The Nullify Now! tour rolled into Philadelphia last Saturday with its message of constitutional fidelity, state rollback of ever increasing federal overreach and decentralization of power.
The City of Brotherly Love proved a fitting setting for the Nullify Now message. The event took place just a few miles from Independence Hall, the birthplace of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
The overall theme transcended politics and often touched on the personal. Speakers consistently encouraged the audience to take action, whether through deeper involvement at the local level, or personally challenging unwarranted power over their lives.
Robert Scott Bell perhaps summed up the overall theme of the day best when he exhorted the participants to “stop asking permission where none is required.”
There was also a consistent warning running through day: beware of submission. Two speakers quoted former slave Frederick Douglass.
“Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
The event kicked of bright and early with a keynote speech delivered by Sheriff Richard Mack. A standing-room only crowd listened as Mack explained how a single person drawing a line in the sand can make a difference. He illustrated the point by reminding the audience of Rosa Parks’ courage in refusing to give up her seat on the bus. Her defiant action jump-started the entire civil rights movement, thrusting it into the national spotlight.
“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in,” Parks wrote in her autobiography.
After Mack’s speech, Nullify Now participants had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions featuring topics ranging from the history of nullification to how to get involved in the Tenther movement locally. New Jersey State Assemblywoman Allison Littell McHose led a session specifically directed to Garden State residents on the progress of her health care nullification legislation, and Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Folmer led a session on 10th Amendment-based bills in his state.
In his afternoon keynote speech, natural health expert and radio show host Robert Scott Bell brought the nullification message to its most basic level, challenging the crowd not to allow the federal government to dictate their personal health care choices. The federal government sticks its nose deep into basic health and nutrition decisions of every American. Bell’s message: don’t let them. He pointed out that while political nullification plays an important role, ultimately it comes down to each individual. According to Robert, we must do what we think is best for our own lives and health, regardless of what Uncle Sam tells us.
The afternoon featured more breakout sessions, many focusing on specific nullification issues. Blake Filippi addressed state and local efforts to nullify the detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act. He also touched on other federal acts violating basic civil liberties such as the Patriot Act and a recently passed act outlawing protests within a certain distance of the Secret Service. Filippi delivered one of the more humorous lines of the day when he asked the audience, “They’re the Secret Service. How are we supposed to know where they are?”
James Babb of WeWontFly.com delivered an inspiring speech, encouraging attendees to nullify the TSA. He outlined state efforts to battle intrusive federal peeking and poking, likening it to molestation. But he went a step further and urged personal non-compliance. The ultimate nullification according to Babb: don’t go where the goons are. Just don’t fly.
Doug Tjaden of SilverSaver.com discussed nullifying the Federal Reserve through the use of gold and silver tender on a state level. He delivered a succinct and compelling history of banking in the U.S., emphasizing the control the unaccountable, private organization known as the Fed exercises over the U.S. economy.
Thomas E. Woods, Jr. closed out the event with a passionate and inspiring keynote address. Nullify Now! organizers gave Woods a little gift, setting him up to enter the room to a favorite song of his, Siberian Khatru by Yes.
“I’ve always wanted to be introduced to that music. That is great! I don’t even know what a Khatru is, but that’s what a Siberian one sounds like,” he said.
Woods gave a 90 second crash course on nullification and then proceeded to tackle the issue from a different direction than he normally does, pointing out the structural problems in the current system and the need to decentralize power. He quickly dispelled of the myth that our two-party system will somehow resolve the issues facing the nation.
“If we had one political party that was consistently good, we’d be much better off than we are now. I just cannot get over people who think Obama is the worst person ever to walk the earth and then they go out and hold a sign for an opposing candidate whose views of government are about 7 percent different.”
Woods echoed the theme of many other speakers urging devolution of power, ultimately challenging the audience to get involved. He even offered the crowd some amusing practical advice, like dropping the word nullify into everyday conversation before ending on a more serious note.
“We need to break free of the intellectual shackles that have been placed upon us! Let’s forge ahead together with a courage born of camaraderie, and a just cause and fully aware of where we stand in the great flow of history – as participants in the struggle of liberty against power. A struggle that began long before we were born, and will persist long after we’re dead. What an honor it is for all of us to play this role in history. And how great it is for me to be joined in that task by all of you. So onward! And thank you very much…”
By the time the event ended more than eight hours later, the audience seemed more energized than when they arrived, and participants left with some encouraging words for organizers.
“What an incredible experience beginning to end. Great speakers who know how to inspire and are leading the way to restore the republic. Every American should hear Sheriff Mack, Thomas Woods and Robert Scott Bell speak at least once! Inspirational!”