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Gail Darrell was brilliant advocate for the rights of communities

To The Daily Sun,

Right to work for less, voter suppression, welfare wages, pipelines, transmission lines, contaminated water, contaminated air, and threats to health care, public education, job security and LGBTQ and immigrant families and minority communities ... who isn't feeling battered by the daily assaults on our quality of life and our planet?

Our local, statewide, and national struggles to rein in the assumed power of corporations and their lobbyists swarming the New Hampshire Legislature and U.S. Congress have left us exhausted yet committed more than ever to make things right.

Many of us are questioning how long we can hold up, given issues popping up like whack-a-mole in every facet of our lives. We're pulled in a million directions and our efforts become diluted as we get bogged down in fighting permits, government appointments, legislation that undermines job security, civil rights, voting rights and on and on.

I spent a good part of the 1990s fighting the disposal of sludge containing Monsanto Chemical's carcinogenic residuals trucked into my town from Springfield, Mass.. While we had a temporary victory with a ban, the disposal of sludge continues in New Hampshire. Assembling eight file drawers of data, studying geology, chemistry, regulations and permitting, I trudged along. But looking back, it's clear that I was merely a pawn of corporations who triumph over communities time and time again by wearing out activists. In the end, settled law protects corporate interests and profits at the expense of our communities and environment.

Many of us continued into the 21st Century, fighting honorable battles in the same way. We were satisfied with temporary victories, but we ignored the inevitable outcomes. Corporations ultimately would prevail. And all of this was even before Citizens United.

Fortunately, the next battle in my town put me in touch with neighbors who had a novel idea: why keep doing what doesn't work? Gail Darrell, in particular, led the charge. She saw that Barrington and Nottingham had spent endless time and money fighting to protect their groundwater from USA Springs. She was determined to challenge the corporations in protecting our groundwater.

She did it through an education campaign bringing townspeople together to understand that we have the right to determine what goes on in our communities. She brought us Democracy School and, with the help of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, in 2006, we passed the first in the nation Rights-based Ordinance, elevating the rights of residents and ecosystems above the claimed "rights" of corporations. Our resolve persists, and at last year's town meeting, at the urging of a Holocaust survivor and tireless advocate for tolerance, Barnstead also unanimously passed a Community Bill of Rights law establishing the right to be free from religious identification requirements.

Before the world lost a passionate, brilliant advocate for the rights of communities and ecosystems, Gail brought this movement to other communities in New Hampshire and other states. Because of her work and the work of those she inspired, there are now numerous communities who have thrown off their subservience and recognized they have a moral and constitutional right to make local governing decisions that protect and expand rights for residents and ecosystems. They have done so through democratically enacted Rights-based Ordinances that include a Community Bill of Rights which recognize their authority to self-govern, free from state and federal pre-emptions.

Gail's work provided the foundation for the New Hampshire Community Rights Network. NHCRN has supported local rights-based efforts across the state and proposes a statewide Community Rights constitutional amendment recognizing our right to local self-determination. In this way, every community within the state would have the recognized authority to secure, protect and expand fundamental rights to fresh air, clean water, uncontaminated soil, livable wages, protections for the LGBTQ and immigrant communities, locally controlled sustainable energy sources, election integrity, and safe food choices. The Community Rights amendment specifically prohibits the weakening or restriction of any existing rights.

Under the New Hampshire Community Rights amendment, harmful corporate activity would be subject to local decision-making authority, free from state and federal pre-emptions. NHCRN, www.nhcommunityrights.org, offers film screenings of We the People 2.0, Community Rights Awareness Workshops, and Democracy Schools across the state. Contact us for information on how you can participate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Diane St. Germain
NHCRN Board of Directors

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All totalitarians have the same goals & speak the same language

To The Daily Sun,

J. Edgar Hoover spoke often of the Communist threat to this country. His book "J. Edgar Hoover on Communism," printed in 1970, gives us an accountable warning of the communists within this country.

On Page 12 he calls to mind the leader of the CPUSA, Gus Hall, who asks, "What is to be done?"

"... in order to survive, had to achieve an updating, a new image-quickly and in great depth. Moreover, this new image must be designed to make the Party more relevant to American society, to the burgeoning changes of the 1960s. In this process the Party had to be made more palatable to the great mass of American people, especially to the youth, labor, and the intellectual community."

In 1950 Internal Security Act was implemented which required all party members to register with the Attorney General. But in 1960 the party came up with the answer, the Marxist Youth Group. Soon they were speaking at college campuses. Under the false pretenses of being the protectors of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they gathered a following. Using many fronts we saw the decade of chaos and riots.

Hoover offers this insight: "... where communism promises abundance, the disillusioned see hunger. They see tyranny, although communism promises freedom. They see brutality, thought control, oppression and human degradation where communism promised liberation, justice, and the development of a new communist man in a better society. They see inhuman exploitation, not only of men, but entire nations by a movement which pledges to end the exploitation of man by his fellow man." Why would Hoover in many of his writings, and speeches alarm Americans concerning the communist plans to overthrow the government of the United States and then attack an organization that was and is doing that very same thing?

In 1938 Hoover wrote "Persons in Hiding." In 1958 J. Edgar came out with "Masters of Deceit." In the foreword he exclaims, "In writing this book I have been guided by many years of study and observation of the communist conspiracy in action in the United States." In 1962 he printed "A Study of Communism." These books are not indicative of someone who thought that communism was and is nothing to worry about. He testified often to Congress how they were infiltrating our universities and Marxist professors were corrupting our youth.

Lawrence Reed wrote, " ... those who think of themselves these days as 'progressives' are firmly in the camp of collectivism."

Historian Isaiah Berlin wrote, "But to manipulate men, to propel them toward goals which you-the social reformers-see, but they may not, is to deny their human essence, to treat them as objects without wills of their own, and to degrade them."

All totalitarians have the same goals and speak the same language. Hitler had this to say, "It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them."

There are volumes of numerous proportions that have been warning Americans of the seriousness of the enmity that lurks around us. Many who have lived under such repressive ideology and repugnant to all our founding principles have stood for have given warnings. One such person who lived in America and spent his energy and time attempting to educate those who would listen is Alexander Solzhenitsyn. In his essays he even named a few of those who walk among us that preach and live the Marxist principles. Angela Davis visited Czechoslovakia and was asked if she could speak up for those in jail for political reasons. Her answer: "They deserve what they get. Let them remain in prison." Davis had forgotten her crimes and the leniency of our government. That is Marxism's way.

In the Soviet Union, Solzhenitsyn says, "Marxism has fallen to such low point that it has become a joke, an object of contempt. No serious person in our country today, not even university and high-school students, can talk about Marxism without a smile or a sneer." Meanwhile, here in America it is praised and glorified in misleading phrases and terms.

The signs of the times are not secret. They were foretold in ancient times. They were given us in order to understand the peril that would befall us. The apostle Paul compiled an Epistle that serves as a warning and council to those who search diligently. In Ephesians 6:12 he nails today on the head, "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places"

Gene F. Danforth


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