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Podcasts: Democracy Matters

The Democracy Matters radio program - co-hosted by CELDF's Thomas Linzey and Mari Margil - was a weekly hard-hitting current affairs show which re-framed the tough issues, focusing on what they're really about.  Produced from the Spring of 2010-2012, the program was broadcast from home station KYRS in Spokane, WA, and syndicated on stations around the country.

We've kept an archive of the program available by podcast.  They include interviews with key newsmakers and segments on issues ranging from corporate constitutional "rights," to the rights of nature, to fracking, and GMOs.

Check out our podcasts below:


Democracy Matters Podcast - March 29, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, oil corporations are suing environmental groups, to stop those groups from suing them. It's a new tactic by corporations as they seek to drill off the Alaskan coast. And community organizer Kai Hushke, on moving a "Community Bill of Rights" initiative forward in Spokane, WA.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 21, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, tobacco corporations argue that their First Amendment free speech rights are violated if they're required to include images of the health impacts of smoking on cigarette packages. And community organizer Ben Price on fracking.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 12, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, corporations have for so long sought to expand their constitutional "personhood" rights - now they're trying to argue that they're not persons...at least when it comes to suing them in court for international human rights violations. We take a look at how corporations are seeking to exempt themselves from the Alien Tort Statute. And, Ben Price on organizing against fracking in states across the U.S.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 6, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, grassroots organizer Gail Darrell of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund on community efforts to stop the Northern Pass hydro electric project in New Hampshire. This month N.H. towns will vote at Town Meeting on ordinances which establish Community Bills of Rights, secure a right to a sustainable energy future, and ban unsustainable energy projects.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 1, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, legalizing marijuana in Washington State. And, the U.S. Supreme Court - the Constitution requires only one justice to sit on it. That, and other changes, debated in our roundtable discussion.
Democracy Matters Podcast - February 19, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, President Obama compromises on contraception, swallowing a bitter pill...for the Pill. And Part II of our interview with Global Exchange's Shannon Biggs, on organizing for community and nature's rights in California.
Democracy Matters Podcast - February 13, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, when major environmental groups accept corporate money, does it affect what they're advocating for? And, organizing for a right to sustainability in California, we speak with Shannon Biggs of Global Exchange.
Democracy Matters Podcast - February 7, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, ripped from the headlines - the Republican presidential nomination process and the win-win politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline. And an interview with law student Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin on what's really taught to the future lawyers of America.
Democracy Matters Podcast - January 29, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters - we continue our month-long series on the history of corporate constitutional "rights." And, Part II of our discussion with Dr. Kim Thorburn - who along with Rick Steves and other notables - is sponsoring a citizens' initiative in Washington State to legalize marijuana.
Democracy Matters Podcast - January 23, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters - we continue our month-long series on the history of corporate constitutional "rights." And, a discussion with Dr. Kim Thorburn - who along with Rick Steves and other notables - is sponsoring a citizens' initiative in Washington State to legalize marijuana.
Democracy Matters Podcast - January 16, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters - we continue our month-long series on the history of corporate constitutional "rights." And, Part II of our interview with author and activist John Stauber on how corporate and governmental propaganda manipulate what we think about food, sludge, and even war.
Democracy Matters Podcast - January 9, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, the second in our month-long series on the history of corporate "rights." And a conversation with John Stauber, founder of the Center for Media and Democracy, on how corporate and government propaganda affect what we think about agriculture, sewage sludge, and even war.
Democracy Matters Podcast - January 2, 2012
This week on Democracy Matters, with the coming second anniversary of Citizens United decision, we begin this year with a month-long series on the history of corporate "rights" and how those rights interfere with sustainability. And Part II of our interview with Stoney Bird and Rick Dubrow of No Coal in Bellingham, WA, where there's growing opposition to coal trains. Why fighting the traditional "site fight" won't help them.
Democracy Matters Podcast - December 26, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, payroll tax this! How and why the House Republicans undermined their own message, and what it means for politics as usual in Washington, D.C. And Stoney Bird and Rick Dubrow of No Coal in Bellingham, WA, where there's growing opposition to coal trains. Why going the traditional "site fight" route won't stop them.
Democracy Matters Podcast - December 19, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - the corporatization of Christmas? And Lierre Keith of Deep Green Resistance on building a resistance movement to save the planet.
Democracy Matters Podcast - December 12, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - Part III of our series on "why corporate "rights" matter" - looking at how corporations are able to wield their constitutional rights and protections against efforts to protect air quality and climate health. And Lierre Keith of Deep Green Resistance on building a culture of resistance to protect the planet.
Democracy Matters Podcast - December 5, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - Part II of our three part series on "why corporate rights matter." Last week we focused on how corporate rights affect the food we eat. This week, we look at how they impact the water we drink. And, Brad Read, president of the Envision Spokane organization which brought a "community bill of rights" citizens' initiative to the 2011 Spokane ballot.
Democracy Matters Podcast - November 27, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, the first in our three part series focused on the question "Why do corporate constitutional rights matter?" This week we examine the question with respect to the food we eat. Next week and the following - we'll look at why corporate rights matter, when it comes to the water we drink and the air we drink. Also this week, State College, PA, is the first U.S. community to ban drilling and fracking through citizens' initiative. We talk with the lead organizer, Braden Crooks.
Democracy Matters Podcast - November 21, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - Occupy Wall Street - what do the Occupiers need to do to make the kind of changes they seek. And Jeff Reifman of Envision Seattle and co-author of the just released book "This Changes Everything: Occupy Wall Street and the 99% Movement" published by YES! Magazine and Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Democracy Matters Podcast: November 15, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, Occupy Wall Street and how the Republican presidential candidates plan to rip giant holes in the social safety net.
Democracy Matters Podcast - November 7, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, the growing disillusion among progressive groups with the Obama Administration. And, Ben Price of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund on how communities fighting natural gas fracking are coming up against their own state governments and a systemic corporate state.
Democracy Matters Podcast - October 30, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - Occupy Wall Street. And Kai Huschke on Spokane, Washington's, Proposition 1 - a citizens' initiative calling for community rights over corporate rights.
Democracy Matters Podcast - October 24, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - the fight in Wisconsin continues this fall as Governor Scott Walker faces a recall effort after he spent the spring stripping collective bargaining powers from workers. The Koch Brothers - big backers of Walker's - have made billions in manufacturing and other industries around the globe. Are they doing business in Iran? And Part II of our interview with Rod Fletcher of Peters Township, PA, where he's part of a campaign to ban natural gas drilling in his community. Why did his own municipal government - not even the corporations - try to stop them?
Democracy Matters Podcast - October 17, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - what are you really doing when you vote in the presidential primaries - certainly not voting for an actual candidate. And, Rod Fletcher of Peters Township in southwestern Pennsylvania - on why he went from looking for a job with the drilling companies to saying "no" to drilling in his own community. Peters Township is now poised to vote to ban drilling and fracking.
Democracy Matters Podcast - October 10, 2011
Raising Cain - does Herman Cain - the latest presidential contender to make a mark on the Republican Party - have what it takes to win the nomination? And Part II of our interview with Rutgers Prof. James Pope on why workers have been stripped of their constitutional rights in the workplace.
Democracy Matters Podcast - October 3, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, Part I of our interview with Prof. James Pope of Rutgers University on why workers have been stripped of their constitutional rights in the workplace.
Democracy Matters Podcast - September 26, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, a roundtable discussion on presidential candidate Rick Perry; and Part II of our interview with University of Pittsburgh law professor Jules Lobel of the Center for Constitutional Rights, on the decline of civil liberties post-9/11.
Democracy Matters Podcast - September 19, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, a roundtable discussion on state ballot initiatives from across the country on this November's ballot. And, we bring you Part I of our interview with the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and University of Pittsburgh law professor Jules Lobel on civil liberties after 9/11.
Democracy Matters Podcast - September 12, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - the Smogging of America - the Obama Administration's decision to nix new smog-reduction rules - and the proposed Keystone Pipeline moving tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas. What does the environmental community need to be doing differently if it is to achieve sustainability? And Natasha Dillon, a co-founder of Queer Rising in New York City - an organization formed to organize through direct action in support of gay and transgender rights.
Democracy Matters Podcast - September 5, 2011
This Labor Day Week on Democracy Matters we discuss the brutal origins of the national holiday in 1894, and how organized labor is doing over 100 years later. And Part II of our interview with Texas author and activist Diane Wilson on the role of civil disobedience in changing the environmental movement.
Democracy Matters Podcast - August 29, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - citizen oversight of the police - the role of ombudsman's and why true investigatory power into police matters remains so illusive. And Part I of our interview with activist and author Diane Wilson - who wrote "Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth" - on the need for civil disobedience in our environmental activism.
Democracy Matters Podcast - August 22, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - the privatization of public roads, parking meters, water infrastructure, and more to fill budget holes. Is it wise to give corporations control over our infrastructure? And Part II of our interview with author and historian Ray Raphael - busting some myths about the American Revolution and our Founding Fathers.
Democracy Matters Podcast - August 15, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - author and historian Ray Raphael on the American Revolution - debunking myths about our founding fathers. And ripped from the headlines - the Iowa straw poll results and whether they're a predictor for the Republican presidential nominee - and Morgantown, WV, which just saw a judge rule that corporate rights override the community's right to ban fracking.
Democracy Matters Podcast - August 8, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - the story of Tim DeChristopher who was recently sentenced to prison for bidding on federal land in an effort to protect it from oil and gas drilling, and the role of civil disobedience on driving fundamental change. And we bring you Part II of our interview with Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields on the city's Community Bill of Rights which bans natural gas drilling and secures rights of people, the community, and nature.
Democracy Matters Podcast - August 1, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - the debt ceiling - is maxing out the country's credit cards really the answer? And Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields on Pittsburgh's efforts to become the first city in the U.S. to put in place a legally binding "Community Bill of Rights" which elevates the rights of people, the community, and nature above corporate rights.
Democracy Matters Podcast - July 25, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - our dying oceans and why proposed measures fall far, far short of anything close to sustainability; and Brad Read of Envision Spokane, the organization is posed to qualify a Community Bill of Rights for the November 2011 ballot in Spokane, WA.
Democracy Matters Podcast - July 18, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - Marion Gilliam of Orion Magazine on the future of print media and it's role in making change, Michelle Bachmann, and the latest attempt by congressional Democrats to respond to Citizens United.
Democracy Matters Podcast - July 11, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, an update on those massive oil equipment shipments known as the "megaloads" - which seek to move equipment through scenic Idaho and Montana, up to the Alberta tar sands. How industry is using state governments to push community concerns out of the way and drive those shipments through. And tech-guru Jeff Reifman on a local "net neutrality" law being considered in Seattle.
Democracy Matters Podcast - July 4, 2011
On this week's program, we talk Afghanistan - the president's latest announcement on troop withdrawal, the politics involved, and what's likely to happen next. And Stoney Bird and Rick Dubrow of the Living Democracy Initiating Group in Bellingham, WA, where the community is coming together to say "no" to coal trains proposed to run from Wyoming's Powder Basin through Washington State, and then to China.
Democracy Matters Podcast - June 27, 2011
On this week's program, we speak with Matthew Jordan, a labor organizer in Oklahoma - where the state recently followed in Wisconsin's footsteps to overturn collective bargaining powers for workers. We talk with him about his work to drive collective bargaining rights at the local level. And a Food Bill of Rights - why more and more communities are looking to build sustainable food systems such that they decide what food production looks like in their communities, not the agribusiness industry.
Democracy Matters Podcast - June 20, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, an interview with Ben Price of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund on his work with the City of Pittsburgh and other communities which are beginning to assert their right to ban natural gas drilling and the practice known as "fracking." And sewage sludge, what is it, why are corporations dumping it on farmland with the help of state governments, and how communities are building a movement which elevates the rights of the community, its people, and nature above the interests of corporations.
Democracy Matters Podcast - June 13, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters - a roundtable discussion on the ineffectiveness of federal environmental laws, and an interview with Ian Perrin, a South African working to stop the Shell corporation from hydrofracturing in the Karoo region of that country.
Democracy Matters Podcast - June 4, 2011
On this week's program - Dr. Paul Connett of the Fluoride Action Network and author of "The Case Against Fluoride." And ripped from the headlines - a look at some of the more controversial stories to come out over the past few weeks including a Virginia court's decision to overturn a ban on corporations giving funds directly to federal candidates.
Democracy Matters Podcast - May 30, 2011
On this week's program, we debate the longstanding practice of fluoridation of drinking water. We discuss the public health benefits claimed by advocates and why some communities are saying "no" to fluoridation. And Laird Townsend, founder of Project Word, on why the stories that should be making headlines, aren't.
Democracy Matters Podcast - May 23, 2011
Author Bill Kauffman of "Bye Bye Miss American Empire" on the growing state and local discussion on secession. And medical marijuana - what's the latest with laws in Washington State and elsewhere.
Democracy Matters Podcast - May 16, 2011
On this week's program, taking up the issue of state and municipal secession - why states and communities are looking anew at the possibility. And an interview with Eric Belcastro of the organization Marcellus Protest, on the fight to stop natural gas drilling and fracking in Pennsylvania.
Democracy Matters Podcast - May 9, 2011
This week on Democracy Matters, an interview with Natalia Green of Fundacion Pachamama on her work assisting the Ecuador Constitutional Assembly to adopt Rights of Nature into the country's constitution. And ripped from the headlines - Osama bin Laden, Obama, and corporate constitutional "rights."
Democracy Matters Podcast - May 2, 2011
On this week's program, we interview Cormac Cullinan, a South African attorney and author of the book Wild Law on the need for a new Earth Jurisprudence and Rights of Nature. Also, a discussion on the growing Rights of Nature movement.
Democracy Matters Podcast - April 25, 2011
On this week's program - the latest on Republican efforts to eliminate collective bargaining across the states. And drilling and fracking in Pennsylvania, we speak with Tom Jiunta.
Democracy Matters Podcast - April 18, 2011
On this week's program, Vermont State Senator Virginia Lyons on her resolution requesting Congress amend the Constitution in response to the "Citizens United" Supreme Court decision giving corporations the ability to throw more money at elections. And the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest is already well underway. Who's running, and does it matter who is in the White House?
Democracy Matters Podcast - April 11, 2011
On this week's program, we feature a roundtable debate on ordinances that are being adopted across the country to confront corporate farming, corporate gas drilling, corporate water withdrawals, and other activities opposed by communities. And, an interview with Derrick Jensen, nationally known author of such books as A Language Older Than Words and Endgame.
Democracy Matters Podcast - April 4, 2011
On this week's program we talk with Leila Connors - director of Leonardo DiCaprio's film "11th Hour" - on her new film "Urban Roots" which shares the story of the growing urban farm movement in the City of Detroit. And the corporatization of agriculture - what it means for you and the food you eat.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 28, 2011
On this week's program we discuss the citizen initiative process - a way for people to directly make law, rather than hoping their elected officials will do so for them. Initiative powers exist in 24 states and in municipalities across the country - its challenges and the question, why isn't it used more? And we talk with Kai Huschke of Envision Spokane, which is launching a citizen's initiative to amend the City of Spokane's Home Rule Charter with a Community Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights recognizes rights of the Spokane River and Aquifer, and the right of workers to collectively bargain.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 21, 2011
On this week's program we interview acclaimed author Christopher Cook, who wrote Diet for a Dead Planet: Big Business and the Coming Food Crisis, on the corporatization of agriculture. He's written recently on Monsanto's domination of the GMO seed industry. We talk about how it is that corporations are legally authorized to monopolize such markets, and how they control the food we eat.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 14, 2011
On this week's program, we take a look at The Story of Citizen's United v. FEC - a new video out by the Story of Stuff Project. A good starting point for those looking to understand how corporations have rights and powers that people, communities, and nature don't have - or does it not go far enough in terms of what we should do to change the existing legal structure which elevates corporations over all else? And, an interview with Tom Anderson with the Transition Town movement in the Pacific Northwest.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 7, 2011
On this week's program, we talk with Phil Mattera of Good Jobs First, on the going battle in Wisconsin as Republican Governor Scott Walker seeks to remove collective bargaining protections from workers. Phil talks with us about what this means for the labor movement and why corporations are working with legislatures to undermine labor unions. We also have our roundtable discussion in which we focus on the megaloads issue - those giant 200+ feet long truckloads that are being driven across Idaho and Montana, to service the Canadian Tar Sands. Why communities can't say 'no' to them.
Democracy Matters Podcast - March 1, 2011
We dedicate our program this week to the battle in Wisconsin - as the Republican governor seeks to strip workers of their collective bargaining protections. We talk with Lyle Ballistreri, President of the Milwaukee Building and Trades Council, AFL-CIO, who is deep into this fight - and has a long history with the new governor. Hear his thoughts on what this battle is really about, what's likely to happen, and what this means long-term for the labor movement.
Democracy Matters Podcast - February 21, 2011
On this week's program, we look at this concept that corporations are considered to be persons under the law, and why our concern must extend far beyond corporate "personhood" to the other constitutional rights and powers courts have conferred upon corporations. We also interview Paul Cienfuegos, a long time activist working with communities on the West Coast who are looking to move outside the box of conventional organizing.
Democracy Matters Podcast - February 14, 2011
On this week's program, we debate Florida federal Judge Vinson's decision to throw out the entire healthcare legislation as unconstitutional. Was he right, wrong, right for the wrong reasons? And we talk with Stoney Bird of the Living Democracy group in Bellingham, WA.
Democracy Matters Podcast - February 7, 2011
On this week's program, we debate why non-binding resolutions, temporary moratoria, study commissions, etc. are celebrated by activists when they don't make any real change in law or policy. Is it an opening to real change, or a way for legislatures and Congress to avoid doing anything real? And we talk with Rick Dubrow of Bellingham, WA, where a local group is organizing for change that puts the rights of residents before that of corporations.
Democracy Matters Podcast - February 1, 2011
On this week's program we debate whether to raise or not to raise the federal "debt ceiling," and if the new Republican House can keep their Tea Party members in line. And we talk with Peter Burdon of Adelaide, Australia, who ran that country's first Rights of Nature conference.
Democracy Matters Podcast - January 25, 2011
This week's program features our roundtable discussion on Net Neutrality - should the feds keep their hands off the Internet, or do Internet users need protection from corporate control. As well, we talk with Kari Matsko of the Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project on the threat of natural gas drilling and fracking.
Democracy Matters Podcast - January 10, 2011
On this week's program, we discuss the hundreds of states and municipalities across the country facing bankruptcy as the economy continues to stagger along. The federal government bailed out Wall Street and the auto industry - why are Ben Bernanke and House Republicans unwilling to bail out state and local governments? And we bring you Part I of our interview with Kathleen Dudley and Don Hamilton of Drilling Mora County, who are working to stop the fracking of their communities.