Skip to comments.Property Rights Violated..... Rural America Under Siege
Posted on 09/19/2002 9:18:45 AM PDT by AAABEST
Editor's note: The following is CSE member Madeleine Fortin's own story about how the federal government is confiscating her and her neighbors' property. CSE members from around the country and especially from Florida can support Madeleine Fortin and other Florida property owners by attending the Sawgrass Rebellion rallies in Naples and Homestead on October 17, 18, and 19. We will be sharing more information about these rallies in future CSE newsletters, as well as information about rallies across the country as convoys from Klamath Falls, OR, and London, OH travel to South Florida.
My name is Madeleine Fortin. I am the president of the 8.5 Square Mile Area Legal Defense Foundation and a member of Citizens for a Sound Economy. While I devote as much time as I can to CSE activities, I have been mostly dealing with an issue that involves my community and the Army Corps of Engineers.
In spite of Congressional direction, radical environmentalists hiding in state and federal government agencies have caused my community to be flooded unmercifully since 1994 in an effort to force people to become "willing sellers." So far, there has been at least $1 billion in flood related losses and 14 flood related deaths throughout the urban and agricultural areas of the county. The agricultural community in the southern part of the County is literally on its knees. Fifty-year-old avocado and mango groves are dead. To the government, these farmers are just more "willing sellers."
Flooding has destroyed my community's way of life. Over half the 55 miles of unpaved roads in the community are no longer passable to regular vehicles. Year after year, people have lost crops, orchards and livestock. The flooding is not a natural event-it has been engineered by the government agencies that are supposed to be "restoring the Everglades." As one man who was forced by the flooding to become a "willing seller" said at a public meeting, "You use water as a weapon of terror!" Another man told me just before he sold his home to the government, "They've slaughtered the American Dream."
After dealing with this issue for years, I now find that hundreds of communities all across the country are involved in situations similar to those in my community. Unless you are personally affected, you may not be aware of the implications of the massive assault on Constitutional property rights that is taking place all across the county. If you live in an urban area you may feel that this issue doesn't affect you. After all, the government isn't trying to take your land. Unfortunately, when the Constitutional rights of any segment of the population are taken away the entire country suffers. Please consider the following: Property rights form the basis of a sound economy.
If people are not allowed to use their land free of intrusive governmental regulations or without fear of government acquisition, the economy suffers. When the government takes private property away from people, the local property tax base is reduced, thus placing a greater tax burden on the remaining property owners in a community. When people are denied reasonable use of their property the economy suffers also. Consider what happens when farm land is taken out of production. Not only the farmer is affected. The agricultural workers who worked the land are affected. The businesses that sold the seed and fertilizer are affected. The supermarkets that sold them food are affected. The same holds true for any business, whether it's a farm, a plant nursery, a dairy, or a cattle ranch. Property rights form the basis for our Constitution.
It is a fact of human nature that people will fight harder to protect what is theirs. The folks who wrote the Constitution knew this when they made property rights a central tenet of the Constitution. The right of free speech and free assembly and the right of an individual to own and use private property, free from harassment and fear of government acquisition provide the foundation of all our other rights. They are what gives each of us a stake in the "American Dream." It is impossible to envision a free America without these most basic human rights.
Now, all over the United States, the Constitutional rights of property owners and the economies of rural communities are being destroyed in the name of "protecting the environment". Based on junk science, areas like the Klamath Basin in Oregon, and the Darby Watershed in Ohio have had their economies devastated by environmental regulations that have done nothing to either protect or enhance environmental quality. Ranches have lost grazing leases. People are having their homes and farms taken away from them to provide "buffer zones" for national parks.
The situation here in South Florida has reached the critical stage. As a result of government's misguided project to "restore" the Everglades, people all over south Florida are having their land taken and their ability to earn a living ruined.
In an effort to bring these issues to the attention of the nation, Paragon Foundation is organizing the Sawgrass Rebellion. Thousands of people from all over the country will converge on South Florida in October for what we hope will be the biggest property rights rally ever held. As a CSE member I would like to urge CSE to actively support this nation-wide effort. We are attempting to form a nation-wide coalition of people and organizations in an effort to take our issues to Washington. It is only by working together that we can stop this governmental abuse of the Constitution and the assault on free enterprise.
If even one person in the United States is not protected by the Constitution, then no one is safe. If even one person loses their home to the government, then the homes of every American are at risk. If the government can do this to us, it can (and will) do it to you! Please support the Sawgrass Rebellion!
Contacts: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the club!!! And a big thanx to the environmentalists.
If avowed conservatives won't grasp this, then they are merely statists themselves.
Federal officials swear an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States. When an sworn public service employee blatantly violates their oath of office, they should be removed as fast as legally possible.
Do they want us to revolt ?