From the October 2002 Idaho Observer:

The Sawgrass Rebellion: Property rights activism gaining ground in gator country

by Don Harkins

As of October 3, 2002, it appeared that the Sawgrass Rebellion would be administratively disarmed for not having secured the proper government permits to organize a demonstration against government land use policies.

However, rebellions cancelled for lack of government permission violate the true spirit of rebelliousness and the activities will go forward as planned.

The issue arose when area property owners learned that a $7.8 billion Everglades Restoration Plan seeks to "restore" the Everglades. “The plan, however, is also expected to drive hundreds of people from their homes and flood thousands of acres of prime farmland. Moreover, the Washington Post has reported that scientists and engineers have a low confidence level that the plan will achieve the anticipated results,” reported WorldNetDaily.

The state of Florida has positioned itself against its citizens by siding with the federal government and further complicating land use laws by proposing amendments to the Collier County Comprehensive Plan. The amendments would designate vast stretches of private property as "Natural Resource Protection Areas" in a county where 87 percent of the land is already under government control or is otherwise "protected" through land use regulatory schemes.

Property rights activists from all over the country will begin arriving in Naples October 17. Caravans from Nevada, Klamath Falls, Oregon and Darby, Ohio, all locations where major property rights events have been held, are expected to be meeting up with cars and trucks along the way.

Some 700 property rights advocacy groups have lent their support to this effort. J. Zane Walley of the property rights advocacy Paragon Foundation will be reporting the events as they occur from the War Wagon -- a pickup truck carrying a camp trailer equipped with the latest in electronic communications apparatus.

“On October 18th, 2002 the Property Rights Action Committee (PRAC) will be hosting a National Block Party/Yard Sale, and everyone in the nation is invited. This will be a first of its kind, as people from all walks of life will be in attendance. Admission is free. All that is required at the door is that you love your country, care about your neighbor and have a desire to be a part of something larger than yourself,” explained committee chairman John Grasmeier of Naples.

After the fun and festivities in Naples, a convoy will embark on a journey through “alligator alley” on Highway 41 en route to the battered town of Homestead for the main event.

The PRAC had been working with local authorities since mid-July to obtain the proper permits one must have to legally protest the activities of government. PRAC found their peaceable intentions obstructed during every step of the permit process.

Rather than cancelling the rebellion for being unable to negotiate the terms of the rebellion with local authorities, demonstrations will go forward as planned.

The only purpose of the Sawgrass Rebellion is to preserve private property rights over governments' desire to enforce a broad spectrum of land management programs.

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