News From the Community Rights Movement

Jun 16, 2021

National TV: ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’ to Air on PBS Independent Lens June 28th

National TV: ‘The People vs. Agent Orange’ to Air on PBS Independent Lens June 28th

Tune in on Monday June 28, 2021 for the national airing of the award-winning film “The People vs. Agent Orange” on PBS’ Independent Lens!

Read More | Chemical Trespass, Events, In The News, Issues, News

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

Whose Constitution Is It?

Whose Constitution Is It?

Join CELDF attorney Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin for a presentation and discussion on the history and current significance of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution. The presentation’s content inspired by Eric Foner’s 2019 book “The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.”

Read More | Uncategorized

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 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 | Blog, Community Rights, News, Rights of Nature

May 30, 2021

The Rights of Nature in the U.S.A.: Legal and Social Debates

The Rights of Nature in the U.S.A.: Legal and Social Debates

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM ET Join Carolina Public Humanities for a public screening of the acclaimed documentary “Invisible Hand” (2020) and dialogue with activists, advocates, and scholars on the current struggles and advancements of the rights of human and natural communities in the USA. Film Screening: 4:00-5:30 pm ETPanel Discussion: 5:45-6:45 pm ET Documentary:The… Read more »

Read More | Events

May 30, 2021

Oregon Community Rights Network: Community Rights Workshop

Oregon Community Rights Network: Community Rights Workshop

Why do we rarely win against corporations targeting our communities? How did we get to this place? SIMPLE.Corporations – and their allies – have been busy manufacturing a structure of law over the last 150 years that insulates them from community control. What will it take to change the current reality to deal with the issues… Read more »

Read More | Events

May 30, 2021

Invisible Hand Screening: Rights of Nature Network Atlantic Canada

Invisible Hand Screening: Rights of Nature Network Atlantic Canada

7:30 PM Atlantic Time (Canada) Join us for a virtual screening of the award-winning film Invisible Hand, a documentary exploring the global Rights of Nature movement, followed by a Q&A with organizers from CELDF. Invisible Hand is a “paradigm-shifting” documentary about the ‘Rights of Nature’ Movement. The defining battle of our times where Nature, democracy, and… Read more »

Read More | Uncategorized

May 28, 2021

Podcast (Climate One): “Should Nature Have Rights?”

Podcast (Climate One): “Should Nature Have Rights?”

On May 28, 2021, CELDF’s Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin joined Rebecca Tsosie (constitutional and Indigenous law scholar of Yaqui descent and regents professor of law at the University of Arizona) and Carol Van Strum (Lincoln County Community Rights) on the nationally syndicated Climate One podcast.

Read More | In The News, News

May 28, 2021

Rights of Nature, Rights of the People vs. State-Authorized Corporate Toxic Practice in Front of Oregon Courts

Rights of Nature, Rights of the People vs. State-Authorized Corporate Toxic Practice in Front of Oregon Courts

NEWPORT, OR: Arguments on the assertion of local democracy over state-sanctioned corporate public health violations and a Rights of Nature law will be presented on June 1. For over two years, the Freedom from Aerially Sprayed Pesticides Ordinance of Lincoln County successfully banned corporate aerial spraying of pesticides as a violation of natural ecosystems’ rights and people’s rights to clean air, water and soil.

Read More | Uncategorized

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 22, 2021

Common Dreams: Remembering Christopher D. Stone

Common Dreams: Remembering Christopher D. Stone

Christopher Stone, the environmental scholar who championed fundamental rights of nature died at 83 on May 14, 2021. Stone was a legal scholar who argued in 1972 that trees, rivers, oceans and Nature itself possess fundamental legal rights, an argument that entered the bedrock of the modern environmental movement.

Read More | In The News, 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 | 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 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 | Blog, 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 | Press Releases & Blogs

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 | Blog, News

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 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

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

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

Mar 3, 2021

International Rights of Nature Solidarity

International Rights of Nature Solidarity

Following international support for the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, CELDF is honored to work in solidarity with a new French-speaking network to advance Rights of Nature in Europe.

Read More | News, Press Release, Rights of Nature

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 25, 2021

Invisible Hand Screening and Live Q&A: Cincinnati

Invisible Hand Screening and Live Q&A: Cincinnati

This event is hosted by Cincinnati World Cinema and Citizens for Rights of the Ohio River Watershed (CROW)

Read More | Uncategorized

Feb 21, 2021

Support Grows for Rights of Wetlands

Support Grows for Rights of Wetlands

CELDF officially endorsed a proposal for a Universal Declaration of the Rights of Wetlands, organized by lawyers and scientists with the Society of Wetland Scientists’ Rights of Wetlands and Climate Change and Wetlands initiatives. The group is planning to share the Declaration with the 171 signatory countries of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention), and inviting them to work with others to move toward a framework that ensures the rights of wetlands are understood, respected, and upheld.

Read More | Issues, Press Release, Rights of Nature

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 6, 2021

Public Interest Environmental Law Conference Panel: 2021

Public Interest Environmental Law Conference Panel: 2021

Rights of Nature Panel Discussion 1:00 PM -2:30 pm EST It is neither acceptable nor is it necessary to poison the environment to engage in commerce. In fact, it is the antithesis of a sustainable, resilient, and responsible economy. But to stop harmful unsustainable developments like Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, determined environmental… Read more »

Read More | Events, Rights of Nature

Feb 4, 2021

Common Dreams: Biden’s Executive Order on Climate Crisis Exposes Need for Constitutional Change

Common Dreams: Biden’s Executive Order on Climate Crisis Exposes Need for Constitutional Change

Demands to abolish the Electoral College and restructure the U.S. Supreme Court can be pegged to substantive constitutional change. It’s the role of movements to demand and make changes to the “applicable law,” and its interpretation.

Read More | Uncategorized

Feb 2, 2021

Protect the Protectors: Stop Line 3

Protect the Protectors: Stop Line 3

Tribal nations, community and environmental groups in Minnesota have fought to stop the Line 3 Enbridge pipeline in Northern Minnesota. The pipeline violates several treaties with the Ojibwe people that establish their right to hunt, fish, and gather along the proposed route. The pipeline would cross 200 bodies of water, including the Mississippi River twice.

Read More | Corporate 'Rights', Extraction & Pollution, Issues, 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

Feb 1, 2021

Beyond Earth Day

Beyond Earth Day

An Earth Day Webinar Series Each year we celebrate the failed environmental policies associated with the so-called modern environmental movement on Earth Day. Despite this global celebration and calls to action, the climate crisis and ecosystem collapse continue to intensify. For too long we have been led to believe our federal regulations and agencies were… Read more »

Read More | Uncategorized

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 | Blog, 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 | Blog, Corporate 'Rights', Democratic Rights, Extraction & Pollution, Press Releases & Blogs, Rights of Nature

Jan 4, 2021

Guest Blog: Talking Trash With South Philly’s Trash Academy

Guest Blog: Talking Trash With South Philly’s Trash Academy

Trash Academy​ (a program of Mural Arts Philadelphia’s Environmental Justice Institute) approaches the issue of trash and litter in urban neighborhoods by putting the situation in its proper historical and socio-political context as they recognize the problem cannot be addressed without acknowledging pre-existing systems of exploitation and oppression.

Read More | Uncategorized

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 | Press Releases & Blogs

Jan 1, 2021

Host an online event with CELDF

Host an online event with CELDF

There is a lot we can do from home. Here are a few ideas. Organize an Online Democracy School CELDF now offers a virtual version of its Democracy School. The four modules educate the public about rights-based organizing, inform participants about how the system under which we currently live undermines traditional activism, and introduce strategies… Read more »

Read More | Uncategorized

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.

Read More | Press Releases & Blogs

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

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

Dec 10, 2020

Virtual Democracy School in Florida

Virtual Democracy School in Florida

Register today for this virtual Democracy School!

Read More | Events

Dec 8, 2020

Virtual Democracy School in Virginia

Virtual Democracy School in Virginia

Register today for this virtual Democracy School in Virginia!

Read More | Events