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To sin by silence, when we should protest,Makes cowards out of men. The human raceHas climbed on protest. Had no voice been raisedAgainst injustice, ignorance, and lust,The inquisition yet would serve the law,And guillotines decide our least disputes. The few who dare, must speak and speak againTo right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,No vested power in this great day and landCan gag or throttle. Press and voice may cryLoud disapproval of existing ills;May criticise oppression and condemnThe lawlessness of wealth-protecting lawsThat let the children and childbearers toilTo purchase ease for idle millionaires. Therefore I do protest against the boastOf independence in this mighty land. Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link. Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave. Until the manacled slim wrists of babesAre loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,Until the mother bears no burden, saveThe precious one beneath her heart, untilGods soil is rescued from the clutch of greedAnd given back to labor, let no manCall this the land of freedom.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox