This is wonderful, positive news, indicating that more and more elected officials are starting to hear our arguments against this wrenching transformation of our country. For the first time I'm getting calls and letters from elected officials asking for more information. I am getting invitations to appear on new radio shows that have never aired this issue before. In June, I was contacted by the Glenn Beck show as he prepared an entire program on Agenda 21. He even linked APC information to his blog. I've now been contacted by one leading presidential candidate, along with a possible major donor who is considering helping us fund the fight. In addition to all of that, daily I hear from an ever growing list of activists working in their communities to stop Agenda 21. A revolution is certainly under way across the country.
However, as we are gaining success, we are also beginning to face stiffer resistance from the proponents of Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development. More than ever we are hearing their charges of "conspiracy theories," "fringe nuts," and "extremism." It's to be expected. We are openly challenging them and they are feeling the heat. That means, as we move forward, it's vitally important that anti-Agenda 21 activist be very careful with how they approach local government to express their opposition.
I'm finding that there is a bit of a misconception in regard to one of the main proponents of Agenda 21, and it is hurting our ability to make progress in the fight. It is vitally important that we all get the following facts right when launching our attacks against ICLEI. Please read carefully. The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) has been a main target by the anti-Agenda 21 forces. We targeted ICLEI because it has a clear United Nations connection, making it easier for us to make our case to elected officials about the UN connection to Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development policy. However, some have misunderstood the ICLEI role and have misrepresented who it is and what it does. The result, in some cases, is that our legitimate arguments have been be ignored and even laughed at.
Let me try to set the record straight and provide some ideas on how to deal with the ICLEI situation. First, the following facts are certainly true and need to be understood by all anti-Agenda 21 activists: ICLEI is a UN NGO organization that helped write Agenda 21 for the 1992 Earth Summit and then set, as its mission, to bring Agenda 21 policy to every city in the world. It does this by meeting with local officials, signing contracts with them to set standards for energy and water use, building and development codes, farming policy, etc. It brings in training for city hall staff; soft ware to manage the programs; guidelines for legislation; networking with other communities, other NGO and Stakeholder groups and other agencies of state and federal government. They reach out to other public officials in the communities, including newspaper editors, school superintendents, local college presidents, and chamber of commerce leaders – all designed to assure everyone who helps make decisions and policy in the community are on board. And of course, ICLEI leads the officials to the most important ingredient to impose Agenda 21 – money – grant money that comes with specific strings to guarantee that Agenda 21 is enforced. That grant money is like heroin in the veins. Once there, the addiction and dependency is in force. Once ICLEI has done its job, the community is hooked, and an entirely new attitude and community atmosphere of top-down control is enforced by the government. ICLEI's influence basically creates an entirely new culture in the community where it becomes natural and basically unquestioned to expect local government to be involved in every aspect of your property, job, family and your whole life.
Now, that's what ICLEI does and that's why we targeted it and why it is so dangerous. However, the manner in which we expose and oppose ICLEI is very important and I have heard some enthusiastic activist go about it in a damaging and ineffective way. First, ICLEI is NOT the United Nations, as I have heard some charge before city councils. It is a private organization with its own agenda – of course it is promoting Agenda 21. But to say the city council is paying dues to the UN is just not accurate.
Another misconception is that ICLEI IS Agenda 21 and if the community stops paying dues and ends their contract with ICLEI the battle is over. I am receiving messages from people who are dismayed to learn their community is still moving forward with Sustainable Development programs even after they ended the contract with ICLEI. The fact is, ending the contract with ICLEI is just the first punch. From there you must be active in an effort to undo any programs ICLEI helped put in place. That includes changing the very culture of City Hall and its ICLEI-trained staff. It means an active campaign to dismantle non-elected boards and councils that are the prime source for enforcement of policy. It means removing your community from regional government councils. And it probably means electing new officials who oppose the Agenda 21 policy and have the ability and courage to stand up to an assault by federal and state agencies who will not be happy that you are rejecting their agenda. And through all of that you will have to be prepared to counter the attacks from the entrenched NGOs and the lackeys down at the local paper. Withdrawal from the drug of Agenda 21 can be deadly.
Finally, I believe there is a more effective way to attack Agenda 21/ Sustainable Development polices in your community, at least initially. You may be fired up about the UN, but others are not. As I wrote a few months ago in my article "How to Fight Back Against Sustainable Development," rather than rushing into city hall and immediately start accusing them of implementing a UN program, take some time to research the policy being proposed or implemented. Determine the effect it will have on the community or your property. Who else will be affected and how? These are the victims of the policy and the most likely to support you efforts to stop it. In that way, you will recruit new people to the cause. You will find it much more effective than sounding like a rabid bear growling about the UN.
For example, smart meters or energy audits affect everyone in town. What is the problem: government is dictating your energy use that you are paying for. It is a violation of your right to choose how much energy you are willing to buy. It denies you the right to determine how warm or cool your house will be. It denies you the choice of taking a hot shower or not. It even affects your health if you can't get warm enough – or if you are denied access to hot water, allowing germs to grow.
I believe such an argument will gain more support for your cause across the city and across party and philosophical lines than rushing to bring up the UN? Yes, the policy certainly did originate in the bowels of the UN. But why are we opposed to it – because of what it does to us. And that is the place to start to oppose it. As people come to your side, if they want to know more, then will be the time to teach them the rest of the story about Agenda 21 and its UN origins.
So, focus on the victims and the impact the policy will have on the well being of the community and you. Question how they intend to enforce the policy (such as having government agents come into your home). Make your officials explain that. They won't want to. This will show the heavy hand of control required to make the policy work. Put the officials on the defensive over their enforcement efforts and watch them retreat as it's exposed.
The same approach can be used effectively in dealing with plans to put meters on private wells, or in dealing with plans for historic preservation schemes that suddenly disallow private property owners to change or improve anything on their house because "Robert E. Lee didn't see that change." (You have to live in Virginia to understand that reference.)
Ask your County Commissioners this question: "name one thing I can do on my property without your permission." To answer that question honestly will force them to admit that under these policies there is no private property. The important message here is to keep your fight local to stop their global agenda.
Agenda 21 is a vast, complicated structure. The organizations promoting it number in the thousands and include Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), public policy groups, federal state and local agencies, self-proclaimed "stakeholders," Congress, the White House, 50 state houses, and your local officials. You can't fight them all individually. Instead, fight the policy and watch them come out of the woodwork to challenge you. By attacking the policy you have made them defend it and you will have shaped the debate. Then we'll see who is really wearing the tin foil hats!
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. Go to americanpolicy.org for more information