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Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund’s update

photo of Franco Iacomella

Franco Iacomella
16th April 2012


News from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which enables communities to defend themselves against corporate enclosures:

“Last week, Las Vegas, New Mexico’s City Council took historic action, adopting the Las Vegas Community Bill of Rights and Local Self-Governance Ordinance banning shale gas drilling and fracking. This is the first CELDF-drafted ordinance passed in New Mexico. Folks there are fired up and citizens showed tremendous support for the ordinance. Check out news coverage and letters to the editor here: http://www.celdf.org/community-organizing-new-mexico-news

New Hampshire is galvanized as well–folks there are confronting the Northern Pass, a huge energy project that would erect monster towers through a 180 mile corridor in the state’s pristine countryside. In March, three communities adopted the CELDF-drafted Right to a Sustainable Energy Future and Community Self-Government Ordinance. The rights-based ordinances ban land acquisition necessary for the construction or siting of unsustainable energy systems by corporations – activities that would violate the community Bill of Rights. Congratulations to communities in New Hampshire! You can read more on that story in our current issue of The Susquehanna: http://www.celdf.org/downloads/Susquehanna_Spring_2012.pdf

And in Pennsylvania, a Home Rule campaign is underway in Rush Township, where citizens are determined to be the decision makers in their community. On April 24th, residents will vote to create a Home Rule Charter to ensure the right of community members to make critical decisions for the township. Read more on our website here: http://www.celdf.org/pa-organizing-campaigns-rush-township

In addition, last week in Lawrence, Kansas, CELDF’s Projects Director Ben Price gave a plenary speech at the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Conference on Rights of Mother Earth: Restoring Indigenous Life Ways of Responsibility and Respect. Ben’s presentation was titled, “What is Wild Law and Rights of Nature: New Constructs of Self Determination.” He also participated in working groups during the conference. The IEN is “an alliance of grassroots Indigenous Peoples whose mission is to protect the sacredness of Mother Earth from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining, and respecting traditional teachings and natural laws.” To learn more about the conference, go to http://www.ienearth.org/ To listen to conference archives, go to http://www.ienearth.org/blog/

Lastly, we wanted to share our spring edition of our monthly newsletter, The Susquehanna. Get the latest on our work in New Hampshire; Spokane, Washington; Bellingham, Washington; and, of course, Pennsylvania. Go to: http://www.celdf.org/downloads/Susquehanna_Spring_2012.pdf

CELDF depends on your support for our continued work assisting communities across the country. Thank you for your contributions! If you would like to donate, please click here: http://celdf.org/support-celdf

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