In this issue:
• First Community Bill of Rights is Passed in the Southwest!
• Local Food Freedom Nevada City report back
• Join us for San Francisco’s Earth Day Celebration
• Looking ahead: Rio+20 United Nations Earth Summit
• Upcoming Community Rights events
Las Vegas, NM passes the first community bill of rights in the Southwest!
On Monday, the City of Las Vegas NM adopted a rights based ordinance establishing a local Bill of Rights and banning fracking and related activities. The City Council vote was 3-1, with the city attorney and city manager in loud, vocal and prolonged opposition. Find out more here.
• Rights of Nature seminar hosted by the Women’s Earth & Climate Caucus and co-led by GX’s Shannon Biggs: April 13-14th in Corte Madera, CA. Find out more information and how you can register here. There are just 10 days left to sign up!
Local Food Freedom community meeting report back
On Friday, March 23rd, over two hundred Nevada County residents including farmers, doctors, city and county officials, environmentalists and tea partiers gathered for a community meeting around the question: 'who decides what we eat, grow, and sell in our community?' Speakers included California farmer Patti Chelseth, whose farm was raided by the CDFA for sharing milk from her two cows; local health care practitioner Dale Jacobsen, and Global Exchange's Shannon Biggs.
There was a lively and energizing discussion around the issue of the right to local food sovereignty in Nevada County and potential next steps in moving forward with a rights-based ordinance to assert the community’s right to grow, eat, and share locally farmed food without intervention from state and federal regulatory agencies.
There will be a Democracy School held in Nevada City May 18th-20th to allow space for a deeper discussion around community rights and the issue of local food freedom that Nevada City is facing. For more information or to register, please contact Holly Beardsley.
Don’t Miss San Francisco’s Earth Day Celebration this month!
Join us at the Civic Center/UN Plaza in San Francisco on Sunday, April 22nd to celebrate Earth Day! Earth Day San Francisco is more than just an annual event. This year’s festival is designed to bring together leading members of the environmental justice activist movement to co-create a vision of how we address the multitude of environmental issues we face. Speakers, workshop leaders, nonprofit organizations, businesses, indigenous community leaders, musicians, and youth empowerment groups are all invited to educate and activate the public to energetically pursue effective solutions to pressing environmental issues.
Global Exchange's Kylie Nealis, will be giving a presentation on Rights of Nature at this year’s event at 4:45 p.m. in the speaker's dome.
Looking ahead to the United Nations Earth Summit (Rio+20)
Global Exchange is headed to Rio de Janeiro this June for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (June 20th-22nd). We’ll be organizing with allies on the ground in Rio to advocate for the Rights of Nature and to lift the lid on the corporate-driven ‘Green Economy’ agenda being put forward in the zero draft.
Read this blog post about the international organization of peasants and farmers, La Via Campesina’s, call to action and the important difference between the Rights of Mother Earth and Green Economy. Stay tuned for more information on GX’s work towards Rio+20.
• Rights of Mother Earth Conference: Restoring Indigenous Life Ways of Responsibility and Respect. Hosted by the Indigenous Environmental Network April 4th-6th, 2012 at Haskell Indian Nations University. Shannon Biggs will be presenting at the conference along with other Rights of Nature advocates. Stay tuned to read her blog post about the conference in our next e-mail update.
• On April 10, 6:00pm at SFSU, HUM 587, everyone is invited to hear why so many people are upset at Wells Fargo Bank. The International Forum on Globalization is hosting this event to bring together families facing foreclosure, immigrants’ rights advocates stopping deportations, janitors calling for better working conditions, and others to meet with students to explore how they can collaborate. Included in the event will be a direct action training, led by David Solnit, from the Occupy SF Direct Action Work Group. Global Exchange's Shannon Biggs will be at the teach-in speaking about community rights. More information here.
Program Associate, Community Rights