the U.S.Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Matt Ehling of ETS Pictures produced the video and audio of "A Declaration for Our Times." Ehling is the founding chair of the Saint Paul, Minnesota, Bill of Rights Defense Committee and producer of numerous films on civil liberties, including BORDC's video, FBI Unbound: How National Security Letters Violate Our Privacy.