Blogs

May 8, 2024

Wouldn’t You Say? – Paid Speech Isn’t Freedom of Speech

Wouldn’t You Say? – Paid Speech Isn’t Freedom of Speech

Feature photo by Christine Roy Like Junk Mail, Junk Speech is Trash Talk Freedom of speech isn’t what it used to be. Toward the end of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st, its definition was changed in two unprecedented rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court. Today, what’s called free speech has… Read more »

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

May 7, 2024

The Great Salt Lake is Disappearing… So Utah Bans Rights of Nature.

The Great Salt Lake is Disappearing… So Utah Bans Rights of Nature.

The Great Salt Lake. Image by Erin Testone. A growing number of American jurisdictions are outlawing Right of Nature as we embark on the greatest rates of extinctions in our planetary history.  In this essay, Will Falk, encourages Rights of Nature advocates to recognize that we cannot wait for courts and governments to enforce Rights… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Chemical Trespass, Extraction & Pollution, Rights of Nature

Mar 27, 2024

AM I AN ACTIVIST?

AM I AN ACTIVIST?

Testimony of a Community Organizer CELDF’s Consulting Director, Tish O’Dell, submitted her testimony, “Am I an Activist?” to the 2024 Spring Activism Peace Chronicle publication. Tish has been involved in community rights and Rights of Nature work starting in her own community of Broadview Heights, Ohio, which led to the adoption of Ohio’s first Home… Read more »

Read More | Blogs, Chemical Trespass, Community Rights, Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, Rights of Nature, Water Privitization

Nov 14, 2023

Wouldn’t you say? – Three Beliefs That Doom Western Society

Wouldn’t you say? – Three Beliefs That Doom Western Society

We are neither separate from nor superior to, but rather part of and utterly dependent upon the non-human world around us, inside and out. Wouldn’t you say?

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Aug 22, 2023

Trust the Children, Not the System

Trust the Children, Not the System

Featured photo: The plaintiffs in Held v. State of Montana walking and chatting outside the courthouse. (Photo: Robin Loznak) It will take an extended commitment to community organizing to expand the Held ruling into tangible relief as a vital state constitutional protection for nature. The 16 child plaintiffs in Held v. State of Montana, the Children’s… Read more »

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

Jul 31, 2023

Local Governments Are Blocking Ballot Initiatives at the Behest of Corporations

Local Governments Are Blocking Ballot Initiatives at the Behest of Corporations

Feature photo by Paul Vernon AFP via Getty Images In 1979, the children’s educational television series Schoolhouse Rock! broadcast a now-classic episode titled “Three Ring Government” about the three branches of the U.S. government — executive, legislative and judicial. “No one part can be more powerful than the other,” proclaimed the narrator, who explains that our system of government… Read more »

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

Apr 4, 2023

Wouldn’t You Say? – The Challenge of Movement Building

Wouldn’t You Say? – The Challenge of Movement Building

“It seems like legal rights for community and for nature would almost be unnecessary if our attitude toward the world were based on reciprocity, responsibility, and accountability instead of maximizing personal advantage.”

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

Mar 22, 2023

In Times of Increasing Uncertainty, We Already Have What We Need

In Times of Increasing Uncertainty, We Already Have What We Need

We must start trusting in ourselves and in our community members to be able to meet our needs, solve our problems and create truly participatory community-based forms of government and public spaces.

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

Mar 14, 2023

Guest Blog: We Must Overturn SCOTUS Decisions That Effectively Deny Rights to Black People

Guest Blog: We Must Overturn SCOTUS Decisions That Effectively Deny Rights to Black People

The posting of this piece is a reflection of CELDF’s commitment to featuring diverse perspectives and ideas in the quest to bring about a community rights and rights of nature existence into full being. 

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Mar 3, 2023

Wouldn’t You Say? – From Rights of Nature to Right Relationship

Wouldn’t You Say? – From Rights of Nature to Right Relationship

We are used to extracting not only metallic ores and fossil fuels, but ourselves and our communities from the natural world, and yet we don’t notice the increasing distance placed between us and our natural habitat by the human-made environment.

Read More | Blogs, Community Rights, Rights of Nature

Feb 7, 2023

CELDF is seeking a Grant Writer | Job Opening

CELDF is seeking a Grant Writer | Job Opening

The person in this position will play an integral role in expanding CELDF’s support for its mission to advance democratic and environmental rights. This is a part-time remote contract position, with the possibility of an expanded role over time.

Read More | Blogs, News, News from the Grassroots, Resources

Jan 19, 2023

Wouldn’t You Say? – Saving the Economy Means Not Saving Nature

Wouldn’t You Say? – Saving the Economy Means Not Saving Nature

At the risk of expediting the die-off of most life on the planet, including most humans, judges continue to turn a blind eye toward the rights of natural communities – where humans live in harmony with their environment – while giving full-throated support for legal rights vested in corporate property.

Read More | Blogs, Rights of Nature

Jan 16, 2023

Guest Blog: Badges and Incidents of Slavery

Guest Blog: Badges and Incidents of Slavery

The challenge: How to overcome the white dominance/Black subordination relationship. How to decolonize.

Read More | Blogs, Democratic Rights

Jan 5, 2023

Tumbled by the surf: Figuring out which wave to ride next for recognizing rights

Tumbled by the surf: Figuring out which wave to ride next for recognizing rights

We must think about our history- the Revolutionaries were proposing an alternative to being a colony of England, abolitionists were fighting for an alternative to slavery, the suffragists for an alternative to patriarchy and on and on.

Read More | Blogs, Democratic Rights

Nov 8, 2022

Wouldn’t You Say? – What Do We Mean by “Community Rights?”

Wouldn’t You Say? – What Do We Mean by “Community Rights?”

Lakota advocate and water protector Debra White Plume (Wioweya Najin Wina), upon being introduced to the history of municipal subjugation in the United States during a Democracy School hosted by residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, remarked that “municipalities are the white man’s reservations. The only difference is, we know we’re on reservations.”

Read More | Blogs, Community Rights, Democratic Rights, News from the Grassroots, Rights of Nature

Sep 23, 2022

Wouldn’t You Say? – What are the Rights of Nature?

Wouldn’t You Say? – What are the Rights of Nature?

The law locks up the man or woman, Who steals the goose from off the common, But leaves the greater villain loose, Who steals the common from off the goose

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

Sep 12, 2022

Wouldn’t You Say? – Nature is What’s Real

Wouldn’t You Say? – Nature is What’s Real

You wouldn’t think, in a rational society, that anyone would have to be told this, but reality doesn’t care what anybody believes is true; it just is. And what isn’t, isn’t. 

Read More | Blogs, Issues, News, News from the Grassroots, Rights of Nature

May 11, 2022

Building Our Children’s Trust Needs to Start With Reality

Building Our Children’s Trust Needs to Start With Reality

While we’re being told by scientific authority that decisive action to reduce carbon emissions is mandatory within the 2020’s, the legal theory underlying Juliana is risky and time-consuming. Worse, “victory” in Juliana would mean contradictory and self-defeating technological fixes which are misleadingly cast as proven ways to salvage life on the planet. In these potentially closing moments of human existence, the inhabitants, human and otherwise, deserve a whole lot better.

Read More | Blogs, News

May 4, 2022

It’s Not All Bad

It’s Not All Bad

Over the last 15 years, grassroots work that establishes rights for human and natural communities has expanded in ways that no one could have foreseen. And while we will celebrate the legal and the political victories, the truth is that none of this would have happened without people…

Read More | Blogs, News

Apr 27, 2022

Less is More: Confronting the American Nightmare of Stuff

Less is More: Confronting the American Nightmare of Stuff

The system has worked hard to create obedience in a number of ways and to cover up and misdirect the true impacts of what our obsession with stuff has resulted in. Yet the misdirection continues to keep our obedience to stuff as if the seeking out and possessing of stuff is akin to our biological need to breathe. 

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Apr 20, 2022

Some things never change, but we better start!

Some things never change, but we better start!

“Claiming to fight for clean water because the human community depends on clean water to bring in more tourism or that we need to destroy an entire ecosystem for lithium so that humans can continue as they have, misses the point of why we need to change. The other species in the river don’t benefit from more tourism and the plants and the animals on top of the lithium deposit and the aquifer beneath it won’t benefit either.”

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Apr 13, 2022

Earth Emancipation Now!

Earth Emancipation Now!

Earth Emancipation Now!
Synopsis: The American Empire was built on the model of European colonialism and the enclosure of the Commons. The Federalists, who crafted the U.S. Constitution, emulated Old World Empires by privatizing government and transforming the whole natural world into property. They erected an aristocracy of wealth by vesting in property itself the authority to govern. Our common environment is legally enslaved to the whims of its owners and they, by virtue of that ownership, govern us. There is no alternative to save planet Earth but to emancipate Nature from legal enslavement as property.

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Feb 1, 2022

Guest Blog: The Journey of a Film

Guest Blog: The Journey of a Film

It’s an uphill battle against some of the most powerful lobbies on earth. The threats against our health posed by heedless profit-seeking are heavily empowered.

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Jan 27, 2022

Guest Blog: Community Rights in Buffalo, NY

Guest Blog: Community Rights in Buffalo, NY

Systems change doesn’t hinge on electing the right candidate – it’s advanced most forcefully when organized communities engage in direct action.

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Jan 11, 2022

Message from the NCRN

Message from the NCRN

Dear friends, Tom Groover, an NCRN and COCRN Board member, along with his wife Karen recently lost everything in the Boulder County Colorado Marshall Fire that started on December 30, 2021. Tom has been on the Board of NCRN since its inception in 2014-2015. I initially spoke with Tom on Sunday January 2nd and then briefly… Read more »

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Jan 7, 2022

Donegal County Council votes unanimously to adopt Rights of Nature

Donegal County Council votes unanimously to adopt Rights of Nature

In December, the Donegal County Council in Ireland voted unanimously to adopt the Rights of Nature as “an important statement of intention that imbeds the concept as a core value and a keystone concept.”

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Dec 17, 2021

Lessons from Ecuador

Lessons from Ecuador

What will it take to advance the Rights of Nature in the United States?

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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.

Read More | Blogs

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. 

Read More | Blogs, News