Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Evil Empire Strikes Back


You didn't think it would be that easy, did you?  You didn't think the corporations that want to continue stealing and polluting our water would give up that quickly, did you? But the activists aren't taking this lying down...

Below is the latest press release from Toledoans for Safe Water about the recent legal challenge to The Lake Erie Bill of Rights. If you're not up on the continuing saga to ensure an algae-bloom-free lake and clean drinking water for 11 million+ human beings, here are some links to articles on their struggles.


The Little Mermaid helps field questions from reporters.

Lake Erie and Local Residents File Court Motions to Defend Rights of Lake

Industry lawsuit seeks to overturn will of voters to protect Lake Erie’s legal rights

TOLEDO, OH: Today, Lake Erie filed a motion to intervene in federal court to defend its legal rights under a law adopted by the people of Toledo, Ohio, on February 26.

Lake Erie filed a Motion to Intervene in the lawsuit Drewes Farm Partnership v. City of Toledo. The lawsuit, seeking to overturn the legal rights of Lake Erie, was filed by a large corporate law firm in Columbus less than 24 hours after the Lake Erie Bill of Rights was adopted.

The Motion to Intervene, if granted, would permit Lake Erie to become a party to the lawsuit and directly defend its own rights, now recognized in the Toledo City Charter, to “exist, thrive, and naturally evolve.”

Toledoans for Safe Water (TSW), the grassroots group that proposed the law, joined Lake Erie in filing the motion to become an intervening party. They also filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) assisted TSW in drafting the Lake Erie Bill of Rights and is representing Lake Erie and TSW in the motions.

Photo by the Little Mermaid of Lake Erie
In securing legal rights of Lake Erie, the people of Toledo join the growing “rights of nature” movement. Today, there are more than three dozen communities across the U.S. that have enacted rights-based laws that include provisions for rights of nature. As well, rights of nature laws and court decisions are in place in Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, India, with tribal nations, and elsewhere. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights is the first rights of nature law in the United States that specifically recognizes the rights of a distinct ecosystem to exist, flourish, and evolve.
"The people of Toledo proposed and passed the law, following years of inaction by government and industry to take meaningful steps to restore and protect Lake Erie. We recognized the need to elevate the protection of Lake Erie by securing its legal rights, moving beyond conventional environmental laws that permit pollution of the lake and deny the people any ability to protect it,” stated Crystal Jankowski of TSW.

“We proudly join with Lake Erie, and the people of Toledo, to defend the lake’s rights against efforts to undermine them,” stated Terry Lodge, the attorney who filed the intervention documents.

Explained Markie Miller of TSW, “If you’re going to court to try to overturn the legal rights of the lake, that means either you don’t support Lake Erie’s right to exist and thrive, or you want to conduct environmentally harmful activities that will violate those rights.”


We the People can take on the billionaires bent on ruining our environment!
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Power to the people--not the corporations! 

From Credo:

Just days after Trump took office, the EPA started erasing the words “climate change” across its website.1 The goal was clear: Hide the climate crisis so that oil, coal and gas companies can keep making billions.

But making the words vanish didn’t make the crisis disappear. And just because we know that Trump's EPA officials are corrupt does not mean we can let them off the hook. The EPA serves the public. We need the agency responsible for environmental protection to tell the truth about climate change. 

It’s time to tell EPA: Stop censoring science. Put the facts about climate change front and center on EPA.gov now.

After two years under the Trump administration, the EPA website is riddled with missing links and redirecting pages that obscure once easily found information. One section that provided local communities with resources for fighting climate change disappeared for months. When it reappeared, it included just 175 of its 380 pages.2

Public information on climate change matters. Without it, many people won't recognize the severity of the crisis and will not be motivated to act – which is part of why the EPA wants to hide it. Pretending the climate crisis doesn’t exist also helps the EPA to justify ignoring it in policymaking. The sustained attacks on our environment over the past two years are enabled by an agency burying its head in the sand. 

The website changes reflect a broader attack on science and scientists under the Trump administration. Government climate scientists report being prohibited from attending conferences or speaking publicly about their work.3 Scientific advisory boards have been disbanded.4 Funding for research has been cut. 

The ultimate effect of this censorship is to suppress scientific information when we need it most. Since the EPA's move to censor climate science from the public, temperatures keep rising. Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey inflicted billions in damage. Wildfires in California devoured thousands of homes and tragically took over 100 lives.

It’s time for the EPA to stop trying to hide the truth of how our climate is changing and how burning fossil fuel is behind this crisis. 

Tell the EPA: Stand up for science. Put the facts on climate change back on the EPA website. Click the link below to sign the petition:

Thanks for fighting back,

Brandy Doyle, Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►


  1. Laignee Barron, "Here's What the EPA's Website Looks Like After a Year of Climate Change Censorship," TIME, March 1, 2018.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Hannah Waters, "How the U.S. Government Is Aggressively Censoring Climate Science," Audubon Magazine, Summer 2018.
  4. Ibid.

From Corporate Accountability: 
This World Water Day, hundreds of thousands of people like you took action to advance our human right to clean, safe water at rates all people can afford across the U.S. and around the globe. In the U.S., hundreds of thousands of you raised your voices in support of the WATER Act. And in Lagos, Nigeria, our close allies at Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria sent a strong message on the need to support public water solutions.

One thing is clear: the grassroots movement for water justice is only growing stronger. And as a supporter of Corporate Accountability, you are part of this movement.

Just look at what we’ve already accomplished together. For years, Corporate Accountability has organized alongside local groups and communities to stop private water corporations like Veolia and Suez from taking control of public water systems in U.S. cities like Baltimore and St. Louis. We’ve challenged the bottled water industry’s abuses everywhere from small towns in Michigan and Florida to our most cherished national parks. And we’re poised for so much more: My team recently attended an international water justice summit in Abuja, Nigeria with organizers, experts, and activists from around the world to strategize and advance the global campaign for the human right to water. 

Help advance water justice for all with your gift today
In order to advance public solutions that put the human right to water first, we know we need to call for more federal investment in our water systems. And we have our work cut out for us.
Water corporations like Nestlé and Veolia have spent decades undermining public confidence in tap water, contributing to a dramatic decline in federal public water funding. Claiming to solve these problems, private water corporations often target our cities with privatization schemes that are designed first and foremost to generate profit for the corporations -- not improve water systems.

The WATER Act would reverse the decades-long trend of dwindling investment in crucial infrastructure. It’s exactly what we need to rebuild our public water systems and ensure people across the U.S. have access to clean, safe water at rates all people can afford.

More than 8,000 activists just like you have already signed on to our petition asking their representatives to support the WATER Act. To build on this momentum, we’re asking our most dedicated supporters like you to support water justice for all with a donation today.

Water is not a commodity to be bought and sold: it is a human right. Your donation today will ensure Corporate Accountability can continue to challenge the corporate takeover of our water and advance water justice for people in the U.S. and around the world.

Alissa Weinman Onward,
Alissa Weinman
Senior Organizer
Corporate Accountability

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Revolutionary Act: Democracy Day 2019

 "In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." 
--George Orwell

Welcome to Democracy Day, a day where citizens can address the Toledo City Council (and even the mayor this year) about matters near and dear to their hearts. Inspired by the Move to Amend movement to overturn the Citizens United ruling, you better believe there were several testimonies given about the Lake Erie Bill of Rights and how unfairly the citizens' initiative was treated by certain elected council members who shall remain nameless. Literally.
Council members sit high above the speaker's podium in a judge-like manner.
No kidding--there's some kind of "rule" we were told by the at-large councilman chair of Democracy Day that individual council members could not be named by their names when addressing city council. I don't know about you, but how the heck can you ever hope to get your representatives to change their ways if you can't call them out by their actual names? How would they know you are talking about their nefarious actions? They might assume you're talking about someone else and go about their business as usual, right? 

Revolutionaries need to keep vigilant in these days where bought-off politicians think they're beyond reach and act like they are beyond caring what happens to their poorer constituents. Whenever and wherever you have the opportunity to speak truth to power, grab it. Grab it and speak out. Run with it and don't look back.  The future to believe in is almost here. Onward!

And now, here's an example you can follow, an address given to Toledo City Council on Democracy Day by yours truly. --C.A.M.

Stefania bravely addresses city council.
Democracy Day 
 March 13, 2019
words and photos by C.A. Matthews

The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling essentially made bribery of elected officials legal in the United States of America. If "money is speech," as Citizens United proposes, then no average working class human being has the means in which to "out speak" the corporations and Wall Street banks that have bought off our representatives at all levels of government.
The author speaks before council.

We've witnessed just such a situation locally with the arduous journey the Lake Erie Bill of Rights had to travel until it came before Toledo voters on February 26--when it was handedly passed. Over ten thousand plus signatures were submitted--and sufficient numbers approved--to place this citizens' initiative on the November 2018 ballot initially. The petitioners did their job well, and the voters were excited that their drinking water could be protected through the means of becoming guardians and stewards of Lake Erie. But of course, it wasn't going to be that easy.
Our "nameless" city council president (rt.)

There was no real reason why the Lake Erie Bill of Rights could not be on the November ballot other than our so-called "representatives" at the Lucas County Board of Elections threw up roadblocks to slow its progress. Here at Toledo City Council we suffered the negative bias of our city council president whose membership in a union, that took exception to the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, took precedence over his supporting democracy and defending his constituents' right to vote on the measure.  

Why would the Board of Elections and our city council president attempt to thwart the will of the people? The people clearly demonstrated their will in their enthusiastic support of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights when they signed the ballot petition in great numbers. 

So, what could motivate city council and BOE members to so boldly disappoint their fellow Toledoans and jeopardize the health and futures of everyone who drinks water from Lake Erie?  What could make these politicians forget the events of August 2014? What could make them blind to the annual toxic blue-green algae blooms that cover our beautiful Great Lake? The answer, simply put, is "money talks," and obviously it talks quite loudly in the ears of Toledo area politicians. 
Our "nameless" city council president exited after a second call out by a citizen.

While our local politicians are deafened by lobbyist money to the cries of their constituents who fear Toledo will become yet another Flint, Michigan, factory farms continue to dump endocrine disruptors such as atrazine on fields. Concentrated Animal Farming Operations or CAFOs allow their animal wastes to flow into our rivers and streams unimpeded, feeding the blue-green algae that blooms into toxic cyanobacteria. Fracking waste water creators and oil pipeline builders (through disastrous leaks) permit their polluting products to pour into our wetlands, rivers, lakes and streams, killing our Yellow Perch and Walleye. Destroying the enjoyment of fishermen and the entire $1.1 billion annual tourism industry on Lake Erie's shores is but a small price to pay for allowing this dark money to flood our democracy, or so it seems.
Alyx speaks truth to power!

These polluters are all well-represented in Columbus and in Washington D.C. by an army of lobbyists carrying big, fat checkbooks. Our Toledo politicians, backed by corrupt political parties that welcome lobbyists' loot into their campaign war chests, have apparently fallen under the big, fat checkbook's spell. They seem all too eager to do the lobbyists' bidding for a chance to line their pockets for another run for office before retiring elsewhere where they and their families won't be threatened by polluted Lake Erie water. Toledo politicians' actions demonstrate an unwillingness to break away from the status quo and a refusal to be transformed into true public servants ready to go to bat for the health and safety of all citizens.
Dennis presents facts on Medicare for All.

But We the People are wise to the ways of lobbyists and corrupt politicians. That's one reason why we're here today to celebrate Democracy Day. By holding the polluters responsible for the pollutants they dump without punishment into the Maumee River Watershed, that feeds into Lake Erie, which everyone knows is the Toledo area's drinking water supply, We the People are practicing democracy in its purest form. 
Toledo's original charter & by-laws, 1837

We are standing up against the Big Money interests that don't care how they harm our lake's ecosystem. We the People are standing up against amoral corporations that hold all life in contempt through their indifference to poisoning our city's water supply.  We are revitalizing democracy by putting power into the hands of the people and local government and not into the hands of disinterested and callous billionaires.

The Lake Erie Bill of Rights demonstrates just how strongly Toledoans feel about their responsibility to protect our precious natural resources. Our elected--and appointed--representatives here in Toledo should cherish the beauty of democracy as much as We the People do. Our representatives should also cherish and protect the health of Lake Erie and its people, and they should stop cherishing lining their pockets with lobbyists' cash.
From flag, left to right: Toledo mayor, councilman-at-large chair, council clerk, a councilwoman

It's time. It's time to enact the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and repeal Citizens United. It's time to put to death the notion that "money is speech" and "corporations are people." Only living things such as human beings and ecosystems should have rights to thrive, flourish and grow healthy--not billionaires' bank accounts.

Related articles (that name names):


Revolutionary acts don't happen in a vacuum. Become a part of them!
The Revolution Continues has been targeted by anti-progressive trolls and hackers. It's difficult to fight against their blocks to prevent readers from sharing our web site link since these trolls/hackers have access to corporate cash. But you can help us out by donating to keep the blog ad-free and functioning. The editor pays for internet, electricity, etc., out of her own pocket, and she would like to be able to pay her contributors, so your generous monetary gifts are appreciated. 

Please consider donating a buck, $5, $10 or $20--any amount you can give to keep this progressive site going. Help us become a strong alternative voice protesting against the corrupt establishment and its paid-off corporate mouthpieces. Give to TRC today. Thank you.
You can donate via Paypal at http://paypal.me/camatthews 

And thanks to a generous reader, we have a  domain name. Please share the link: http://therevolutioncontinues.com  

Power to the people--not the corporations! 


BIG NEWS: We The People Amendment Introduced in 116th Congress!

Move to Amend is excited to announce that the We The People Amendment was introduced by our champion, Rep. Pramila Jayapal in the last week of February! HJR 48 currently has 23 co-sponsors and the list grows every single week!

But here is also where we need your help. If your representative is not on the list, you can click the links below to send a quick pre-written message and even view a call script with their phone numbers to let them know they need to get on board!

All you have to do is ask them to sign up to become a co-sponsor to HJR 48 and take a stand against corporate rule!

If you have time, you can also take a moment to send a thank you message to the lead sponsor of the We The People Amendment, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal! She is super busy being the champion for the amendment and other critical issues like Medicare for All but she always appreciates your messages of support!

Send a thank you message to Representative Jayapal!

We give our heart-felt thanks to all the democracy champions who are co-sponsoring the We the People Amendment in the 116th Congress
Pramila Jayapal (WA) • Betty McCollum (MN) • Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC) • Peter DeFazio (OR) • Ro Khanna (CA) • Tim Ryan (OH) • Earl Blumenauer (OR) • Mark Takano (CA) • Janice D. Schakowsky (IL) • Suzanne Bonamici (OR) • Tulsi Gabbard (HI) • Mark DeSaulnier (CA) • Jared Huffman (CA) •Barbara Lee (CA) • Seth Moulton (MA) •  Ilhan Omar (MN) •  Mark Pocan (WI) • Paul Tonko (NY) •  Jamie Raskin (MD) •  Chellie Pingree (ME) •  Debra A. Haaland (NM) • Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (IL) • Stephen Lynch (MA)
➤➤ Donate to support our efforts! We need your support to keep the momentum going strong!

From Friends of the Earth Action:
Last year, Trump’s FCC gutted net neutrality -- the principle of a free and open Internet. This gives Big Cable companies like Comcast and Verizon even more control over our actions online.

Trump gave Internet providers the power to throttle connection speeds, creating fast and slow lanes online and influencing the content we have access to. 

The good news is that last week Congress introduced a bill to reinstate the former protections. But this bill will only pass if legislators feel the pressure from constituents like you, C.A.. Can we count on your support? 

The FCC’s decision allows Internet providers to create a pay-to-play system. They can now set up “fast lanes” for big companies that can afford to pay for them, and slow lanes for everyone else. 

Providers like Comcast and Verizon could easily force people to pay extra to see content that is critical of Trump or his corporate friends and Big Oil cronies. Big Ag, Big Pharma, and fossil fuel corporations can now spend millions to launch more powerful misinformation campaigns. 

In short, massive Internet companies could decide what stories we hear about Donald Trump’s attacks on people and the environment -- potentially keeping any critical content hidden. 

Now, it’s time for the power of the Internet to return to everyday folks like you and me, and for Congress to make that happen. But Representatives will only act if they feel the pressure from engaged Friends of the Earth Action members like you. 

Net neutrality is vital to free speech, small businesses, and communities that might not otherwise have a voice in the mainstream media. There’s NO EXCUSE -- every lawmaker, both Republican and Democrat, should support net neutrality.

The FCC's massively unpopular decision sparked a national movement to keep the Internet open and fair. Millions of people across the political spectrum took action in the streets, at their statehouses, outside the FCC, and before Congress. 

As of now, more than 130 legislators have supported restoring net neutrality. We’re closer to a victory than we’ve ever been, but we still need your help. If engaged Friends of the Earth Action members like you speak up again, we can push Congress to restore net neutrality and pass the Save the Internet Act.

Standing with you,
Liz Butler,
VP of organizing and strategic alliances,
Friends of the Earth Action