The Potemkin global villages: far from representing "global civil society," the Earth Charter Community Summits were tiny gatherings of ultra-left activists financed by wealthy, one-world elitists. (At a Glance).
The Earth Charter Community Summits held in 20 U.S. cities on September 28th were likewise Potemkin frauds, in more ways than one. THE NEW AMERICAN covered the summit events in San Francisco, Santa Rosa, and Los Angeles, Calif.; Austin, Texas; Oshkosh, Wis.; Burlington, Vt.; West Hartford, Conn.; New Orleans, La.; Washington, D.C.; and Mobile, Ala. Despite considerable promotion, favorable media treatment, and summit venues in the heart of liberal-left activist communities, the summits -- based on attendance -- were complete flops, belying the claims of the Earth Charter organizers that they represent a global, popular, grass-roots movement. Expected to be the largest gathering, the San Francisco summit fluctuated between 65 and 150 attendees. The Los Angeles gathering ranged between 23 and 130. The largest summit attendance appears to have been in Burlington, Vt., which boasted a high of 350-400.
The summits also failed miserably to attract the diverse cross section of "global civil society" that they claim to represent; the organizers, speakers, and participants were tilted heavily to the extreme left, with Communists, socialists, environmental fanatics, lesbians, homosexuals, and nutty spiritualists dominating the proceedings. Nevertheless, this tiny cadre of zealots is succeeding in gaining institutional support for the Earth Charter by bluff and by networking with fellow subversives within targeted institutions. The U.S. Conference of Mayors and many organizations, schools, colleges, and universities have endorsed the Charter, which was heavily promoted in September at the UN's World Summit on Sustainable Development, otherwise known as Earth Summit II.
The Earth Charter was concocted by a coterie of globalists headed by former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev, Earth Summit I chief Maurice Strong, and millionaire professor Steven C. Rockefeller, head of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. "The real goal of the Earth Charter," says Maurice Strong, "is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments." Purposely drenched in alluringly loaded verbiage, the Earth Charter aims to create support for empowering the UN as a world government, while promoting neo-paganism as the new world religion.
Agenda for global government: Susan Zipp, one of the three international co-chairpersons of the Global People's Assembly (GPA), opened the San Francisco Earth Charter Community Summit and emceed much of the event. Among her opening comments was the guilt-inducing statement that "15 percent of the world's population consume 85 percent of the world's resources," a deceptive remark repeated by several speakers during the course of the day. The GPA is pushing to create a People's Assembly at the UN, to serve ultimately as a global legislature. One of Ms. Zipp's fellow co-chairpersons, Dr. Rashmi Mayur, recently wrote: "If the human civilization is to survive ... there must be world rule of law.... Such a rule of law can only be implemented by an institution which has legitimacy and power on a global scale, that is, World Government.... World Government Now."
Sacred groves: Many Earth Charter Community Summits followed the tree planting example set by Steven Rockefeller's pagan Ark of Hope ceremony in Shelburne, Vt. This burr oak was planted for Earth Charter ceremonies at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh.
Cuba is the model: Debra James, representing Global Exchange, reported on her participation at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg. According to Ms. James, "The UN was hijacked by the World Trade Organization" and multi-national corporations at the summit. "There is a war going on in the world about global governance," she said. "Who is going to decide the government of the entire world -- the first time a government of the entire world is going to exist? Is it going to be about life values, like peace, security, the dignity of every person, conservation of our natural environment, safety and security, or is it going to be about money values, profit-making, and corporate greed?" In this false dichotomy James leaves no ground for a third alternative: No world government, and the continuation of the U.S. as a free, independent nation. James also told the audience, "There is going to be another World Summit on Sustainable Development not convened by corporations working with the UN, but convened by Cuba.... I think it will have far different outcomes" than Johannesburg. James provided flyers for the Cuba conference.
World citizens unite! Brent Hunter of the United Nations Association told San Francisco attendees that "we must pull together as world citizens" and "take a totally global view of the earth." "We are completely interconnected and we're totally interdependent," said Mr. Hunter. "We all are world citizens.... World citizens can also act by endorsing the Earth Charter and joining organizations like the United Nations Association, the Association of World Citizens, the Global People's Assembly.... Obviously, promoting of the UN is critical. Thank you fellow world citizens."
Disarmament guru: Dr. David Krieger, founder and president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, was the keynote speaker for the San Francisco summit. Dr. Krieger and his foundation have worked with nearly all of the radical "peace" and surrender organizations opposed to virtually all U.S. defense programs, including the Global Security Institute (founded by Communist Mikhail Gorbachev and Alan Cranston), the Pugwash Conferences, School of the Americas Watch, Greenpeace, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Middle Powers Initiative, Council for a Liveable World, Abolition 2000, and the Lawyers Committee for Nuclear Policy.
Communist party official: Irving Sarnoff, a longtime Communist Party functionary going back to the 1950s, provided the welcoming and introductory remarks at the Los Angeles Earth Charter Summit. Identified as merely representing Friends of the UN (FUN), Sarnoff served as a delegate to several Communist Party conventions and during the Cold War and Vietnam War attended Communist conferences in Moscow, East Berlin, and Budapest.
Praises for Lenin and Marx: Eric Mann, founder and director of the radical Labor Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles, was one of six left-wing panelists on the Los Angeles summit's afternoon program. He was joined by Barbara Lott-Holland, a fellow comrade from his Strategy Center, and Adalila Zelada, an activist with the National Lawyers Guild (officially identified by a congressional committee as the "foremost legal bulwark of the Communist Party"). A flyer passed out by Mann's group features a photo of Mann and Lott-Holland in South Africa with a South African Communist Party (SACP) leader identified only as "Lenin." In an essay entitled "Where is Lenin now that we need him?," Mann favorably quotes Russian Communist leader V. I. Lenin and then tells of the wonderful experience of meeting in Johannesburg the SACP leader who goes by the name "Lenin." Eric Mann praised the SACP and commented: "... Marxism offers hope, in that it confronts economic, political, and spiritual poverty as a temporary condition that can be transformed through political struggle."
"Embarrassed to be an American": Expressing a common refrain of U.S. participants at the Earth Summit, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter stated that she was "embarrassed to be an American with all of our abundance." She did not say that she was embarrassed that our government supports the UN, the IMF, and World Bank, all of which support socialist governments and dictatorships that keep their people in abject poverty.
Money helps: Steven Rockefeller (seen here in 2001), a Vermont professor emeritus of religion and chairman of the Earth Charter International Drafting Committee, addressed the Earth Charter Community Summit in Burlington, Vermont. Thanks to Mr. Rockefeller's funding, the radical activists in Vermont have progressed the furthest in pushing adoption of the Earth Charter by the state, cities, towns, and schools. Nearly 400 people, including many school students, attended the Vermont event.