Mother Earth Doesn’t Negotiate. On the Rights of Nature w/ Pennie Opal Plant & Shannon Biggs

In Cochabamba Bolivia in 2011, tens of thousands were present on Mother  Earth Day as the Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth was  declared in response to the “privatization” of nature by the corporate  state. This was in alignment with Indigenous worldviews that have  accelerated the development of rights of nature law.  Both Ecuador and Bolivia, as well as numerous local jurisdictions, have amended their  constitutions to include a “rights of nature.”

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In this episode, we talk with Pennie Opal Plant (@PennieOpal) and  Shannon Biggs (@ShannonKBiggs), co-founders of Movement Rights  (@movementrights), about the growing movement around the rights of  nature. We discuss the legal, political and cultural aspects of the growing rights of nature movement. We also discuss the recent news that oil has begun to flow through  Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline after 8 years of resistance, the Indigenous  rights movement and the climate movements in the U.S. and globally.

Pennie Opal Plant is an Indigenous grandmother of Yaqui, Mexican,  undocumented Choctaw and Cherokee and European descent. Born in the  shadow of the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA, she has been a protector  and defender of the sacred system of life for over 35 years. She is  co-founder of Movement Rights now sits on the Board as lead advisor. She  is a signatory on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother  Earth Treaty, along with Casey Camp-Horinek. Pennie is also the  co-founder of Idle No More SF Bay and continues as an advisor.

Shannon Biggs is the co-founder and Director of Movement Rights, a  climate justice organization aligning human laws with the laws of Nature  by advancing Rights of Indigenous peoples, Nature and communities.  Movement Rights assisted the Ponca Nation of Oklahoma to become the  first tribe to recognize rights of nature for tribal lands in the US,  and has led strategic gatherings on Rights of Nature and Economics, and  the Indigenous-led 2019 Frontline Oil and Gas (FOG) conference with over  200 national grassroots environmental justice and indigenous  participants.  Internationally she is a recognized leader of the rights  of nature movement, a co-founder of the Global Alliance for the Rights  of Nature (GARN), and the co-author/editor of two books including “The  Rights of Nature, Making the Case for the Universal Declaration on the  Rights of Nature.”


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This is a Green and Red Podcast production. Produced by Bob  (@bobbuzzanco) and Scott (@sparki1969).  “Green and Red Blues” by Moody.  Editing by Isaac.


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