This has, of course, been met with skepticism and ridicule on the part of some of the officials (which is encouraged by the NGO stakeholders and planning organizations that stand in the shadows). Today, the promoters of Agenda 21, including ICLEI and the American Planning Association (APA), have worked overtime to paint our movement as crazed conspiracy theorists wearing tin foil hats and hearing voices.
If we are to gain ground and ultimately defeat the Agenda 21 monster that is systematically ripping apart our Republic, then it’s time for our movement to learn from our mistakes and become more sophisticated in our approach. In short, it’s time to fight smarter.
Here’s an undeniable fact: Agenda 21/Sustainable Development cannot be enforced without damaging private property rights. So, we need to begin to challenge the planners’ new “visions” for our communities by focusing on the direct affect those plans will have on our private property. However, to effectively take that step, we must first have a clear definition of what we mean by property rights. Otherwise various ideas of the meaning will confuse the issue and damage the effectiveness of our fight.
In the American Policy Center’s brand new “Stop Agenda 21 Action Kit,” I have included a full page of definitions and quotes from our Founding Fathers, based on the ideas of John Locke. He is the man who greatly influenced Thomas Jefferson and others who established this nation. So these definitions fit well with the Founders’ intent as the nation’s laws on property were written.
As a quick guideline, here is an appropriate definition as written in a “Fifth Amendment” treatise by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders (12-10-97): “Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right to use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property, to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property rights lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.”
Once that definition has been established it can be used as a guideline for drafting legislation and resolutions in state legislatures and city halls. It can also be used by local activists in their fight against Agenda 21/Sustainable Development policies. Let me give just one example that is in the Action Kit, which I have been teaching to activists across the nation.
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