Monday, July 20, 2009

Community asserts their rights to water

Here’s a wonderful example of a community taking charge of their own community by proactively passing an ordinance (which is a law with teeth vs passing a resolution which is merely an expression of sentiment or feeling) protecting their water. It affirms the rights of people and their community over the so-called rights of business corporations — which are no more than creations of the state.

Residents of Mt. Shasta draft an ordinance to assert community rights to water
June 16 Community Water Forum invites citizen input on cutting-edge law

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 05, 2009

CONTACT:
Ami Marcus, 530.918.9444, for more information about the ordinance and community forum.

Shannon Biggs, Global Exchange, 415.575.5540, for information on rights-based ordinances

(Mt. Shasta, CA)— Local concern has been growing about corporate control of local water though groundwater withdrawl and chemical weather manipulation more commonly known as cloud seeding. Following a series of well attended public events, a group of concerned Mount Shasta residents began to examine strategies to ensure that local residents — not corporations — make the policy decisions around local water resources.
The result is a cutting-edge draft ordinance that would assert the rights of the community to protect water systems by prohibiting cloud seeding and resultant chemical trespass, banning corporate extraction and export, and increasing citizen participation in the decision making process for the Mt. Shasta headwaters.

Residents are encouraged to learn about the proposed ordinance, which, among other things, strips corporations of their legal authority to site unwanted water projects in the municipality by attending the second in a two-part community water rights forum Thursday, June 16th from 5:30-8:00 pm at the Stage Door in Mt. Shasta. The forum is intended to engage the diverse interests of Mount Shasta citizens to ensure that the ordinance accurately reflects public sentiment.

"We took a good look at how large corporations are engaged in a grab for water in communities across the country, and we examined the role our state agencies play in enabling those corporations," said group spokesperson Angelina Cook, "It became clear to us that if the people of Mt. Shasta don't come together as a community and make key decisions about our resources and our local ecosystem, someone in a corporate board room is going to do it for us."

The group developed the ordinance with the assistance of California-based Global Exchange rights-based organizer Shannon Biggs and Ben Price from the PA-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, who have assisted over 120 communities to successfully pass rights-based laws that subordinate corporations to democratic local governing authority.

Attendees are encouraged to remain after the water rights forum for a screening of "Flow", a powerful and inspiring film that documents our global water crisis.

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http://www.globalexchange.org/update/press/6217.html

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