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Constitution Day is Sept. 17, the day many citizens celebrate the foundation upon which all American law is supposed to rest. New laws are emerging every day, however, that rest not upon the U.S. Constitution, but on a newer document called Agenda 21.
The Fourth Amendment says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated. …”
The Fifth Amendment says “… nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. …”
Joey Gallo says, “All of a sudden I’ve got police at my front door, with guns, wearing bullet-proof vests. They surrounded my place. Everything I’ve worked for was just melting away from me.” Oscar Castaneda was told that unless he secures a building permit, he will have to leave his land. The county will not issue a building permit until Oscar pays $75,000 to $100,000 to connect to the electricity grid and dig a new well. For the last 22 years, Oscar has been doing just fine using electricity he generates from his solar panels and with the water that comes from his existing well.
Joey and Oscar are just two of the residents of Antelope Valley in north Los Angeles County who have been targeted by Nuisance Abatement Teams (NATs). For years, these families have lived peaceful lives, disturbing no one. Suddenly, the county wants these people off their land, and they are forcing them off the land with absolutely no regard for the constitutional guarantee that citizens are secure in their persons, their houses and their effects. This means that government cannot enter private property uninvited, without a search warrant. Apparently, NATs care nothing about the Fourth Amendment.
The excuse used by the NATs is that unnamed neighbors have complained about the appearance of the property. Oscar’s nearest neighbors are 10 miles away. Is there not something in our legal system that says an accused person is entitled to confront his accusers? Not according to the NATs, which have become the “L.A. God squads.”
Joey, Oscar and the other Antelope Valley residents were not shown a search warrant; they were told to remove or destroy their property, and leave. The county offered not a penny for “just compensation” for the property. Officials just issued orders for the owners to leave, or face fines and jail time for every day they remained in defiance of the officials’ orders.
The detailed story about these people is available here. ReasonTV has produced a video (9:50) that will make you want to travel to Los Angeles County and descend upon the Board of Supervisors and inject a healthy dose of the U.S. Constitution. The producers of the video asked five different departments of Los Angeles County government for an interview to discuss why these properties were being taken. Every department refused to talk to the producers.
The producers asked for and received time on the agenda of a meeting of the Board of Supervisors and asked this question: “How is using Nuisance Abatement Teams to force Antelope Valley residents to destroy their houses and vacate their property in the public interest?”
Supervisor Mike Antonovich, to whom the question was directed, sat motionless and quiet. Eventually, a clerk told the questioner that the supervisors were not required to answer questions. When elected officials display this degree of arrogance, their bureaucrat employees – who don’t have to worry about elections – are likely to be brutal.
This blatant disregard for the Constitution and the determination to remove people from their rural property is the result of the implementation of sustainable development as defined in Agenda 21. This government behavior is not limited to Los Angeles County. To one degree or another, it has infected nearly every county and city in America.
The Agenda 21 police have discovered that by declaring property to be a “nuisance” or “blight,” they are free to take the property, without any thought about the Constitution. Neither nuisance nor blight is exempt from the protection provided for private property. Nor is there any unit of government anointed with the power to designate the property of private individuals to be a nuisance or blight.
Agenda 21 and the myriad of so-called “sustainable development” policies that flow from it are at odds with the U.S. Constitution. These policies lead to a government-managed society. The U.S. Constitution leads to a society-managed government. In Los Angeles County, and in cities and counties across the country, the Constitution is being buried under these sustainable-development polices defined so vividly in the U.N. document Agenda 21.
America doesn’t need sustainable development; America needs sustainable freedom. The source of that freedom is the Creator of all things. The U.S. Constitution guarantees that freedom to every American. Honor it; defend it; celebrate it. Don’t let professional bureaucrats or elected officials replace your freedom with freedom-killing polices while waving the flag of sustainability.