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How our Democracy was a Stolen and How to Get it Back - June 21, 2017

Mark McDermott is a union activist and community organizer who has worked all his life for economic, social and racial justice, and peace. In today's show he speaks with Ginny Wolff about the history of the deliberate corporate takeover of democracy in the U.S. since the late 1800's, and what we must do to unite and win it back. Illustrated with revealing quotes, historical perspective, and real life experience, Mark's style serves as a example we can all use for how to talk with people, tell our own stories, and win back hearts and minds.

See Mark's website at: http://markmmcdermott.com

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Skagit Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament - December 16, 2015

Join host jim justice to find out about the 1980's movement in Skagit and around the world to stop nuclear proliferation. jim speaks with three women who were part of the leadership of involved in SCND (Skagit Citizens for Nuclear Disarmament) - Grace Hubbard, Ginny Darvill, and Julia Hurd. From the recent book on Seattle's Archbishop Hunthausen at the time, "From the vantage point of the twenty-first century, it's hard to imagine the overwhelming fear of nuclear war that gripped the world in the 1980s... It was very different in 1982, the year the first Trident submarine arrived in Bangor (WA). Doomsday seemed very close." Listen in to hear their stories as they reminisce about the network and its place in history. In 1984 voters made Skagit County a Nuclear Free Zone. At the time, LaConner became a sister city with a Russian town, so we also hear Catherine Carter sing "Song for a Russian Mother" written by singer/songwriter Holly Graham.

Recommended reading:
McCoy, John A., A Still and Quiet Conscience: The Archbishop Who Challenged a Pope, a President, and a Church. Orbis Books. Maryknoll, NY. 2015. WWU archives provide info on SCND and SCANP: http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv41967#dscID

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Skagit Citizens Ignited - December 11, 2013

The Supreme Court decision know as Citizens United, handed down in January of 2010, has resulted in massive amounts of money, some of it donated anonymously, from corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals to buy ads, which are influencing election outcomes and peddling influence at every level of government.

Today's guests on Speak Up! Speak Out! want to return a semblance of sanity to campaign financing. They are working locally in conjunction with a national push for constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Gail Nicolls of Guemes Island is a retired teacher committed to community action. Cookson Beecher o Sedro Woolley, is a journalist, small business partner, and community volunteer. They are heading a local effort to collect signatures on petitions, educate both the public and city council members, and advocate for our city and county councils to pass nonbinding resolutions calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn Citizens United. The resolutions will ultimately be sent to our state legislators.

For more information go to: http://www.wamend.org/

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Overturning Citizens United - October 3, 2012

Grassroots movements are underway to overturn the Supreme Court decision know as "Citizens United" by amending the Constitution. Ginny is joined by long time Port Townsend community organizer Steve Hamm, representing the group "Move to Amend"; and Ken Dammand, retired Everett fire captain, and member of Occupy Everett, who is representing Washington Public Campaigns.

Steve and Ken address the historic background which set the stage for the Supreme Court decision, and outline how their groups and others are fighting it. In this early stage of the campaign, citizens are asked to encourage municipal, state, and federal legislators to pass resolutions addressing corporate personhood and money as speech.

To read the amendment Move to Amend has proposed, go to: http://www.movetoamend.org/democracy-amendment
To volunteer to contact your state legislators in Washington Public Campaigns' phone tree, send an email to: ken@washclean.org

Today's show is dedicated to Craig Salins, who until his recent untimely death, was the larger-than-life executive director of Washington Public Campaigns.

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Skagit Democracy School - August 22, 2012

SUSO's Jodie Buller speaks with Deymain Lesar and Scott Morgan from the local group Living Democracy Skagit, about the consequences of corporate personhood and the way that communities across the country are re-organizing the legal framework and leveling the playing field, with Democracy Schools and Citizens Bills of Rights Initiatives. Living Democracy Skagit is hosting a Democracy School on October 12 & 13 at the Skagit Food Co-op in downtown Mount Vernon.
For more information about this work:
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - http://www.CELDF.org Living Democracy Skagit meets every other Thursday at the Skagit Food Co-op, email Deymian for more information on their meetings and to register for Democracy School: dl.evergreen@yahoo.com
The Spokane Declaration - http://envisionseattle.org/2012/08/the-spokane-declaration-by-the-washington-community-rights-network.html
Bellingham's Initiative and the Coal Trains Fight - http://www.coalfreebellingham.org

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Coal Free Bellingham Campaign - June 6, 2012

Rick Dubrow and Stoney Bird join Ginny to discuss the Coal Free Bellingham Campaign. They are two organizers of an effort to get a ballot initiative passed in Bellingham which would ban coal trafficking within the city. Rick and Stoney talk about the limitations of the existing regulatory processes which have prompted other communities to pass this kind of legislation, why their group in Bellingham is attempting do it now, and what kind of response they are getting.

For more information:
website for Coal Free Bellingham: http://www.coal-free-bellingham.org
website for Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (think tank behind all this work): http://www.CELDF.org
Bellingham campaign phone number: (360) 389-3314
email: info@coal-free-bellingham.org

Events: July 21: Thomas Linzey, founder of CELDF, will be in Bellingham - details on Coal Free Bellingham website
Oct: Richard Heinberg, of the Post Carbon Institute will be in Bellingham. More at Living Democracy website: http://www.livingdemocracy.org

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Taking Back the Right to Self Governance - May 18, 2011

Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Mr. Linzey has worked for years to help communities protect themselves from corporate development project that would cause environmental destruction in their jurisdiction. He now helps municipalities design legislation to challenge the legal foundations that prohibit communities from governing themselves and creating a sustainable future. CELDF conducts "Democracy Schools" in communities throughout the country to train local leaders and activists to do this kind of work.

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Supreme Court decision in "Citizens United," and Corporate Personhood, part 2 - July 14, 2010

This is part 2 of our interview with Steven Reisler, practicing attorney and Chair of the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild, concerning the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case removing limits to what corporations may spend in political advertising.

In this interview, Mr. Reisler discusses the nature of the modern corporation, what the legal standing of corporate personhood means in practical terms, and how this recent Supreme Court decision is being used to erode what's left of our democracy.

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Supreme Court decision in "Citizens United," and Corporate Personhood - July 7, 2010
Steven Reisler, practicing attorney and Chair of the Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild, discusses the Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case removing limits to what corporations may spend in political advertising.

In this first of two interviews, Mr. Reisler puts this recent decision, and the legal status of corporations as persons into context, by reviewing the history of our court system and the role of corporations in our economy and politics since the late 18th Century.

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Paul Cienfuegos: Challenging Corporate Power - August 12,2009

This interview was conducted and produced by Stephanie Potter for "Recovery Zone" on KBOO radio in Portland. We broadcast it with her permission. You can access the original broadcast at http://kboo.fm/node/14909.

Paul Cienfuegos believes that the rights and privileges of "corporate personhood" can be challenged by citizens in their local communities. He gives workshops and lectures training people how to confront this fundamental basis for corporate power, as a more effective way of addressing corporate harms than doing "damage control" through regulation. In this fascinating interview, Paul traces the history which redefined corporations as "persons" and discusses how local communities in this country have successfully challenged this concept. Programs which assist communities is this effort include Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy http://www.poclad.org, and The Community Environmental legal Defense Fund http://www.celdf.org. A coalition called Envision Spokane http://www.envisionspokane.org is the first to introduce a ballot initiative challenging corporate rights west of the Mississippi.

Paul Cienfuegos runs an online bookstore: 100fires.com. He can be reached at 707-443-4483 or paul@100fires.com.

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Go To: Home Page | All Shows | Celebrations  | Civil Rights | Human Rights | Climate Change | Community | Corporate Power  | Education  | Environment | Food and Agriculture in Skagit Valley | Health | Health Care Reform | Immigrant Rights | Iraq Vets Against the War | LGBT  | Labor  | Media | Music and Art | Politics | Poverty and Low Income | Relief Work | Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency | Social Services in Skagit County | War, Peace, and Resistance | Womens Issues | Other