5th Annual Freedom21 Conference Highlights Struggle to Protect Freedom

July 8, 2004

Freedom of religion, property rights, the United Nations, rights of gun owners, attacks on national sovereignty, on education, and the Constitution, will be among the issues featured during the fifth annual Freedom21 Conference to be held July 21-24 in Reno, Nevada.

“As Americans have demonstrated a steady preference for the protection of Constitutional freedoms since the days of Barry Goldwater’s bid for the presidency, culminating in the election of Ronald Reagan and Bush41 and Bush43, the rise of popular conservative talk radio personalities, it has been the efforts of the movement’s leaders that have galvanized public opinion,” says Henry Lamb of Sovereignty International, an organizer of the conference. “This annual event brings together those leaders for four days of discussion regarding the current status of these issues.”

On Wednesday, July 21, the conference will begin with an address by Judge Roy Moore whose monument featuring the Ten Commandments stirred a national discussion of freedom of religion in America. In his speech, “One Nation Under God” he will discuss what he regards as the unlawful intrusion of the federal government into state sovereignty.

David Rothbard, president of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, will lead a panel that will include Dr. Michael Coffman discussing the foundation for the choice between freedom and collectivism; Henry Lamb providing an overview of how international organizations and agencies work to influence domestic policy; Paul Driessen, author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death”, will discuss why the expansion of freedom worldwide will prevent the death of millions due to environmental policies; Niger Innis, the national spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), will discuss how opponents of freedom affects the poorest people in developing nations; Floy Lilley, a founding member of Sovereignty International, will discuss freedom’s potential worldwide; and Craig Rucker of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, will report on stories of victories for freedom.

On Thursday, July 22, Dr. Michael Coffman will review programs based on “The Wildlands Project, and Henry Lamb will review the UN’s “Agenda 21” program, both of which attack property rights, the keystone of the American economy and the spread of capitalism. Under the rubric of “sustainable development”, the federal government is continuing to acquire more of the US landmass and similar efforts exist worldwide. In the afternoon, G.B. Oliver III, executive director of the Paraqon Foundation, will discuss how the ranching industry is affected by domestic and international policies and how land use restraints pose a threat to its ability to survive.

Joining Oliver will be Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, who will discuss continuing efforts to disarm Americans in the name of “sustainable development.” In the afternoon, former Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage and her husband, Wayne Hage, will share their experiences battling for his property through the courts. Decisions in this case may be precedent setting for other ranchers whose property rights have been “taken” by the federal government.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-14th District, Texas) will discuss efforts to erode the Constitution’s protections.

On Friday, July 23, the morning session will feature Tom DeWeese, president of the American Policy Center, a grassroots, activist think tank, along with Michael Chapman of EdWatch and Michael Shaw, discussing how “sustainable development” is eroding property rights and representation of citizens through the creation of unelected “councils” and with the continuing effort to undermine the nation’s education system. Mr. Shaw is the founder of Freedom21 Santa Cruz (CA), the first local organization to oppose the UN’s Agenda21 program that advocates “sustainable development”, as a way to control and undermine economic growth in the United States and throughout the world.

A second morning session is devoted to developing an effective response and will include Jim Burling who has litigated many important cases that establish case law for property rights issues. Also on the program is Chuck Cushman, executive director of the American Land Rights Association, a leader in local, grassroots actions to advance the principles of freedom in local, state, and national policy.

In the afternoon of July 23, there will be reports from the field provided by Lori Waters, executive director of Eagle Forum’s Washington, DC office. She will discuss how Loudoun Country, Virginia, suffered the consequences of “sustainable development” and the battle to reverse its programs. Silvia Allen, founder of Arizona’s People for the West and now founding president of the Freedom for America League, will report on events before and after the devastating Rodeo/Chediski fire that burned 500,000 acres due to poor federal and state forest management practices. They will be joined by Clarice Ryan who will report on events and activities in Montana where she works with Montanans for Multiple Use and serves on the Bigfork land use advisory committee for the Flathead County Planning and Zoning Office.

On Saturday, July 24, the morning will feature reports from Washington, DC, and an organizational workshop. Kent Snyder, executive director of the Liberty Committee, a Congressional Caucus founded by Congressman Ron Paul, will discuss pending legislation affecting the Constitution and, therefore, the principles of freedom it establishes. Also participating will be Michael Shaw and Brent Duncan who will lead attendees in a workshop on organizational processes that can be used by any organization advancing the principles of freedom in public policy. A report by Kathy Benedetto will update attendees on the hearings affecting Klamath Falls whose farmers will adversely affected by the shutoff of water for irrigation based on the premise of endangered species. Constitution Party candidate for president, Michael Peroutka, will offer a presentation.

The afternoon of July 24 will be devoted to a presentation of the Freedom21 Platform and Action Plan. A banquet in the evening will be addressed by C.J. Hadley, editor and publisher of Range Magazine.

The Conference is sponsored by the Eagle Forum, American Policy Center, American Land Rights Association, League of Private Property Voters, Heartland Institute, Sovereignty International, Paragon Foundation, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and Environmental Conservation Organization.

The freedoms that Americans have fought for and have sacrificed their lives to protect are the heart and soul of Freedom21 and this conference will address them as few others do. This year’s conference is of particular importance as a new generation of Americans who fought to extend freedom to Iraq continue the nation’s promise to extend its benefits far from home to the citizens of that newly constituted sovereign nation. The conference, however, will demonstrate the need for a continued struggle to protect and presume those same freedoms for Americans in their own nation.

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Tom DeWeese
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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.