June 23, 2015 – “Al Gedicks on Mining Corporations vs Wisconsin Communities”

Paul Cienfuegos’ June 23rd, 2015 Commentary on KBOO Evening News

(His weekly commentaries are broadcast every Tuesday evening. You can view or listen to them all at PaulCienfuegos.com, CommunityRightsPDX.org/podcast, or subscribe via ITunes.)

Greetings! You are listening to the weekly commentary by yours truly, Paul Cienfuegos.

For the past few weeks, I have been visiting big cities and small towns in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa to lead my workshops on dismantling corporate rule and replacing it, at least locally, with a newly empowered citizenry ready and able to define the future they want for their community and start to realize it through Community Rights law-making.

The final three days of my trip I spent in Ashland, Wisconsin, on the south shore of Lake Superior. This absolutely enormous lake continues to be under assault these days from proposed corporate activities that could poison the rivers and creeks flowing into the lake. Recently, a very impressive alliance of Native and non-Native groups successfully stopped what would have been one of the largest iron mines ever proposed in the world. The biggest issue for the local residents is water, and how easily that water could be poisoned. Lake Superior Ojibwe communities harvest wild rice and fish from Lake Superior as a major source of their food and culture. All of the local communities draw their drinking water from the local rivers.

Now that the proposed mine has been stopped, the next critical project to stop is a proposed CAFO, which is shorthand for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation, better known as a factory farm. I led an introductory Community Rights workshop for a few dozen concerned citizens on this issue, and the group appeared to be ready to launch a local Community Rights ordinance to prohibit any corporate CAFOs from being placed here in Ashland County, Wisconsin.

I traveled to northern Wisconsin with my colleague and friend Al Gedicks, who has become one of the leading voices in the US working to stop large corporate mining operations here and around the world. Al is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, and has authored two books on this topic. Their titles are The New Resource Wars, and Resource Rebels.

I asked Al to tell me a bit about his anti-mining work and why he feels that a Community Rights approach is a worthwhile strategy to challenge what has become an endless parade of proposed corporate assaults on our human and wildland communities. Al: thanks for joining me today.

[Visit the audio version of this commentary to hear Al’s words.]

Al: Thank you so much for all that you do. If you want to learn more about Al Gedicks’ work, go to the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council at WRPC.net.

You’ve been listening to the weekly commentary by yours truly, Paul Cienfuegos. You can hear future commentaries every Tuesday on the KBOO Evening News in Portland, Oregon, and on a growing number of other radio stations. I welcome your feedback.

You can subscribe to my weekly podcast via I-Tunes or at CommunityRightsPDX.org. You can follow me on twitter at CienfuegosPaul. You can sign up for my newsletter at PaulCienfuegos.com. THANKS FOR LISTENING! And remember: WE are the people we’ve been WAITING for!

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