Using Legal Principles in Your Organizing
The reason legal principles are important is that governments make decisions within a legal frame, and the current legal framework does not account for all of the facts.
The facts around pipelines and fracking are incontrovertible: They leak. They cause human health problems. They pollute water. But those facts are always interpreted within a legal frame. Our existing legal framework gives the benefit of the doubt to the free market, the economy and private property. Within that framework, threats to human health and the environment are brushed aside.
To succeed in this effort, we must stand together. The work of protecting our communities is lonely when we believe we are the only ones facing a monumental threat. We must stand together because we have a new story to tell and new legal principles to guide us. We must stand together because the Earth is too precious to hand over to faceless corporations enriching their share holders at the expense of future generations. This story can only told with all our voices.
We do this work with the assumption that if we can stop a multi-state pipeline in one jurisdiction, we can possibly stop the whole pipeline; and if we can stop one pipeline, we are more likely to shut down tar sands and fracking for gas and oil. To do this, each grassroots group should not have to start from zero.
The Science & Environmental Health Network and the Women's Congress for Future Generations offers a basis for organizing around extreme energy. We invite you to:
Read and Sign On to the Legal Principles
Take the Legal Principles into your community to Use in your organizing