Agenda 21 or Freedom 21: Making the Right Choice

March 31, 2007

By Tom DeWeese

Which do you choose? A way of life where you are the master of your destiny, or one where virtually all decisions are made for you by one ruling body or another? It’s the classic struggle facing every human on earth. Freedom or control.

Truth be known, there are many who actually choose control. It makes for a well-ordered society with few surprises. In a controlled society one doesn’t have to make complicated career choices, health care is provided.

Community planners decide where housing will be placed. Committees decide what industries are to be allowed and how they will operate. Self-appointed watchdogs decide the foods that you shall be permitted to eat, to protect our health, of course.

Family planners decide the number of children allowed and how they will be raised. Those children, of course, will be well taken care of every day in public education centers that not only provide a centrally planned curriculum, but also provide for all physical and mental health needs.

Crime can be eliminated in the coming Utopia because there will be no real possessions or personal property to steal and no personally owned weapons to threaten the authority of the State. Economic security is promised in a better world as everyone equally sacrifices their earned wealth to the State so all may live in harmony, free of greed and the stress of daily living. Everything is well organized, peaceful and controlled. Everyone is secure in the knowledge that tomorrow will be just like today.

On the other hand, there is the chaos of what some call freedom. In such a society, people are fully responsible for their own actions. Untethered individuals throw a monkey wrench into a well-ordered society by inventing new gadgets that make life easier and more productive, but threaten old ways.

“Selfish” people pursue their own dreams and ideals without ever worrying about how they fit into the order created by the State. They want to benefit from the fruits of their labor, own property and raise families without controls established from the wisdom of the community.

Imagine such a society in which parents get to decide how best to educate their children. And think of the irresponsibility of individuals actually being able to choose if and how they want to invest their money to prepare for retirement. In the so-called free society, people eat what they want without benefit of government approval. Children are part of the family that bore them, not overseen by the State. People start enterprises without asking permission. Nothing stays the same, except that individuals are secure in their homes and have the ability to live their lives as they choose.

Control today has a name. “Agenda 21.” This is the name of a policy document first unveiled at the United Nations’ Earth Summit in 1992. Implementation of the treaty is through a policy called Sustainable Development. This program is now the official policy of the United States and is being systematically imposed in every single state of the Union and in every city and town. There are very few exceptions. Sustainable Development is no less than a ruling principle through which decisions for all aspects of our lives are determined through public/private partnerships between government (at all levels) and private institutions in our communities. They provide guidelines to determine business decisions; property use; medical care; education curriculum; foreign policy; economics; taxes; labor policy; career decisions; housing; building material; farming policy; and much more. Agenda 21 is based on the principle that government is the maker of rights.

If you choose freedom, then there is a counter to Agenda 21 and its Sustainable Development program. It’s called Freedom 21, and it’s quickly growing into a “freedom movement.” Freedom 21 is not an organization. It is a loose coalition of groups and individuals who believe that our nation’s Founding Fathers had it right when they established this nation as one with tightly controlled reins on government. The Founding Fathers believed that all individuals were born with their rights of individual liberty, and that government’s job is to protect those rights as individuals pursue their own dreams and goals. That’s the basis for the Freedom 21 agenda.

Freedom 21 was organized six years ago by Henry Lamb (Environmental Conservation Organization), Tom DeWeese (American Policy Center), Craig Rucker and David Rothbard (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow), and representatives of Eagle Forum. Today, this group is joined by The Chicago-based Heartland Institute, Edwatch of Minnesota, Freedom 21 Santa Cruz, Sovereignty International, and the American land Foundation, based in Texas.

The unique fact about Freedom 21 is that it is truly a grassroots coalition. It has no central infrastructure; no official leader; no budget; no overhead; and no bureaucracy. The co-sponsors are independent organizations, which do not give up their individual identity or autonomy to participate in Freedom 21 activities. It succeeds precisely because members are open to the activities of others and are happy to lend their support. The coalition operates under a set of principles of freedom, first adopted by activists in conference in July of 2000.

In its eight years, the Freedom 21 Campaign has served as a mechanism for reaching out to the freedom movement to share ideas and unite grassroots activists. Through Freedom 21 projects and conferences, the movement has been able to introduce leaders in other movements to the principles of freedom. Even more, one-issue activists are beginning to learn that they share common goals and adversaries with other grassroots movements. Freedom 21 has been instrumental in uniting Second Amendment defenders; property rights activists; free market advocates; tax opponents; personal privacy protectors; family autonomy champions; back-to-basics education activists, and many more. These single-issue activists have come to understand that they all share a common foe in Sustainable Development.

Today, Freedom 21 is providing invaluable tools to help fight back against the threat of the UN’s Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development. Three years ago, Freedom 21 leaders developed a six-hour DVD presentation entitled, “Americas’ Choice: Liberty or Sustainable Development,” designed to help educate activists and elected officials. That DVD is still the most comprehensive presentation on the subject. The DVD was followed with production of a booklet for elected officials entitled, “Understanding Sustainable Development: A Guide for Public Officials.”

In 2005, Freedom 21 turned its efforts toward creating new sources of funding for a cash-starved freedom movement. is a unique Internet news service that gives $2 of every member’s monthly subscription fee to the freedom organization of the member’s choice. Now, in 2007, the Freedom21 Credit Union has opened its doors, offering a unique opportunity for depositors, through the credit union, to help fund the organizations of their choice.

The most important project each year is the Freedom 21 national conference, this year scheduled for July 19 to 21 in Dallas, Texas. This year’s conference is the only conference of its kind to focus entirely on the debate over the creation of a North American Union. The conference will feature addresses by Phyllis Schlafly, Henry Lamb, Patrick Wood, Michael Coffman, Cliff Kincaid and myself, to name a very few. Also invited to speak are Rep. Ron Paul and Jerome Corsi. Participants will learn about the Security and Prosperity Partnership, the Trans Texas Corridor, the Kansas City Smart Port, the role of immigration to the process, and the connections of the SPP with Sustainable Development. Allen Quist and Mike Chapman for Edwatch will present documentation on public education’s ties to Sustainable Development. In addition, Marlo Lewis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute will dispute the message of Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The conference educates, unites, inspires, and renews the spirit. Go to for all the details. Freedom 21 is the gathering place for the freedom movement.

Collectivism, and its false promise of security, may be the accepted policy of the day, but the freedom movement is learning how to fight back. You can join the fight by registering to attend the 8th Annual Freedom 21 National Conference.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods ( He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.