The Sons of Liberty: Terrorists or Citizen Soldiers

Everyday as I walk into my office at 55 Broad Street I glance over at a plaque commemorating Marinus Willet  who on June 6th, 1775  along with a small group of  men seized five wagonloads of arms from British Troops evacuating New York City.  The men were members of the Sons of Liberty, a group considered “seditious radicals” by respectable people of the time. 

Who were these men who took it on themselves to confront the Authorities?  Who put them in charge and who did they represent?  I asked those questions of Adam Platka, who did his dissertation on that subject. Here is some of what he said:

Over the past twelve months the country has been rocked by mass protests and town-hall rage from a spreading movement called the Tea Party.  From small towns to the largest of cities, this grass-roots movement has exploded in revolt of President Obama’s health care agenda and economic policies.  They have even gained enough traction to hold, starting today, the inaugural National Tea Party Convention in efforts to consolidate leadership, philosophy, and the nuts and bolts of a working political organization that will run individuals for office in the up coming midterm elections.

As their name suggests, they strive to embody the originally ideas and actions carried out in Boston in the cold of December 1773.  It was there that members of Massachusetts Sons of Liberty, under the cover of night, dumped three shiploads of tea into the harbor in revolt of the Tea Act – a tax enacted by the British Parliament on the colonies without representation of the colonies themselves.

Though the Boston Tea Party itself is an iconic event of American history and frequent reference of political protest – it brings into question whether this act and the other aggressive mob actions taken by the Sons of Liberty in the lead up to the American Revolution were truly revolutionary acts or acts of terrorism.

Join us On Monday, February 8th, at the Manhattan Libertarian  monthly meeting  where Adam Platka will  lead a discussion that will focus on how the Sons of Liberty were formed and how it’s unique leadership and actions directly led to the revolution. He will touch on whether the Sons of Liberty actions, ranging from pamphleteering, aggressive mobs and the famous Boston tea party, were true revolutionary acts or acts terrorism. And lastly, discuss the comparisons between the Sons of Liberty and today’s Tea Partiers and weather they are staying true to the founders’ ideas.

Get details here.