On July 23, 2004, I addressed the fifth annual Freedom 21 Conference in Reno, Nevada. Freedom 21 was the first coalition of limited government/private property advocacy groups. Freedom 21 eventually sponsored 10 national conferences and educated and trained a cadre of leaders to fight Agenda 21. But in 2004, George Bush was in the White House two years after the devastation to individual liberty, free enterprise and private property that defined the Clinton Presidency. Yet, pre-TEA Party, so many Americans failed to understand the threat they faced. The movement was divided into fractured issues. Even the major Conservative organizations refused to mention Agenda 21 (some still do).
To this gathering I delivered a call to arms. We had circled the wagons so tightly, we only had one left. I said we needed to charge! Stop being on the defensive. Go straight at the Sustainablists. Take it to the people. Amazingly, this was 7 years before the tactics I called for in 2004 began to take shape. The TEA Party brought our people together in a unified force. Battles over Sustainable Development broke out in Spokane, Washington. Then Richard Rothschild and his gallant fellow Commissioners in Carroll County fired the first real shot as they ended the county’s membership in ICLEI – the first to do so. Today, more than 150 communities have taken that same action. Several state legislatures are introducing legislation to stop the spread of Sustainable Development. And the perpetrators like ICLEI and the American Planning Association are “concerned.”
Keep all of that in mind as you read this speech, given so early in the fight, when we hadn’t made a single advancement in our battle. When people in our own movement thought we were crazy conspiracy theorists. As the title of my book reads (which covers much the activity during this time) “Now Tell Me I was Wrong” Most importantly, take it to heart, because I could still give this speech today, calling for the same actions. We’ve made a lot of headway – but we still have a long way to go. — Tom DeWeese
My friends, we come here today from many walks of life. A wide variety of reasons got each of us started on the road to activism.
Some of us started simply because we noticed something funny about our child's curriculum in school. Some of us were outraged by government trying to take away our guns. A good many of us suddenly found government agents and members of private groups plotting to take away our land. Some have had their livestock confiscated. Some have found themselves facing jail just for doing what their fathers and grandfathers have done on the same land for decades.
Some of us just wanted to be allowed to go to church, pray to God and celebrate Christmas without being fined for it. A few of us would even like to be able to go to a restaurant and order food we like — even if it is greasy, fattening, and full of carbs and calories.
All of us just want to live in an America where our rights and pursuit of happiness is protected. And so we fight. And now we've found ourselves here today in a room with hundreds of others in the same boat.
We Can’t Win This Way
I have one thing to tell you. You are not going to win in the manner we are fighting now. Because the other side has cut us up into little pieces. They've divided us and conquered us.
They've succeeded because you think your fight is against gun control. Because you think your fight is against bad schools. Because you think your fight is against the Endangered Species Act and roadless programs, and wetlands regulations, and water rights and Heritage Areas. Because you think your fight is against Democrats and not Republicans. Because you think it's a fight between evil liberals and good guy conservatives.
You're wrong. Your fight is against a well-planned, well orchestrated agenda for the complete transformation of America. And unless you learn that fact now, today... and unless you fully educate yourselves to every aspect of that agenda and fight it on the proper terms… then you cannot win!
I'm here to tell you that every one of these issues you are facing is interrelated. There is an agenda being implemented before your very eyes. It's called Sustainable Development.
And I will tell you now, if you want to keep your guns, your property, your children and your God — if you love liberty — then Sustainable Development is your enemy!
So what is Sustainable Development? Imagine an America in which a specific "ruling principle" is created to decide proper societal conduct for every citizen.
That principle would be used to consider everything you eat, what you wear, the kind of homes you live in, the method of transportation used to get to work, the way you dispose of waste, perhaps the number of children you may have, even your education and employment decisions.
Sustainable Development is that "ruling principle" for the implementation of what former Vice President Al Gore said we must all suffer through in order to purify our nation from the horrors of the Twentieth Century's industrial revolution.
In his book, Earth in the Balance, Gore called it a "wrenching transformation of society." Those are pretty powerful words that should concern anyone who values liberty. It's a warning that the rules are changing. That a new power elite is taking control.
Perhaps you are beginning to notice such changes as you go about your daily routine, but haven't understood where those changes, and the ideas behind them, are coming from. But Sustainable Development is a very difficult concept to grasp. It's written in an almost foreign language - designed to mislead and refrain from alarming you.
Let me put it in the simplest language I possibly can. The Atkins Diet is not sustainable. Now, why do I say that? Because on page 350 of the UN's Global Biodiversity Assessment Report it says that the grazing of livestock, including cows, sheep, goats and horses, is not sustainable. One reason for that concept is because Sustainablists contend that the animals pollute streams and damage the river banks.
Getting us to stop eating beef is a major effort needed to fully implement the Sustainable Agenda. Since they are cowards who fear your reaction to an outright banning of eating meat, they have to try to trick you into thinking that not eating meat is your idea. So they use scare tactics. For years they have told you that eating meat raises your cholesterol. Fat is bad for you. Meat causes heart attacks. With PeTA's help they were succeeding in turning us all into little sissies eating salads.
Then along comes Dr. Atkins who shows us that a low-carb beef diet will help you lose weight in a healthy way. Suddenly the nation has gone Atkins crazy. Beef sales are sky rocketing. The Sustainablists are in a tailspin. They've lost control of your eating habits.
Now watch what they are doing to get you back on track. Suddenly reports are being published in leading women's magazines about Atkins being dangerous to your health. Lawsuits have begun to pop up against the diet.
Do you see how it works? That's how the Sustainable Development agenda is implemented. Behavior modification based on fear. Freedom of choice is not part of Sustainable Development. And so I repeat, - the Atkins Diet is not sustainable.
Sustainable Development: A Life Plan Chosen By Someone Else
Now, perhaps you'll understand why there are Sustainable Development papers, guidelines and regulations to impose the ruling principle:
• On our public education system — to prepare our children to live in a "sustainable" world.
• On our economy — to create partnerships between business and government, making sure business becomes a tool to help implement the policies
• On the environment — leading to controls on private property and business.
• On healthcare — the new drive against obesity is leading directly toward controls on what we eat.
• On farming — Sustainable Development policies affect farmers' ability to produce more crops by regulating or banning free farming practices that have fed America and the world for 200 years.
• On our social and cultural environment — where political correctness is controlling policy, including hiring practices, immigration policy, multiculturalism, marriage laws, etc.
• On our mobility — with emphasis on carpools and public transportation and away from the freedom of personal transportation.
• And on public safety — where the rule of law and the court system is being challenged by new regulations that affect the right to privacy and unreasonable search and seizures.
It's important to understand that these leading issues we face today are not just random concerns that find their way into the forefront of political debate. They are all interconnected to the policies of Sustainable Development.
And you must understand that Sustainable Development is the official policy of the government of the United States of America — and every state, city, and small burg in the nation.
It is completely bi-partisan. It is being equally implemented by Republicans and Democrats. No matter the outcome of any election — the Sustainable Development agenda moves forward unabated.
What I am telling you here today is that Sustainable Development isn't just some land-use policy. It is a complete transformation of American society; away from the rule of law; away from the ideals of property ownership, free enterprise, free travel, and even free association.
Sustainable Development. It's a life plan. Planned by someone else. Not you.
Step By Step Stealth Enforcement
And Sustainable Development is not a myth, or a theory, or a conspiracy — as I've heard some in our own movement call it.
Since the 1970's literally hundreds of issue papers, charters, guidelines, and treaties have been presented at scores of international meetings, each becoming a building block in the creation of what would eventually become Sustainable Development.
Finally in 1992 the UN's Earth Summit in Brazil brought all of these ideas together in two major documents called "Agenda 21" and the "Biodiversity Treaty." Here the ideas were officially presented to world leaders that all government on every level, needed to be transformed into top-down control over housing, food production, energy, water, private property, education, population control, gun control, transportation, social welfare, medical care, and literally every aspect of our lives.
To get the full picture, add to these the UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women, both of which create UN mandates on abortion, child rearing, and government interference in families.
In 1993 President Clinton created the President's Council on Sustainable Development. From that Council came a flood of policy papers and recommendations to enforce it as government policy.
And the Clinton administration didn't need Congress to get into the act. All Cabinet officials had to do was change some wording of existing programs and reroute already-approved funding to begin to implement the agenda — without Congress and without debate. Former Commerce Secretary Ron Brown told a meeting of the President's Council that he could implement 67 percent of the Sustainable Development agenda in his agency with no new legislation. Other agencies like Interior, EPA, HUD, and more did the same thing. To help it all along, Clinton issued a blizzard of Executive Orders.
The American Heritage Rivers Initiative was born that way. So were roadless policies designed to stop logging in national forests. National parks have become core biosphere reserves designed to shut out any human activity. And the buffer zones around them are designed to shut off existing human activity, allowing the core to continually grow like a cancer tumor.
Any possible excuse to control human development or activities began to sprout up — from rails-to-trails bikeways to wetlands regulations to historic preservation projects. Endangered species, real or made up, have been used to close down industry and steal private lands. Valuable natural resources have been locked away in national parks and preserves.
In this way an international agenda to transform the world into global governance under Sustainable Development policy took hold and became official policy of the United States of America.
The red states from the 2000 election are made up of the desperate Americans who rushed to the polls hoping to get a breath of fresh air — a champion to turn these smothering policies around. But in four years, other than throwing a few bones on roadless areas, President Bush has yet to undo a single Clinton Executive Order on Sustainable Development. It is still the official policy of the United States government.
Every day more of the agenda is implemented. This is what you are fighting at home — no matter what the issue. Almost every community in America now has some sort of "visioning statement" designed to control development and property use, while dictating rules for business, transportation, water use, food production, and much more.
Our public schools have been transformed away from academic institutions, becoming, instead, factories that pump out a worker class to fill the needs of a centrally-controlled sustainable economy.
Christianity has come under attack because it is the foundation of Western civilization, which is the root of the ideas of limited government and individual freedom. Those ideals must be crushed in the new Sustainable world where individual thought would turn the well-ordered society of Sustainable Development into chaos. And in such a world, you dare not have any armed citizens. As I said, it is all one crushing transformation stemming from Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development.
It’s a House of Cards and They Know It!
But so many of us fail to see that. We just focus on our one issue, refusing to see that we are fighting a massive power structure.
Do you think it's just a coincidence that school curriculum makes no sense? If so, you're looking at it all wrong. You still think the schools are supposed to teach your children academics. You think your job is just to fix some misguided policies. The fact is the public school system is working perfectly for what it was designed to do. And, if you understand the Sustainablist agenda, it will all make perfect sense.
Do you think it's just a coincidence that all of these environmental regulations have popped up to lock away the land? Read Agenda 21 and you will find that every issue you're facing, from endangered species to wetlands to grazing policy to water policy to smart growth to the expansion of national parks are all described in detail. Read it and everything will be as clear as a road map. Ignore it and you will be rolled on your single issue.
If you don't grasp the fact that you are dealing with an agenda that is driving all of these issues — and that they are not just single issues — then you cannot win! I am not saying change the issues you are involved in. Of course, keep fighting on your individual issues as you always have, but just know that there is an overall agenda behind your adversaries.
Can you imagine what we could do if we all "got it"? If we all came to the realization that we are fighting the same foe, the same agenda? Divided we lose. United we can blow down their house of cards. Because that's what it is, a house of cards built on lies and very bad policy.
Do you know that, as we sit here feeling down and somewhat hopeless, that the other side is terrified of you? They fear that you will finally understand their agenda and that you will unify and begin to fight back as an effective force rather than in a bunch of splinter groups.
Did you know that the web has been burning up with e-mails and memos about Freedom 21 meeting here this week in Reno, at the Nugget? You see, the Nugget was the site of a series of meetings in the nineties called the Wise Use Movement. Those meetings were the first attempts for property rights advocates, ranchers, and the timber and mining industries to organize and fight back. Those meetings were what brought me and lots of other folks in this room into the fight.
The Sustainablists did everything possible to vilify us as violent reactionaries who just wanted to pave the Earth. They call us the "astro-turf crowd." Now, here we are again with some of the original organizers of the Wise Use Movement on our program. That has set off the alarm bells in Sustainablist circles.
But now there are three times more of us and we're not just ranchers and timber people. I believe that the inclusion of Niger Innis and the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) is one of the most important developments in the past ten years for our movement. In addition, we've joined forces with Second Amendment advocates and academic education activists and many more.
Down at the politburo their heads are spinning. One of the groups which has been sending out hysterical briefing memos on Freedom 21 is the Anti-Defamation League, one of the most vicious groups in the nation. There are many more such groups involved, but I have personally seen those from the ADL, so I mention them. They view themselves as the keepers of moral thought and they view you as equal to the KKK.
We Choose Freedom
Some of their lackeys may be among us today with the mission to report back to their handlers about what is said here at Freedom 21. Well here's the message I want them to take back. Tell them that this week at Freedom 21 our movement has been reborn.
Tell them that property rights and multiple-use activists understand that the Sustainable Development agenda is the core of all of the individual land use issues facing us; property rights activists "get it" and choose liberty over Sustainable Development.
Tell them that education activists now understand that the true agenda isn't just misguided education policies, but a transformation of the process to implement the Sustainablist agenda. Education activists "get it" and choose liberty over Sustainable Development.
Tell them that Christians understand that the assault on their religion is necessary to destroy Western Culture in order to replace it with Sustainablism. Christians "get it" and choose liberty over Sustainable Development.
Tell them that gun owners understand that the universal drive to disarm the nation is necessary in order to implement the Sustainablist agenda. Gun owners "get it" and choose liberty over Sustainable Development.
Tell them that Niger Innis and the Congress on Racial Equality understand that Sustainable Development is starving and killing blacks in Africa and around the world. CORE "gets it" and chooses liberty over Sustainable Development.
That's the message I want the lackeys to take back to those who are working every waking hour to enforce their philosophy of death on free Americans.
How To Fight Back
Now, let me quickly give you one idea that we might use to effectively fight back and stop Sustainable Development. There is a flaw in their implementation system. The fact is Congress does not pass laws making regulations mandatory for implementation of the Sustainable Development agenda. That would be a violation of the 10th Amendment. To get around it, Congress sets up a system of grants that come with strings. In order to get the money you have to "voluntarily" comply with the rules that go with it. The system has been set up with the help of groups like the Sierra Club, the National Education Association, and Planned Parenthood, to name a few.
They all fully understand the game and its rules. And they have over 12,000 fellow organizations on the state and local level to agitate and enforce those rules by applying pressure to local community councilmen and commissioners. That's how the Sustainable Development agenda is being implemented in every single community and school in the nation.
My friends, there are about 3,300 counties in this nation. I propose that as we continue to pressure Congress and State Houses on our chosen issues, that we spend a major part of our efforts to elect county commissioners and city councilmen. We have to find men and women of integrity who understand the Sustainablist agenda. They would have to be activists who could resist the pressure and not accept the federal Trojan Horse of grant money. If we could do this successfully in just 10 or even 5 counties in the country, the news would spread like wildfire and more would join us.
No, it won't stop the Forest Service and the Park Service S.W.A.T. teams from invading your land, but it will begin to change the dynamics of the battle. Congress will respond. Whether you're supporting a third party or doing it through one of the two major parties, we would build an unstoppable power base that would spread across the nation.
I can tell you now, that if we keep trying to pressure Congress as our only tactic or try to elect a president who will listen, we will fail.
To save liberty in America, Sustainable Development must be stopped. We have to start at the local level where our grassroots efforts are strongest. Where it's easiest to win. We can find five county commissioners. We can get them elected one at a time. And then get more to join them. And we can begin to build a prairie fire across the nation.
Do these things my friends, but first understand that whatever issue you have chosen to fight for is actually part of the Sustainable Development scheme.
Arm yourselves with that knowledge, and then step-by-step work to elect local representatives who will resist the Sustainablist agenda and its money. The money is the key. Take back your communities and in that way, step-by-step, take back America.
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