Save the Date! May 24th “Birthday Party for the Corporate Person”


In mock “celebration” of the 129th anniversary of Santa Clara County vs The Southern Pacific Railroad where the Supreme court made the notion that corporations are people and should share the same constitutional rights as humans. In celebration of this corporate birthday we will invite speakers, musicians and actors to educate and entertain spectators while encouraging them to support the “We The People” constitutional amendment which would strip corporations of their constitutional rights and assert that money is not free speech.

To get involved contact



Asheville Tool Library Spring Updates!


1st, Project Update: We found a location!
We officially launched this project about 2 years ago in the Spring of 2013.  Since that time we have been hard at work: fundraising, finding a fiscal sponsor, collecting tools, doing community outreach and trying to find an initial location for the Asheville Tool Library. After thinking we had figured out a space more times than I can count on one hand we have finally found a winner!

We are partnering with an exciting group of organizations to share space in (East) West Asheville on ‘the corner’ of Haywood Rd.

This project has been a volunteer driven labor of love since its inception and we need your support now as much as ever if this is to be successful. The community is asking for this to happen, we have reached over 1,000 likes on Facebook and get requests for tools almost every week. While financial contributions are necessary and much appreciated we also need more volunteers with al sorts of skills to plug in and join our team.

What we’re trying to say is…

Lets Build it Together!

2nd, Volunteer Meetings: Lets open this thing already!
After a long year of potential locations, false starts and general project atrophy we have finally found a space and are working through the final details.

In the coming months we’ll be launching our initial tool and membership drives, creating the front end of our website, building out our space and making the final preparations to open this Summer (or maybe even late Spring)!

Wednesday Evenings: 6-8pm 285 Haywood Rd. Asheville, NC (across the street from Villagers in (east) West Asheville)

At these meetings we will break in our location and discuss the next steps we can take as a group to ‘Build it Together’.

Feel free to bring food or drinks to share. Light snacks will be provided.
*If you have questions or can’t make this meeting, but still want to be involved please email Tom:

3rd, Tool Donations
Were accepting (Tax Deductible) Tool Donations!
We have been slowly stockpiling tools for the last year to prepare for our eventual opening and could use a lot more before we’re fully stocked and ready to go. We’ll be launching a ‘Tool Drive’ soon and if your interested in making a donation now please contact Nick Letts: to schedule a drop off/pick-up.

4th, Shirts!
We have Asheville Tool Library Shirts!  Want one for your self? How about a friend or relative? Come to our meeting and pick up one of these high quality Hemp/Organic Cotton T-Shirts or Hoodies for a $20/$30 donation.

Asheville Tool Library is a Fiscally Sponsored Project of Empowerment Works.

Fall Partnership with Beats Antique and Rainforest Action Network

Represent RAN at a Beats Antique Show Near You!

BY Ashley Schaeffer Yildiz Oct 14 2014


Rainforest Action Network is partnering with Beats Antique on their Fall Tour, “Creature Carnival,” to raise awareness about the importance of protecting tropical rainforests and its many inhabitants. If you aren’t familiar with the music of Beats Antique and/or haven’t seen one of their spectacular live performances then you are in for a treat! The band mixes world fusion and electronic music; beyond the incredible music their live shows feature performance art and heavy percussives with Tribal Fusion dance.

Given the theme “Creature Carnival,” the band sought out an organization doing effective work on behalf of wildlife to feature in all the shows. This tour includes 21 live performances from Los Angeles, CA to St. Paul, MN to Washington, DC between October 15-November 8.

We are looking for passionate volunteers to work our RAN table at Beats Antique shows in cities across the country. You will get into the show for free as long as you represent RAN throughout the evening at our table, passing out Forest Program brochures, Last Stand of the Orangutan stickers, RAN bumper stickers, and signing people up to join the Palm Oil Action Team. Please check out the tour dates and locations, and if there’s a good match with your location and availability please kindly email Emma at

We hope you take advantage of this unique opportunity!

Call for Resistance: Stop GE Trees in the South East

ArborGen, a the self-proclaimed “next Monsanto” of the Genetic Engineering Corporations is having a Conference! And they chose the best place to have it:

Asheville, NC

“The world doesn’t just need more trees. We need trees that can do more.”
–ArborGen, “The Next Monsanto,” GE tree research and development company

That’s right, Asheville, a liberal community, blanketed with native forests and rich biodiversity and inhabited by activists and organizers who are prepared to stand up and say: “That’s not what we do around here.”  So let’s do this ArborGen.  Welcome to our town.

Organize to Stop the Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference from Deciding the Future of the World’s Forests this Spring in Asheville, NC, Marriot Renaissance Hotel

"The world doesn't just need more trees. We need trees that can do more."-ArborGen, “The Next Monsanto,” GE tree research and development company

Call to action from Global Justice Ecology Project:

“From May 26-June 1, industry leaders, scientists and policy makers will meet in Asheville, NC for the Tree Biotechnology 2013 Conference. The conference will discuss current and future applications of GE trees, including large-scale plantations of GE eucalyptus trees for pulp and biofuels in the southern United States, from South Carolina to Texas.  We will be there to take action.  Will you?”

GE trees pose an unprecedented threat to US forests. GE tree company ArborGen has a request pending with the USDA to commercially sell hundreds of millions of GE eucalyptus trees annually for vast plantations across Texas, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina. Eucalyptus trees have fueled deadly, catastrophic fires in Australia and are an extreme fire risk in California, where they are considered an invasive species. Eucalyptus plantations are called “silent forests” because they provide no benefits or habitat for wildlife.

New biomass facilities are popping up all over the south, to burn wood for electricity and to make pellets for export to European markets. A new company, EcoGen, wants to establish industrial plantations of eucalyptus all over the south for use in biomass incinerators.  If ArborGen gets permission from the USDA, you can bet those plantations will be GE eucalyptus.

Global Justice Ecology Project, along with partner organizations, plans to take action against the GE trees industry in the streets of Asheville to tell them “Enough Already!”  They are calling on everyone concerned with the future of our forests to join us in May to STOP GE trees once and for all.

If you are interested in participating, or want to stay updated email

For information about housing in Asheville email:

Check out for more information.

Sign the petition to the USDA demanding a ban on GE trees.

Final Day Blog

Day 10

We woke up early and drove the last two hours to Washington DC.  We drove all over the city (lost, but great for visibility) and met up with Mintwood Media Collective, owners of the Cornfish.

We had a group of bicyclists made up of the Mintwood collective, local activists and friends escorted us all the way through DC to the White House.  We followed our growing troop of bikes all the way there, were briefly confronted by secret security for blocking an intersection with a suspicous-looking fish car, but left about four minuets later, unscathed to continue driving around.  We stopped by the capital building and the national archives, getting strange looks, thumbs-up and cheers all along the way.

That couple hour tour completed our journey just before the rain began on capital hill and Ben and I got to explore DC a little bit before regrouping with the others.  I’m not going to lie, in DC I felt like we had less support for our cause than we had  even in the backwoods of West Virginia or in Oklahoma.  Busy people in nice black business suites didn’t have time to laugh or ponder the giant bewildered corn fish.  Our friend Adam, informed us that DC is a food desert, lacking the local pride and knowledge about the source and quality about the ingredients.  Lets hope that policy will lean toward labeling, transparency and health more than the community.

Overall this journey has been extremely rewarding and eye-opening.  Now that I find myself back in North Carolina, I can’t find organic food.  Yesterday in the store, the only cereal I found that was seemingly GMO free was Rice Crispies, owned by Kellogg, a company that spent lots of money to make sure that my hard work on Prop 37 didn’t pay off.

I began my activism career as a climate activist, dealing with the very present crisis of climate change, and in my eyes, the most important issue that one could take on: How do we get to continue to live on our planet?

Over and over again I’ve made a point to remind myself and others that I’m not a single issue activist; that the GMO issue is not my fight.  The last 6 months of focused work has changed my perspective.  Listening to Vandana Shiva speak about the importance of protecting our world’s native seed supply form privatization at any cost necessary, and coming home to an ecologically bland agricultural state with no healthy food available to buy because a government that is supposed to represent me chooses to subsidize dangerous untested food and dirty energy sources, makes me think perhaps this is my fight.

In fewer words, this is ONE BIG ISSUE of conflicting interests and you, I and the planet we live on have been left out of the equation.  If I’ve learned nothing else about life and activism it is that if you want to see something happen, you have to take lead in making it happen.  We’re all busy, we all had other ideas about what our lives would look like.  I’m 22 years old.  I’m not sure what hope I have about living in a country that protects my values or the quality of my soil.  If I had children I don’t know what the planet they inherit will look like.  This fight is not too big.  If anything, the battle for GMO transparency is winnable and soon, if we do it ourselves instead of waiting for someone to lobby our officials, talk to our neighbors, write of new food policy and protect our food supply for us.

Apathy could kill this planet decades before war or climate change.  Save seeds, plant food, teach your children how to cook, and to see beyond plastic packaging, buy locally, talk to your neighbors, call your congress people- pressure the president.  FIght to label GMOs, kick monsanto out of the country, stop the Monsanto Riders on the new 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Fiscal Budget.

I read yesterday in the National Archives that Alexander Hamiliton, said that this country is governed by the people- So lets get to it!  Govern your country, use the hell out of the system in place, and if still doesn’t serve you, build a new one.  If nothing else, we have the right to be healthy, to feed ourselves, to live on our planet.  We just drove goofy fish-corn car across the country and we got people talking, but we didn’t change the world yet.  We need your help.  Look for updates about how we can help you build and drive and educational art car around your region.  If you’re interested email  Lets keep this going!