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We the People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe

Community Rights Alliance of Winneshiek County

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM - Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 5:00 PM (CST)

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$50 (for those who make less than $15,000 per year) 21 Tickets Ended
$80 (for those who make $15,000 to $25,000 per year) 24 Tickets Ended
$110 (for those who make $25,000 to $40,000 per year) 25 Tickets Ended
$150 (for those who make $40,000 to $70,000 per year) 24 Tickets Ended
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$250 (for those who make $100,000 or more per year 24 Tickets Ended
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Event Details

We the People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe: 
First Steps in Dismantling Corporate Rule


A workshop offered by Paul Cienfuegos 

Fri. March 7-Sun March 9, 2014
in Decorah, Iowa
at United Congregational Center, 209 W Broadway (behind the Winneshiek Courthouse)

  • Friday 6:00 potluck, 7-9:00 workshop

  • Saturday 9:00-6:00, with ample lunch and other breaks

  • Sunday 9:00-5:00, with ample lunch and other break

We invite you to spend a weekend with us as we learn more effective ways to protect our local communities and the rest of the living world by exercising our inherent right to govern ourselves. 

Beginning in Pennsylvania, and now stretching across eight states from Maine to New Mexico, 150 communities have passed legally binding, locally enforceable Community Rights laws that for the first time in U.S. history enshrine the inherent right of a local majority of residents to protect the health and welfare of their local places. Each of these new-paradigm laws defines what the community wants, reins in corporate so-called "rights", and stops legal but harmful corporate activity dead in its tracks. 

We the People really are more powerful than we dare to believe. Here's what the Iowa State Constitution says about that:

Article One - Bill of Rights: 
"All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people, and they have the right, at all times, to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it."

What is it that most deeply matters to you? What kind of town/landscape do you want to live in ten years from now? 40 years? 100 years? What decisions need to be made SOON to get you where you want to go regarding water, air, energy, fracking, mining, cell phone towers, land and economic development, etc?

By utilizing the Community Rights legal strategy, and joining our voices with others to create empowerment and nourishment, we actually CAN get there from here! 

Testimonials from Iowa people who attended Paul's May 2013 workshop in Decorah: 

"I came away from this workshop feeling like I know how to be a better citizen of my country. Paul opened my eyes to parts of our country's history that saddened me, and parts that really inspired me too.  I have a clearer understanding of why everyday people often feel powerless to make change for a better world.  And I now know what we can do about that.  Paul renewed my interest in participating in governance that is truly of, for, and by the people."

 "I was impressed with the democratic vision of the community rights movement.  It's easy to lose faith in democracy when you only watch it operating on the very large, corporate-controlled scale of the federal and even state government--it's much easier, and much more exciting, to imagine democracy among neighbors, in local communities claiming the right to local control.  Paul's history of the united states through the lens of corporate personhood rights helped me to understand why I was skeptical about our large-scale "democracy", and I appreciated the discussion of decolonizing our minds from corporate control.  I believe it's time to put the rights of human beings and of the earth on a higher priority than the rights of corporations, and I'm grateful to Paul for showing us a path to making that happen!"

 "a very enlightening weekend. I found out where my fear of large corporations comes from and how--with compassionate informed neighbors--we can move forward to demand a more just land."

 "Wanting a better world for my daughters convinced me to attend Paul's training.  I moved from feeling ignorant, to oppressed, to empowered.  We can build a world that holds the interest of ourselves, our children, our whole Earth Community at the forefront.  And there are other communities leading the way!  Join me!"

"I have been very sad for a very long time, seeing our personal lives, our health and our world threatened by all of the corporate harms we seem so powerless to affect. And for the first few hours in the workshop, Paul's history of our democracy-- and how it has been, from the beginning, torn asunder by a system stacked in favor of corporations-- brought back all of the sadness and helplessness. But it also made me realize this sadness is a natural response to what we and our non-human allies have been experiencing. And the workshop didn't end there; it provided us with tools to work on the local level to protect our natural environment (which is what sustains us after all is said and done). It inspires me to think of coming together with friends and neighbors (and the friends I haven't met yet in my community). And I could see potential for networks of communities coming together to weave a web of protection. Now I see what Paul was talking about happening all over the world. There are no guarantees, but there never have been. It gives us challenge worth taking on."

No previous experience or knowledge is necessary to attend.

Our workshop leader:

Paul Cienfuegos

Paul Cienfuegos has been leading workshops, giving public talks, and organizing local communities towards dismantling corporate rule and strengthening local democracy, since 1995 when he founded Democracy Unlimited in northern California. Now living in Portland, Oregon, he continues to expand his life passion: to help communities near and far to rediscover their power to govern themselves. He has great faith in the inherent wisdom and capacity of everyone to strive for a better world. His talks have been broadcast nationally on 'Alternative Radio' ( More info at

Learn More About the Community Rights Movement

* The recent feature article in The Nation magazine about our movement:
* Just Released 20-minute online Slideshow titled: "So Your Community is Going to be Fracked, Mined, Factory Farmed, or fill in the blank…"
* An engaging hour-long interview with Paul Cienfuegos on Portland, Oregon's Cable Access TV channel from February 2012:
* An internationally broadcast speech by Paul Cienfuegos, on David Barsamian's 'Alternative Radio' show October 2011. You can read the speech here: Or listen to it here: . It's an excellent way to introduce this critical topic to your friends and family who seem doubtful that there's anything that can be done about this growing crisis. (You can also purchase it as an mp3 or CD here: .)

Pre-registration is required to hold your spot. There is space for 30 people.
Fee is by Sliding Scale, based on ability to pay (see below)
Meals and Housing are not included in the fee for the workshop. If you are coming from out of town, we can probably find free housing for you, or if you prefer you could find a hotel. 

The workshop site is located just a few blocks from restaurants and grocery stores, and lunch breaks will be provided for walking to a restaurant or eating bag lunches. 
For more info: Liz Rog:

Workshop fee: Sliding scale between $50 and $250.
We'd like you to consider paying a bit more than you are used to paying if you are in an upper-income bracket, and a bit less than you are used to paying if you are in a lower income bracket. In this society, we tend to forget that lower income people have much less disposable income for extras of any kind than do higher income people. So what ends up happening is that lower income people actually end up subsidizing the participation of higher income people at events where everyone pays the same price to attend.

If you have lots of dependents, please consider paying a bit less than the amounts listed below. If you have few or no dependents, please consider paying a bit more than the amounts listed below. 

If you are at all uncomfortable with our suggested fee scale, please pay whatever amount you feel is right for you to pay. YOU are the best judge of what you can afford to pay.

If you make less than $15,000 per year, please consider paying $50 or more.

If you make $15,000 to $25,000 per year, please consider paying $80 or more.

If you make $25,000 to $40,000 per year, please consider paying $110 or more.

If you make $40,000 to $70,000 per year, please consider paying $150 or more.

If you make $70,000 to $100,000 per year, please consider paying $200 or more.

If you make $100,000 or more per year, please consider paying $250 or more.
If paying by check, please make check payable to “We the People” and mail to Liz Rog, 1591 Manawa Rd, Decorah IA. Please include your mailing address, and phone number.
Thank you!

We'll be getting in touch with everyone in advance, with lots more info and a reading list, once you register.

Still have questions or concerns? Contact Liz Rog, (563)382-8013 or <>.

Have questions about We the People Are More Powerful Than We Dare to Believe? Contact Community Rights Alliance of Winneshiek County

When & Where

Decorah UCC Center
209 W Broadway
Decorah, IA 52101

Friday, March 7, 2014 at 6:00 PM - Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 5:00 PM (CST)

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Community Rights Alliance of Winneshiek County

The Community Rights Alliance of Winneshiek County is an alliance of citizens of the Driftless Region of the Midwest. We peacefully assert our Constitutional right to local, democratic self-governance, for the purpose of protecting the health and integrity of our communities, our commonly shared natural resources, and our future.

  Contact the Organizer

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