Occupy San Miguel presents film
By Jim Carey
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that the US raises some 100 million pigs and 8.5 billion chickens for food each year, virtually all in large factory farms. Smithfield Farms, Inc. owned by the Chinese group Shuanghui, annually has US$10 billion in revenue, making their desire to locate a factory farm in your local community virtually unstoppable. This film is about how communities are fighting back against the massive lobbying efforts of factory farms and corporations hydrofracking for natural gas, toxic waste incinerators, sewer sludge pits and coal mines. Tom Linzey, the executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a non-profit law firm, tells us about their legal strategies to elevate local communities over the rights claimed by corporations.
Occupy San Miguel presents: Liberating Our Communities from Corporate Control—a Conversation with Tom Linzey
Mon, May 26, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
On September 16, 2006, Tamaqua, a town of 7,000 one hundred miles west of Philadelphia, was the first town to legally assert its right to build a local sustainable community. Since then, Pittsburg and 150 other municipalities in eight states have acknowledged that we are in the midst of an escalating ecological crisis. They believe that sustainability will never be achieved by leaving those decisions in the hands of a few. The right to local self-government must enable communities to reject unsustainable economic and environmental policies set by state and federal governments and to enable communities to construct legal frameworks using the “rights of nature” for charting a future towards sustainable energy production, sustainable land development and sustainable water use.
Communities are challenging the legal doctrines of corporate constitutional rights. Korematsu vs US (1944) and Dred Scott vs Sanford (1857) are reminders of the court’s errors. In a 2013 landmark decision, Judge O’Dell-Seneca, citing sections of the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution in support of her contention that corporations were never intended to be constitutionally protected “persons,” declared that “it is axiomatic that corporations, companies and partnerships have no ‘spiritual nature,’ ‘feelings,’ ‘intellect,’ ‘beliefs,’ ‘thoughts,’ ‘emotions,’ or ‘sensations’ because they do not exist in the manner that humankind exists… They cannot be ‘let alone’ by government because businesses are but grapes, ripe upon the vine of law, that the people of the Commonwealth raise, tend and prune at their pleasure and need.” The film is free and followed by a discussion.