Blogs

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, In The News, Issues, News, 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. 

Read More | Blogs, News

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.”

Read More | Blogs, News

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.

Read More | Blogs, News

Mar 15, 2022

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, In The News, News, Resources

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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 »

Read More | Blogs

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.”

Read More | Blogs

Dec 17, 2021

Lessons from Ecuador

Lessons from Ecuador

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

Read More | 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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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.

Read More | Blogs

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

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.

Read More | Blogs, 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 | Blogs, Community Wires, In The News, News

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 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 | Blogs, News

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 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 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 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

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 | Blogs, 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 | Blogs, News

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

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

Read More | Blogs, News