Using The Web To Defeat Eminent Domain Abuse
By Dana Berliner
With our inaugural conference held in Washington, D.C., on March 2, 2002 (see story opposite page), the Castle Coalition launched the website www.CastleCoalition.org as a resource for property owners and activists trying to fight the use of eminent domain to benefit private parties. Many people facing this situation for the first time find themselves uncertain about where to begin and how to engage in effective activism while still being mindful of legal pitfalls.
Dana Berliner, Stephanie Parker-Weaver, Matt Dery and Scott Bullock (left to right) speak about eminent domain abuse and announce IJís new website, www.CastleCoalition.org, at a press conference following the Castle Coalition conference.
The main section of the website is the Eminent Domain Abuse Survival Kit, which guides people through the process of getting information, forming coalitions and then protesting eminent domain abuse. We have seen eminent domain opponents try an enormous range of strategies. They’ve circulated petitions, sponsored successful voter referenda, picketed the Swedish Consulate, erected billboards, held bake sales, talked to their neighbors and talked to people with whom they never in a million years thought they’d find common ground. Each of these strategies and more are detailed on the website, as well as suggestions for how to work with the media.
Activist Stephanie Parker-Weaver says that the right to own property is as important to her as the Second Amendment is to gun enthusiasts.
CastleCoalition.org gives examples of the successes that people have achieved through creative and targeted activism. We also provide the Castle Coalition’s first report, a list of the top ten worst abuses of eminent domain. Finally, for everyone who wants to know about all the current eminent domain controversies and the most recent court decisions, “What’s New” provides up-to-date information on condemnations for private parties around the country.
It’s time for citizens to tell their state and local governments that enough is enough. The Castle Coalition website helps owners and activists to end government taking of property for use by other private parties.