Monday, July 30, 2012

Rainwater Crimes: Man Gets Jail & Fines For Collecting On His Own Land

Water, water, everywhere - Nor any drop to drink.*

A case of the government seeking money and bondage from rural residents by purposely misconstruing an old law & bending definitions.

Activist Post

Gary Harrington had no idea that he was a water criminal under an obscure 1925 law until 2002 when state bureaucrats told him that his three reservoirs were illegal collection devices that were a crime against his community.

At first, Harrington complied and legally filed for three permits to keep the rainwater run-off within his 170-acre property, including one that had been on the property for 37 years. However, it appears that the Oregon government is adamantly against its citizens storing and using their own source of water. Although his permits were approved in 2003, the state court arbitrarily reversed their decision and was subsequently backed up by a county Circuit Court judge who ruled that he had illegally “withdrawn the water at issue from appropriation other than for the City of Medford.” (Source)

Even if the city of Medford did legitimately own all the water, Harrington has good standing when he points out that the law mentions only streams and tributaries, not water run-off formulated from the clouds.

Clearly, the Oregon government is sending the message that if a resident wants water, it had better be with their approval and by their means. But Oregon isn't the only place instituting rainwater tyranny.

Western states such as Utah, Colorado, and Washington have long outlawed the practice, basically invoking the collectivist notion that the rainwater is ultimately communal, and to store it (hoard it) is a crime (Source).  Other countries have had uprisings over this issue. In 1999 mega corporation, Bechtel, the largest construction contractor in the United States and winner of rebuilding contracts after the leveling provided by Katrina and the invasion of Iraq, privatized the public water system in Cochabamba - Bolivia's third largest city. As reported at the time:

This is a country where indigenous farming communities previously had their own water rights, but their water sources were converted into property to be bought and sold by international corporations. When the company refused to lower rates, the people began to rise up and revolt against this injustice; they confronted Bechtel during five months of mobilization and managed to defeat them, breach the contract and change the law. 
A 17-year-old boy named Victor Hugo Daza was killed in the protests along with four indigenous people from El Alto, while hundreds were injured. It was this popular uprising in Cochabamba that led to the election of their new president Evo Morales, the first ever indigenous head of state in Bolivia. 
So Bechtel was thrown out of Bolivia, but months later they moved to do the exact same thing in Ecuador‘s largest city of Guayaquil. And in November 2001, they filed a lawsuit against Bolivia demanding $50 million, an amount which is just short of what the corporation makes in a day. The case will be decided behind closed doors in a secret trade court at the World Bank headquarters in Washington; it will tell whether the people of South America’s poorest country will have to pay $50 million to one of the world’s most wealthy corporations. 
Update: In 2006, Bechtel dropped their case against Bolivia. (Source)
In the case of Ecuador, thousands showed up to protest the corporate takeover of their innate right to use the water that falls upon their land. In some ways, what is happening in Oregon and other Western states is even worse than the privatization led by corporations like Bechtel.

Not only are resources and populations being exploited for financial gain, but as Mike Adams correctly points out for NaturalNews: sunlight and air also fall on your land, so where will this end if people don't stand up in defense of their most basic rights?

It is the very spirit of American ownership of private property and the right to self-determination that are being threatened. The ideology of collectivism is seeking in myriad ways to upend the foundation of America and criminalize independence. Hat's off to Harrington who embodies the spirit of true freedom and vows never to end the fight if his rights continue to get trampled.

“When something is wrong, you just, as an American citizen, you have to put your foot down and say, ‘This is wrong; you just can’t take away anymore of my rights and from here on in, I’m going to fight it.” There are several lines in the sand that should not be crossed within any country claiming to be rooted in freedom.

Revolt has happened in other nations subjected to the same level of tyranny who recognized that even without an American Constitution, this is a human rights issue that in fact has no boundaries. The words of water criminal Gary Harrington ring clear that we'd do well to stand our ground on fundamental issues, unless we wish to give away our spirit along with our land:
They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail.
*Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Mariners are surrounded by a sea of water they cannot drink.

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Paul Panza said...

According to Obama's Executive Orders and the NDAA, we have already lost our claim to the goods of a free life. Thank you for exposing the evil corporate collectivism (corporate communism) and it's intent to further subjugate the sheeple. said...

Tyranny Tyranny Tyranny!

stop willingly complying

Anonymous said...

If it's the governments water then charge them rent for letting it fall on your land.

Anonymous said...

The water fell onto his property, what falls within a person's property line per acreage, if I were a lawyer defending this stupid case, I'd say makes it available for his use. If there are growing plants on the property, could he be cited for hoarding water in the soil or his plants? Or file charges against the plants and the soil for hoarding it? Or, maybe cite him for hoarding it in the airspace above his property, which is what got him into trouble in the first place. Could he be cited for holding water in his own body? "Here, pee in this cup..."

Necessarily, the argument could be reversed, that if he did not store the water in barrels, he'd be allowing it to go to waste, through evaporation and into the ground (on his property), therefore violating community water laws? Damned if you do...Water goes where water will. I know, I know, we're talking about just who can control it. Right.

Does Oregon and the rest of these 'water law' states wish to extend their reach to include the rest of the country? Wait, oh no, I just opened up a whole can of worms there...

Anonymous said...

Oregon is a great example of a mommy state

Carroll said...

Well, it's true that you don't (and can’t) own the land you live on even though the land may be mortgage-free and a deed is filed in the local court house to prove it. If you don't believe it, stop paying taxes on "your land" and see how long it takes the government (federal, state or county, depending on the circumstances) to seize it (by force if necessary), auction it off to the highest bidder, and place the proceeds in a government coffer of some description. True land ownership (evidenced by the existence of a land patent or title rather than a deed) is extremely rare, having been replaced more than 150 years ago by deeded land that's owned by the state and administered by the county who then leases it to tenants (mistakenly called land owners) who are allowed to remain on the property as long as they fulfill the requirements stipulated on the deed. With the foremost requirement being the paying of all property and other accessed taxes when due, with no excuses accepted for non-payment. The practical reality of this arrangement is(as an example) if an individual lives on inherited, mortgage free property for 75 or 80 years, then reaches the point in life where he or she is unable to pay property taxes because of sickness or disability, the county forecloses on the land, throws the individual out on the street, and puts another "land owner" on the land who is able to pay all back-taxes plus any future taxes.

Peter Wakefield Sault said...

All land "ownership" involves an original theft from Mother Nature no matter who thinks he "owns" it. Even if you are not the original thief, as a "land owner" you are a "receiver of stolen goods" so just as much a criminal as the original thief. It's all about who's got the biggest guns.


Anonymous said...

Next up: Air

Anonymous said...

@Carroll: Yes, true ownership is called "allodial title" and does not exist among PEOPLE; only corporations, some known as GOVERNMENT.

However: remember that these are all words that are SPELLED (like a wizards') and merely illusion. None truly own anything, merely tenant and ward it until they die.

Corporations, now (including government chartered into existence by Constitution as a compact with the People, setting the boundaries of its given powers), do not breathe, eat, drink, sleep, require comfort or care, or DIE. They need to be abolished in their current form.

Back in the early Republic, corporations (BANKS included) had lifespans between 10 and 25 years BY CHARTER. I think it is time to re-institute those rules. Anyone agree?

Anonymous said...

If persons are corporations and corporations can hold alloidle titles, then so can persons.

dogismyth said...

duh...the point of the story is that you are not free to do anything. And nothing belongs to you.

Isn't that obvious? Do you own anything outright that the gov/fascist regime cannot tax, and take if you do not pay the tax.

You can talk about change....but you're TOO LATE!!! THEY are in charge and YOU do as they say. Every once in a while they might let you you can feel free and useful.

But...THEY are in charge and you ain't gonna change it anytime soon if ever.

Anonymous said...

I just want to get on a city council now so I can be a big bad Fascist and pee on people's parades! WOW, aren't some people just WONDERFUL! This is why I go around insulting people all the time, especially if they have money. The more money you have, the more I'm going to be verbally abusive... because treating people like this means that YOU SUCK! I do it all the time, and I don't give a damn. Because some one has to, and it's fun. Because these nerds didn't get enough of it in High School or else they would have learned to get along with people instead of pissing in everyone's pot.

Anonymous said...

This is junk reporting from a junk source, what BS.

Anonymous said...

Familiarize yourself with western water law. This article is total nonsense.

Utah has changed their law to allow rainwater harvesting, but a claim (appropriation) must be filed with the State Engineer.

Western water law allows for water to be put to beneficial use. All water in a State is owned by the State, surface water, ground water, rainwater. Water can only be used if it has been appropriated, and an appropriation right has been granted by the State.

Water rights are based on seniority. The first filers get the first rights, and a priority to use the water.

Since rainwater runs off downhill once it hits the ground, collecting rainwater means a decrease in someone else's water right (however slight). many western states are considering a change in law to allow the collection of rainwater. But in every case, a claim must be filed with the state and a water right issued by the State Engineer.

Don;t let BS articles like this scare you. Do your homework.

Anonymous said...

If they claim it's their water and they want to charge for it, then they should be liable to all costs from water damage such as rusted vehicles, rotted wood and ruined hair-do's. M. M. England.

Anonymous said...

Yes, this article is very full of crap ! I know people in that part of oregon and it wasn`t rain water that was the problem, it was a diverted stream, that`s the problem. Yeah folks,that`s illegal,and rightly so. As always, do a little research before you sheeple start your BAAAAAAAAAing. Another thing,natural news and mike adams are associated with alex jones,meaning, dis info agents,fakes. Hope this info helps

the Postman said...

What we see happening today actually got started a long time ago. Read Anton Chaitkin's "Treason in America" and find out how it all began. -- the Postman (

Yoseph said...

Paul Panza, If it was "corporate communism" you would not have this problem... The rainwater is not a means of production... Why does not this happen with the air?!

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