Editor’s note: Neither of the events are being organized by DGR. We stand in solidarity with both of these and encourage our readers to get involved in these if possible.
Community Rights US to reorganize as Association
The following is a message from Paul Cienfuegos, the Founding Director of Community Rights US, regarding some news about his movement and virtual book talks on April 1 and April 17. You can join the event here.
Greetings to all of our thousands of loyal supporters!
The Community Rights US Board of Directors has come to the decision that we no longer have the capacity to continue our work to build the Community Rights movement across the US at anywhere near the scale or scope we had always envisioned. For some time now, we have been struggling to sustain a Board large enough to maintain the critical focus of our organization. We haven’t generated sufficient volunteer energy to support our project work. We’ve been unsuccessful in our grant writing efforts, and our ongoing fundraising efforts with our human supporters have not generated sufficient funds to maintain paid staff. And so it is with some sadness, I’m announcing that last month was our final month of existence as a formal non-profit tax-exempt organization.
On the good side, at least three members of our existing Board (including myself) will continue to meet monthly to discuss next steps for our work. We have absolutely no intention of vanishing into thin air. We just won’t exist as a non-profit corporation anymore. We plan to restructure ourselves as an Association.
So if you have been meaning to make a tax-deductible donation to us for awhile now, we’re sorry but it’s already too late to do so! But a NON-tax-deductible donation is still very much welcomed, by donating to me at my Patreon account here. Monthly donors will have access to a wide variety of provocative writings, talks, and interviews that I’ve done over these past years, and will continue to do albeit less frequently. Thank you for your continuing support!
And as soon as we launch our new Community Rights US “Association,” we’ll let you know how to make donations there too!
I have been taking leadership in the Community Rights movement since 1995. As the founder of Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (California) in 1995. As the co-founder of Community Rights PDX (Oregon) in 2012, the Oregon Community Rights Network in 2013, and Community Rights US in 2017. That’s 28 years of sustained organizing and teaching and consulting and cheerleading efforts! And to be totally transparent with you, I am feeling deeply exhausted, and don’t have the same level of energy that has propelled me for so many years.
I have a strong desire to shift my priorities towards a lot more play and rest and reading and spacious friend time and deep nature and quiet time. I am extremely proud of the contributions I have made to this national movement, and to many other social movements in the decades prior to 1995.
Last year, I wrote and published my first-ever book, How Dare We? Courageous Practices to Reclaim Our Power as Citizens. Our board and small staff have been working hard to promote the book to media, bookstores, thought leaders, and activist groups. I could not have asked for a better support team from our board and staff!
I have been having a ton of fun and gratifying experiences promoting my book to audiences of every political stripe. On February 2nd, I came to the Midwest for a month-long book tour at bookstores and libraries to ten mostly rural communities (in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota) where I spent six intensive and truly wonderful years teaching and consulting up until covid crashed everything.
And if you haven’t already purchased my book for yourself, a family member or friend, or for your public library, now is a good time to do THAT also. Thank you! My book is now available directly from your local bookstore, as well as all the other mega-corporate stores. The paperback is the very revolutionary price of $17.76. The e-book is a steal at just $1.99. And I can offer you bulk discounts if you contact me directly.
I’ll be offering two virtual book talks in April (see poster above): Saturday, April 1 at 12 pm PST and Monday, April 17 at 6pm PST. Use this LINK to join and feel free to invite others who might be interested in learning more about our approach.
Community Rights US will continue to publish occasional newsletters to share our latest endeavors as we re-imagine ourselves as an “Association” that continues to promote the Community Rights movement, which I continue to believe is this nation’s best hope and political, legal, and culture-shift strategy to reclaim our power as citizens, as my book title states!
We will continue to maintain our incredible WEBSITE that is chock full of resource materials. As well as our substantial AUDIO FILES on PodBean, including all of my two years of weekly radio/podcast commentaries. And also our Youtube HOMEPAGE with many talks, interviews, and more. Please continue to utilize our extensive resources.
We want to thank each and every one of you for your support over these past 5+ years since our founding in 2017. We couldn’t have done it without you!
And last but certainly not least, I want to thank all of the people who made this organization run over these wonderful last 5-1/2 years…
Board members (past and present): Forest Jahnke (WI), Carla Cao (FL), Bryan Lewis (OR), Evelina Avotina (OR), Steve Luse (IA), Joan Pougiales (WI), Jenny Krol (MN), Heather Tischbein (WA), Mark Dilley (MI), Teresa Cisneros (OR), and myself Paul Cienfuegos (OR).
Staff (past and present): Kelly Brown, Eva Riversong, Jen Forti, Michelle Martin, Curt Hubatch, Davi Rios, Tyler Norman, Jimmy Dunson, and Abigail Harris.
Thank you all SO SO MUCH!
Fires, Floods and Terrorism Charges: The escalation of state repression during the climate crisis
The following is a message from Free Jessica Reznicek campaign.
It has been a year since our last webinar “USA v Jessica Reznicek, fighting the criminalization of water protectors”. During this time as Jessica Reznicek sat in prison, over 42 forest defenders in Atlanta have been charged with domestic terrorism, Department of Homeland Security & Ohio Police linked environmentalist Erin Brockovitch to the potential for ‘special interest terrorism’, and the federal government approved the massive oil infrastructure Willow project in Alaska.
As the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report issues a final warning that “swift and drastic action” can avert irrevocable damage to the world, Utah becomes the 19th state to pass a draconian “critical infrastructure” bill where protesting fossil fuel infrastructure can lead to several years in prison. Jessica’s case is not isolated and unfortunately we are truly seeing that what happens to Jessica happens to all of us.
On Tuesday, April 4th at 7:00 pm CDT we are hosting an international webinar to highlight how this frightening trend of human rights abuses is not just sweeping the United States. We will talk with land defenders worldwide who have been targeted by their governments or industry for trying to protect life on Earth. We have an incredible lineup from around the world and we hope you can join us. Our strength is in our solidarity.
Please find the info below and register here!
As global temperatures rise and make record-breaking floods and fires daily headlines, national governments repeatedly protect the corporations that fuel the climate crisis and incarcerate those who challenge them. Around the world the communities that attempt to protect and preserve their environment are increasingly met with terrorism charges, assasination, and egregious human rights abuses. In this international webinar we will explore the questions:
Does protecting clean water or taking climate action make you a terrorist?
What are the implications of governments labeling their population terrorists for political action?
Our panelists include organizers from the youth climate movement in the Philippines, the Palestinian liberation movement, the climate justice struggle in Germany, the Indigenous land defense movement in Honduras, the Campaign to Free Jessica Reznicek, and Stop Cop City in Atlanta GA.
The panelists will discuss their experiences with criminalization and how the growing repression of land defenders affects us all.
- Marlon Kautz, Atlanta Solidarity Fund. #StopCopCity in Atlanta, GA.
- Sandra Tamari, Adalah Justice Project. Palestinian Liberation Movement.
- Michèle Winkler, Grundrechtekomitee. German Climate Justice movement.
- Alab Ayroso, Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines. Youth Climate Movement in the Philippines.
- Bertha Zúñiga Cáceres, COPINH-Indigenous land defense in Honduras.
- Friends of Jessica from The Campaign to Free Jessica Reznicek.