Who Speaks for the Siletz River? You Do!
It has been heartbreaking to watch another disaster unfold in the Carolinas. Tucked on the back pages is news of factory farm waste let loose and coal mine toxic sludge spilled into communities from flooding and landslides.
We do not have to look that far away for news of harm. The local news is of back pack spray of pesticides over our reservoirs; municipal sludge dumped along the Siletz; algae blooms; salmon disappearing; rivers at record lows.
We can blame it all on climate change – but it is time to dig deeper. What we face is a rights problem. The Carolinas are going to endure severe toxic trespass because their rights have been violated. Our forests are pushed toward irreversible harm because our rights are being violated.
What are those rights? The Oregon Constitution states “…all power is inherent in the people…for their peace safety, and happiness.” In other words, we have a right to local self government to make laws to protect our health and safety. These inalienable rights are greater than the rights of corporations to claim personhood and continue to loot and pollute. They are greater than the state’s insistence on passing laws that restrict our liberty to say no to harm.
The many passionate voices that speak for our forests, water and the life they sustain are finding a common voice and are ready to do the deeper digging. Lincoln County Community Rights is committed to creating a space for all those voices who want to find a way forward.
On the fourth Thursday of each month, 6:30 to 8:30 PM, at the OSU Extension office, 1121 SE Bay Blvd, Lincoln County Community Rights will be hosting an ongoing forum, “Who Speaks for the Siletz?” The offering on Thursday, September 27th, will explore this concept of rights, what they are and how they can create a new path. All are most welcome to join us.
For more information, go to www.facebook.com/lincolncountycommunityrights.
Jan Kenyon Lincoln County Community Rights