Monday, 20 September 2010

Utah's United Freedom Conference

Written by  Ann Turner

The first Utah United Freedom Conference was held September 18 at the Radisson Hotel in Salt Lake City. The national sponsors of the event were The John Birch Society, Freedom 21, and the National Center for Constitutional Studies. Additionally, there were approximately 33 local sponsors including The John Birch Society, Utah Eagle Forum, Utah Farm Bureau, and the Utah Cattlemen's Association, as well as several 9/12 groups and others.

The day-long conference was attended by 375 participants. Morning sessions featured four speakers including Karen Budd-Falen, former Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management in the Reagan Administration. Budd-Falen currently serves as legal counsel to the Arizona/New Mexico Coalition of Counties for Stable Economic Growth. She addressed the audience on legal extortion by “Due Process,” The Ruby Pipeline, and WWP Story.

Speaker Dan Byfield, president of the American Land Foundation from 1994-2009 and current CEO of the merged association America- Stewards of Liberty, represented landowners' interests in New Mexico, Texas, and Washington D.C. He spoke of the little-known “Coordination” clause and explained how Coordination is local control, in a talk entitled "Protecting Private Property and Local Communities."

The next speaker, Dr. Michael Coffman, who holds a PhD in Ecosystems Analysis and Climate Change Influences from the University of Idaho, played a key role in stopping ratification of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The author of four books on environmentalism, property rights and geopolitics, he has appeared on C-Span several times. His topic was “Why America is so Deeply Divided.”

The concluding speaker for the morning session was Steven Pratt, who holds a Masters Degree in Education and did postgraduate work at the University of California at Berkley. Now working with the Center for Constitutional Studies, he also once worked under the late W. Cleon Skousen. His speech was entitled “State Sovereignty, the Original Concept.”

Three breakout sessions throughout the afternoon featured 13 different classes — all of which were focused on issues concerning constitutional government and individual liberties. Booths in the hall represented several of the participating organizations. The John Birch Society, for example, was present with two booths featuring books, magazines and DVDs to help inform the participants. Attendees found a wealth of additional knowledge and tools to help with their organizations.

The evening event concluded with speakers Utah State Rep. Carl Wimmer (“Working to Pass the Nullification Act to ObamaCare in the Utah State Legislature”) and Sharron Angle, (U.S. Senate candidate, Nevada).

More than a few participants indicated that the conference gave them renewed determination and feelings of hope for America.

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