CELDF

Publications

How can you get what you want in your community? Where can you learn more about “community rights organizing?” How is the Community Rights Movement growing? Find the answers here, in publications by CELDF. Some are free, some cost a low fee – click on the publication for more information.

Common Sense – New Edition!

Trying to protect your community from environmental harms such as fracking, or social justice harms, such as unfair elections? Check out Common Sense and learn how our decision-making authority has been stripped – and what communities across the country are doing about it. Our organizing primer is for volunteers, activists, community groups, and others working for change. Learn how to bring Community Rights to your community!  (Note: the pdf is designed for 11X17 paper). 

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Rebelling Against the Corporate State: Forging a community rights movement

Purchase here! Our popular Community Rights Papers were printed between 2014 – 2017 and re-frame contemporary and historical events through a Community Rights lens. They are compiled here in book format, offering a vision of what is possible when using a rights-based legal framework. From the foreword by Karenna Gore, attorney, advocate, writer and educator, and Director of the Center for Earth Ethics: “This nation was based on the conviction that local self-government was an inherent natural right. Only the voice of people who deeply care about the land they live on is powerful enough to push bureaucracies to pay attention to the ecological crisis. In the name of both American democracy and life on Earth, this community voice must be heard.”

We the People: Stories from the Community Rights Movement in the United States

by Thomas Linzey and Anneke Campbell, 2016

Purchase here! A revolutionary handbook portraying communities across the U.S. who have responded to environmentally destructive corporate projects by banning them locally. These are the inspiring voices of ordinary citizens and activists practicing a cutting-edge form of organizing developed by CELDF. Instead of fighting against what we don’t want, this is about creating, through local community self-government, what we do want.  Communities are refusing to cooperate with the unjust laws that favor corporate profit over local sustainability. They are leading the way forward. Across the country, they are working to drive their rights into state constitutions and, eventually, into the federal Constitution.

On_Comm_Civ_DisobedienceOn Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability: The Community Rights Movement in the United States

Purchase here! Our existing system of law is aimed at constant growth, development, and extraction – and conventional environmental advocacy works around the edges of this system, rather than takes it on directly. Unsurprisingly, more than forty years after our major environmental laws were passed – from species loss, to toxins in the environment, to global warming – things have gotten worse. It’s time to change our activism to focus on changing the system itself, rather than continuing to work around it. This month, PM Press published CELDF’s White Paper – on how we are changing our activism – building a new people’s movement aimed at fundamental, systemic change. Order your copy here.

Peoples Right to LCSG_Grant TwpThe People’s Right to Local Community Self-Government: Grant Township v. Pennsylvania General Energy Company

Purchase here! This legal brief explains how the right of local, community self-government is not a new right, but one that is natural, inherent, and inalienable, belonging to the people. It is recognized in the history of the founding of this country – and yet our current legal system does not recognize that right or protect it. Instead, our legal system advances legal doctrines granting corporations “rights,” and state and federal preemption. This legal brief explains how and why such doctrines are incompatible with the people’s exercise of their right of local community self-government, and therefore, why those doctrines must give way to that right.