Recently Forest Jahnke, Crawford Stewardship Project’s Program Coordinator, received a request from Public Citizen to sign an online petition to tell the Cooke Corporation to stand down on its threat to a Washington State Environmental Law. Below is what Forest had to say about it from a Community Rights perspective, and a brief description of the petition and the links to get you to the petition.

“Investor-state dispute settlements” (shortened to ISDS) are one of the clearest ways we know the system is not set up to uphold the people’s will, but commerce and profit (these days, largely for multinational corporations).  We have seen several of these cases go through already and they generally don’t end well for our communities.

We see the same series of events playing out again and again.  A community seeks to protect itself, an attorney sues to protect corporate profits using ISDS, and generally the anonymous international trade lawyers agree with the corporation that, yes indeed, based on international trade agreements and the illegitimate rights bestowed upon corporations, their profits are more important than our basic rights to life (clean water and air, living ecosystems, etc), liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  How far we have come from the founding Declaration of Independence and basic principles that organized this country.

This is why the basic structures of law that support such a system must be challenged at all levels.  This is why the time has come for people in communities across the nation to accept our place as We the People, with the right to alter and abolish structures of law that do not protect our basic rights.  

Online cause-supporting petitions have their place, but we should focus on establishing real democracy in each of our communities, first and foremost.  — Forest Jahnke, Community Rights US Advisory Board Member

Washington state recently passed a new environmental law to protect native fish and local ecosystems by banning the use of open water “net-pens” for farming Atlantic salmon in its Pacific waters.

But now, a fish farm corporation called Cooke Aquaculture has said U.S. taxpayers should fork over $76 million, plus lost expected profits, if the new law goes into effect.

Well, the law is going into effect. And Cooke could launch its case any day.

Learn about and sign the petition HERE.