A Little Rebellion is a Good Thing

Compiled by Micah White

“God forbid we should be twenty years without a rebellion. What country can preserve its liberties if the rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?”

        — President Thomas Jefferson (1787)

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“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember, or overthrow it.”
— President Abraham Lincoln (Inaugural Address, 1861)

“The right of Revolution is an inherent one. When people are oppressed by their government, it is a natural right they enjoy to relieve themselves of the oppression if they are strong enough, either by withdrawing from it, or by overthrowing it and substituting a government more acceptable.”
— President Ulysses S. Grant (1885)


Ryan Hirsch, an Occupy Wall Street protester, hands President Barack Obama a note as he greets audience members in Manchester, N.H., on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011—seven days after the eviction of Zuccotti.

The note read: “Mr. President: Over 4,000 peaceful protesters have been arrested. While bankers continue to destroy the economy with impunity. You must stop the assault on our 1st amendment rights. Your silence sends a message that police brutality is acceptable. Banks got bailed out. We got sold out.” Obama remained silent.

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
— President John F. Kennedy (1962)

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