To The Daily Sun,
Opposition to protecting the rights of people and nature typically comes from those who stand to benefit from the way the corporate structure is currently operating. We need to stay focused on the fact the New Hampshire Community Rights Amendment expands fundamental rights and protections for individuals, communities and their natural environments by recognizing that sustainable economic and environmental development can be achieved only when the people affected by governing decisions are the ones who make them.
Communities from all across the Granite State are behind the N.H. Community Rights Amendment, not because of any one single corporate activity, but because Granite Staters are realizing we do not live in the democracy we thought we had. Under existing law, corporations can use state and federal laws to override a community's attempt to protect themselves from corporate activities within their boundaries regardless of local opposition, public or environmental harm. Private corporations regularly invoke these rights and privileges when their interests conflict with the communities' attempts to protect themselves from being used as for-profit resource colonies against their will.
The right of local, community self-government is fundamental to our American heritage; the denial of this right was a principal reason for the American Revolution. The basis for the N.H. Community Rights Amendment can be found within the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. This right is also embedded in the N.H. Constitution, which includes the following excerpted words from Articles 1, 2, 8, and 10 from Part First, the Bill of Rights — that all men have certain natural, essential and inherent rights; that all government of right originates with the people and is founded in consent; and that all power resides originally in, and is derived from the people and all magistrates and officers of government are accountable at all times to them; and whenever the ends of government are perverted, the people have a right and duty to reform the old, or establish a new government.
The early revolutionary history of this country was one that called for a government that protected all people equally and to lay down a new vision of government which sought to permanently guarantee that no other authority — including their own governments — could ever act in the same way again. The Community Rights people's movement that is swelling across the nation is once again calling for a government that protects all humans equally; not favoring corporate or political interests over the interests of those that government is created to serve.
The N.H. Community Rights Amendment sponsored by Rep. Susan Emerson has received bi-partisan support from cosponsors: Reps Suzanne Smith, Mary Cooney, Stephen Darrow, Wayne Burton and Senator Jeanie Forrester. Representative Emerson said, "The amendment is needed because when it comes to protecting the inalienable rights of citizens in our local communities, neither they nor their local governments should be told they cannot enact local laws to do just that. Too often the interests of big corporations are considered and the rights of our constituents are ignored. This amendment will put self-government at the local level back into the hands of the people."
N.H. Community Rights Network
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