Blogs

Nov 28, 2021

2021 in Review

2021 in Review

We are witnessing tremendous gains for the Rights of Nature movement and an expansion of awareness about the injustices perpetrated by highly centralized state government systems.

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Nov 25, 2021

Newsletter: Washington Update

Newsletter: Washington Update

The WACRN is now working to operationalize the network to be that change agent it set out to be nearly 10 years ago.

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Nov 24, 2021

PA Constitutional Change

PA Constitutional Change

House Bill 1716 is a proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution. It would secure the right of self-government to every community in Pennsylvania.

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Nov 23, 2021

Metallic Mining and Freedom from Toxic Trespass

Metallic Mining and Freedom from Toxic Trespass

The Virginia Community Rights Network has finalized text for an Ordinance Requiring an Assessment of the Compatibility of Metallic Mining with the Right to Freedom from Toxic Trespass.

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Nov 21, 2021

New Hampshire Municipal Outreach Campaign

New Hampshire Municipal Outreach Campaign

As a means to gain feedback from local elected officials, the NHCRN launched a municipal outreach campaign this September.

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Nov 20, 2021

Challenges to Implementing Rights of Nature in the U.S

Challenges to Implementing Rights of Nature in the U.S

The intentional conflation of privileged property of this sort with personal property, the product of individual labor and creativity, perpetuates distrust of Rights of Nature.

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Nov 19, 2021

Newsletter: Oregon Update

Newsletter: Oregon Update

Justice continues to be denied in Oregon. Community rights efforts in Lane and Lincoln counties have, quite wrongly, found themselves mired in the Oregon court system on issues that should’ve been considered and resolved by the people of their respective counties.

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Nov 18, 2021

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Newsletter: Ohio Update

Ohio communities have worked hard over the past eight years, proposing charter amendments and ordinances recognizing local self-governance and rights of nature.

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Nov 16, 2021

Community Rights Lane County Issues Values Statement

Community Rights Lane County Issues Values Statement

Community Rights Lane County educates and mobilizes citizens about their rights to local community self-governance. They believe decisions affecting communities must be made by community residents – the people directly impacted by these decisions and laws that authorize harmful corporate activities.

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Oct 11, 2021

Honor The Treaties in Your Community

Honor The Treaties in Your Community

The destruction, privatization and incorporation of settler municipalities on these landscapes and waterways has violated the treaties. It’s time for municipalities to actually recognize and become governed by their local treaties.

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Oct 4, 2021

A Tribute to Gail Mills

A Tribute to Gail Mills

Gail Mills of Nottingham, NH, passed away this month, having paid forward a legacy of community activism that inspired local activists across the country. 

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 | Blogs, 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 | Blogs, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, News, Rights of Nature

Jan 4, 2021

Newsletter: Moments of Transition

Newsletter: Moments of Transition

The following is an excerpt from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s End of Year 2020 newsletter “Moments of Transition

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Dec 28, 2020

Observing Revolution: Pennsylvania

Observing Revolution: Pennsylvania

Newsletter: CELDF has supported the efforts of Grant Township, PA as they engage in local lawmaking to successfully resist corporate contamination of water. Despite years of legal attacks by the private corporations, PA regulatory agencies, and the oil and gas industry, local residents of Grant Township have reasserted and continued to defend local lawmaking and protect the natural systems that sustain them.

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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.

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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.

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Oct 28, 2020

Times of System Change

Times of System Change

Protests are shifting the conditions of political action. Immediate structural change may be difficult to see – but it’s happening – culture is shifting. A dedicated and defiant movement is emerging and challenging the purpose of the law.

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Sep 28, 2020

Blog: Change History

Blog: Change History

The collective effort to dismantle oppressive and racist systems relies on decentralizing power. Only when we understand the importance of community control can we envision fair and just systems we must build.

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Jun 9, 2020

Guest Blog: Time for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Nature

Guest Blog: Time for a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Nature

Pella Thiel, Rights of Nature Sweden, calls for meaningful changes to our relationship with nature.

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Jun 9, 2020

CELDF REPORT: Corporations Are Suing Cities Across the USA

CELDF REPORT: 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.

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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

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May 22, 2020

GUEST BLOG: Making Corporate America Safe for Democracy

GUEST BLOG: Making Corporate America Safe for Democracy

A critical look at labor equity in America is long overdue. The relationship between empoyer and employee should not be that of master and servant -corporations have created should employ freemen and freewomen.

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Mar 18, 2020

Social Distancing for Community Organizers

Social Distancing for Community Organizers

In the battle against Covid-19, many of us find ourselves self-quarantined and working remotely. But alas, the work must go on. We’ve organized some tools to help you keep organizing in your community.

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Mar 17, 2020

Community Stories: Claiming the Law

Community Stories: Claiming the Law

Bryan Twitchell shares a guest blog about the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s ongoing resistance to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia, Canada.

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Feb 26, 2020

Breaking the Spell of Misguided Obedience

Breaking the Spell of Misguided Obedience

Toledo organizer Markie Miller drafted this letter to Lake Erie the night before the federal hearing. In honor of this moment in history, we share her letter here.

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Feb 22, 2020

Securing #MeToo

Securing #MeToo

The #MeToo movement will prove only to be a passing moment in history unless women are the ones making governing decisions that impact them.

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Feb 5, 2020

VIDEO: ‘The Transformation from Reformist to Revolutionary’

VIDEO: ‘The Transformation from Reformist to Revolutionary’

This 6 minute short explains how, across numerous social issues—from housing, worker rights, environmental protection to gentrification—“the people in the community lack the legal authority to determine their own future, a basic tenet of democracy.”

Read More | Blogs, Community Rights, In The News, Multimedia, Resource Links, Resources

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 | Blogs, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature