The attacks came fast and furious, from March through June. A coordinated attack to vilify, ostracize and neutralize efforts by local citizen activists who are standing in opposition to Agenda 21 and its policy called Sustainable Development. The terms "conspiracy theory," "extremists," "fear mongers," and "far right," are all over these obvious attempts to smear any opposition to the agenda of the Sustainablist planners that now swarm over nearly every community in America.
It started with the American Planning Association (APA) delivering yet another report in a continuing effort to understand the fierce opposition to its "innocent," "locally- driven" programs. Apparently it is a mystery to the APA why there would be opposition to its plans to reorganize entire communities which sometimes result in turning people's lives upside down. The APA has done a series of studies over the past few years in an attempt to find a way to silence or counter our opposition to planning. The latest report, issued in March, 2014, entitled "The Actions of Discontent," was perhaps the most honest of the reports the APA has issued, when it said the opposition to planning is "marked by deep philosophical differences between activists and planning proponents...". That's certainly better than saying we're just nuts, unlike most of the usual attacks against us.
Case in point, the next attack came in April from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), yet again. This makes at least four SPLC reports I'm aware of, to specifically focus on me as the ring leader of the opposition. This report, entitled "Agenda 21, The UN, Sustainability and Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory," says "it's time to call out the conspiracy theorists." It demands that "politicians who spread falsehoods about Agenda 21 and its effects need to be shamed by other politicians, by editorial boards and other commentators and by the citizenry at large." Those are pretty strong words. Apparently they are getting desperate to stop us.
That report was followed by another from the Natural Resources Defense Council entitled "Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theorists Threaten Cities' Sustainability Efforts." Next came another rant from "Treehugger.com," calling me the "Conspiracy King." Then came articles in two national news magazines, each relying on the Southern Poverty Law Center's attack. Newsweek started it with a cover article entitled "The Plots to Destroy America." Then came Fortune magazine and its smear of activist Rosa Koire, head of Democrats Against Agenda 21. Rosa told me that it started out as an interview, then, just to "even the playing field," reporter David Morris decided to bring in ICLEI and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Yep. Two against one. That's a little fairer odds than we usually get.
What we are witnessing is the panic of a collapsing tyranny which they thought was well in hand. And for a couple of decades it was all going the Sustainablist's way, until some of us started to expose their hidden truths. Watch and learn America. This is how tyrants react to anyone who dares to challenge them. As is always the case, their tactic is a scorched earth policy to lash out in every direction with vicious force in hopes that something will stick.
In its complete exasperation, the SPLC demands that the business community, the Chamber of Commerce, local governments and the news media "needs to stop reporting on Agenda 21 as if it were a bona fide controversy and plainly state the facts about the plan." Further, the SPLC demands that communities "need to be encouraged to return to or start to develop such plans in tandem with responsible groups like the American Planning Association." In other words, just as in the climate change debate, the SPLC demands that there be no debate, no discussion -- just shut up and do it!
Meanwhile the tyranny of sustainable policy builds in town and after town, neighborhood after neighborhood.
In the Western states, the EPA is on a tear to control water, making it impossible to run the ranches. The Interior Department is forcing reintroductions of wolves and Grizzlies at the peril of livestock, family pets, children and natural herds of elk and deer.
In Orem, Utah, Betty Perry was arrested, handcuffed, and put in a holding tank because the grass in her front yard was dying. Violation, said the zoning enforcement officer. More recently, as the drought rages in California, a couple has been threatened with fines of $500 because their grass in their yard was dead. The reason it was dead is because they were obeying a California state government mandate that told them to preserve water or face a $500 fine. Tyrants always want it both ways.
Julie Bass, in Oak Park, Michigan, wanted to plant an organic garden in her yard. She even asked the mayor and city council if it was OK to plant and they both answered yes. But as she went to work on it, she too was arrested by the local zoning enforcement officer and faced 90 days in jail.
In Naperville, IL, two women were arrested for trying to prevent the local power company from installing smart meters that they clearly stated they did not want. The police came to the aid of the installers, cut a lock off their fences and trespassed on their property as the women tried to prevent it.
In Montgomery County, Ohio, Jennie Granato's home was rendered basically worthless as the regional government enforced the installation of a bike highway across her front yard, bringing the lane within seven feet of her front door. To date she has not been compensated a red cent for the land they took as the regional government plays games with the legal system to deny Jennie her day in court.
Across the nation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is swarming over producers of unprocessed milk, confiscating products and shutting down plants, arresting producers and buyers alike, even though there have been no reports of sickness or deaths. Not even a complaint. And the assault on small farms continued in Michigan where entire herds of a certain breed of pigs were destroyed, accused of being feral, even though farmers had raised them for decades.
In Fauquier County, VA, the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) has colluded with local county government to harass organic farmer Martha Boneta for hosting a children's birthday party in her little farm store. The store was forced to close as she was threatened with fines of $5000 per day.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced last summer a decree to make American neighborhoods more "diverse." It's called "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing," calling for the federal government to gather and track data on "segregation" and "discrimination across America before deploying a wide range of social-engineering schemes to ensure more "diversity" in U.S. neighborhoods. It's right out of the UN's social justice plank. Bottom line, if your neighborhood lacks the government mandated diversity breakdown, you won't be able to sell your home to anyone but the racial quota they demand.
And on the international level, smug, arrogant, well-funded, white Sustainablists have determined that it's a proper use of government power to ensure black residence of Africa continue to live in mud huts without electricity, clean water or an infrastructure to provide jobs. As Paul Driessen (author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power -- Black Death) reports, some 2.5 billion people still do not have electricity or get it only sporadically, and so must burn wood and dung for heating and cooking, which leads to wide-spread lung disease. No electricity means no refrigeration, safe water or decent hospitals. All of this is just fine with the perpetrators of Agenda 21 because such a life style, in their opinion, is sustainable! In reality it's environmental racism. And that is the real outcome of "social justice."
All of these are examples of massive government overreach using the excuse of protecting the environment or controlling development or containing sprawl, or, in short, Sustainable Development. These, and many more outrageous government attacks on our once-free society, are the reasons why Americans are starting to show up at public meetings to demand that their elected officials protect them and their property from such out of control government sprawl. There is no justice, no reason, no compassion under sustainable policy dictates -- just the rush to raw power for power's sake. Americans are feeling that reality first hand.
As a result, people are starting to listen to my warnings because they can clearly see the results. When they do feel that impact, and when they do ask questions, they are treated to stonewalling, lies and contempt by arrogant officials. So a growing number of Americans have stopped accepting their scare tactics and dire warnings of Environmental Armageddon. I've said for years that Agenda 21/Sustainable Development is built on a house of cards -- on lies. And when such a foundation is finally challenged -- it blows down rapidly. That is what is starting to happen across America. And that's why the powerful Sustainablists are in such a panic over my efforts to expose these outrages.
Over the past three years pro-freedom activists have managed to convince more than 150 cities to end their memberships with ICLEI, one of the leading NGOs whose declared mission is to entrench sustainable policy into every community in the world. A close associate of mine reported that the head of ICLEI USA told him they are scared because ICLEI can't get new American cities to join them -- because we made the very name "ICLEI" political poison. ICLEI is panicked.
More and more state legislatures are seriously considering anti-Agenda 21/pro-property rights legislation. Of course, Alabama has already passed such legislation, while Oklahoma and Tennessee have passed similar attempts in at least one house of their legislatures. The Virginia legislature, after a two year battle waged by property rights activists, passed the Boneta bill to stop local harassment and over reach by local governments over small farmers. The legislation was a direct response by property owners to the enforcement of sustainable policy overreach. And it was a major defeat to the NGO's pushing it. And it has them panicked!
Almost every day, now, I receive calls and emails from newly elected city councilmen and county commissioners from around the nation asking me what they can do to stop Agenda 21 policy in their community. I am starting to teach them new tactics to block new programs and ways to eliminate existing ones. We are especially focusing on strong language to define and defend private property rights. The fact is, Agenda 21 cannot be enforced without damaging property rights. Stand strong on that one issue and it can be stopped.
Regional governments and planning commissions are a major piece to the sustainable plans to change our government and impilment sustainable policies. With enough of these non-elected councils, sustainable policy can be enforced almost unopposed. The UN Commission on Global Governance defined the reason for the drive toward regionalism; "Regionalism must proceed globalism. We foresee a seamless system of governance from local communities, individual states, regional unions and up through to the United Nations itself."
Forewarned is forearmed. So property rights activists are focusing on stopping the imposition of non-elected regional government councils that are now springing up across the nation. In just the state of Ohio, several local county and city governments have refused to join regional planning groups. Geauga County commissioners passed a resolution rejecting the Agenda 21 planning objectives put forth by the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC). A month later the community of Lordstown, Ohio passed a similar resolution. The commissioners in Ohio's Pickaway County refused to join the Central Ohio Regional Planning Commission. And of course, the outrageous destruction of Jennie Granato's property for the sake of a bike lane exposed the near untouchable control yielded by the Miami Regional Planning Commission in Montgomery County, Ohio. The local property rights activists now understand the power they face.
Another reason for the Sustainablists to panic was the just-completed Climate Change conference sponsored by the Heartland Institute. This was a gathering of the so-called "skeptics," the scientists and engineers who actually practice sound science in the pursuit of truth. They all have one thing in common from their research. They can't find proof of the dire predictions of man-made Global Warming. These men and women of science have suffered greatly for their insistence on truth, no matter the cost. As a result, for years they have been black balled from science journals, denied funding for projects, and ridiculed for their opposition to the Climate Change hysteria. But they have persevered and they are beginning to turn the debate and the conference was full of a positive feeling of accomplishment. And right behind that conference, Australia became the first developed nation to repeal its Cap and Trade program, dumping the center piece of global sustainable policy. And the Sustainablists are panicked!
And finally, there is this bit of news to turn any "Green" to a gray depression. Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild (the man who led his governing body to be the first in the nation to send ICLEI packing) won his primary reelection bid with 58% of the vote. Commissioner Rothschild was targeted in the Republican primary by a Democrat-turned-Republican just for the occasion. The labor unions threw all of their massive resources of manpower and money into the effort to make him an example of what will happen to officials who dare oppose them. Richard defied them, speaking clearly and precisely on the dangers of sustainable development and all the policies that go with it. He didn't try to hide his conservative views. In fact, he put the word "conservative" along with the word "leadership," on his yard signs. He told the truth. And he won. The battle isn't over. He still has to win the November election. But he has proven that standing up and openly fighting sustainable development is a winning issue. And the Sustainablists are panicked!!!
To all the individuals and local activist groups who feel overwhelmed and hopeless in your fights -- take heart. The Sustainablists are armed with billions of your tax dollars. They are powerful in the back rooms of your government. They have an open mike to any news outlet and they have had nearly a thirty year head start. But it is THEY who are now in a panic as their well-laid plans are starting to crumble under the weight of their own lies and arrogance and rotten policy. Obviously, for those smug, once-powerful NGO forces who thought they could crush their opposition with ridicule, there's panic in Sustainable City!
The forces of freedom should gain energy from the NGO's panic and increase our efforts to stamp out these self appointed tyrants once and for all. We certainly have a long way to go to restore our precious Republic. But it's D-Day on Omaha Beach and, though we continue to face fierce fighting, we have established a beachhead and are moving inland. And the Sustainablists are panicked.
As you face them in battle after battle, just remember these immortal words from Rocky Balboa; "It ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit...how much you can take and keep moving. That's how winning is done!"
Tom DeWeese is one of the nation's leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence. Go to americanpolicy.org for more information