Liberating Our Communities from Corporate Control

By Jim Carey

Liberating Our Communities from Corporate Control is a conversation with Tom Linze, the executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a non­profit law firm. The film highlights communities fighting back against the massive lobbying efforts of factory farms, hydrofracking for natural gas, toxic waste incinerators, sewer sludge pits, and coal mines. It tells us about their legal strategies to elevate local communities over the rights claimed by corporations.

Liberating Our Communities
from Corporate Control
Presented by Occupy San Miguel
Mon, Jun 8, 1pm
Quinta Loreto Hotel
TV room
Loreto 15
No charge

Back on September 16, 2006, Tamaqua, a town of 7,000 situated 100 miles west of Philadelphia, was the first town to legally assert its right to build a local sustainable community. Since then, Pittsburg, Eugene, 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 enable communities to construct legal frameworks using the “rights of nature” for charting a future towards sustainable energy production, land development, and water use.

These communities are challenging the legal doctrines of corporate constitutional rights. Korematsu vs US (1944) and Dred Scott vs Sanford (1857) are reminders that the US Supremes are far from infallible. In a 2013 landmark decision, Judge O’Dell-Seneca cited sections of the 1776 Pennsylvania Constitution in support of her contention that corporations were never intended to be constitutionally protected persons. She 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.” Our dream is a future court not doing the bidding of the one percent.

On May 22, 2015, the US Senate, with intense corporate lobbying, voted 62­37 to assure fast tracking. If fast tracking passes in the House, the TPP, along with Citizens United, will be another nail in the coffin of democracy of, by, and for the people. More information on this is available at

Occupy SMA’s meetings and films are free and always followed by a discussion.


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