The board members of the New Hampshire Community Rights Network take a turn at writing into our local newspapers. We write to offer information about the necessity for recognition of community rights and the rights of nature in our local and state-level lawmaking. The NHCRN isn’t any more radical than our founding patriots' principles in the words written in our NH State Constitution and the Articles of Confederation with the foundational determination being local self-determination that lends to a free democratic republic.
Our New England Annual Town Meetings, forms of which existed long before the ratification of our state Constitution or the federal Constitution, established the opportunity for open discussion to achieve a consensus of local government with equal rights and protection of property. The civic duty to participate in Town Meetings was guided by the commitment to protect the health, safety and welfare of all people within the community.
Since the days of our founding, there has been a fight to disintegrate local governing authority. This fight is carried out in the general court of our elected state representatives and through judicial challenges of interpretation, both of which are influenced significantly by ever-changing federal laws that diminish the effect of our individual campaign influence, and instead recognize the right of corporations to “speak” with their seemingly bottomless pit of political contributions.
Patience and civility are crucial elements to maintain peace and goodwill toward all peoples.
There are no special classes of people mentioned in the state Constitution but over the centuries of judicial arguments and interpretations, classes of people have been created and then divided through the protection of owned property over the individual person. Property owned by an individual or especially groups called corporations have recognized rights, privileges and protections beyond the scope of the working-class individual.
With the exhaustion of planetary resources and the significant threat of animals and plants under the fire of extinction, we must reassess what our future will look like. Science and technology have not come up with any meaningful solutions that don’t cause further waste, exploitation and pollution. All that is portrayed as “sustainable” or “renewable” still has roots driven by profit, not the health, safety and welfare of people and planet.
When are we going to give up on the state-governing mentality of "do as we say, not as we do"? Can we look into ourselves individually and be willing to give up materially all that wastes, destroys, pollutes and that degrades the quality of health, safety and welfare for the people and the places we live? Can we see that our government borrows money against the equity of the people to fund the demise of economics for a pending breakdown of everything called good without moral reserve of the outcome? We must or we are complicit.
Political leaders, though well spoken of themselves, know deep down in their hearts the systems they boast of are failing and the failure to pay off debt involves a severe impact on the future of our youth. It is time for all people, even if you disagree, to work together with love, hope, respect and sacrifice. We need to lift up our heads and acknowledge the mistakes we all have made.
It is beyond time to put our differences aside and work together for the good of the working-class individual, future generations, and nature. To learn more, contact the NHCRN at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.nhcommunityrights.org.
Doug Darrell of Barnstead is a board member for the New Hampshire Community Rights Network.