Community Rights & Rights of Nature: A New Paradigm
Broadcast on 2017/01/07 (PT)
Kai 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.
-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!
– 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!