Oregon Communities Launch Statewide Network
for Community Rights
“The corporate state is not science fiction. Corporate agribusiness is taking over what, how, and who grows food in my community. It has become obvious that the government isn’t going to lift a finger to stop them. It’s clear that the people, in the places where we live, must break the chokehold of a system of law favoring corporations to one that recognizes community rights.” – Dana Allen of Corvallis, Oregon
September 16, 2013
CONTACT: Kai Huschke
On September 12th, community members from eight Oregon counties gathered in Corvallis, Oregon, to launch the Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN).
Attendees of the Oregon Community Rights Summit released the Corvallis Declaration of Community Rights, calling upon communities across the state to join together in a movement to elevate the rights of people, their communities, and nature above the claimed rights of corporations. This comes with an understanding, as stated in the Declaration, that:
We the people recognize that our health, safety, welfare, and survival of our local businesses, farms, ecosystems, and neighborhoods depend on restructuring the current system of governance, because it favors corporations over community-based, democratic decision-making …
The formation of the Oregon Community Rights Network comes out of ongoing and emerging community rights campaigns in eight counties in Western Oregon.
The Network is helping expand community rights organizing to communities across Oregon. Kai Huschke of the Community Environment Legal Defense Fund – an organization working with communities across the country to advance community rights and bring communities together to form state “community rights networks” – explained, “As a growing number of communities face threats including pesticides, GMOs, coal trains, and corporate water withdrawal, they are reaching the shared conclusion that corporations, along with our state and federal government, have more power to decide what happens in our communities than the people who live there. They are now coming together through the Oregon Community Rights Network to organize for local self-governance to elevate community rights over corporate rights.”
The Oregon Community Rights Network joins Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Washington as states with community rights networks supported by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. CELDF, headquartered in Mercersburg, PA, has been working with people and communities across the United States and internationally since 1995 to assert fundamental rights to democratic local self-governance, recognize nature’s rights, and end destructive corporate actions aided and abetted by state and federal governments.