The Community Rights movement seeks to protect the right of communities to make local decisions, and people’s rights at the community level. It is a movement that is spreading nation-wide as one community after another confronts situations in which it has to defend itself from unwanted action by corporations claiming the right to do business in them against the will of the local population, based on laws dictated at the federal and state levels. Since corporations are granted the constitutional rights of persons, and are additionally protected by federal contract and commerce laws and by state preemption laws, their claimed rights are guaranteed more securely than the rights of common people. Today corporations establish themselves forcefully in communities to frack, extract water, extract oil, dump sewage sludge, install factory farms, spray pesticides, all against the wishes of the community in which they operate, in spite of causing severe environmental damage to it.
The Community Rights movement seeks to empower communities to take their destinies into their own hands by passing ordinances that prohibit the harms which corporations are poised to inflict on them. In the legal battles that ensue, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), founded by attorney Thomas Linsey, provides legal support to the community in question. 160 communities in 8 States nationwide have so far passed such ordinances, thus freeing themselves from the corporate-driven harms listed above. In Oregon, there are at this point 9 counties with Community Rights groups working on these local ordinances, grouped together in the Oregon Community Rights Network (OCRN), in which people from the various groups are cooperating on crafting an amendment to the Oregon Constitution that would establish the fundamental rights of natural persons, their communities and nature, giving them the power to enact local laws that protect health, safety, and welfare. – Maria Kraus
Join Community Rights Lane County for a presentation about how local communities are fighting corporations around the country from the President of the National Community Rights Network Cliff Willmeng, CELDF lawyer Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, and Ann Kneeland.
This workshop presentation will explore provocative issues around democracy, the power of the corporate state, and communities’ rightful role in local decision-making. We’ll look at how the legal system presently subordinates communities and ecosystems to corporations, and how to change this.
Friday, May 22nd
6:30 – 8:30 PM
LCC Downtown Room 105
Community Rights Lane County
A year ago this month, voters in Jackson County – led by local family farmers trying to protect their crops from GMO contamination – voted overwhelmingly to ban genetically engineered crops from being cultivated within their borders. This landslide win was a victory for grassroots activists and a rebuke for Monsanto and other corporations that spent BIG money to defeat the measure.
But now, a sneaky new bill, HB 3212, is moving through the state legislature that would undermine Jackson County’s trailblazing legislation. It gives the same industrial farm interests that fought GMO labeling the right to sue counties, cities and the state for “compensation” due to important laws that protect the environment and the public.
Groups representing family farmers, such as Friends of Family Farmers and Our Family Farms Coalition, are opposing HB 3212 since it would also undermine laws meant to protect family farmers and organic farmers from being damaged by industrial agricultural practices. Laws protecting family farmers from GMO-contamination or pesticide over-spraying, for example, would be undermined by HB 3212.
The bill has already passed the Oregon House and could soon be considered by the State Senate.
We need all hands on deck to fight this damaging legislation. Click here to find the phone number and email of your State Senator. Then, ask them to OPPOSE HB 3212 since it doesn’t protect the public, family farmers, or the environment!
Come hear prominent Community Rights leader and terrific speaker Paul Cienfuegos introduce the Community Rights movement and explain how a rights-based movement could potentially offer the bold response that the climate justice movement is looking for.
This Thursday, May 14, 7pm, First Unitarian Church, Portland
Read more about the event: Paul Cienfuegos Community Rights Talk – 350PDX
Surfrider Foundation – Newport Chapter
May 16, Hands Across the Sand. Gather at Don Davis Park in Newport, Oregon to say NO to offshore oil drilling and YES to clean energy. This gathering will be one of hundreds of synchronized events taking place globally to raise awareness about the dangers of fossil fuels and the need to speed the transition to clean energy solutions.
Formation of the human ‘line in the sand’ at 11:30, then at noon, join hands for 15 minutes.
Please RSVP… Details.
This gathering will be one of hundreds of synchronized events taking place globally to raise awareness about the dangers of fossil fuels and the need to speed the transition to clean energy solutions. ands Across the Sand is about embracing energy sources that will sustain our planet. A clean energy policy is the path to job growth, a vibrant economic future, and long-term energy independence. New clean energy, in combination with reduced consumption, will help us break our addiction to fossil fuels.
Every year in Oregon, including here in Lincoln County, millions of pounds of toxic chemicals are sprayed on our forests despite of the impacts to the health and quality of life for people and ecosystems.
Come learn why this is legal, how the state protects the rights of corporations over those of people and nature, and most importantly, how communities in Oregon and other states are changing the rules of the game. They are squaring up against the corporate harms and taking back their rights to health, resiliency, and greater democracy for people and nature.
Join us for a 90-minute presentation and discussion with Kai Huschke, Northwest Organizer, of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.
Location: Yachats Commons, Room 3
Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 6:30 P.M.