Your Local and State Community Rights Organization:
Develop your knowledge and understanding of Community Rights by attending Community Rights Movement educational events near you. You may also organize your own Community Rights study group and host Community Rights educators and organizers in person or over the internet.
On the Web:
Check out our resources page for videos, articles, and books to educate yourself.
Taught by CELDF instructors, the Democracy School is our flagship education program and a key piece of our community organizing. Go to CELDF’s Democracy School page for the school’s description, curriculum, sample video-recorded lessons and hosting information.
Join or start a Community Rights group or organization where you live! Community rights organizing begins when you, your friends, family and neighbors recognize that your fundamental, inalienable rights are violated; rights to clean air, water, soil and food; to health, safety and happiness; to privacy, prosperity and justice.
Our system of law and governance was borrowed from English, feudal/colonial/imperial law. As such, the law is written to objectify people and nature; to identify life as resources and mandate exploitation of these resources for production and profit. The oil and gas industry could be using your community as a resource colony for extraction, transportation or waste disposal; the timber industry for harvesting your local forests and afterwards spraying the clear-cut with Glyphosate, Atrazine and 2,4-D; the agriculture industrial complex is citing a factory hog farm in your community; or, corporations are abusing workers residing in your community.
Help enact or initiate your own local Community Bill of Rights “legal-disobedience” campaign. Write and adopt, through ordinance or charter amendment, local laws declaring your community rights and ban any harmful corporate practices which violate those rights. State-enforced “corporate rights” make local self-government illegal. Stopping this life-destructive corporate-state behavior necessitates that WE THE PEOPLE, first break the law; and then we change the law. Elected officials, law-makers, judges and law professors belong to the corporate-state. It’s up to us!
At this time, if your community enacts a Community Bill of Rights which bans fracking, fracking waste injection wells, pipelines, etc, your municipality will most likely be sued by the oil and gas industry for “violating” one or more of four legal doctrines: State and Federal Preemption, Dillon’s Rule, Corporate Rights/Personhood and the Interstate Commerce Clause. The corporate-state uses these to defend itself from local community self-government by making such acts of self-determination “illegal”.
Recently, the municipal government of Grant Township, Pennsylvania was sued by the oil and gas industry for enacting an ordinance protecting its ground water from contamination by enacting a Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning fracking injection wells. A judge preempted their ordinance, so the people of Grant Township enacted a home rule charter containing a Community Bill of Rights which included a ban on fracking waste injection wells within their community. The same charter also contains legalized enforcement of the Grant Township home rule charter through individual and community direct action.
The people of Lafayette, Colorado enacted the Lafayette Community Bill of Rights for Banning Fracking charter amendment, and the Municipality of Lafayette, Colorado was sued by the oil and gas industry for this action. While the people of Lafayette campaigned for voters to approve their Bill of Rights, the municipality unanimously passed a resolution against the Lafayette Community Bill of Rights for Banning Fracking. The judge refused the people’s intervention into the lawsuit, the municipality’s weak defense of the Community’s Bill of Rights did not represent, in any way, defensive argument for the right to local self-government proposed by the people and the judged preempted the people’s law.
The people of Lafayette formed the Colorado Community Rights Network and launched the Colorado Community Rights Amendment campaign to amend the Colorado Constitution’s Bill of Rights to clarify the inalienable Right to Local Community Self-government. The amendment gives power to people and their governments “to enact local laws that protect health, safety, and welfare by recognizing or establishing rights of natural persons, their local communities, and nature; and by securing those rights using prohibitions and other means deemed necessary by the community, including measures to establish, define, alter, or eliminate competing rights, powers, privileges, immunities, or duties of corporations and other business entities operating, or seeking to operate, in the community.”
Creation of a people’s movement, much greater than those which have come before, is required to challenge these corporate-state doctrines. As we encode in law our demands for individual, community and nature’s rights in communities across the country, committing massive acts of righteous community “legal disobedience” , defend and enforce our laws through direct action and state amendment, we chase the corporations from our local and state laws. Then we defend our state laws against the doctrines of federal preemption, commerce clause and judicially-derived corporate power, we chase the corporations out of federal law. Now the stage is set for writing and adopting a new constitution which is based upon inalienable rights of people, their communities and nature.