The mechanics of how corporations usurp local rights in California is a well-kept secret, but that is about to change. Democracy School, a three-hour workshop for residents concerned about the environment, public health and safety, will be held on Sunday, April 21, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Complex in the Garden Room. The Veterans Memorial Complex is located at 4117 Overland Ave, Culver City, CA 90230, at the corner of Overland Ave. and Culver Blvd. All are welcome to attend, but registration is required.
Democracy School will be led by Ben Price, Projects Director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDEF), and Shannon Biggs, Director of the Community Rights Program of Global Exchange. They will explain how conventional regulatory structure limits the public’s ability to make meaningful change. Effects of excess corporate power will be explored.
Participants will learn how communities across the country are beginning to assert local control to protect the rights of their residents, their communities, and nature. Presenters will invite the audience to “re-frame the debate” regarding fracking and other environmental issues, with constitutional rights as the guiding principle. Includes an intense, comprehensive history of the judicial bestowal of constitutional rights of persons on corporations.
“This Democracy School will help show how regulations about the environment and public heath and safety, favor corporate interests over those of the local community,” says Stephen Murray, one of the local organizers of the workshop, “and it will offer a model of how we can assert our rights.” “Hydraulic Fracturing is not just a public health and safety issue, it is a democratic issue.”
Community members are already involved with CELDF and Global Exchange in the creation of their upcoming citizens initiative, unveiled at last months West LA College’s “Fracking and Democracy” event. Santa Monica passed a CELDF inspired rights-based ordinance on sustainability this week.
Local organizers of Democracy School include Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community (CCFASC), Transition Culver City, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch and MakeCCSafe.
Democracy School is made possible locally through the combined Global Exchange/CELDF “California Communities Rising Against Fracking Tour.” The Tour has already zigzagged through five affected communities in the largest shale regions of Central and Southern California: Chico, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and San Diego. At each stop, democratic activists and anti-fracking leaders, including politicians, scientists, and community activists, engage with residents through locally-planned events. Tour organizers have sought to inform local citizens about the extent and risks of fracking in the area, and provide a menu of options – from state regulation to local “rights-based” bans – to address health and safety in their own backyards.
Global Exchange is an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic, and environmental justice. The Community Rights Program helps communities facing harmful corporate projects to pass binding laws that place the rights of residents (and nature) above the legal “rights” of corporations.
Explore how conventional regulatory structure limits our ability to make meaningful change. Understand how excess corporate power impinges on our rights.
- Learn how to re-frame exhausting and often discouraging single-issue activism on a powerful single front: people’s constitutional rights.
- Learn how communities across the U.S. are beginning to assert local control to protect the rights of their residents, their communities, and nature.
Includes comprehensive history of the judicial bestowal of constitutional rights of persons on corporations. Understand how People’s Movements: Abolitionists, Suffragists and the Labor Movement, have cut to the essence and won their constitutional struggles.
This 3 hour democracy school is based off of CELDF’s full day Daniel Pennock Democracy Schools. A must attend educational experience for citizens and activists.
Presenters: Ben Price, Projects Director for the Corporations and Democracy Program & Community Rights Organizer from CELDF and Shannon Biggs, California Community Rights Organizer and Global Exchange partner; co-author of Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots..
Democracy School is made possible locally through the combined Global Exchange/CELDF “California Communities Rising Against Fracking Tour.” Sponsored by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), Global Exchange, Citizens Coalition for a Safe Community (CCSC), Transition Culver City, Baldwin Hills Oil Watch and MakeCCSafe.
More information : http://makeccsafe.com/