Issues

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 Release, Press Releases & Blogs

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 Release, Press Releases & Blogs, 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 | Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, News, Press Releases & Blogs

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 | Blog, 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 | Community Rights, News, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature, Uncategorized

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 | Chemical Trespass, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, News, Press Releases & Blogs

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 | News, Press Releases & Blogs, 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 | Blog, 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 Release, Press Releases & Blogs

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 Release

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 Release, Press Releases & Blogs

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 Release, 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 | Blog, Democratic Rights, News, Press Releases & Blogs, Success Story

Feb 21, 2021

Support Grows for Rights of Wetlands

Support Grows for Rights of Wetlands

CELDF officially endorsed a proposal for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands, organized by lawyers and scientists with the Society of Wetland Scientists’ Rights of Wetlands and Climate Change and Wetlands initiatives. The group is planning to share the Declaration with the 171 signatory countries of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention), and inviting them to work with others to move toward a framework that ensures the rights of wetlands are understood, respected, and upheld.

Read More | Issues, Press Release, Rights of Nature

Feb 15, 2021

For All to See: Bias of New Hampshire Judiciary Exposed in Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Proceedings

For All to See: Bias of New Hampshire Judiciary Exposed in Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Proceedings

In 2019, Nottingham residents passed a Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance securing the rights of ecosystems and of townspeople to a “climate system capable of sustaining human societies.” Now New Hampshire courts have sided with corporations who infringe on those rights, revealing a pattern of bias embedded within the New Hampshire judiciary.

Read More | News, Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature

Feb 6, 2021

Public Interest Environmental Law Conference Panel: 2021

Public Interest Environmental Law Conference Panel: 2021

Rights of Nature Panel Discussion 1:00 PM -2:30 pm EST It is neither acceptable nor is it necessary to poison the environment to engage in commerce. In fact, it is the antithesis of a sustainable, resilient, and responsible economy. But to stop harmful unsustainable developments like Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, determined environmental… Read more »

Read More | Events, Rights of Nature

Feb 2, 2021

Protect the Protectors: Stop Line 3

Protect the Protectors: Stop Line 3

Tribal nations, community and environmental groups in Minnesota have fought to stop the Line 3 Enbridge pipeline in Northern Minnesota. The pipeline violates several treaties with the Ojibwe people that establish their right to hunt, fish, and gather along the proposed route. The pipeline would cross 200 bodies of water, including the Mississippi River twice.

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

Feb 1, 2021

New Book! ‘The World We Need’ Highlights ‘Stories and Lessons From America’s Unsung Environmental Movement’

New Book! ‘The World We Need’ Highlights ‘Stories and Lessons From America’s Unsung Environmental Movement’

The World We Need offers a vivid look at the people protecting America’s communities against environmental degradation and racism. Their strategies for saving lives, protecting land, and creating opportunities provide a model for activists everywhere.

Read More | Community Rights, Democratic Rights, In The News, News, Press Releases & Blogs, Resources

Jan 18, 2021

Newsletter: New Hampshire Pamphlet

Newsletter: New Hampshire Pamphlet

To advance political education in the Granite State, the New Hampshire Community Rights Network (NHCRN) has compiled an in-depth pamphlet to explore a transformation of New Hampshire’s form of government.

Read More | Blog, Community Rights, News, Water Privitization

Jan 8, 2021

Newsletter: Momentum for Constitutional Change in Pennsylvania

Newsletter: Momentum for Constitutional Change in Pennsylvania

In 2020, members of the Pennsylvania Community Rights Network engaged in a statewide support campaign for a state constitutional amendment to place the rights of people over the interests of private corporations – empowering communities to heighten state protections for civil, human and ecosystem rights.

Read More | Blog, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature

Dec 24, 2020

‘The Courts Are a Sham’: New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Arguments

‘The Courts Are a Sham’: New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Rights of Nature, Healthy Climate Arguments

New Hampshire Supreme Court Refuses to hear arguments on Rights of Nature and the right to a Healthy Climate. Amidst ecological catastrophe, movements for a paradigm shift in law have made global gains in 2020. Granite State judges have chosen to reject a request for a people’s defense of a municipal Rights of Nature and healthy climate law.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Democratic Rights, News, Press Releases & Blogs

Dec 21, 2020

CELDF Endorses Proposal for Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands

CELDF Endorses Proposal for Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands

A group of authors organized through the Society of Wetland Scientists have developed a proposal for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands. CELDF is excited to endorse the efforts as a step toward recognizing and enforcing the rights of wetlands.

Read More | News, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature

Dec 15, 2020

BREAKING: Gas Company Files Federal Lawsuit To Overturn Small Pennsylvania Township’s Rights of Nature Law…Again

BREAKING: Gas Company Files Federal Lawsuit To Overturn Small Pennsylvania Township’s Rights of Nature Law…Again

Gas company PGE sues Grant Township over democratically enacted law. The PA Department of Environmental Protection also sued Grant in 2017, making this filing the third lawsuit against the Township (pop. 700) for trying to protect its drinking water.

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, Issues, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature

Dec 11, 2020

Truthout: The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures

Truthout: The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures

Over the past five years, organizers in seven Ohio communities (three cities, four counties) have qualified ballot measures to recognize enforceable rights of ecosystems and human rights to water. All take the historic and bold step of elevating these basic rights above the legal privileges currently enjoyed by private corporations in the United States.

Read More | Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Corporate Agriculture, Extraction & Pollution, In The News, Issues, News, Rights of Nature

Dec 4, 2020

Common Dreams: Rights of Nature Debate Reaches New Heights

Common Dreams: Rights of Nature Debate Reaches New Heights

A bill was just proposed in Missouri to ban Rights of Nature litigation, the American Petroleum Institute just filed a brief to oppose local Rights of Nature laws, as the Democratic Party shows interest in the concept.

Read More | In The News, Rights of Nature

Nov 4, 2020

CELDF Statement on Orange County, FL ‘Rights of Nature’ Law

CELDF Statement on Orange County, FL ‘Rights of Nature’ Law

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has prepared the following statement in response to the passage of the Wekiva River and Econlockhatchee River Bill of Rights.

Read More | Blog, News, Rights of Nature

Nov 2, 2020

Defunding the Police

Defunding the Police

The call for change is clear – we need to rethink how we allocate resources to ensure we are meeting the needs of the community. The realization that existing laws have the dual goals of appearing to protect us while in reality doing the exact opposite is long overdue.

Read More | Blog, Defunding Violence, News

Oct 6, 2020

Reuters: ‘Dramatic’ global rise in laws defending rights of nature

Reuters: ‘Dramatic’ global rise in laws defending rights of nature

From Bolivia to New Zealand, rivers and ecosystems in at least 14 countries have won the legal right to exist and flourish, as a new way of safeguarding nature gains steam. This new legal route to protect the planet – overriding the long-held human right to harm – bring fresh arguments to court, rally communities and shift local politics.

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

Jul 20, 2020

THESIS: Anticapitalism and Environmentalism in the American Rights of Nature Movement

THESIS: Anticapitalism and Environmentalism in the American Rights of Nature Movement

Canadian honors student, Camylle Lanteigne, unpacks the connection between anticapitalism and ecocentrism in the Rights of Nature Movement. Her research focuses on CELDF’s philosophy as a framework for her arguments.

Read More | Community Wires, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Rights of Nature

Jul 8, 2020

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Preemption and Property Rights

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Preemption and Property Rights

Ben Price discusses Rights of Nature and how the concepts of preemption, claimed corporate rights, and property rights challenge local democracy and ecosystem rights.

Read More | Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Rights of Nature

Jul 7, 2020

Common Dreams: Corporations Are Suing Cities Across the USA

Common Dreams: Corporations Are Suing Cities Across the USA

A new Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund report details a standard operating procedure of how corporate interests, and the politicians who serve them, retain power.

Read More | Corporate 'Rights', Resource Links

Jun 30, 2020

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Rights of Nature

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Rights of Nature

Melissa Troutman and Will Falk discuss how Rights of Nature confronts problematic legal constructs and inspires the cultural shift we need to end legalized destruction of the natural world.

Read More | Rights of Nature

Jun 29, 2020

Thom Hartmann Program: State Law Benefits Corporations Against You – You Lose

Thom Hartmann Program: State Law Benefits Corporations Against You – You Lose

Chad Nicholson joins Thom Hartmann to discuss how the 1% are effectively, suing the 99% for their own benefit, citing the findings of our June 2020 Report.

Read More | Corporate 'Rights', In The News

Jun 2, 2020

Stand With George Floyd:  Life > Property

Stand With George Floyd: Life > Property

When violent police forces rooted in white supremacy defend property rather than human beings, then property destruction becomes a collective act of self-defense. CELDF stands in solidarity with protesters outraged by racial injustice and violence. #BlackLivesMatter

Read More | Blog, Community Wires, Defunding Violence, Press Releases & Blogs

Apr 6, 2020

People Power in a Time of Pandemic

People Power in a Time of Pandemic

In this interview, Kai speaks on the current state of community rights, gives an explanation of the events taking place in Grant Township, and talks about how we must take this time during Covid-19 to progress forward in the movement.

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

Feb 6, 2020

Rights of Nature: Ohio Organizer Tish O’Dell on Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Rights of Nature: Ohio Organizer Tish O’Dell on Top of Mind with Julie Rose

If corporations have individual rights under US law – like freedom of speech – why not a grant a lake or forest or river the same status? Ohio organizer Tish O’Dell talks about Toledo’s groundbreaking law – the Lake Erie Bill of Rights – and the Rights of Nature Movement!

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

Sep 6, 2019

Blog: It’s Time: Rights of Nature in the UK.

Blog: It’s Time: Rights of Nature in the UK.

As we begin a sixth mass extinction, we must act now to change our trajectory. In this guest blog, Susan Shaw urges the UK to embrace Rights of Nature to propel us forward.

Read More | Blog, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature

Aug 22, 2019

Think32: Uniting Behind the Rights of Nature, the Rights of Ireland

Think32: Uniting Behind the Rights of Nature, the Rights of Ireland

Amidst calls for a new Irish Constitution are calls to recognize the Rights of Nature, changing how humankind and nature are in relationship, and how we protect nature under law.

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