Community Rights Movement to be discussed March 7

Paul Cienfuegos ...

Paul Cienfuegos, a nationally known community rights educator, will lead a discussion with northeast Iowans interested in protecting the health and beauty of the region at a gathering Tuesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. at Fiesta Vallarta in Waukon.

“Anyone interested in learning more about what we can do to protect our rights to a healthy community are welcome to gather at 6:30 p.m. at Fiesta Vallarta. Formal discussion will begin at 7 p.m.,” said event co-organizer Mary Klauke Abbas. “Cienfuegos has been a leading educator and organizer in the Community Rights approach to dismantling corporate power in many successful local endeavors across the nation. He can explain how corporations have come to claim the protections of the Constitution for themselves, often to the detriment of local people, and how we, the people of a local community, can protect ourselves from corporate power.”

According to organization leaders, the Community Rights Movement concerns the inherent right of local residents to protect the health and welfare of their communities. This applies to situations like frac-sand mining, fracking, oil or gas pipelines, spreading of toxic sludge, etc. - where rule by the people is often ignored in favor of serving the needs of large corporations. Hundreds of communities around the U.S. have passed legally binding, locally enforceable Community Rights ordinances, which define what the community wants, reins in so-called corporate “rights,” and stops legal but harmful corporate activity.

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