News

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 | Blog, Chemical Trespass, Community Wires, News

Sep 15, 2021

Newsletter: New England Update

Newsletter: New England Update

Residents are blowing the whistle on large-scale industrial solar arrays that require the cutting of old-growth forests in favor of destructive greenwashing.

Read More | Blog, Community Wires, News

Sep 14, 2021

Newsletter: Pacific Northwest Updates

Newsletter: Pacific Northwest Updates

Invisible Hand, the rebirth of the WACRN, and updates from the West Coast.

Read More | Blog, Community Wires, News

Sep 13, 2021

Newsletter: Building a Movement in Pennsylvania

Newsletter: Building a Movement in Pennsylvania

Community Rights organizing began in Pennsylvania over two decades ago. Since then, dozens of local laws have been adopted that ban everything from factory farms, to the spreading of sewage sludge, to oil and gas fracking and pipelines.

Read More | Blog, 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, News, Press Release

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 | Blog, 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 | Blog, Community Wires, Defunding Violence, News

Aug 24, 2021

Conversation: United Church of Christ Becomes First Mainline Church Body to Declare Earth has Rights

Conversation: United Church of Christ Becomes First Mainline Church Body to Declare Earth has Rights

The General Synod of the United Church of Christ has become the first mainline Protestant body to publicly proclaim that nature has rights.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Rights of Nature, Success Story

Aug 20, 2021

Sparking a National Conversation!

Sparking a National Conversation!

Join our National Symposium as a co-sponsor!

Read More | News

Aug 17, 2021

Just Compensation

Just Compensation

The courts of the empire may rely on self-referential legalisms to declare that the original indigenous inhabitants never had legal claim to ownership of the land, or that the U.S. Constitution did not, at the time, recognize enslaved people as capable of owning anything, including their own lives and labor; hence nothing recognized as legal property was taken from them and no compensation is owed. Typical judicial gaslighting.

Read More | Blog, News

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 Release

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 29, 2021

Glen Ford, Veteran Journalist And Founder Of Black Agenda Report, Dies At 71

Glen Ford, Veteran Journalist And Founder Of Black Agenda Report, Dies At 71

Glen Ford spent more than four decades delivering the news from a Black perspective on a national scale.

Read More | Community Wires, News

Jul 26, 2021

Tribes Enter Legal Battle Against Thacker Pass Lithium Mine

Tribes Enter Legal Battle Against Thacker Pass Lithium Mine

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and a group of Paiute and Shoshone people from the Fort McDermitt and Duck Valley reservations calling themselves Atsa koodakuh wyh Nuwu (People of Red Mountain) filed a motion in Federal District Court on Tuesday, July 20 alleging that the Bureau of Land Management violated the National Historic Preservation Act in permitting a lithium mine project at Thacker Pass.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Release

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 | Blog, Defunding Violence, News

Jul 15, 2021

Oregon Community Rights Activists Undeterred by Court’s Validation of Timber’s Toxic Legacy

Oregon Community Rights Activists Undeterred by Court’s Validation of Timber’s Toxic Legacy

The Court of Appeals of the State of Oregon issued a one-page decision in late June upholding a trial court decision overriding the will of voters and siding with corporate timber. The court has allowed for the continued use of aerially sprayed pesticides.

Read More | News, Press Release

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 Release

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 | Blog, 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 Release, 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 Release

Jun 9, 2021

Clara Township Home Rule Commission Meets After Residents Vote To Consider New Government

Clara Township Home Rule Commission Meets After Residents Vote To Consider New Government

Clara Township residents voted overwhelmingly to create a Home Rule Government Study Commission made up of seven elected Township residents.

Read More | News, Press Release

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, 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 | Blog, 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 | Blog, Community Rights, News, Rights of Nature

May 28, 2021

Podcast (Climate One): “Should Nature Have Rights?”

Podcast (Climate One): “Should Nature Have Rights?”

On May 28, 2021, CELDF’s Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin joined Rebecca Tsosie (constitutional and Indigenous law scholar of Yaqui descent and regents professor of law at the University of Arizona) and Carol Van Strum (Lincoln County Community Rights) on the nationally syndicated Climate One podcast.

Read More | In The News, News

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 | Blog, 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 | Blog, 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 | Blog, 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 | Blog, Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Events, Issues, News, Uncategorized

May 9, 2021

Newsletter: The Rights of Nature Are Blooming

Newsletter: The Rights of Nature Are Blooming

It’s happening. The Rights of Nature movement is exploding as communities rise up around the world to demand a paradigm shift in our legal system’s relationship to the earth and her ecosystems. So far in 2021, Rights of Nature has advanced in places including Oaxaca, Mexico, through a constitutional proposal; France, where a network of… Read more »

Read More | Blog, News

May 5, 2021

Guest Blog: Energy Democracy: Community Rights in New Hampshire

Guest Blog: Energy Democracy: Community Rights in New Hampshire

By Barbara Peterson Nottingham, New Hampshire is fighting for a clean and healthy community Energy democracy works for local control of our energy sources. The global movement for energy democracy works with communities for local control of renewable sources of energy to help ensure equity, reliability, availability, and affordability. As stated by Denise Fairchild and… Read more »

Read More | Blog, News

Apr 27, 2021

High Stakes For Democracy — Lawyer to Court: Are the People Equal to the Government or Not?

High Stakes For Democracy — Lawyer to Court: Are the People Equal to the Government or Not?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tish O’DellCommunity Environmental Legal Defense FundCommunity OrganizerCELDF.orgtish@celdf.org440-552-6774 Oral arguments presented in civil rights appeal in the critical case for direct democracy arising from suppression of Rights of Nature and local democracy petitioning. Cincinnati, OH: Oral arguments took place last week in Beiersdorfer v. LaRose, et al. (No. 20-3557), a case that begs fundamental… Read more »

Read More | News, Press Release

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

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

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, 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, Rights of Nature

Feb 4, 2021

Common Dreams: Biden’s Executive Order on Climate Crisis Exposes Need for Constitutional Change

Common Dreams: Biden’s Executive Order on Climate Crisis Exposes Need for Constitutional Change

Demands to abolish the Electoral College and restructure the U.S. Supreme Court can be pegged to substantive constitutional change. It’s the role of movements to demand and make changes to the “applicable law,” and its interpretation.

Read More | In The News, News

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 Release, 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, News, Rights of Nature