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Editor's Desk

A Circle of Friends
By Ken Anderson
Mar 28, 2004 - 12:02:00 PM

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During the March 25th meeting of the Millinocket Town Council, the council voted unanimously to extend the implementation of its Local Agenda 21 efforts to include Lincoln, Patten, Mattawamkeag, and Brownville, although I am confident that the vote would not have been unanimous had the councilors known what they were getting into.

In applying for a CDBG Public Service Grant for an Enterprise Facilitator Position, which will be funded in part by the Sirolli Foundation in California, it was obvious that this was yet another play for sustainable development.

When I heard the way that the facilitator scheme was described, it was clear to me that this was likely to be a continuation of Agenda 21, and a simple search on Google proved this to be true.

The Sirolli Institute does Agenda 21, also known as sustainable development. More significantly, they probably do it better than AMCi, which only means that they are likely to do even more harm.

Ernesto Sirolli, the founder of the Sirolli Institute, is known for his work in sustainable development which, outside of the United States, is openly referred to as UN Agenda 21. Even their web page is green. Most of the Sirolli board is Canadian.

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) is an association of local governments implementing sustainable development. ICLEI is an NGO serving as an arm of the United Nations Agenda 21 initiative. If you don't believe me, read it from their own site: http://www.iclei.org

In the upper left portion of their site, you will see a Java menu that flashes through a number of pages, including the following: "Local Agenda 21," "Cities for Climate Protection," "UNEP/UN-Habitat Partnership," "Johannesburg 2002," "eco-Procurement," and others - all directly related to UN Agenda 21.

Don't take it from me. Click on one of them, read it for yourself.

Along the left margin, just below the navigation bar and the link to the ICLEI Store, you'll see a Search box. Enter the name "Sirolli" in the search box, press the "Enter" key and you'll be taken to a page that talks about a LA-21 conference that was held in Newscastle, Australia, in 1997. One of the keynote speakers was Ernesto Sirolli.

In case you bought into the idea that talk about UN Agenda 21 is nothing more than a conspiracy theory, take some time to page through the ICLEI site, particularly http://www.iclei.org/ICLEI/la21.htm

In presenting the proposal for the CDBG grant, Michael Bush, the Director of Community Development for Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC), said that the Sirolli Institute has done work in Africa and Europe. Although not mentioned by Bush, they have also helped to implement Agenda 21 in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada.

The Sirolli Institute was involved in the implementation of Agenda 21, under that name, in Hyndburn, UK, in September of 2001, a town whose logo now says, "making Hyndburn a better place to live, work, and visit," which might sound familiar to some of you.

He has also been in Western Australia in 2001, where he was instrumental in their implementation of Agenda 21, under that name, as it usually is outside of the United States, where Sirolli helped the Australians to "fulfill their responsibilities under Agenda 21."

In response to Western Australia's work in carrying out Agenda 21, Ernesto Sirolli wrote, "Congratulations on the monumental work that you have produced." After talking about his interest in sustainable local economic development, Sirolli continued, writing that he was "impressed to see that the WA Sustainability Strategy promotes best practices that are so dear to me, namely facilitation and support of private/public partnerships for local development." He added, "I believe, like you, that without local buy-in there can be no sustainable projects and ultimately the fate of our global village rests not with academics but with the villagers themselves."

Those are the terms of Agenda 21 and, in fact, the Western Australia project was referred to as Agenda 21.

The Sirolli Institute was also involved in Agenda 21 efforts in Bolivia. Although the pages are in Spanish and Google isn't doing a very good job of translating it for me, "Sirolli" and "Agenda 21" are found on the same pages.

Because of his efforts in the United States and the unease that many Americans have toward handing power over to the United Nations, Sirolli doesn't use the term Agenda 21 to describe his work, yet his work is described as such outside of the United States and certainly it follows the plan.

Describing the work of the Sirolli Institute, William Amt, NADO Research Foundation Program Manager, writes the following (taken from http://www.nado.org/pubs/july024.html):

"When the Institute is invited into a community or region, it first requires the creation of a board of management comprised of 25-35 community leaders to oversee the implementation of the program and serve as its advisory team.

Its members, who bring networking and technical skills and commitment to economic development, include business leaders, accountants, lawyers, bankers, government officials and economic developers. The board hires an enterprise facilitator who becomes the program's catalyst. Each board member introduces the facilitator to 10 of their friends to increase community commitment to the program. Based on Sirolli's experience, from these initial introductions, 40-50 entrepreneurs approach the facilitator for assistance."

Amt then goes on to describe the successes in Oregon, the first state in the nation to be made entirely sustainable under Agenda 21.

Am I the only one who sees anything wrong with this?

A select group of 25-35 individuals will choose a group of their friends, and these will be the stakeholders who will profit from this program that will do nothing but harm for everyone else.

Using public funds, but operating through NGOs unaccountable to the voters, a circle of friends will profit. Much of the work has already been done through MAGIC, the Vision process, and Worksphere.

The elite have already been chosen. A few of you might find work serving the chosen ones at wages nowhere near what you had earned from Great Northern, but the rest of you will have to sell your houses and move. That's where this will lead.

Under our new soviet form of government, controlled by NGOs and unelected committees, opportunities exist only for the chosen ones.

If you can't see the evil in this, perhaps I should just shut up and let you experience the natural consequences of apathy.

Carmen Brigalli was right when he said, not long before his death, that we need to take back this town.

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