Issues

Jul 1, 2022

WOULDN’T YOU SAY? – PERSONHOOD

WOULDN’T YOU SAY? – PERSONHOOD

The Right of Free Speech Includes the Right to Clean Air to Speak With Look, if corporate property can be called a legal person, and if that person has a right to speak freely, but no mouth, and if corporate-cozy judges can make us all pretend for real that spending money is the way corporate… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Corporate 'Rights', Extraction & Pollution, Rights of Nature

May 19, 2022

What do we want? Clean Water! When do we want it? Yesterday! 

What do we want? Clean Water! When do we want it? Yesterday! 

Our communities deserve more than just the right to Clean Water; our entire ecosystem, our Mother Earth depends on us to end the poisoning. It seems to me we need to recognize the Rights of Nature, and make it illegal to poison Earth and her inhabitants.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Wires, Corporate Agriculture, Issues, Rights of Nature

Apr 11, 2022

DAMAGES Podcast: The Backlash

DAMAGES Podcast: The Backlash

Episode DescriptionIn 2019, after a decade-long campaign, voters in Toledo Ohio voted to approve the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, effectively giving the lake personhood. It drew an incredible amount of attention. This wasn’t San Francisco hippies or Brooklyn hipsters talking about rights of nature, this was middle-aged moms in the Rust Belt, and that… Read more »

Read More | Multimedia, News, Resources, Rights of Nature

Mar 22, 2022

OHCRN 2022 Empowering Community Film Festival: Santiago Rising 

OHCRN 2022 Empowering Community Film Festival: Santiago Rising 

Filmed during the weeks after protests began, Santiago Rising meets social movements, protesters, and ordinary people in their struggle for equality and human rights. The film charts the build-up to the historic vote, in October 2020, that saw Chileans vote for a new constitution to replace the one imposed during the brutal Pinochet dictatorship. Santiago Rising emphasizes… Read more »

Read More | Events, In The News, Issues, News

Mar 22, 2022

Podcast with GrassRoot Ohio: Death by Democracy- Episode 2 – w/ Tish O’Dell

Podcast with GrassRoot Ohio: Death by Democracy- Episode 2 – w/ Tish O’Dell

Carolyn Harding with Tish O’Dell, a powerful voice for justice in Ohio, the US, and Globally. Tish has been a Community Organizer for CELDF (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund) since 2012 assisting residents to organize rights-based initiatives in their communities in order to help them “make real” the just and sustainable communities they envision for… Read more »

Read More | Community Rights, Democratic Rights, In The News, Issues, News, Publications, Resources

Mar 16, 2022

Lucrative Losses & Poisonous Profits Symposium: An Overview of the Domestic and Global Exploitation of Nature and the Way Forward

Lucrative Losses & Poisonous Profits Symposium: An Overview of the Domestic and Global Exploitation of Nature and the Way Forward

CELDF’s Tish O’Dell is speaking on Panel #4, “Contamination of Water.” This Panel will take place on Friday, March 25 from 11:40 AM – 12:45 PM.

Terry Lodge, activist attorney with CELDF, is speaking on Panel #2, “Contamination of Land.” This panel will take place on Thursday, March 24 from 11:50 AM – 12:55 PM

American University Washington College of Law’s Program on Environmental and Energy Law and Sustainable Development Law & Policy Brief, in association with the Animal Law Society, Energy Law & Policy Society, Environmental Law Society, and Native American Law Students Association are excited to host this year’s annual Symposium, “Lucrative Losses & Poisonous Profits: An Overview of the Domestic and Global Exploitation of Nature and the Way Forward” over Zoom from 10 AM – 1 PM on March 24 and 25, 2022. Over the course of four panels—activists, professors, legal and policy experts, climate scientists, and professors will discuss the international and domestic contamination and overuse of water and land from modern environmental law, indigenous, and rights of nature perspectives. The panelists will explore the devastating impacts of some of nature’s biggest threats, including pollution, deforestation, and industrial fishing.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Corporate 'Rights', Events, Extraction & Pollution, News, Rights of Nature, Water Privitization

Mar 15, 2022

LEBOR like bill in New York seeks Rights of Nature for Great Lakes

LEBOR like bill in New York seeks Rights of Nature for Great Lakes

New York State Assemblyman Patrick Burke, a 37-year-old Democrat from the Buffalo area, has introduced legislation “that will create a Great Lakes Bill of Rights with the goal of securing legal rights for the entire ecosystem and giving people and nature a role in the decision-making process regarding current and future projects that impact the… Read more »

Read More | In The News, News, Rights of Nature

Mar 10, 2022

Andrea Bowers: Can the world mend in this body?

Andrea Bowers: Can the world mend in this body?

The Lake Erie Bill of Rights and CELDF are influencing Bower’s work on Rights of Nature.

Read More | In The News, Rights of Nature

Nov 2, 2021

Shifting the Lens: Energy & Environment Series

Shifting the Lens: Energy & Environment Series

Would recognizing Rights of Nature affect you, the community and possibly the planet? Instead of looking at nature as mere property and as resources, what if we shifted the lens and the law to recognizing nature as living and therefore entitled to rights to life, to flourish and thrive?

Read More | Events, Rights of Nature

Nov 1, 2021

Legal Self Defense

Legal Self Defense

Legal Self Defense understands that the U.S. Constitution guarantees neither fairness nor safety, but that de-escalation skills coupled with some targeted legal knowledge can improve your security during interactions with law enforcement.

Read More | Defunding Violence, Publications

Oct 8, 2021

Book: The Politics of Rights of Nature

Book: The Politics of Rights of Nature

How Rights of Nature laws are transforming governance to address environmental crises through more ecologically sustainable approaches to development.

Read More | News, Publications, Rights of Nature

Oct 7, 2021

Columbus Free Press: Beware the Brine

Columbus Free Press: Beware the Brine

Members of OHCRN have called on Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, to open an investigation into the violation of Ohio law and the criminal actions of state officials and industry who were and are well aware that this brine is highly radioactive, yet still approve and allow it to be spread in Ohio communities.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, In The News

Sep 23, 2021

Corporation Asks Nottingham, N.H. For Legal Fees After Suing Over Climate Ordinance

Corporation Asks Nottingham, N.H. For Legal Fees After Suing Over Climate Ordinance

The Freedom From Chemical Trespass Rights-Based Ordinance asserted residents’ rights to a healthy climate and banned corporate activities that would interfere with those rights, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 per day.

Read More | Community Rights, Extraction & Pollution, In The News, Issues, Water Privitization

Sep 17, 2021

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Ohio communities over the past decade have worked hard to protect ecosystems and their communities from various harmful projects. They did the work of asserting democratic rights to alter and reform their government. They collected signatures, argued in court, battled in lopsided campaigns and even won a few only to have the courts overturn their… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Chemical Trespass, Community Wires, News

Sep 13, 2021

Corporation Demands $40,281.50 From Town For Passing Climate Ordinance

Corporation Demands $40,281.50 From Town For Passing Climate Ordinance

As climate change brings suffering across the globe, in New Hampshire Judge Martin Honigberg has sided with a local corporate actor who seeks financial retribution against the Town of Nottingham for the popular adoption of an ordinance recognizing a right of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.” On September 1, 2021 the sole corporate actor, Brent Tweed, of G&F Goods, LLC submitted a $40,281.50 bill to the court for attorney fees.

Read More | Community Rights, In The News, News, Press Releases

Sep 9, 2021

Newsletter: Non-Linear Change

Newsletter: Non-Linear Change

As we organize to make change while environmental and racial injustice run rampant, and as drought and a poisonous status quo threaten the conditions for life, identifying where to invest time and energy can be as complex as getting to know another human being. Nothing about forming relationships follows a straight line.

Read More | Blogs, Democratic Rights, News

Sep 8, 2021

Newsletter: Updates on Defunding Violence

Newsletter: Updates on Defunding Violence

The Defunding Violence Ordinance has been circulating in activist communities across the country. It continues to be a living document that both informs and is informed by grassroots efforts to defund and depower the institution of policing.

Read More | Blogs, Community Wires, Defunding Violence, News

Aug 29, 2021

Preemption Workshop

Preemption Workshop

On Thursday, September 9 at 6:30 pm, please join us for a workshop by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) “Preemption as a Lethal Weapon: How Corporations and Government are Deliberately Destroying Communities and Nature”.

Read More | Democratic Rights, Events

Aug 10, 2021

International Agent Orange Day: Aug. 10

International Agent Orange Day: Aug. 10

Efforts by both female protagonists in ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’ film have been suppressed since the award winning documentary was released.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, News, Press Releases

Aug 5, 2021

Abolitionist Legal Self Defense Webinar

Abolitionist Legal Self Defense Webinar

Join us for a conversation to share legal self-defense best practices and to critique the role of police in stabilizing an oppressive status quo.

Read More | Defunding Violence, Events

Aug 4, 2021

Rights of Nature Principles

Rights of Nature Principles

CELDF has been involved in establishing legal Rights for Nature in Western law for over two decades, from the beginning of this movement’s contemporary phase. We recognize that institutionalizing the Rights of Nature requires a cultural paradigm shift that challenges and changes our legal, social, and moral behavior. For life on Earth to survive, and… Read more »

Read More | Issues, Resource Links, Rights of Nature

Jul 29, 2021

Youth Declaration on the Rights of Nature and Future Generations

Youth Declaration on the Rights of Nature and Future Generations

Earth Law Center and the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN) Youth Hub led two sessions on “Youth and the Rights of Nature Movement: shifting the paradigm for all future generations” at the first IUCN Global Youth Summit April 7-9. As a result of the Rights of Nature sessions, a Declaration was drafted.… Read more »

Read More | Community Wires, Issues, News, Resource Links, Rights of Nature

Jul 26, 2021

Guest Blog: Critical Race Theory

Guest Blog: Critical Race Theory

Put another way, critical race theory illuminates our historical record despite centuries-long efforts to whitewash it. White nationalists present “alternative facts” conducing to a zero-sum society of white winners and nonwhite losers.

Read More | Blogs, Defunding Violence, News

Jul 10, 2021

Legal Talk Network: Lawyer 2 Lawyer Podcast

Legal Talk Network: Lawyer 2 Lawyer Podcast

Tune in to Legal Talk Networks Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast featuring CELDF attorney, Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin. Listen as they discuss law and Nature and take a look at what rights we have to access Nature.

Read More | In The News, Issues, News, Rights of Nature

Jul 8, 2021

BREAKING: Civil Rights Leaders in One of Nation’s Poorest Cities Launch Environmental Justice, Ecosystem Rights Ballot Initiative

BREAKING: Civil Rights Leaders in One of Nation’s Poorest Cities Launch Environmental Justice, Ecosystem Rights Ballot Initiative

Petitioners in Reading, Pennsylvania have officially kicked off a campaign to amend the Reading City Charter to outlaw “toxic trespass,” the poisoning of people and the environment within the city. The ballot initiative is in response to unaddressed toxic waste and environmental racism in the post-industrial city.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, News, Press Releases

Jul 4, 2021

Guest Blog: How Qualified Immunity Subverts the Rule of Law

Guest Blog: How Qualified Immunity Subverts the Rule of Law

This guest submission was originally given as a graduation address on police reform. The author argues, our informed consent is what legitimizes government. And so it’s up to us to command all of our public servants, including cops. We the People must nullify the despotic doctrine so-called qualified immunity. The buck stops with every single citizen from their eighteenth birthday.

Read More | Blogs, Defunding Violence, Democratic Rights, News, Uncategorized

Jun 27, 2021

Appellate Court Rules Lincoln County Aerial Spray Ban Invalid

Appellate Court Rules Lincoln County Aerial Spray Ban Invalid

Lincoln County voters passed Measure 21-177, banning aerial pesticide spraying in the county in May of 2017. Representatives of the timber industry promptly sued to overturn the ban.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Wires, News

Jun 21, 2021

Ohio Residents Call On State Attorney General and 9 County Prosecuting Attorneys to Launch Criminal Investigations Into Radioactive Pollution in Waterways

Ohio Residents Call On State Attorney General and 9 County Prosecuting Attorneys to Launch Criminal Investigations Into Radioactive Pollution in Waterways

Under a 2002 law, introducing radioactive elements into Ohio drinking water is a felony offense.
Companies are violating this by spreading oil and gas waste ‘brine’ — proven by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to contain radioactive concentrations that exceed federal and state standards — in critical watersheds. So are state actors, residents assert.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, News, Press Releases, Uncategorized

Jun 16, 2021

National TV: ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’ to Air on PBS Independent Lens June 28th

National TV: ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’ to Air on PBS Independent Lens June 28th

Tune in on Monday June 28, 2021 for the national airing of the award-winning film “The People vs. Agent Orange” on PBS’ Independent Lens!

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Events, In The News, Issues, News

Jun 10, 2021

Judge Rewards Corporation for Suing to Halt Implementation of Climate Ordinance, Orders Town to Pay Corporate Attorney Fees

Judge Rewards Corporation for Suing to Halt Implementation of Climate Ordinance, Orders Town to Pay Corporate Attorney Fees

As global carbon dioxide concentrations hit their highest level in 4 million years, a New Hampshire Judge has rewarded a local corporate actor in Nottingham for opposing a democratically adopted ordinance, the Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance, that recognized a right of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.”

Read More | Chemical Trespass, News, Press Releases

Jun 3, 2021

Toledo Residents Give Judge Chance to Enforce Lake Erie Bill of Rights, Demand Immediate Protection for Lake Erie, Including Ban on Factory Farms

Toledo Residents Give Judge Chance to Enforce Lake Erie Bill of Rights, Demand Immediate Protection for Lake Erie, Including Ban on Factory Farms

Toledo residents in a lawsuit to enforce the Lake Erie Bill of Rights (LEBOR) filed a memorandum of opposition to the State of Ohio’s motion for summary judgment in their case. Last August, after the trial court granted the State of Ohio’s motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs presented oral arguments in the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals to enforce LEBOR.

Read More | Corporate Agriculture, Democratic Rights, News, Press Releases, Rights of Nature

Jun 1, 2021

Newsletter: Confronting Law Schools

Newsletter: Confronting Law Schools

Law schools must reckon with the harm they have caused in perpetuating this oppressive system of law! Toward this end, CELDF has been honored to endorse a campaign to rename the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, named after former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall. The justice, known for empowering corporations and the U.S. Supreme… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, News

May 31, 2021

Newsletter: Building International Rights of Nature Solidarity

Newsletter: Building International Rights of Nature Solidarity

CELDF is honored to work in solidarity with a new French-speaking network to advance the Rights of Nature in Europe. The network includes Loire Parliament, Valentransition, A.R.B.R.E.S., id-eau, Notre Affaire à Tous and others.  “We are now working to grow the network with other similar organizations and communities active in the defense of the ecosystems… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Community Rights, News, Rights of Nature

May 24, 2021

Newsletter: Collaborating With Academia

Newsletter: Collaborating With Academia

It will take many minds to birth a new legal and political paradigm. Engaging students and educators is critical. Toward that end, CELDF’s Chad Nicholson recently helped teach a short Rights of Nature seminar. Markie Miller presented at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference and at the University of Toledo. Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin is heading up… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Community Rights, News, Rights of Nature

May 22, 2021

Common Dreams: Remembering Christopher D. Stone

Common Dreams: Remembering Christopher D. Stone

Christopher Stone, the environmental scholar who championed fundamental rights of nature died at 83 on May 14, 2021. Stone was a legal scholar who argued in 1972 that trees, rivers, oceans and Nature itself possess fundamental legal rights, an argument that entered the bedrock of the modern environmental movement.

Read More | In The News, News, Rights of Nature

May 21, 2021

Newsletter: Featured Online Film Screenings

Newsletter: Featured Online Film Screenings

The new award-winning documentary THE PEOPLE VS. AGENT ORANGE is now screening in theaters near you! CELDF is proud to sponsor limited nationwide screenings ahead of the national premiere on PBS, forthcoming in summer 2021. CELDF is sponsoring screenings in California, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Chemical Trespass, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, News

May 21, 2021

Newsletter: Community Justice

Newsletter: Community Justice

In a small living room in one of the most economically neglected neighborhoods in the State of Washington emerged the work of Envision Spokane. A handful of local activists and residents asked themselves the question “why?” Why, after so many years of advocacy work on behalf of neighborhoods, renters, the houseless, small businesses, the uninsured,… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, News, Worker Exploitation

May 20, 2021

CELDF Sponsors Nationwide Screenings of New Award-Winning Documentary ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’

CELDF Sponsors Nationwide Screenings of New Award-Winning Documentary ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’

The new award-winning documentary “The People vs. Agent Orange” is now screening in theaters near you! The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is proud to sponsor limited nationwide screenings ahead of the national premiere on PBS, forthcoming in summer 2021. CELDF is sponsoring screenings in California, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York,… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Events, Issues, News, Uncategorized

Apr 26, 2021

Financial Threats to Rights of Nature Lawmaking

Financial Threats to Rights of Nature Lawmaking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Michelle SanbornCommunity Environmental Legal Defense FundCommunity Organizermichelle@celdf.org603-524-2468 Corporate ‘person’ uses constitutional rights law to justify attorney fees from the Town of Nottingham, targeting people’s use of direct democracy for climate action. NOTTINGHAM, NH: Corporate personhood “rights” are once again being weaponized to financially punish and intimidate a local community that took a… Read more »

Read More | Community Rights, Press Releases

Apr 18, 2021

ADVISORY: Oral Arguments in Civil Rights Appeal Advancing Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

ADVISORY: Oral Arguments in Civil Rights Appeal Advancing Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

Oral arguments in a federal civil rights case against the State of Ohio have been scheduled. Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature laws and other measures protecting local democracy from corporate special interests. Plaintiffs are petitioners for local initiative campaigns that were all successfully qualified various measures that were blocked from the ballot.

Read More | Community Rights, Democratic Rights, News, Press Releases

Apr 9, 2021

Columbus Free Press: Lawsuit To Protect Direct Democracy In Columbus During The Pandemic Dismissed By Court

Columbus Free Press: Lawsuit To Protect Direct Democracy In Columbus During The Pandemic Dismissed By Court

A lawsuit seeking a temporary suspension of Columbus’ one-year petitioning time limit due to the pandemic was dismissed by the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio on April 14, 2021. The lawsuit was filed in June 2020 by our group, Columbus Community Bill of Rights (CCBOR), arguing that the city’s time limit during the COVID-19 pandemic was unconstitutional and placed a severe burden on ballot access for our initiative, which sought to ban harms from the fracking industry within Columbus and it’s watershed area.

Read More | Democratic Rights, In The News, Issues, News

Mar 17, 2021

Clara Township Residents Move to Ban Frack Waste Dumping

Clara Township Residents Move to Ban Frack Waste Dumping

Clara Township residents move forward with a Home Rule Charter initiative to protect vital waterways and assert the democratic rights of the community. Nearly half of all registered voters have signed on in support of the measure. Roulette Oil and Gas LLC (ROGC) applied for a Class II Injection Well Permit.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Issues, Press Releases

Mar 3, 2021

International Rights of Nature Solidarity

International Rights of Nature Solidarity

Following international support for the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, CELDF is honored to work in solidarity with a new French-speaking network to advance Rights of Nature in Europe.

Read More | News, Press Releases, Rights of Nature

Feb 28, 2021

Introducing CELDF 2021: A New Year, A New Structure

Introducing CELDF 2021: A New Year, A New Structure

A new democratic structure will empower collaboration and expansion CELDF just celebrated its 25th birthday. Now, we’re investing in the next 25 years. For decades, our staff have spearheaded issues few others would touch. CELDF was years ahead of the curve on Rights of Nature and a structural demand for local community self-determination to counteract… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Democratic Rights, News, Success Story