Dear Democracy Now! Visitor: We are an independent, ad-free daily news program that serves millions of viewers and listeners each month. In this US election year, Democracy Now! is more important than ever. For 20 years, we’ve put a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power. We lift up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We do all of this with just a fraction of the budget and staff of a commercial news show. We do it without ads, corporate sponsorship or government funding. How is this possible? Only with your support. A generous funder will match your donation dollar for dollar if you donate right now. That means when you give $10, your donation will be worth $20. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you every day.

Your Donation: $


October 25, 2000

This past weekend in the San Francisco bay area a group of 2,000 eco-visionaries gathered to share theories and practical environmental solutions for restoring the earth. According to panelists at the 11th annual Bioneers Conference, environmental waste has put the life support system of the planet on Red Alert, and "human rights" in the 21st century means the right to be born free of toxins.

Bioneers are "biological pioneers," and the yearly conference featured an eclectic group of speakers from around the country — scientists, doctors, business people, authors, academics and artists — who subscribe to a "Declaration of Interdependence" that says humans and nature are inextricably linked.

The conference featured speeches from Alice Walker, Dr Michael Lerner, the Body Shop’s Anita Roddick and long time anti-toxics activist Teri Sweringen.

Today we are going to hear the speech to this weekend’s Bioneers conference by J.L.Chestnut, who was the first black civil rights lawyer in Selma Alabama. He is also the founder of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, a coalition formed to review the historic victory on behalf of black farmers in the largest class action suit in US history on the grounds institutional racism. He is introduced by Kenny Ausubel, the founder of the Bioneers conference.


  • J.L.Chestnut, a civil rights attorney and author of ??Black in Selma: The Uncommon Life of J.L. Chestnut, Jr. Politics and Power in a Small American City.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.