Tom DeWeese
Fighting back at the local level
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By Tom DeWeese
October 3, 2023

Recently I addressed the Stop 30×30 Summit in Dallas, Texas, sponsored by the American Stewards of Liberty and CFACT. Here is what I had to say to help encourage local activists to fight the seemingly endless number of attacks on our freedoms now coming from the powerful global forces and the Federal Biden Cabal.

Throughout history there has always been some individual or force that wanted to dictate and control the world. In the past, such forces formed armies, invaded, broke things, killed people, and subjugated whole societies.

Today, we are up against the most diabolical force freedom has ever faced. They have come up with a way to get us to voluntarily surrender our liberties. What can be such a powerful weapon to get us to do that? FEAR! Fear of what? The fear of Environmental Armageddon — Climate Change.

How many times have I had radical environmentalists get in my face and arrogantly proclaim, “It doesn’t matter how many rights you think you have – if you don’t have a planet to stand on!” Oh wow, FEAR tactics at work!

The question then is how do we stop it? Can we stop it?

Of course, most see that these threats are coming from the top – the federal level – and focus on stopping it there. Well, we do have great organizations fighting on the national level. CFACT, American Stewards for Liberty, and the Heartland Institute are at the top of the list — and they are doing a great job at that level. But they can be MORE effective if we create a groundswell of support at the LOCAL level. And that’s what I’m working directly with CFACT to achieve.

Think about this. Why do these forces for control use the environment as their weapon? Because the environment does not recognize political boundaries — national, state, county, community and your yard.

What boundaries does 30 X 30 respect? We are looking at half the land in the nation to be locked away. That will obviously include states, counties, local communities, farmland, ranchland, local businesses, and private homes.

We can’t just fight this battle through Congress. It also has to be fought in your community and in your yard. We’ve seen what can be accomplished when angry moms get involved in the local schools to protect their children. Those moms are fighting with passion. We need that same passion to protect our property. That’s how we will change the debate – get off the defense and get on the offense. Stop defending freedom and start demanding it — right in your community.

How do you get the attention of local governments to stand and fight with you? We have to stop being polite and start learning how to fight effectively. Here’s a suggestion. Overlay current political boundaries — congressional districts, and the districts of local, county, and state elected representatives — with the map of the 30×30 lock away. This will shock those officials as they perhaps see their own district disappear. Do you think that might get their attention to help you fight this?

I’m here to tell you that we can stop it. And I’m going to provide you very quickly with some valuable ideas on how to fight back against this massive assault on our liberties – right there in your local community. I call it building a Freedom Pod. As I begin, keep this fact in mind — we are not outnumbered – we are out-organized!

First, property rights of individual owners must be protected. Private property ownership is the key to individual and community prosperity. If you are determined to protect private property then you need a good definition of what is private property. Too many people think it just means the place where you pay to store your stuff.

Here is a definition that was written by Washington State Supreme Court justice Richard B. Sanders a few years ago:

    “Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of 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 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.”

There is one word in that definition of property rights that would cause an explosion in the brains of the radical greens. That word is “UNRESTRICTED.” I have actually had a couple of legislators attempt to use this definition in a bill. In one state, the Greens mounted a major campaign to stop it by going to every mayor in the state and demanding their opposition. The example they used in their opposition (I’m not joking about this) was, “If someone has the right of UNRESTRICTED use of their property… then someone will put a smelly old pig farm next door!!!!” Apparently Greens really hate pigs!

Now here is the proper response to these charges. First, Sustainable Development policies are a one-size-fits-all proposition with a government bureaucrat making all of the decisions concerning the use of your property. However, since the beginning of human settlements, there have been nuisance laws designed to protect your property in case your neighbor is simply oblivious to the damage his actions may cause.

For example, perhaps your neighbor has a bright light shining in your window at night, has loud music playing, or has trash piled up and it’s affecting your property. So, you go to him and say, “Charlie, can you turn that light off at night, it’s shining in my window and I can’t sleep.” If Charlie is a good guy, he of course turns it off. If Charlie is a jerk, then you take him to court for a nuisance violation. That’s neighbor to neighbor – taking care of business. That’s how a free society works.

One of the main issues that our side must face is that we don’t really like government. That’s why we want it to be as small and un-intrusive as possible. We just want to be left alone. Many especially don’t like getting involved in local government.

When was the last time many of us really cared about who served on local planning boards? Yet these are the very officials who are deciding the fate of our own property.

But we’re not there! As a result, those of us who don’t really like government have gotten more government!

If you want to transform your community into a Freedom Pod you must start from scratch. You must build a permanent infrastructure from which to carry on a continuous fight.

Here are the basic points needed to organize on the local level. To win every public movement needs a team. Most people just don’t know how to get started. Let me give you some ideas.

First, form a committee of three or four to get things started. These need to be the spark plug to get things started. Contact more who are interested and get them involved. Your task is to build a team.

Then create a research team to get to know whose land is affected by planning projects. What effect will the locking away of private property, such as called for in 30×30, have on the community? You need to know what and who you are dealing with. Look at your city’s comprehensive plan. What programs does it contain? In any part of the comprehensive plan do the words “protection of property rights” appear? I’m quite certain it doesn’t. Sustainable projects cannot be imposed if private property is protected.

Then you need two to three people to volunteer to attend every public meeting so you are constantly on top of what is happening in your local government. We call them the Watchers This is how you determine the players and who to target.

Pick three or four of your best Speakers to represent your ideas before the public and in local government meetings. Keep focused on the issues and present them in a reasonable way.

Your research will show you who the Victims of these policies are. Go to them and recruit them to your efforts.

You need a couple of people who will stay in contact with the local Media. But you can also do some other things to get your message out to the people. Start your own newspaper or take flyers door to door. I am working with several groups who are doing both of these things. The main point is to establish a method of communication with the citizens of your community to expose and build opposition to the policies.

If you’ve got some young people on your team, have them create a social media page and use it to post your information. The key is to get information to the people in any and every way possible.

New people are intimidated to get started but want to do something. They can show up for rallies and help pack council chambers when you need a show of force. It’s a great way to get new people started. I’m working to create tools that will be easy for local activists to use. This includes creating a Grading System to reveal how well elected officials are defending liberty: I am also working on a series of detailed questions that can be asked of local officials and planners – that puts them on the spot. We are finding that most planners and local officials can’t answer these questions. That gives you a lot of power to build opposition. If the planners can’t answer then why should they be allowed to impose the policies on you?

This is just a very quick rundown on how to set up your own freedom pod. But these tactics are beginning to work.

For the past couple of years, I have been barnstorming the nation, teaching these tactics. And we are seeing some very positive results. I wish I had time to give you the full picture. But most recently our fight to stop the idiotic Carbon Capture pipeline has taken a dramatic and positive turn.

In Iowa, I called out to the county commissioners to stop hiding behind appointed boards. Stand and represent your people. Stop being cowards. They responded and have begun to take action.

In South Dakota, I traveled to four different areas, calling on farmers to stand up and oppose the pipeline. The private corporations got arrogant and tried to intimidate farmers from opposing their land grab. It backfired on them as farmers finally demanded the state legislature take action to protect their property rights. As a result, the state utilities board has blocked any further development of the pipeline in that state. Just last week, while I was doing it again across Minnesota, I was informed by a leading activist in South Dakota that my teaching of these Freedom Pod tactics was a major motivator to the farmers.

Build that permanent infrastructure. Then, every time the NGOs come up with a new plan – you won’t be caught flatfooted – you will have your organization ready to immediately jump into action and smash it.

What does victory look like? Well, if you have done your job and applied the proper pressure on your elected officials – making them fully aware of your presence and determination to expose their plans — then, the next time the NGOs come to your elected officials with their latest plan, complete with the grant money, here is what will happen. Your elected officials will look at the plan, then at the NGO and say, “Are you nuts? Do you know what my constituents will do to me if I support this?” That’s what winning looks like and that’s what you must work for!

We can stop them when we exercise the same passion and determination for a free society as they do for their Great Reset agenda. That is our task if we are to live in a society of our choosing. Please – join me and let’s go get them!

© Tom DeWeese

 

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Tom DeWeese

Tom DeWeese is one of the nation's leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education, and American sovereignty and independence... (more)

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