An open letter to Central Coast citizens from Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
So Your community is forced to deal with unwanted toxic pesticides, GMOs, fracking, hijacking natural resources or… fill in the blank. Learn why current law protects harmful corporate behavior and how communities are turning the tables on who decides.
Communities across the country and Oregon are trying to stop a wide range of threats – such as pesticide spraying, factory farming, GMO’s, fracking, sewer sludging, water and air contamination and hijacking public resources for private gain. But all these communities are running into the same problem: they don’t have the legal authority to say “NO” to what is harming them.
How is that possible within a system of government that is supposedly based on “We the People”?
Simple: Big corporations – and their allies – have been very busy manufacturing and fine-tuning a parallel system of law over the last 150 years that shields and protects them from community control, including democracy itself.
So how do we change THEIR rules?
It’s not simple, but it’s also not impossible. It takes a combination of understanding our country’s history on how things got to be the way they are today, then focusing on real change and organizing to reclaim and re-install authentic democratic, and likewise, community self-government.
All this has empowered over 200 communities in 10 states to confront corporate power as they seek to protect the economic and physical health of their communities.
Everyone is invited to a public workshop which will reveal by explaining in very basic and understandable terms the following:
* Why we have a corporate-dominated structure of law and why our state and local governments have been forced to comply with it.
* How these laws allow big business and corporations to effectively retaliate when communities try to find justice within that system.
* What communities are doing to reclaim their rights for the sake of their health and democracy for families, communities, and the environment, which sustains us.
* How Oregon communities are moving toward a “Community Bill of Rights” to protect themselves and to create more democratic and sustainable communities.
Community Rights Democracy School workshop February 2, 2015, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Newport Public Library
Presented by: Kai Huschke, Northwest Organizer, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).
Newport Chapter of CELDF
Editor’s Note: Just Google CELDF to learn more about this movement and the strategies they’re taking to stop economic and environmental damage to local communities. To better frame the issues, a groundbreaking book (pardon the pun) by University of Oregon professor Mary Christina Wood, “Nature’s Trust,” is getting compelling reviews nationwide. Many are heralding Professor Wood’s treatise as another Rachel Carlson “Silent Spring,” a book published over half century ago that launched public awareness and acceptance that humans do not live apart from the environment – in fact – humans cannot live without it.