Local Community Empowerment

Welcome.

Thank you for your interest in exploring the Earth Holocracy Proposal’s

Local Community Declaration of Rights

The Local Community Declaration of Rights is the Earth Holocracy Proposal’s springboard to a genuinely free and democratic world society – its key to the political self-empowerment of local communities.

Here the various articles of the Earth Holocracy Proposal’s second volume, “The Local Community Declaration of Rights“, are presented:

Please enjoy!

1. Human Rights and Rights-based Activism

2. About the Local Community Declaration of Rights

3. The Local Community Declaration of Rights

4. Articles of the International Bill of Human Rights used in the Local Community Declaration of Rights

5. The Local Community Declaration of Rights and the Community Bill of Rights

6. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

7. Defeating Corporations

8. What Defines a People?

9. Libertarian Municipalism – Rejection of the Nation-State and the inspiring ‘Democratic Confederalism’ of Rojava

Foreword

Rights-based activism has established itself as the most fruitful strategy for social movements, and legal experts advise that, at this time when the system is so heavily stacked against the people, the most powerful singular tool for the people is the UN International Bill of Human Rights. The Earth Holocracy Proposal’s take-off strategy is rights-based and the authority for its Local Community Declaration of Rights is derived from the International Bill of Human Rights. The purpose of the proposal’s second volume is to impart the Local Community Declaration of Rights, and also to inspire confidence in this community-based approach to to re-localizing power into the hands of the people, thereby liberating local communities to self-organize all that needs to be done at the local level in order to ensure a sustainable future for human civilization.

Human Rights and Rights-based Activism

The first article in this volume introduces the concepts of human rights and rights-based activism exploring

  • the core significance of human rights and the need for their protection – according to the Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [UDHR]
  • the inalienability and inviolability of human rights – legally speaking that is, since it was never presumed that they would be upheld without citizen vigilance
  • the actual reality of our current “crisis in democracy” and humanity’s betrayal by the systemic violation of human rights
  • the power of rights-based activism inspiring a “change of tactics” for social movements
  • some very exciting case studies where corporations have backed down in the face of Local Communities claiming their rights
  • the need to implement human rights and the rights of nature
  • the Earth Holocracy Proposal’s rights-based strategy

About the Local Community Declaration of Rights

The volume’s second article provides background on the proposal’s Local Community Declaration of Rights, including its basic purpose, the process of its development and the basis of its authority – which, as mentioned, is the internationally-recognized and legally-binding UN International Bill of Human Rights (composed of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).

The Local Community Declaration of Rights

The third article is the actual Local Community Declaration of Rights – prepared for the consideration, customization and endorsement of Local Communities worldwide. Its purpose is the empowerment of Local Communities to direct their own affairs, safeguard their immediate and long-term welfare, and collaboratively pursue their own advancement, acting as the responsible and sovereign stewards and beneficiaries of their natural environment and resources.

Articles of the International Bill of Human Rights used in the Local Community Declaration of Rights

The fourth article’s purpose (like all articles in this volume, really) is to promote the people’s confidence in this rights-based tactic for grassroots empowerment. It provides verbatim the articles in the International Bill of Human rights that are used to construct the sixteen articles of the Local Community Declaration of Rights – as evidence of the declaration’s international legal validity.

The Local Community Declaration of Rights and the Community Bill of Rights

The fifth article looks at the document that serves as the model for the legal formatting and the “legalese” of the Earth Holocracy Proposal’s Local Community Declaration of Rights: that is, the Community Bill of Rights composed by Jeff Reifman and Thomas Linzey of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. The article notes how the two differ before presenting the Community Bill of Rights in full.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

The sixth article provides historical background on the development of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund [CELDF], themselves explaining how “after experiencing how the regulatory system operated over several years and seeing our communities lose time and time again, we determined that in order to help them, we would need to do our work differently” with the result that CELDF has now advised countless activists, community groups, and municipal governments how “to transition from merely regulating corporate harms to stopping those harms by asserting local, democratic control directly over corporations.”

Defeating Corporations

The volume’s seventh article, Defeating Corporations, reproduces a 2011 AlterNet article by AlterNet’s senior editor, Tara Lohan, titled, How Small Mostly Conservative Towns have found the Trick to Defeating Corporations. Lohan shines light upon the visible and alarming advance of the neoliberal agenda for privatization, deregulation and skeletal public spending, and then looks at how the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has evolved its tactics to meet the corporate challenge – exploring the challenges and successes that meet CELDF’s radical new approach to popular activism. Lohan quotes CELDF co-founder Thomas Lindsey –

  • observing that “the hardest places to work are the liberal progressive communities because they think we have a democracy and they are intent on working within the existing structure to try to find a remedy rather than tossing it and working on something from scratch”
  • affirming that “we need a new constitutional structure that recognizes community local self-governance as well as the rights of nature” and that “we can’t get there with the document we have which was written in the 1780s”
  • and concluding, “We need a complete revolt of sorts from the local level”

“We think today’s contemporary activism is the wrong frame, and in addition it is aimed at the wrong thing,” Linzey said. “Most of it’s federal and state activism. We think those things are pretty much dead. The only place where there is a window to operate is at the local level and then that can be used to up-end the state and federal to build a new system of law, which I think our communities are recognizing is needed.”

What Defines a People?

The penultimate article, ‘What Defines a People’, delves into a fascinating topic, and an issue of core significance to the Earth Holocracy Proposal. While the Local Community Declaration of Rights claims the rights of the individual, the worker, the parent (or guardian) and the family, it is in claiming the rights of all peoples – by standing together as “a people” – that the Local Community empowers itself to direct its own affairs, manage its own economy and steward its own natural environment and resources. It is the strength of a community membership’s sense of collective identity and shared destiny that drives the active citizenship / whole community engagement / participatory democracy now required for the sustainability of human civilisation. Endorsement of the proposal’s Local Community Declaration of Rights by the majority of a locality’s residents is a direct way to return power back to the municipality, polis or city-state – as in the decentralised, participatory democracy of classical Greece where:

  • citizenship was not seen as a separate activity from the private life of the individual person, in the sense that there was not a distinction between public and private life.
  • the obligations of citizenship were deeply connected into one’s everyday life in the polis
  • to be truly human, one had to be an active citizen in the community
  • citizenship was based on obligations of citizens towards the community, rather than rights given to the citizens of the community
  • all had a strong affinity with the polis: their own destiny and the destiny of the community being strongly linked
    Wikipedia – on Citizenship

Libertarian Municipalism – Rejection of the Nation-State and the inspiring ‘Democratic Confederalism’ of Rojava

Volume Two concludes with an exploration of the theory of Libertarian Municipalism and its inspiring application in the liberated zones of Syrian Rojava’s Democratic Confederalism. Here we find the theory and practice of a decentralised, participatory, egalitarian democracy – as advocated in the Earth Holocracy Proposal.

Given the concerted effort to eradicate the Rojavan people from the face of the earth, it is clear that the neoliberal hegemony is quite annoyed with there being a living, working model of an alternative to their centralised system of total dominion. Approaching geopolitics with a very different agenda, on the eve of the proposal’s global dissemination, Rojava’s radical democracy has become a river running through the entire Earth Holocracy Proposal: the Rojavan people’s struggle for their very existence highlights the urgency for immediate whole system change – for a powerful social movement of “THE 99%” rising in global solidarity for an ethical revolution, an end of militarism and the decentralisation of political and economic power, while the Rojavan people’s radical democracy is presented as an inspiring working model for the emulation of people worldwide in the quest for a genuinely democratic world. Rojava’s liberated zones of Democratic Confederalism actively uphold the equality and rights of all ethnic, racial and religious groups in Syrian Kurdistan and the principle of direct democracy – rejecting the nation state and the state based on military force, religion and centralism in order to further these democratic principles.