US Students

For Teachers and Citizens: How to Respond to Federal Immigration Raids

Editor’s Note: TeachDream is a “group of educators and counselors working in New York City Public Schools, as part of an Inquiry [read more …]

How To Respond When Your (Local) Government Gets Sued By A Corporation

Editor’s Note: This piece, by Tish O’Dell of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and Ohio Community Rights Network, was written [read more …]

Interview: The Working Class Movement Fighting for Local Authority

Editor’s Note: Make the Road New York is a membership-based grassroots immigrant organization that leads and supports local lawmaking efforts, including recent [read more …]

Interview: Challenging Corporations’ ‘Right’ To Grow GMOs in Rural Oregon

Editor’s Note: Oregonians for Community Rights has filed paperwork to begin petitioning for a “Right to Local, Community Self-Government” state constitutional amendment [read more …]

Cancer Clusters Spark Historic Pesticide Vote in Oregon

Editor’s Note: Pesticide-induced cancer clusters have driven one Oregon county to propose a never-before-seen initiative. This November, residents of Josephine County, OR [read more …]

The Devil In The Details of Local Law

Editor’s Note: A background story of a region fighting corporate industrial wind farming in New Hampshire. We learn about conditions that bring [read more …]

Don’t Tread On Us-A Message from Colorado

Editor’s Introduction: Colorado Springs, CO residents are in court, fighting for the right to vote on a Community Bill of Rights that [read more …]

Making Sense of Recent Legal History

Editor’s Note: Did you know that our Supreme Court ruled—seventeen years ago—that corporations’ right to negative speech trumps citizens’/consumers’ right to know [read more …]

Where Push Is Coming To Shove, USA

East Boulder County United statement on Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s lawsuit against Lafayette’s Community Rights initiative   By Cliff Willmeng and [read more …]

The First Big Win for the $15 Movement

Editor’s Note: The first big win for the $15 movement has happened before many thought it was possible. We speak with Sage [read more …]

A Legal Definition for ‘Unsustainable Energy’?

Grafton Community Bill of Rights Ordinance Succeeds in Keeping Industrial Wind Out Editor’s Note: A small town in New Hampshire has banned [read more …]

When The State Pushes Back

Editor’s Note: We speak with Kai Huschke, the NW and Hawaii Organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund—working to pass Community [read more …]

This Crow Won’t Fly

Editor’s Note: Continuing our coverage of the Homeless Rights Movement. See here for an introduction to the movement by one of its [read more …]

A New County Constitution

Editor’s Note: On Nov.5 citizens of Jefferson County, WA will vote on if they want to “charter” their county. To charter is [read more …]

Homeless Bills of Rights-New Narratives

Editor’s Note: Continuing our coverage of rights-based movements and narratives. Simon Davis-Cohen speaks with Paul Boden about Homeless Bills of Rights. Paul [read more …]

Colorado Anti-fracking Movement Heating Up!

Editor’s Note: A run down of the towns and counties in Colorado that are passing laws in opposition to the industrial gas [read more …]

Local Initiative Process Gutted

Judge Decides That the Spokane’s Community Bill of Rights is Outside the Authority of Citizen Initiative You Don’t Decide – On August [read more …]

Obstacles to Asserting Rights

Editor’s Note: When citizens get together to elevate their rights above corporations’—there is a backlash. What this backlash looks like can be [read more …]

Benton County, OR Moves Forward with Nation’s Potential First Food Bill of Rights

Introduction by Dana Allen: Since the pre petition of the Sustainable Food System Ordinance of Benton County was filed by the three [read more …]

Spokane Continues to Fight for the Right to Vote

Editor’s Note: Read the Dirt staff writer Alex Valentine provides context to Spokane, Washington’s current work to pass a Community Bill of [read more …]

Foster Youth Bill of Rights, New Narratives

Editor’s Note: Continuing our coverage of rights-based narratives. Foster youth in Oregon are working to explicitly recognize rights of theirs that are [read more …]

Santa Monica Passes West Coast’s First Rights of Nature Ordinance

Editor’s Note: Santa Monica recently passed an ordinance that elevates its right to enforce its Sustainable City Plan, rights to clean air, [read more …]

Housing Justice: Fighting for Rights

Editor’s Note: As banks continue to foreclose our homes a new narrative about housing—one focused on rights—begins to emerge. Kari of We [read more …]

A Community Rights Ordinance For South Puget Sound

Editor’s Note: A resident of Thurston County, Washington gives her perspective on the logic of Community Rights Ordinances, the Washington State Community [read more …]

County Government Writes History, Hydrocarbon Ban is First of its Kind

Editor’s Note: Read the Dirt intern Alex Valentine reports on Mora County, New Mexico—the first county in the nation to ban oil [read more …]

Food Bills of Rights and Monsanto-Speech

Editor’s Note: Paul Cienfuegos articulates the connection between the Community Rights Movement and the growing resistance to genetically modified foods. Cienfuegos gave [read more …]

GM Wheat Discovered in Oregon, Benton County Continues Work on Food Bill of Rights

By Clinton Lindsey, 5th-generation farmer and co-founder of Benton County Community Rights Coalition Editor’s Note: Benton County, Oregon grows seed (including wheat) [read more …]

Does Food Sovereignty Exist in the United States? Food and the Community Rights Movement

Editor’s Note: Trisha Mandes speaks to the deficiencies of U.S. food activism and proposes an adaptive way forward. Trisha has worked with [read more …]

Washington Community Action Network Talks Rights

Editor’s Note: Rachael DeCruz of Washington Community Action Network and the Seattle-King County NAACP speaks to the conflict between people’s right to [read more …]

Under the Radar: How a Multinational Corporation Quietly Bought a County-Wide Election

Editor’s Note: Citizens in Thurston County, WA put an initiative on the ballot to make its electricity publically owned. Puget Sound Energy [read more …]

Day One of the Occupation of Detroit

By Ron Scott & Shea Howell, Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership (March 25, 2013) DETROIT, MI – Today is a sad [read more …]

Crude Oil Trains Proposed for Grays Harbor, WA: Citizens Challenge Permitting Process

Editor’s Note: Proposals to bring crude oil terminals to Grays Harbor are making local citizens ask questions. What rights do communities have [read more …]

Middle School Elevates its Rights above Corporations’

Editor’s Note: We were invited to Sunnyside Environmental School of Southeast Portland, OR to speak to middle schoolers about citizen law making. [read more …]

What a Difference a Degree Makes

Editor’s Note: Learn about the latest with regard to coal exportation in British Columbia, Canada, and why the surrounding region is up [read more …]

The Story of Broadview Heights, Ohio

Editor’s Note: Broadview Heights, OH has introduced the novel community rights to pure water, clean air, peaceful enjoyment of home, a sustainable [read more …]

Democracy Denied in Small Town, USA

Photo: Daniel Schwen, Wikimedia Commons Editor’s Note: Read the story of the inner workings of Mt. Shasta, California’s effort to pass a [read more …]

The View from Plymouth, NH

Photo: Pete Martin, Plymouth, NH This article is by Pete Martin, a citizen of Plymouth, NH and retired Delta Airlines crew member, [read more …]

Benton County’s Fight to Protect Our Seed Heritage: A Food Bill of Rights

Photo: Bruce Bittle By Clinton Lindsey, a 5th-generation farmer and local food advocate from Corvallis, Oregon. He currently works for Greenwillow Grains, [read more …]

Fighting for the Right to a Sustainable Food System: Benton County, Oregon

Photo: Philomath Barn, Benton County, Oregon, Wikimedia Commons By Dana Allen Editor’s Note: The Benton County Community Rights Coalition is working to [read more …]

Rivers and Natural Ecosystems as Rights Bearing Subjects

Photo: Ron Mertons, Whanguanui River Editor’s Note: Should nature be integrated into our social contracts? Should we be empowered to dissent on [read more …]

Case Study: The Community Right to Sustainable Energy

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, High Voltage Direct Current transmission lines. Editor’s Note: Are we capable of learning from the successes and failures of [read more …]

Barnstead, NH: Establishing the Community Right to Water and Self-Governance

Photo: Channing Johnson, originally taken for Yes! Magazine. Pictured (from left to right): Gordon Preston, Gail Darrell, Jack O’Neil. Editor’s Note: We [read more …]

New Section: Community Rights

Introducing Read the Dirt’s coverage of the American Community Rights Movement. Collaboration with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) has made [read more …]

Changing ‘Fundemental Law’, a Case Study: Bellingham

Photo: Simon Davis-Cohen Context: This is a discussion with Breean Beggs. Breean Beggs, attorney at law, represents No-Coal Bellingham and the petitioners [read more …]

The Right to Self-Govern

Photo: “Spokane Falls” by Tracy Hunter By Kai Huschke, Washington organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and Campaign Director for [read more …]