A Community Rights Movement for Peoria – A Local Bill of Rights

community_rights_logo_large-580x580In Peoria, just as in all American metropolitan communities the will of the people is not the direction of local governments. A couple examples of Peoria government sidestepping the will of Peorians can be seen in the passage of a Food Truck Vendor ordinance with no real vendor access, and the sale of Riverfront Park for condo development. These are examples of American Exceptionalism. The management of government for a very long time, is becoming more and more vested in a small corporate minority, and Peoria is no exception.

One way the growing disenfranchised multitudes of progressives are combating the corporatization of government, is by local lawmaking that protects their communities. Victories for the Communities Rights Movement include the banning of Corporate Factory Hog Farming in a small Rural Community in Pennsylvania. Several New Hampshire and Maine communities Banned Nestle from Extracting and bottling water. Communities have banned fracking, and one New Mexico Community has banned Oil Drilling. These victories were not won without a fight. Most communities and local governments face steep intimidation from corporations and corporate partners. But these communities did not give in and never backed down in the face of these corporate lies and intimidation.

Communities Banded together under the realization that not only has the government failed to uphold their rights but that government now assist corporations in violating their rights. With this renewed solidarity against corporate takeovers of their communities strategies have changed. Over 150 communities in eight states have pioneered a new path by walking it. Learning lessons from the past, learning to build movements of people in the face of a system of law that doesn’t recognize them as people; learning from the Abolitionists and the Suffragettes.

These activists seek a real democratic society. They seek a system transformation, rather than trying in vain to make the system work in their favor. Real democracy is an end to corporate minority rule and the return of community majority rule. In doing so these communities have established a Local Bill of Rights, recognizing the rights of residents to clean air, clean water, a sustainable energy future, sustainable energy use and sustainable agriculture; essentially protecting the community from the profit motives of corporations.

So is this a Progressive wing movement? Is this a Libertarian wing movement? While political differences do exist on the ground in these communities, they are looked aside for the greater goal. What these banded citizens have in common is the notion that the belief that they alone should be the ones that decide the future of their communities. This New Activism has been branded as – Collective, Non-violent Civil Disobedience through Municipal Law-Making.

This audacious collective action stems from the right of local self-government, which we are told we already have, yet time and time again we are railroaded and bulldozed by corporate government partnerships.

What Peorians need is a Local Bill of Rights, ensuring sustainable use of our green spaces, sustainable redevelopment of place, adequate access to public transportation, wide scale sustainable energy use, a living wage, sustainable agriculture, clean air and clean water, and so much more.

This is just the beginning of a brighter future for Peoria, if we want it. We are the People we have been waiting for. The wait is over; no one but we have the power. Please, look forward to more information regarding the growing Community Rights Movement at criticalprovocation.com.

Suggested Reading:

Local Law-Making: a call for a Community Rights Movement

The Columbus Community Bill of Rights

How a Community Bill of Rights is Empowering Peoria Against Corporations

A Bill of Rights for Occupied Communities

The Athens Ohio Community Bill of Rights and Water Supply Protection Ordinance

Our Community Bill of Rights and Natural Gas Drilling Ban

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