Ohio

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 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

Dec 11, 2020

Truthout: The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures

Truthout: The American Petroleum Institute Is Working to Kill Voting on Local Measures

Over the past five years, organizers in seven Ohio communities (three cities, four counties) have qualified ballot measures to recognize enforceable rights of ecosystems and human rights to water. All take the historic and bold step of elevating these basic rights above the legal privileges currently enjoyed by private corporations in the United States.

Read More | Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Corporate Agriculture, Extraction & Pollution, In The News, Issues, News, Rights of Nature

Nov 27, 2020

Virtual Democracy School in Ashtabula

Virtual Democracy School in Ashtabula

Register today for this virtual Democracy School in Ashtabula, Ohio! Co-sponsored by Ashtabula County Water Watch and CELDF.

Read More | Events

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

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

Sep 3, 2020

Financial Reprisal for Enacting Lake Erie Bill of Rights? Corporate Law Firm Charging Toledoans $207,500

Financial Reprisal for Enacting Lake Erie Bill of Rights? Corporate Law Firm Charging Toledoans $207,500

The international corporate law firm Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP is seeking $207,500 in attorney fees from the City of Toledo for a charter amendment approved by voters.

Read More | News, Press Release

Aug 27, 2020

COMING SOON: World Premiere of ‘Invisible Hand’

COMING SOON: World Premiere of ‘Invisible Hand’

From Executive Producer Mark Ruffalo comes the world’s first documentary film on the Rights of Nature Movement. Attend the virtual world premiere followed by a panel discussion around the Rights of Nature Movement.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Aug 18, 2020

Rights of Nature with United Church of Christ Pastor

Rights of Nature with United Church of Christ Pastor

The UCC hosts CELDFs Tish O’Dell for a Rights of Nature presentation. Watch the full webinar here!

Read More | In The News

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 12, 2020

Defending the Rights of Lake Erie

Defending the Rights of Lake Erie

Read the pro se argument defending the Lake Erie Bill of Rights presented by Toledo resident, Mike Ferner, on behalf of Lake Erie and the Toledoans who passed the law.

Read More | Community Wires

Jul 8, 2020

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Preemption and Property Rights

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Preemption and Property Rights

Ben Price discusses Rights of Nature and how the concepts of preemption, claimed corporate rights, and property rights challenge local democracy and ecosystem rights.

Read More | Community Rights, Corporate 'Rights', Rights of Nature

Jun 30, 2020

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Rights of Nature

Staying Home with Josh Fox: Rights of Nature

Melissa Troutman and Will Falk discuss how Rights of Nature confronts problematic legal constructs and inspires the cultural shift we need to end legalized destruction of the natural world.

Read More | Rights of Nature

Jun 29, 2020

Thom Hartmann Program: State Law Benefits Corporations Against You – You Lose

Thom Hartmann Program: State Law Benefits Corporations Against You – You Lose

Chad Nicholson joins Thom Hartmann to discuss how the 1% are effectively, suing the 99% for their own benefit, citing the findings of our June 2020 Report.

Read More | Corporate 'Rights', In The News

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 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

Apr 22, 2020

Common Dreams: Abolish Earth Day

Common Dreams: Abolish Earth Day

For 50 years, environmentalists have celebrated the illusion that the law is on their side. Earth Day’s laws have systematically failed to guard against mass species die-offs, the climate crisis, deadly air pollution, the corporatization of freshwater, and the largest loss of biodiversity in human history.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Apr 20, 2020

50 Years of Earth Day –  What Are We Celebrating?

50 Years of Earth Day – What Are We Celebrating?

This year CELDF will be hosting an online Q&A with organizers who have been engaging communities across the country in paradigm-shifting work for decades.

Read More | Community Wires, Events, In The News

Mar 21, 2020

Dear Mike DeWine: A Letter on Ohioan’s Constitutional Rights and Public Health

Dear Mike DeWine: A Letter on Ohioan’s Constitutional Rights and Public Health

Ohio Organizer Tish O’Dell responds to Gov. Mike DeWine’s concerns for public health and constitutional rights during the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s hope he upholds his own words when it’s time to recover and rebuild.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News, Resource Links

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

Mar 13, 2020

BREAKING: Repressive Tactics Used to Attack Rights of Nature

BREAKING: Repressive Tactics Used to Attack Rights of Nature

Press Release: Corporate plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit against LEBOR show total disregard for global COVID-19 pandemic as they demand $293,750 from the City of Toledo for defending the Lake Erie Bill of Rights.

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

Feb 28, 2020

Press Release: Judge Refuses to Acknowledge Lake Erie’s Rights

Press Release: Judge Refuses to Acknowledge Lake Erie’s Rights

In Toledo, OH, a federal judge joined a long list of enablers complicit in the destruction of the natural world by invalidating the democratically enacted Lake Erie Bill of Rights charter amendment.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

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.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

Feb 6, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: LAKE ERIE BILL OF RIGHTS AND RIGHTS OF NATURE ARGUED IN US FEDERAL COURT

PRESS RELEASE: LAKE ERIE BILL OF RIGHTS AND RIGHTS OF NATURE ARGUED IN US FEDERAL COURT

A post-court update of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights. Get an in-depth look at the arguments made in federal court as the Corporate State defends its constitutional right to pollute. The City of Toledo is triumphant in defending Rights of Nature.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

Feb 6, 2020

Rights of Nature: Ohio Organizer Tish O’Dell on Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Rights of Nature: Ohio Organizer Tish O’Dell on Top of Mind with Julie Rose

If corporations have individual rights under US law – like freedom of speech – why not a grant a lake or forest or river the same status? Ohio organizer Tish O’Dell talks about Toledo’s groundbreaking law – the Lake Erie Bill of Rights – and the Rights of Nature Movement!

Read More | Community Rights, Community Wires, In The News, Resource Links, Rights of Nature

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 | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs, Resource Links

Jan 27, 2020

Press Release: Lake Erie’s Day in Court

Press Release: Lake Erie’s Day in Court

Organizations, activists, government officials, and hundreds of others from around the world support the Lake Erie Bill of Rights as oral arguments in federal court are held tomorrow.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

Jan 25, 2020

The Blade:  More at stake than water with Lake Erie Bill of Rights court decision

The Blade: More at stake than water with Lake Erie Bill of Rights court decision

Can a corporation 40 miles from Toledo interfere with the rights of Toledoans to amend their charter and protect Lake Erie?

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Jan 22, 2020

Deep Green Resistance News Service: LAKE ERIE BILL OF RIGHTS: TIME FOR DIRECT ACTION

Deep Green Resistance News Service: LAKE ERIE BILL OF RIGHTS: TIME FOR DIRECT ACTION

When the courts inevitably fail us, our only recourse is direct actions, says writer, lawyer, and activist Will Falk.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Jan 21, 2020

Lake Erie Bill of Rights Heads to Federal Court

Lake Erie Bill of Rights Heads to Federal Court

Oral arguments in the federal case brought by a corporation to overturn the Lake Erie Bill of Rights are coming up. The world stands with Toledoans.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Jan 19, 2020

The Blade: Lake Erie’s fate

The Blade: Lake Erie’s fate

The Lake Erie Bill of Rights is part of a growing movement, and people are joining. What will the courts do?

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Jan 19, 2020

NBC 24News: Toledoans For Safe Water screen “Invisible Hand” ahead of the state’s lawsuit against city

NBC 24News: Toledoans For Safe Water screen “Invisible Hand” ahead of the state’s lawsuit against city

Toledoans grow support for the Lake Erie Bill of Rights as their day in court approaches.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Dec 10, 2019

Guest Blog: A Conversation with The Guardian

Guest Blog: A Conversation with The Guardian

LEBOR activists exchanged views with The Guardian on Rights of Nature and human rights. Here, they make clear the need to recognize that it is not nature’s rights vs human rights, but those combined against corporate claimed rights.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

Nov 4, 2019

Press Release: Election 2019: Corporations Are Determining What Gets Voted On

Press Release: Election 2019: Corporations Are Determining What Gets Voted On

Efforts are growing to not only determine how people vote, but what gets voted on. Your ballot measures are not yours to democratically determine.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

Oct 14, 2019

Cleveland.com: Letter To The Editor: Talk to the people of Toledo about the increasingly poor health of Lake Erie

Cleveland.com: Letter To The Editor: Talk to the people of Toledo about the increasingly poor health of Lake Erie

An Ohio resident makes clear that it is state government itself that is driving forward polluting Lake Erie. The state is even joining a lawsuit to overturn the Lake Erie Bill of Rights while permitting four factory farms.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Oct 1, 2019

The Blade: Lake Fed Up

The Blade: Lake Fed Up

This Toledoan calls out Ohio government officials: actions speak louder than words, and promises to protect Lake Erie ring hollow when the state approves factory farm permits.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Sep 30, 2019

Press Release: Ohio Courts Continue Attack on Local Democracy and Rights of Nature, Petitioners Seek Federal Remedies

Press Release: Ohio Courts Continue Attack on Local Democracy and Rights of Nature, Petitioners Seek Federal Remedies

Williams County, Ohio, residents submit request to join a multi-plaintiff federal civil rights lawsuit against state of Ohio as they continue to be blocked from the ballot.

Read More | Community Wires, Press Releases & Blogs

Sep 29, 2019

Mother Jones: Some Indigenous Communities Have a New Way to Fight Climate Change: Give Personhood Rights to Nature

Mother Jones: Some Indigenous Communities Have a New Way to Fight Climate Change: Give Personhood Rights to Nature

The Yurok Tribe recognizes the rights of the Klamath River this summer as part of the growing Rights of Nature movement.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News, Success Story

Sep 14, 2019

Truthout: Legislators’ Secretive Maneuvers Undermine Rights of Nature in Ohio

Truthout: Legislators’ Secretive Maneuvers Undermine Rights of Nature in Ohio

The unsurprising truth behind legislation adopted by the Ohio Assembly in an effort to undermine the Rights of Nature movement.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Sep 11, 2019

Farm and Dairy: Emails show LEBOR was target of last-minute change in law

Farm and Dairy: Emails show LEBOR was target of last-minute change in law

Corporate control runs deep in the Ohio legislature as the big business writes language to stop Rights of Nature enforcement.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Sep 10, 2019

My Plainview: How giving legal rights to nature could help reduce toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie

My Plainview: How giving legal rights to nature could help reduce toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie

An analysis of Rights of Nature laws as a path forward to protecting ecosystems in the face of continuing environmental harms.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Sep 10, 2019

The Toledo Blade: Back off ballot-measure limits

The Toledo Blade: Back off ballot-measure limits

The Editorial Board of the Toledo Blade speaks out against the legislature’s proposed bill making it more difficult for citizens to place initiatives on the ballot.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Aug 30, 2019

The Press: Emails show: Chamber of Commerce pushed to undercut Lake Erie Bill of Rights

The Press: Emails show: Chamber of Commerce pushed to undercut Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Industry worked with Ohio legislators to insert language in the Ohio budget bill, attempting to make it illegal to enforce laws that recognize Rights of Nature.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News

Aug 29, 2019

Media Release: EXPOSED: Chamber of Commerce Wrote Ohio Law Banning Rights of Nature Enforcement

Media Release: EXPOSED: Chamber of Commerce Wrote Ohio Law Banning Rights of Nature Enforcement

Investigation by Ohio citizens finds the Ohio Chamber of Commerce drafted Ohio legislation language to stop Rights of Nature enforcement.

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

Aug 22, 2019

Bloomberg Environment: Tif Over Local Control of Aquifer Pours Into Ohio High Court

Bloomberg Environment: Tif Over Local Control of Aquifer Pours Into Ohio High Court

The Ohio Farm Bureau and corporate agribusiness urge the Ohio Supreme Court to block Williams County voters from casting ballots on the people’s own initiative.

Read More | Community Wires, In The News