Alternative Radio on 11/09/11
Paul Cienfuegos has been passionate about social change all his life and has devoted most of his adult life to this important work. In 1995, he founded Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County (DUHC), which works to dismantle corporate constitutional so-called "rights" and strengthen the rights of communities to govern themselves. He moved to Portland in April in order to greatly expand the work of this critical new movement across the state of Oregon. You can connect with his extensive writings, speeches and workshops at PaulCienfuegos.com or on facebook.
(This program was broadcast originally on KBOO on October 11th, but not in its entirety. It was cut off at that time because of time constraints during our Membership Drive. Today we are broacasting the entire talk.)
Corporate rights are at the core of almost every environmental and social justice problem that we face. Corporate power grew immensely toward the end of the 19th century with the dismantling of legal restraints and the redefinition of corporations as persons with free speech rights. Today, the level of corporate power over the political system and the economy is unprecedented. And it shows no signs of lessening. The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling made a bad situation worse. It allows for unlimited penetration of corporate money into politics. What does it mean for the workings of a self-styled democracy to have corporations calling the shots in Washington and the state houses? We the people are on the short end of the stick. How can citizens change this unfair and unequal situation?