The Address of the London Working Men's Association to the People of Canada

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Friends in the Cause of Freedom: - Brothers under Oppression: - and Fellow-Citizens living in Hope, -

Programme of a Reform Demonstration organized by the London Working Men's Association on December 3, 1866

We have witnessed with delight the noble spirit you have evinced against the despotic ordinances and tyrant mandates of your oppressors. Inspired by the justice of your cause, you have nobly begun the glorious work of resistance. May the spirit of perseverance inspire you onward till the basely concocted Resolutions are withdrawn - your constitutional rights and wishes respected - or your independence secured by a charter won by your bravery!

While freemen stand erect in the conscious pride of thinking right and acting well, their honest front will ofttimes scare the tyrant from his purpose, or check his mad career; for experience as taught him that liberty in a mock frock is more than a match for tyranny in armour; but if they chances to crouch submission, or yield but a hair's breadth to his wish, their doom is fixed - for tyrants delight to crush the yielding suppliant slave.

Onward, therefore, brothers, in your struggle - you have justice on your side, and good men's aspirations that you win. Nay, we trust that the wide-spreading information of the present age has so far enlightened the minds and expanded the sympathies of most classes of men, the even the British soldier (cut off and secluded as he is from society), on turning to the annals of atrocious deeds which mark the track of kingly despotism, and more especially those which characterize its career of cruelty against American liberty, when the savage yell, the tomakawk, and the scalping knife were the frightful accompaniments of the bayonet, must blush for his country and his profession.

Yes, friends the cause of DEMOCRACY has truth and reason on its side, and knavery and corruption are alone its enemies.

To justly distribute the blessings of plenty which sons of industry have gathered, so as to bless without satiety all mankind - to expand by the blessings of education the divinely mental powers of man, which tyrants seek to mar and stultify - to make straight the crooked paths of justice, and humanize the laws - to purify the world of all crimes which want and and lust of power have nurtured, - is the end and aim of the Democrat: to act the reverse of this is the creed and spirit of aristocracy. Yet of this later clan are those who govern nations - men whose long career of vice too often forms a pathway to their power - who, when despotic deeds have stirred their subjects up to check their villany[sic], declaim against "sedition," talk of "designing men," and impiously invoke the attributes of Deity to scare them from their sacred purpose.

It gives us great pleasure to learn, friends, that you are not easily scared by proclamation law - by the decree of the junta against a whole nation. Surely you know and feel, though Governor Gosford may not, that "a nation never can rebel." For when the liberties of a million of people are prostrated to the dust at the will of a grasping, despicable minority - when an attempt is made to destroy their representative rights, the only existing bond of allegiance, the only power through which laws can be justly enforced - then has the time arrived when society is dissolved into its original elements, placing each man in a position freely to choose for himself those institutions which are the most consonant to his feelings, or which will best secure to him his life, labour, and possessions. If the mother country will not render justice to her colonies in return of their allegiance ...