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End of the Year Newsletter

Empowering the Rights of Communities!
Recognizing the Rights of Nature!
Dear Friends,

As 2021 comes to a close, we pause to reflect on the challenges as well as the connections that we experienced this year.  As a network made up of individuals, groups and state affiliates, our efforts, though directed towards different issues using different strategies, ultimately affect the health and well-being of each of us and Nature (of which we are a part).  We have little chance of surviving much less thriving without an attitude of reverence of and fierce protection towards Nature that sustains us.

This end of the year newsletter highlights the work of many, celebrates our reverence for Nature’s wisdom, and features some amazing resources that we have gathered through our collective experiences. Some of the resources spotlight indigenous wisdom, forest wisdom and creative activism that can spark us to look at our work through a more cooperative lens rather than a competitive lens. We are all more effective when we work harmoniously.

NCRN hosted some wonderful webinars this year and connected with amazing people and organizations. Guests included: Shannon with Movement Rights, Waniya and Montgomery with Indigenous Organizing and Sacred Youth Runs (Standing Rock and Stop Line #3), Will with Protect Thacker Pass, the lawyers of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), and Tony with Fair Districts PA. Greg of Move To Amend (MTA) was our guest in February and in November MTA and NCRN co-sponsored a webinar  “Striking Down Democracy: How our Rights are Hijacked by Corporations in our Communities.” Thank you to all the participants who supported our efforts. Recordings can be accessed on our website or YouTube channel.

Please take some time to read our updates and to enjoy some of the resources that we have compiled.

Thank you for your efforts and support!
All the best to YOU in 2022!

NCRN Board 
NCRN's end of the month calls will be on the 4th Thursday of the month in 2022. The programs we will focus on are:

        February 24  A Round Table discussion: Reimagining community rights
        April 28 Honoring Treaties
        July 28 Diversifying the Community Rights Movement
        December 1 What is Love, really?

We are willing to continue our "Happy Hour" discussions and are open to suggestions for topics of interest from our network.
STRIKING DOWN DEMOCRACY: How our Rights are Hijacked by Corporations in our Communities

An MTA - NCRN partnership

"Striking Down Democracy" Thursday November 11, 2021

Anti-democratic preemption of local decisions is a symptom of constitutional rules that protect property and profit over people and the planet. Listen to the stories of communities experiencing the problem and also to solutions from two organizations working for both authentic democracy and the eradication of corporate constitutional rights.
For resources, more information and ways to support the work of MTA go HERE. For the YouTube link to the program go HERE.
NCRN is a network that was formed in 2014 to support and provide an educational clearinghouse for ideas and strategies among state affiliates. We currently have on our Board representatives from 6 states: Oregon, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Virginia. Read on for some state highlights.
After two attempts at statewide amendments that were thwarted by legislators and corporate money, COCRN is currently regrouping. Tom Groover who represents Colorado is a vital contributor for vision about the Community Rights movement.
NHCRN created a booklet How to Protect Your Community – Enact Local Democracy Now! featuring historical and contemporary analysis, theory, and case studies. Available in New Hampshire. Broader audiences can access the document here:
Check out the OHCRN website for news about our upcoming book Death by Democracy: Protecting Water and Life: Frontline Stories from Ohioans Fighting Corporate and State Power. For December newsletter go HERE.
ORCRN's 2021 webinar series included Protecting Mother Earth with Dina Giliol-Whittacker: "If American Indians are to experience real environmental justice – which means not only ending the poisoning of their environments but also regaining access to and protection of their sacred sites and ancient territories – it means confronting a “state built on the pillars of capitalism, colonialism, and white supremacy."
(From her book As Long As Grass Grows)
Check out ORCRN's YouTube channel HERE.
PACRN is working on a Pennsylvania Constitutional Amendment. Representatives Otten and Herrin have introduced H.B. 1716. For more information go HERE. For stories about issues affecting PA communities check out the #ALARM project.

VACRN is gathering support for a Community Bill of Rights that asserts our 

• Right and responsibility to local self governance to protect our health and natural environs

• Our right to be free from toxic trespass that we know would come with industrial metallic mining

• Prove it First! Show us another similar mine that has caused no harm   

Check out the VACRN's December Newsletter.

Portrait of a water guardian 
Tish O’Dell Community Organizer 

I have lived all my life beside Lake Erie, drinking her water. When my mom was pregnant with me she lived in Cleveland and drank Lake Erie water. If you consider that our bodies are 70% water...then I am Lake Erie. I was Lake Erie before I was even born.
--Tish O’Dell, CELDF Community Organizer

Read the full article by Suzanne Forcese (Dec. 9, 2021) at WTOH (Water Today Ohio).

The Red Deal 
A movement to save us all

A powerful guide to indigenous liberation and the fight to save the planet. The Red Deal is a political program for the liberation that emerges from the oldest class struggle in the Americas-the fight by Native people to win sovereignty, autonomy, and dignity. As the Red Nation proclaims, it is time to reclaim the life and future that has been stolen, come together to confront climate disaster, and build a world where all life can thrive. One-part visionary platform, one-part practical toolkit, The Red Deal is a call to action for everyone, including non-Indigenous comrades and relatives who live on Indigenous land.

Offering a profound vision for a decolonized society, The Red Deal is not simply a response to the Green New Deal, or a "bargain" with the elite and powerful. It is a deal with the humble people of the Earth; an affirmation that colonialism and capitalism must be overturned for this planet to be habitable for human and other-than-human relatives to live dignified lives; and a pact with movements for liberation, life, and land for a new world of peace and justice that must come from below and to the left. The Red Nation is dedicated to the liberation of Native peoples from capitalism and colonialism and centers Native political agendas and struggles through direct action, advocacy, and education.

Listen to the April 26, 2021 podcast by the authors of the book "The Red Deal."

Read Part I of III of the Red Deal platform here on the Red Nation website.

The New Corporation:
The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel (2020)

In the face of fracturing societies, climate change, and the hollowing out of democracy, The New Corporation is a cry for social justice, deeper democracy, and transformative solutions. Directed by Jennifer Abbott and Joel Bakan, written by Joel Bakan, constitutional lawyer.

You can also view the video here.

Watch the original "The Corporation," also on YouTube, here.
Scene on Radio Podcast   

"In several countries around the world, including Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S., some people are trying to protect the planet using a legal concept called “rights of nature”—infusing the law with Indigenous understandings of Mother Earth. Season 5, Part 9, Pachamama, of The Repair, our series on the climate emergency."
Check out the other series: Season 2 - Seeing White, Season 3 - Patriarchy, Season 4 - Democracy. Scene on Radio dares to ask big, hard questions about who we are—really—and how we got this way. Produced and hosted by John Biewen, Scene on Radio comes from the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University. So well done!
Finding the Mother Tree:
Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest.

Suzanne Simard is the forest ecologist who has proven, beyond doubt, that trees communicate with each other — that a forest is a single organism wired for wisdom and care.
On Being podcast with Krista Tippett, aired September 9, 2021
Time to Choose Our Future
Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II was the keynote speaker for a rally that Friends of Buckingham (VA grassroots group) cosponsored on Saturday December 11 to support the demise of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
The 4 minute video has excerpts from his 'sermon'. The recording of the 4 hour event has his whole talk. For Livestream recording go HERE. (Reverend Barber gets on at the 1 hour mark)

Politics of Moral Outrage 
David Rovics

“A little end-of-the-year reflection on a social movement.”
Thanks for your Donation
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