Community Rights & Rights of Nature: A New Paradigm

Broadcast on 2017/01/07 (PT)

wp-kaihuschkeKai Huschke, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Community Organizer in the Pacific Northwest

That’s a long title but Kai and his colleagues are building something big. The CELDF  is building a movement for Community Rights and the Rights of Nature to advance democratic, economic, social and environmental rights and they are doing it by building upward from the grassroots to the state, federal, and international level. Begun as a traditional public interest law firm seeking to protect the environment, CELDF sought to protect communities from projects such an incinerators and waste dumps which cause environmental harm. Along the way, they encountered barriers put in place by both government and corporations. Such barriers included corporate constitutional “rights” and the preemptive authority of state government – both of which are used to override community decision making. Kai will share with us some examples of the ways that CELDF is fighting the good fight – for all of us and for Mother Earth. Another “I cannot wait” show for Mrs. Green. This show made possible due to the generous support of Habitat for Humanity.


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SHOW NOTES

INSIGHTS!
-Communities facing fracking, pipelines, factory farms, and other threats are recognizing that these seemingly “single” issue threats share something in common – the community doesn’t have the legal authority to say “No” to them.

– “We don’t need to reform the system, we need to revolutionize the system. It’s up to us to do that.” The system is designed to protect corporate rights. We need a complete paradigm shift to protect communities, not corporations.

– Research shows we are worse off (environmentally) than when the federal protection laws were put in place 40 plus years ago.

– The legal system is an arena that we can build a movement! People have the greatest power to govern when it comes to protecting health, safety, and welfare.

– The existing structure of law ensures that people cannot govern their own communities and act as stewards of the environment, while protecting corporate “rights” and interests over those of communities and nature.

– What is the best way to fight for rights? Understand the full picture as a starting point.

– Embrace your inner disobedience because the system doesn’t want to recognize you in the way it needs to. It is legalizing unjust, immoral, unethical behavior. Just like the Abolitionist, the Revolutionaries and the Suffragist, those folks understood we can’t subscribe to this anymore. We have to reject that, challenge it and lay out the reality of what it is we want!

– If you see something unjust, question “authority”….

– POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

GET INFORMED!
Check out the CELDF website
Like them on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter
Subscribe to our newsletter!

GET ACTIVE!
JOIN THE MOVEMENT! 
WATCH We the People 2.0 film to learn what we’re up against. Host a screening with your friends!
ATTEND Democracy School 
ENGAGE in our comments section – ask questions, connect, keep the conversation going!

Listen to the show now for many other insights and ways to get involved!



2 thoughts on “Community Rights & Rights of Nature: A New Paradigm”

  1. Barbara Rose says:

    Thanks for interviewing Kai from CELDF! Years ago a group of “Sourdough Starters” organized Democracy School at a Tucson church, and there’ve been several other CELDF events. Tucson may finally be ready to get its butt in gear for a community rights-based program of action. Hoorah Mrs Green!

    1. Mrs. Green says:

      Hi Barbara – thanks for this comment and information. I am very interested in helping to organize a Democracy School in Tucson. My constraint is always the same – time! From where I sit, the need for communities to organize in ways that this program would teach us has never been more important than it is now. If you know of anyone who will be willing to help and maybe take the lead, will you contact me directly?

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