Press Releases & Blogs

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 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, 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 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 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 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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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

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

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 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 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 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

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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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 17, 2020

Guest Blog: John Marshall: A Case Study of Institutional Racism

Guest Blog: John Marshall: A Case Study of Institutional Racism

This essay discusses our courts of law as epitomes of institutional racism and the role played by Former Chief Justice John Marshall. This guest blog is part of a continuing effort to re-name law schools after Former Chief Justice Marshall, who owned over 200 slaves. Dealing with institutional racist past and trying to right some of the wrongs.

Read More | Community Wires, News, Press Releases & Blogs

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

Nov 10, 2020

Observing Revolution: New Hampshire

Observing Revolution: New Hampshire

Building statewide momentum across New Hampshire. A 2020 organizing update featured in our fall newsletter.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

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.

Read More | Blog, Newsletters, Press Releases & Blogs

Oct 9, 2020

Defending ‘Peaceful Change’: Friend of the Court Briefs Representing Over 500,000 Supporters Filed in Ohio Civil Rights Lawsuit Appeal

Defending ‘Peaceful Change’: Friend of the Court Briefs Representing Over 500,000 Supporters Filed in Ohio Civil Rights Lawsuit Appeal

Plaintiffs from seven Ohio counties, representing Rights of Nature and corporate control ballot measures, sued the Ohio Secretary of State and Boards of Election officials in trial court for repeatedly keeping binding citizen-proposed laws and charters off the ballot. Several national organizations have filed amicus briefs in support of the appeal.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Oct 6, 2020

CENSORING THE BALLOT: Civil Rights Appeal Filed to Defend Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

CENSORING THE BALLOT: Civil Rights Appeal Filed to Defend Rights of Nature and Local Democracy in Ohio

Ohioans are taking a stand against evasive and oppressive tactics used by the State to suppress local ballot measures and stifle democracy. Plaintiffs from seven counties have filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit in a federal civil rights case against the State of Ohio.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Oct 5, 2020

Oregon Community Rights Organizer Featured in New Documentary ‘THE PEOPLE vs. AGENT ORANGE’

Oregon Community Rights Organizer Featured in New Documentary ‘THE PEOPLE vs. AGENT ORANGE’

A new documentary, “THE PEOPLE vs. AGENT ORANGE”, follows the primary component of the notorious chemical Agent Orange. The film follows resistance in the United States, France, and Vietnam, and features Carol Van Strum, an active participant in Community Rights and Rights of Nature organizing in Oregon. Join the premiere virtually for Oregon audiences at the Eugene Environmental Film Festival, October 2-11. It will be available on PBS in April 2021.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

Oct 2, 2020

BREAKING: Court Breathes New Life into Lake Erie Bill of Rights Legal Fight

BREAKING: Court Breathes New Life into Lake Erie Bill of Rights Legal Fight

Residents of Toledo, Ohio win appeal in pro se case against the State of Ohio. Lake Erie Bill of Rights lives to fight another day.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

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.

Read More | Blog, Press Releases & Blogs

Sep 24, 2020

Press Release: Grant Township Moves to Dismiss PA DEP Lawsuit

Press Release: Grant Township Moves to Dismiss PA DEP Lawsuit

Despite recognizing the Grant Townships local law to ban injection wells the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection continues to sue the township. CELDF files motion to dismiss on behalf of the community.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Sep 4, 2020

Democratic Party Must Not Water Down Rights of Nature

Democratic Party Must Not Water Down Rights of Nature

Some leaders within the growing Rights of Nature movement in the United States have offered perspective and the Democratic Party’s actions

Read More | News, Press Releases & Blogs

Aug 26, 2020

New Hampshire Supreme Court Gives Group Chance to Defend Right to a Healthy Climate Law from Corporate Lawsuit

New Hampshire Supreme Court Gives Group Chance to Defend Right to a Healthy Climate Law from Corporate Lawsuit

While local electeds refused to defend Nottingham’s Healthy Climate Law, the New Hampshire Supreme Court heard the people’s voice. Now residents are able to defend their rights and this historic law while the corporation cries discrimination.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Aug 12, 2020

Press Release: Toledo Residents Experiment With Civilian Rights of Nature Enforcement

Press Release: Toledo Residents Experiment With Civilian Rights of Nature Enforcement

Toledo, Ohio residents give oral arguments in Lake Erie Bill of Rights pro se lawsuit to advances one avenue for participatory Rights of Nature enforcement.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

Aug 9, 2020

WANTED:  Local Officials Willing to Fight the Corporate State to Protect People and the Environment During a Pandemic

WANTED: Local Officials Willing to Fight the Corporate State to Protect People and the Environment During a Pandemic

The system is constructed to disempower communities, to the detriment of people and the planet. That is why we need to fight back and why we need local elected officials with courage to fight with us… not against us! A guest blog by Ohio organizer Tish O’Dell.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

Aug 1, 2020

Guest Blog: The Prison-Industrial Complex & Immigration Detention

Guest Blog: The Prison-Industrial Complex & Immigration Detention

The United State’s system of racist mass incarceration serves to control the political wishes of the American people. The immigration detention and deportation pipeline denies political rights to people who live in the country, and expels them from the collective political community.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

Jul 14, 2020

Virginia Network Launched to Challenge Corporatism and Dillon’s Rule, Advance Rights of Nature

Virginia Network Launched to Challenge Corporatism and Dillon’s Rule, Advance Rights of Nature

The Network has been initiated by residents who worked to protect Buckingham County, Virginia from a proposed large-scale fracked gas compressor station for the now-defeated Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

Jun 17, 2020

Lawsuit: Columbus, OH Must Take Action to Preserve Direct Democracy During the Pandemic

Lawsuit: Columbus, OH Must Take Action to Preserve Direct Democracy During the Pandemic

Press Release: Petitioners in Columbus file a lawsuit against the state of Ohio for unconstitutional limits on signature gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic in Columbus. The Columbus city charter imposes a one year time limit on signature gathering.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

Jun 11, 2020

Corporate Actors Challenged in Lincoln County, OR: Ecosystem, Petitioners Defend Ordinance

Corporate Actors Challenged in Lincoln County, OR: Ecosystem, Petitioners Defend Ordinance

Press Release: Petitioners in Lincoln County, OR filed a detailed appeal to a court decision that overturned a local law banning aerially sprayed pesticides as a violation of people’s right to clean air, water, and soil and natural ecosystems’ rights. The Siletz River ecosystem was denied intervention in the case.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

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.

Read More | Blog, Press Releases & Blogs

Jun 9, 2020

New Hampshire Supreme Court: Allow People to Defend Against Corporate Lawsuits

New Hampshire Supreme Court: Allow People to Defend Against Corporate Lawsuits

Nottingham, New Hampshire residents appeal Supreme Court to defend their Freedom from Chemical Trespass Ordinance. Adopted in 2019, this ordinance secures the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human societies, bans all corporate activities that infringe that right, and grants residents the right to defend the law in court.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

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

Jun 1, 2020

Press Release: Columbus Protecting Democracy During a Pandemic

Press Release: Columbus Protecting Democracy During a Pandemic

Communities across the country are watching as their rights are violated in the name of Covid. Now more than ever we see people rising up to demand democracy.

Read More | Press Release, Press Releases & Blogs

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.

Read More | Blog, Press Releases & Blogs

Mar 30, 2020

Corporate America is on Offense,  Local Communities Can Be Too

Corporate America is on Offense, Local Communities Can Be Too

Government allies and corporate interests are treating the global pandemic as a business opportunity. Communities enduring this crisis are taking bold and necessary actions to exercise their powers of self-governance where governments are not functioning in the way people want or need.

Read More | In The News, Press Releases & Blogs

Mar 25, 2020

Breaking: Rights of Nature Law Forces Pennsylvania to Revoke Industry Permit

Breaking: Rights of Nature Law Forces Pennsylvania to Revoke Industry Permit

PRESS RELEASE: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection enforces local Rights of Nature law. Allows Grant Township to protect vital waterways in revoking permit for dangerous frack waste injection well.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

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.

Read More | Blog, Press Releases & Blogs

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.

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