“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness.”

So stated the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. And 234 years later, American citizens are rising up and demanding change in their government, which no longer understands that its powers only come from the consent of the governed, not from closed door insiders and well-paid partisan politicians.

On Saturday afternoon, Americans are invited to demonstrate their right to Free Speech and have their voices heard in Santa Barbara in a “Repeal the Bill” march and patriotic rally sponsored by the Santa Barbara Tea Party. Kate Obenshain, vice president of the Young America’s Foundation; Peter Foy, California chairman of Americans for Prosperity; and local radio talk show host and COLAB executive director Andy Caldwell have joined the growing list of nationally known speakers who will participate in the protest of the newly enacted health-care reform legislation.

Actor Chris Mitchum will emcee the rally at the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. It will follow a march along State Street from De la Guerra Plaza.

The rally, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Tea Party, is to be emceed by actor Chris Mitchum, and will follow a march from De la Guerra Plaza along State Street. Signs are encouraged in keeping with good taste and respectful dissent.

“It is our duty as American citizens to speak up and take action when partisan agendas replace our constitutional rights,” said Gillian Christie, a local business owner and Tea Party participant.

Marchers will assemble at De la Guerra Plaza at 2:45 p.m. and the five-block march begins at 3 p.m., with the rally scheduled to start at 3:20 p.m.

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— Ålissa Sears is global betterment activities director at Christie Communications.