On July 23, 2004, I addressed the fifth annual Freedom 21 Conference in Reno, Nevada. Freedom 21 was the first coalition of limited government/private property advocacy groups. Freedom 21 eventually sponsored 10 national conferences and educated and trained a cadre of leaders to fight Agenda 21. But in 2004, George Bush was in the White House two years after the devastation to individual liberty, free enterprise and private property that defined the Clinton Presidency. Yet, pre-TEA Party, so many Americans failed to understand the threat they faced. The movement was divided into fractured issues. Even the major Conservative organizations refused to mention Agenda 21 (some still do).
To this gathering I delivered a call to arms. We had circled the wagons so tightly, we only had one left. I said we needed to charge! Stop being on the defensive. Go straight at the Sustainablists. Take it to the people. Amazingly, this was 7 years before the tactics I called for in 2004 began to take shape. The TEA Party brought our people together in a unified force. Battles over Sustainable Development broke out in Spokane, Washington. Then Richard Rothschild and his gallant fellow Commissioners in Carroll County fired the first real shot as they ended the county’s membership in ICLEI – the first to do so. Today, more than 150 communities have taken that same action. Several state legislatures are introducing legislation to stop the spread of Sustainable Development. And the perpetrators like ICLEI and the American Planning Association are “concerned.”
Keep all of that in mind as you read this speech, given so early in the fight, when we hadn’t made a single advancement in our battle. When people in our own movement thought we were crazy conspiracy theorists. As the title of my book reads (which covers much the activity during this time) “Now Tell Me I was Wrong” Most importantly, take it to heart, because I could still give this speech today, calling for the same actions. We’ve made a lot of headway – but we still have a long way to go. — Tom DeWeese
Click here to read the 2004 speech by Mr. DeWeese.