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In This Passioniate Anti-Fracking Town, Civil Disobedience Just Became Protected Civic Duty


#1

In This Passioniate Anti-Fracking Town, Civil Disobedience Just Became Protected Civic Duty

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

For one community attempting to stop fracking wastewater injection wells, civil disobedience just became a sanctioned civic right.


#3

Citizen awareness and rejection of corrupt politicians selling-us out is moving beyond the control of the criminals. People will no longer sit by and say nothing - do nothing - either in Grant Township or Flint or many other communities. The jig is up you corporate whore politicians and we will bring you down! Any politician that denies these truths will be swept away along with the party establishment that condones or colludes with the con.
This is a crossroads and the politics of fear and lesser of two evils jive is failing. We are building a political revolution Bernie Sanders is now leading and hopefully he will not fail us, will not be the 'sheepdog" Judas Goat many falsely accuse him of being for their own purposes.
The choice is clear, band together and fight all the many heads of the Hydra or perish separately. Sanders has led the way and the game isn't up yet. In unity is strength as this courageous town and people prove!


#4

YES to human and environmental rights!!!! Yes to CELDF!!!


#6

I wish progressives would stop looking for excuses to do nothing. These people are alive and I afraid to be a free people. What happened to all the Bernie supporters in the face of the rigged game? Where are the calls for a demonstration against them stealing the election from us by their dirty tricks and rigged game?

How about it fellow progressives? How about we organize a demonstration in Philadelphia in July? Put out the call and spread the word... Americans do not want to let the rigged game stand! Protest in Philly!

Spread the word for people to demonstrate in Philadelphia in July!

Occupy the Convention in July..........save your own democracy if you really care about having it. Don't expect Bernie to do it for us. We need to do it for him!

Protest! Demonstrate! Make some noise and show them that democracy is our right and not only up to them!


#7

Superb! Props to the citizens of Grant Twp. PA, to Supervisor Stacy Long, and huge props to CELDF for developing and promoting their legal doctrines of human environmental rights.


#9

THIS IS HUGE!!!!

Can you imagine what it would be like for this to sweep across the country? Thousands of cities, towns, counties, college towns, bus stop whovilles, making it impossible for fossil fuel corporations to operate anywhere without checking the local temperature and laws. With towns having passed laws like this dotting the economic landscape, fossil fuel and other destructive corporations would have to come to the most radical environmentalists in every single little truck stop town they want to do anything in and beg, and negotiate, and concede. Now the externalities can be internalized; environmental justice can be compelled; networks of the ecological equivalent of the wobblies’ swarming of towns can make corporations the servants of the people instead of… well, need I say? And all this would be done under the protection of the local LEOs!

Stopping fossil fuels is only half the equation of switching to efficiency and clean safe renewable energy. The other half has always been harder to compel in uphill battles against transnational corporations who owned the governments at every level. Stopping a pipeline here, a bomb train and coal burner there... good. Great work. But not helping much to get a policy of a US WWII industrial mobilization. This makes that possible; if fossil fuel corporations know they can no longer run over communities and have to negotiate, ameliorate, and compensate, all up front (no guaranteed-to-fail self-bonding bull) to be allowed to do anything, and they have to rely only on their own Pinkertons because the police are...let me hear you say it with me... ON...OUR...SIDE! ...

then the chokepoint of foreseeable fossil fuel shortages would be so imminent there could be a sudden shift to seeing the wisdom of a climate mobilization, a local, state, national and international program of programs of emergency zero-carbon energy development. This could change everything!

Glory in this today and tomorrow, see if you can connect with others in your town to start getting a law like this passed there.


#11

Grant Township, Pennsylvania? I'd love to see this stand up in a higher court, but it sounds like the possible expenses might wake up a couple of boardrooms.

Here's to Grant. Out here in California, I am going to have to get out a map. . .


#12

There are people getting together to head to Philly. It may happen in a big way.


#13

How would a higher court force the county to arrest people engaged in civil disobedience? I'm not sure I see a way. The state would probably have to call out the National Guard.

Regardless, it's f-ing brilliant!


#14

I hope so.

Just to show you that I really was from the sixties... Lol. Yeah, I hope so.

Save our democracy! It's our last one!

PROTEST this crap! Oligarchs can go to hell! We want our democracy! Spread the word...

Occupy the Convention!


#15

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#16

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#17

This community action is inspiring and brilliant. It sounds like the very thing that the TPP has been designed to prevent.


#19

This is one brave little town facing huge obstacles. See this article for background.

This week the Colorado Supreme Court overturned local fracking bans passed there as long as five years ago. 'Fossilized' corporate persons, despite their decades long knowledge of global warming, are absolutely addicted to increased quarterly profits at the expense of life on Earth. There is nothing to indicate any human characteristic among these corporate persons who possess more constitutional rights than We the People.

Corporations are not people; they don't even try to act like a human. They consistently act with impunity, have no concerns about dying from their actions, and consistently use the courts to roll over the wishes of entire communities.

Pull the rug out from under them--exert your power as a sovereign of this nation! Sign the Motion to Amend!


#20

We tried here in Colorado to stop it but our Democratic Gov. Hickenlooper is fighting to keep it. The sell out actually drank fracking fluid to convince us it is safe in our water. The court just struck down a ban on fracking in Boulder and other northern towns here. We are being fracked and mined to death.
We elected this Governor to stand with the people. We turned the state blue, and this is what we get from so-called liberals like Hickenlooper, Michael Bennett, and Jared Polis. It doesn't work anymore to think a Democrat will help the people. We need Bernie so badly right now. Don't do the lesser of evils and vote Clinton, Trump can be impeached. We need to say no until we get what we want. Half measures won't cut it.


#22

What are we waiting for .. Ft. Collins and Longmont. Rise up. I was the first grad student in Environmental Science in 1974. at Colorado State. The environment should be a protected civic duty throughout this country or maybe the powers that be want more than a political revolution. Our real enemy are the politicians who are beholden to the corporations. Better start feeling the Bern


#23

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#24

Recently Grant Township supervisors "passed a first-in-the-nation law that legalizes direct action to stop frack wastewater injection wells within the Township."

If a court does not uphold the people’s right to stop corporate activities threatening the well-being of the community, the ordinance codifies that, “any natural person may then enforce the rights and prohibitions of the charter through direct action.” Further, the ordinance states that any nonviolent direct action to enforce their Charter is protected, “prohibit[ing] any private or public actor from bringing criminal charges or filing any civil or other criminal action against those participating in nonviolent direct action.”

The community of Grant Township, in other words, has the right to participate in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience/direct action in the effort to prevent the construction of a PGE deep injection well (or whatever) that's inconsistent with the township charter that ostensibly protects its members' right to clean water. Moreover, criminal charges cannot be brought because these would be inconsistent with the township charter.

This sounds great--in principle. Grant Township is to be applauded for taking this principled stand. But the law also illustrates the extent to which CELDF is obviously willing to go in advancing their vision of a "Pennsylvania Revolt" by using--exploiting--townships in the pursuit of that larger agenda. Fact is, Grant Township does not need a "not-really disobedience" law, and CELDF's assistance in drafting it just makes Grant Township more beholden to CELDF--all the while CELDF gets to claim another victory.

The principle here is simple: the ends do not and cannot justify the means when the means--bankrupting a township and subjecting its citizens to genuine hardship--create very real and very great harm.

Grant Township supervisor Stacy Long claims that she'll "do whatever it takes to provide our residents with the tools and protections they need to nonviolently resist aggression like those being proposed by PGE." I respect this principled position, and I applaud Long for it. But there are serious logical and practical problems with the direct action law--and Long has a right to know this before she puts her body on the line.

First, to legalize civil disobedience is to make that particular variety of action--say, blocking a backhoe--precisely not disobedient. This might seem like mere semantics--but it's not. In fact, if blocking a backhoe is a right I have under my community charter, and I am bound by that charter to protect the community's right to clean water, what stops that action from becoming a responsibility?

In other words, the potential effect of this law is to transform civil disobedience into civil obedience because rights--as all civil libertarians know in their bone marrow--create responsibilities. And a law that allegedly liberates me from being prosecuted for civil disobedience is a short step from erecting a law that compels me to obedience in the defense of my community, in this case, putting my body in front of a backhoe.

A right to protect my community where there is no penalty for not doing so confers a responsibility to protect my community. Linzey might point out that the explicit language of the law reads "may then enforce the rights," not must. But this has little logical or practical force since what the community charter protects is the right to something essential to the existential conditions of living things: clean water. How could any morally thinking citizen--freed from the prospect of prosecution--not feel it as a duty to engage in direct action in blocking that backhoe?

Linzey, of course, knows all this, and he knows better on at least two counts:

First, Linzey knows that unless a compelling number of other communities join forces with Grant Township, this law will have less than zero force--it will simply expose courageous Grant Township citizens like Stacy Long to arrest and prosecution. While CELDF may be there to defend her in court, that will be cold comfort the next time she makes, say, a job application. The only community members in a position to take the real risk of standing up to PGE are those with little to lose when they're arrested--and that won't be many.

Second, Linzey knows that if this experiment fails, he can still refer to it as a CELDF victory for having drafted the charter and the law defending it. The harm, after all, isn't to CELDF. And when CELDF leaves, the harm to Grant Township will still be there--right along with the deep injection well.

To be very clear:

I am absolutely not advocating against civil disobedience.
I am apprising Grant Township members of the very real risk that
no new ordinance is going to protect them from.

It is a lie to tell brave community members anything else.

CELDF is selling community members a bill of
deceptive goods by leading them
to believe that there will not be very real consequences
that follow on direct action.

There will be, and if there weren't, civil disobedience would have no real force.

I stand with Tim DeChristopher, co-founder of the Climate Disobedience Center, who says he's "encouraged to see an entire community and its elected officials asserting their rights to defend their community from the assaults of the fossil fuel industry," and that he knows "there are plenty of folks in the climate movement ready to stand with Grant Township.” I hope he's right.

But that's just the point: what makes direct action
powerful and valuable is that it is disobedient.

With CELDF's help, Grant Township has gutted its most powerful tool. I hope they'll reconsider.

Wendy Lynne Lee

http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/2016/05/from-civil-disobedience-into-uncivil.html