Buckingham: We the People (BWTP) is proud to announce the completion of their proposed ordinance, the James River Natural Community Bill of Rights (CBOR). The group has been working closely with Ben Price, of the Community Environmental Legal Defense (CELDF) for the past year to draft this bill. The year long process was important for developing an understanding of how this could work, and to adapt it to our particular needs and wants. If you would like to pursue a Community Bill of Rights (CBOR) for your county or city, please contact Ben Price, at CELDF to guide you through the process. This is the first CBOR written in Virginia! James River Natural Community Bill of Rights 5-16-18
The next steps are to present to the Buckingham community, gather support, and then present to the Buckingham Board of Supervisors for adoption. BWTP will be sending the ordinance to other activists in other counties also interested in reclaiming their community rights. BWTP would be happy to meet with you to share what we have learned about the process. We looked at a number of other communities’ CBORs and cherry picked what we wanted. We had many questions, which Ben answered for us. In the end, CELDF suggested yet another format. We are very pleased with this shortened version. Let us know what you think. Like us on Facebook. facebook.com/Buckingham-We-the-People
Buckingham: We the People (BWTP), who we are: Kenda Hanuman, Heidi Dhivya Berthoud, Mindy Zlotnick and Charlie Shelton formed the core group to create the CBOR and host a Democracy School in January, 2018. Sita Rose now joins us. Please let us know of your interests.
You can reach us at: email@example.com
Community Environmental Legal Defense (CELDF) Our mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.
Ben Price, National Organizing Director. Ben leads our organizing nationwide. Before moving into the national director position, he led our work across Pennsylvania, where over 100 communities have enacted CELDF-drafted laws. Ben is a Democracy School lecturer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and 717-254-3233
The photograph: The James River in March, 2018. Left to right, happy midwives: Kenda Hanuman, DJ, Heidi Dhivya Berthoud, Sita Tracy Rose, Mindy Zlotnick.
TIANANMEN SQUARE JUNE 1989 [Amnesty International UK]
Protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 1989 © Shao Jiang
This week marks the 26th anniversary of the massacre of hundreds if not thousands of unarmed peaceful pro-democracy protesters in Beijing and the arrest of tens of thousands of demonstrators in cities across China.
The protesters, based in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, were peacefully calling for political and economic reform. In response, the Chinese authorities responded with overwhelming force to repress the demonstrations.
Military units were brought in and unarmed protesters and onlookers were killed en masse. The Chinese government has never acknowledged the true events surrounding the Tiananmen massacre. It remains a contentious topic in China, with authorities banning all mention of the protest even today.
Events leading up to the Tiananmen protests
From April 1989 people from across China gathered in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to mourn the death of the liberal Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang and share their frustrations about the slow pace of promised reform.
The gathering turned into peaceful protests which spread across the provinces of China as demonstrators, mainly students, began to call for an end to official corruption and for political and economic reform.
A million demonstrators on the streets
On 13 May, hundreds of student protesters in Tiananmen Square went on hunger strike in order to speed talks with Communist Party leaders. It is estimated that one million people joined the protests in Beijing to express their support for the students on hunger strike and to demand reform.
Martial law declared
Party leaders visited the student protests on 19 May. The protesters ended their hunger strike that evening. However, the next day martial law was declared in Beijing to ‘firmly stop the unrest’.
In the weeks that followed the declaration of martial law, hundreds of thousands of people once again protested on the streets of Beijing, with similar demonstrations taking place in cities across China.
Military open fire on civilians
Doctors carry an injured protester to safety on 5 June C. Memo64
‘The troops are by no means targeted at the students. Under no circumstances will [the troops] harm innocent people, let alone young students.’
Official New China News Agency, 1 May 1989
Overnight on 3 to 4 June, the government sent tens of thousands of armed troops and hundreds of armoured military vehicles into the city centre to enforce martial law and forcibly clear the streets of demonstrators. The government wanted to ‘restore order’ in the capital.
As they approached the demonstrations, troops opened fire on crowds of protesters and onlookers. They gave no warning before they started shooting.
‘The first casualty in the square was rushed away – a girl with her face smashed and bloody, carried spread-eagled towards the trees. Another followed – a youth with a bloody mess around his chest.’
John Gittings, The Guardian
Please explain how CBOR will withstand the military forces of Trump and McAuliffe.
There seems to be some illusion as to how the current government, an expression of
a flawed and disfunctional economic system, will respond to such a challenge. Each and
every institution of the current government is designed to support and defend it. The voting process implies that choosing between one party or another will actually result in a change in perspective and priorities. If challenged, they will send in troops and
Again, test your theory by putting this question on the state ballot to amend the Constitution. See how far it gets, see how people respond to the concept. The piecemeal approach might better be reserved for the Mars Expedition. Certainly well
intended but unrealistic. Those in power will not just walk away and yield to a better
form of government. They learned from Tiananmen as well. Good luck.