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Article 1.

All persons are born and remain free and equal in rights. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or curtailed by any Vesey Republic federal, regional, or local government body on the account of sex or gender orientation. The Vesey Estates Parliament and First Prime Minister's office shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Article 2.

Every woman has the fundamental right to obtain a safe legal abortion and full access to contraceptives. The Vesey Republic shall not prohibit women and transitioning persons from obtaining an abortion before or after the viability of the fetus. 

Article 3.

The free communication of ideas and opinions is an indispensable right of the Commons. The Vesey Estates Parliament shall make no law prohibiting the freedom of speech or censoring of the press. Every citizen may speak, write, and print freely, but shall be responsible for any abuses of this freedom as defined by law. The Commons have the right to peacefully assemble in public spaces and submit petitions of its grievances to the government.  

Article 4.

The Vesey Estates Parliament shall make no law establishing a state religion. The Commons of the Vesey Republic shall be free to practice any religious preference desired or express no religious preference.  

Article 5. 

 The Vesey Republic Commons have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. No warrants shall be issued for searches or seizure of the Commons' property without the demonstration of probable cause to conduct searches, a description of the places to be searched, and designation of the persons or things to be seized.

Article 6.

No person shall be charged with a capital or serious crime without a finding that probable cause exists, or that a crime has been committed as determined by an indictment of a jury of the accused peers.  

No person shall be subject to double jeopardy for the same offence; nor shall any person be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against themselves, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Article 7.

In all criminal trials the accused is entitled to a fair and speedy public trial by an impartial jury in the appropriate jurisdiction where the crime was committed. The accused has the right to be informed of the charges, to confront witnesses against them, to have witnesses in their favor, and to have the assistance of an officer of the law.  

Article 8.

In federal civil suits, the right of a trial by jury shall be preserved. 

Article 9.

Excessive bail and excessive fines shall not be imposed. Cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted.

Article 10.

The Commons have the right to require of every Vesey Republic public agency an account of their appropriate administrative records.

Article 11.

It is the right and the duty of the Commons to resist any infringements and attempts to trample on its rights by the government, and if necessary remove the government to prevent state capture by the forces of despotism. 
Summary of the Table of Rights

The Vesey Republic's Charter of Rights establishes the unassailable individual and group rights of the Black Commons' first independent nation-state. 

As a binding instrument embedded in the Vesey Republic's Constitution, the Charter  
of Rights also defines the limits of its Estates Parliament's legislative and executive governing powers.   

​In the Vesey Republic's public square, free speech, a free press, and the counsels of open public assembly, are the vehicles of free exchange upon which a new national identity will debated and constructed. 

The cornerstone of the Vesey Republic's national project is the Commons' birthrights embedded in the conventions of its justice system. 

Illegal searches and seizure of private property, arrests without cause, excessive bail, mass incarceration, and the denial of legal representation are prohibited under the color of law. 

The jewels of an equitable justice system never experienced by the Black Commons in its 400-year North American sojourn, will at once be realized in the fullness of Vesey's liberatory statecraft. 

Balancing the tension and interests between individual liberties with Vesey's commitment that the collective interest of the republic is paramount, will permeate every great question on the nation's unfinished agenda. 

As a majority Black-led multi-racial society with significant gender diversity, the Charter of Rights incorporates two areas of group rights. These rights are consistent with the Vesey Government's goal of creating the first post-modern non-heteropatriarchal society.   

First, the Charter guarantees the equal treatment of all Vesey citizens, irrespective of race, nationality, gender, and group distinctions. 

Second, every woman has the right to obtain a safe legal abortion, and full access to contraceptives. This right extends to transitioning persons who become pregnant as well. 

At the same time that the Vesey Republic upholds the equal treatment of all its citizens, New Black Nationalists recognize the biological reality that childbearing creates a singularly unique inequality between men and women that is manifest in myriad ways. 

The right guaranteeing a safe legal abortion to all pregnant women does not eliminate this inequality. However, it travels a considerable distance in addressing a natural or biological inequality not consciously created by humankind.        

Being present at the creation of American Empire, the Black Commons inherits some legacies of America's old Bill of Rights that can be reordered and endowed with civic virtue. 

However, other rights like the Second Amendment's right to bear arms is a dead letter to the Vesey Republic. Our nation state will give no quarter to personal ownership of firearms and assault weapons. They will be banned.    

To safeguard the Vesey Republic's growth as a republic of high ethics and transparent administration, it is the right of the Commons to call the Estates Parliament and First Prime Minister actions to account and examine its records. 

​To provide additional safeguards to capitalize the Commons' capacity to direct the affairs of state, the Vesey Republic's constitution invests the Commons with the authority to call for national referenda on matters of vital interests. 

Vesey's Constitution will also invest the Estates Parliament with the authority call for a vote "No Confidence" to demand new elections to replace the First Prime Minister's government. Should the Estates Parliament betray the constitution and work in opposition to the republic's collective interests, Vesey's Charter upholds the right to revolution. 

The Vesey Republic Charter of Rights is not a declaration that claims the authority of universal rights, God-given rights, natural rights or human rights. It is not an incantation or product of intellectual fancy. 

The Charter of Rights is a practical instrument that reflects the four-hundred-year experience of the Black Commons to win liberation, independence, and nationhood.  



Vesey Republic
Charter of Rights 

​Martin R. Delaney, 1812-1885