Know Your Rights Training Workshop

Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) is hosting a know-your-rights (KYR) training workshop presented by Dana Johnson, a public interest attorney, wildlands, wildlife, and megaload activist defender, and Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) board secretary.  At 7 pm on Wednesday, February 7, at The Attic, up the back stairs of 314 East Second Street in Moscow, Idaho, the free talk provides legal resources for activists and community members, to effectively invoke and protect their rights during demonstrations and interactions with government agents.  Event organizers welcome donations for training and travel costs, and appreciate the input of everyone who can attend the workshop and the following, first-Wednesday, monthly, Moscow, WIRT meeting.

“Realizing that social and environmental justice often demand a firm challenge to the status quo,” Dana has previously given know-your-rights sessions in Moscow, as part of the October 2015 Idaho Flood the System Trainings and the initial, January 2011 gathering of 50 citizens who catalyzed WIRT inception, concerned about regional, tar sands megaload onslaughts [1-3].  Her north Idaho legal practice offers groups and activists creative, legal analysis, representation, and federal litigation in protection of the northern Rockies Big Wild, including legal observer coordination and activist education and support services.

The indigenous, grassroots, and climate justice movements have expanded across the Northwest and the continent over the last decade, as the extreme energy/fossil fuel industry and facilitating governments have rampaged common lands and civil liberties, violating the constitutional and treaty rights of frontline activists and communities.  As environmental, social, and political strife intensifies in the United States and around the world, and asserting rights becomes imperative, the surge of activists filling roads, rails, and rivers with resistance demands their greater understanding “of the historical and ongoing threats to the safety and security of the broader, activist community,” from corporations, governments, and other institutions attempting repression [4].

CLDC and WIRT support movements striving to dismantle systems of inequality and forces of destruction, by sharing specialized, field-experienced knowledge adapted to workshop participants [5].  This KYR session aims to impart the skills and confidence crucial to making informed choices, protecting rights and private data, and upholding accountability, while engaging in activism.  Training discussion topics could include the specific rights of individuals living in the U.S., when and in which circumstances those rights apply, and how personal actions, or perceived actions, can limit the extension of rights.  What are the differences between legal and potentially illegal, protester and police behaviors?  Which questions and statements said to law enforcement officers can invoke rights?  How have recent laws, prosecutions, grand juries, and digital communication impacted the progression of movements? Continue reading

Activists Told to Work Outside the Box

Activists should move beyond specific issues and focus on the big picture if they hope to retain the ability to shape the nature of their own communities, a Spokane-based community organizer said on Saturday in Moscow.

“In a very real way, we don’t have a fracking problem, we don’t have a (genetically modified organism) problem, and we don’t have a local economy problem – we have a democracy problem,” Kai Huschke said.

Huschke, an organizer with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), said communities can’t necessarily expect the existing regulatory system to work in their favor when it comes to corporate interests.

The Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and other community organizations sponsored his appearances on Friday and Saturday in Moscow. Continue reading

Climate Justice Forum: Kai Huschke 1-28-13

The Monday, January 28, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) features Kai Huschke, the Spokane-based Northwest organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and an Envision Spokane activist who will lead a Friday evening presentation and Saturday morning workshop at the 1912 Center in Moscow.  Kai explains how the corporate-shaped/state-supported regulatory system and legal doctrines favor corporations over communities and why activists must transition from reactive, defensive struggles toward pro-active, offensive strategies that enact legally defensible bills of rights and succeed in protecting ecosystems and communities.  His experience and perspective on rights-based initiatives are especially germane to the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) scheme to expand and reroute U.S. Highway 95 south of Moscow through native Palouse Prairie remnants on weather-exposed Paradise Ridge, likely to accommodate international industrial traffic like tar sands megaloads.  WIRT invites listeners to share their insights during the show broadcast on KRFP Radio Free Moscow between 7:30 and 9:30 pm PST live at 92.5 FM and online, by calling the station studio at 208-892-9200.  Thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as his KRFP DJ, the show also covers regional and continent-wide dirty energy developments and climate activism news.

Corporate Domination and Community Rights

We the People not Them the Corporations

On February 1 and 2, the Palouse Environmental Sustainability Coalition, Wild Idaho Rising Tide, and several local conservation and human rights organizations again gratefully welcome to Moscow Kai Huschke, the Spokane-based Northwest organizer for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and an Envision Spokane activist.  Everyone is invited to participate in his public presentation and meeting in the 1912 Center Fiske Room, 412 East Third Street in Moscow.  On Friday evening, February 1, at 7 pm, Kai will talk about When the Law is on Their Side: What Communities are Doing Differently to Change the Game Against Corporate Domination, describing the legal background and necessity of the 150 community bills of rights codified by cities, counties, and townships as local “declarations of independence” from harmful corporate activities and their government facilitation.

Over the last 150 years, the few people who own and run corporations have perfectly constructed and patented a structure of law seldom understood in its practical applications.  These legal doctrines insulate corporations from community control, grant them greater legal and constitutional rights than community majorities, and routinely preempt and nullify resistance in targeted communities, who almost never win against corporations.  Communities predictably respond by focusing solely on the state-sanctioned destruction wrought by a corporate activity and by trying to convince other people of the need to ban, rather than merely regulate or allow, corporate actions and harms.  But by instead structurally changing the ground rules, people across the country have successfully joined together to organize and use their collective lawmaking powers and non-violent civil disobedience, directly challenging and ultimately liberating themselves from centuries-old corporate domination in everything from factory farms to water privatization to dirty energy, while protecting the health, safety, and welfare of communities and ecosystems.  Moscow and Latah County citizens could similarly offer important leadership and linkage in attaining more critical mass of this authentic democracy. Continue reading

Community Bill of Rights Information

Why Community Bills of Rights?

Help! I’ve Been Colonized – Jane Anne Morris

Regulatory Triangle (Factory Farms)

Box of Allowable Remedies (Factory Farms)

Model Community Bills of Rights

Pittsburgh’s Community Protection from Natural Gas Extraction Ordinance

Bellingham Community Bill of Rights

Envision Spokane Community Bill of Rights Initiative 2012-13

Benton County, Oregon, Food Bill of Rights

Fair Elections and Clean Government Model Ordinance

Communities Asserting Their Rights

Longmont Opportunities Lost – Thomas Linzey

Banning GMOs – Kai Huschke

Rebel Towns – Barry Yeoman, The Nation

Spokane Democracy School

Please do not miss the Spokane Democracy School on Friday evening, April 6, and Saturday, April 7, described in the following message from Kai Huschke, who taught the Moscow Democracy School Workshop on March 23 and 24.  A video and website of its Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund instructors also reveal the crucial value of these sessions that empower citizens to institute their rights over corporate privilege.  Several Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) activists who participated in the Moscow workshop and are preparing to launch a Latah County community bill of rights will carpool to Spokane for the weekend training, departing Moscow on Friday, April 6, at 3 pm or earlier.  If you plan to attend the Spokane Democracy School, please contact Kai at, to reserve your spot, and WIRT at or 208-301-8039, to arrange Moscow carpools and Spokane lodging.  (Also listen to Kai on the March 29 and upcoming podcast of Democracy Matters. Continue reading

Moscow Democracy School Workshop

Without public consent, how can officials “permit” industrial processes and pollution that destroy pristine land, clean water, and shared infrastructure?  Democracy Schools offered by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) examine how the American constitution has been reinterpreted and laws enacted to shift power from real people to “corporate persons.”  Learn why large businesses have gained and seemingly possess more civil rights than the communities they overrule and impact, which often lack the authority to reject unfavorable development projects.  Discover how people from Maine to Washington are working through their municipal governments to legally enforce economic and environmental sustainability.  Explore next steps for passing city or county laws to expand protections for people and places, lives and livelihoods.

Organizer Kai Huschke of CELDF in Spokane will lead the Moscow Democracy School Workshop discussing remedies to state and federal government enforcement of corporate rights to extract natural and financial resources from citizens and communities in Idaho and across the country.  Please RSVP and register to participate in this timely, pro-active seminar held in the 1912 Center Fiske Room at 412 East Third Street in Moscow between 6:00 and 8:30 pm on Friday, March 23, and from 9 am until noon on Saturday, March 24.  To cover presenter work, travel, venue, and materials costs, we are requesting a $15 registration donation upon arrival for the entire two-day-minimum session.  Similar to workshops provided in Bellingham, Washington, where an anti-coal export train initiative has emerged, and in Washington County, Idaho, where strong natural gas facility regulations have developed, further descriptions and the Two-Day Democracy School Agenda for the Moscow Democracy School Workshop are available on the Wild Idaho Rising Tide and CELDF websites.  Kai encourages participants who would like to further lead the campaigns that arise from the Moscow workshop to attend the more comprehensive Democracy School in Spokane on Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7.

Climate Justice Forum: Amanda Buchanan & Kai Huschke 2-6-11

Listen to Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s Climate Justice Forum on Monday night, February 6, between 7:30 and 9 pm PST on KRFP Radio Free Moscow.  Washington County anti-fracking activist Amanda Buchanan and Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund organizer Kai Huschke will update us on developments in state and county oil and natural gas rules, bills, and ordinances.  Joann Muneta will discuss Moscow Farmers Market tabling changes, and show host Helen Yost will address the costs of Idaho megaloads and upcoming Moscow protests and fracking documentaries, forums, and petitions.