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‘None bend a knee for any king’

In 1776, we Americans were dirt-poor farmers, roving merchants and indentured servants, who often lived hand to mouth. We were struggling peasants who dared to unite in defiance of two formidable obstacles.

One was the British empire’s supreme monarch, King George III. Like all emperors, he was known for his vindictive, entitled power above any law.

The other obstacle was the way kings exacted compliance and divided subjects against each other. Loyalists stood behind their tyrant father figure. The rest of us believed in the strength of our worker unity. We risked our lives for a trust forged of our common labor in fields and factories, and our shared love for our hungry families.

It was a big gamble: Would our fellows sell us out or hold true? Could workers trust each other and self-govern? Our revolution inspired workers around the world to throw off their chains and claim their future. Imperfect though it was, a new worker’s government was born.

Oligarchs still exist, hungry to regain control by dividing us, stripping our rights with methods ever more sophisticated. Our task remains that of our forefathers: Protect each other’s rights through unity. Americans have different cultures, but none of us bend a knee for any king.

When we stand up for our coworker, our sister or our friend, we secure the rights of every American to a decent life, to equal participation and to freedom from persecution. We create an America of, by and for the people.

Kirby MacLaurin