Event report: How do corporations legally exploit our communities?

This is a business report from the recent event we organized and hosted with Kai Huschke.  It does not include notes from the presentation or discussion, rather focusing on next steps for the Marion County Chapter as we discussed after the presentation and during the discussion.

Three Next Steps

  1. We had a high school youth really interested in getting other youth involved (think:  http://www.youthfoodbillofrights.com/index.html), so we’ll support her in that process if/when she is able.  She is thinkign maybe her school’s GSA (gay-straight alliance) and environmental club might be interested.
  2. We are pursuing connections with other established groups (e.g., no coal train, no 3rd bridge, climate coalition, sustainability network, etc) to assess the extent to which the groups or individuals therein want to pursue those issues from within a community rights frame.
  3. Lastly, Caiti is following up with Lane Co Community Rights to get a copy of their new pamphlet and learn more about their conversations: http://communityrightslanecounty.org/community-conversations/ to organize discussion forums around Marion Co that use provocative questions to address the issue of inherent, inalienable rights of nature, people and communities.

These next steps are primarily about building out our steering committee, and learning what interests and opportunities exist around Marion Co, both rural and urban.

Issues Focus

What issue(s) we focus on depends largely on who gets involved and what passions, focus, and opportunities they bring to the table.  It doesn’t really matter what issue we focus on, as long as there is enough support to carry it through and wedge democratic precedent into the system.  Once we assert and elevate any inherent, inalienable right locally, we open the door to assert all inherent, inalienable rights locally, and create a grassroots foundation to push against corporate and government backlash, culminating in a rewriting of our structure of law and governance to explicitly recognize and protect its true, democratic purpose.

In the absence of a burning drive to do something else, we’re looking at a Food Bill of Rights, which could provide for elevated, explicit rights protections on the part of farmers, consumers, farm workers, environmental quality, etc, as well as enumerate the right to local self-governance and assert the inherent rights of nature.  Again, what it looks like specifically depends on what passions people bring to the table.

We have legal consultants standing by to help us draft the specific language for the Bill, waiting for us to assemble the group that will determine the movement’s initial focus in Marion County.  The main non-flexible requirements for the bill is that it elevates the rights of nature, persons and communities above the claimed rights of governments and corporations; the nullification of claimed corporate rights; and the rights of nature.

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One thought on “Event report: How do corporations legally exploit our communities?

  1. Re: pursing connections with established groups (#2) and public outreach (#3)

    What about a regular or semi-regular “plurality of strategies” symposium or potluck that we host, like a teach-in, so that people (general public and other group members) can learn more about the various movements. We can spotlight 3-5 efforts each time (maybe linked on a theme), and give them 10-20 minutes each to discuss their goals and strategies and field questions from the rest of the group.

    We can frame the event based on community rights, such as inherent rights, rights of nature, rights of future generations, local self-governance, etc. We can have a food-themed one, for example, one addressing workers’ rights, immigration rights, rights of sexual/gender minorities, 2nd amendment rights, etc.

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