Dr. Riki Ott is a marine toxicologist, activist, author and former commercial fisher ma'am.

Ott has long opposed the legal doctrine of corporate constitutional rights and has been advocating for amending the U.S. Constitution to clarify that corporations do not possess human rights. She argues that corporations use personhood to seek extraordinary privileges. She cites, for example, Exxon's attempt to re-enter Prince William Sound—after being banned from the area by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990—by claiming a Fifth Amendment right.

An "epiphany" about corporate personhood came to Ott during the struggle against Exxon, during which she sought to answer the question: "How did corporations get so big that they can manipulate the legal system?'

After the oil Spill she asked herself, "Do I know enough to make a difference. And Do I care enough?" 

"So, what we did was — the mayor, in our dark hour — it really was our darkest hour — committed suicide. And what we did after the fish run collapse is we did a community-wide act of civil disobedience: we blockaded Valdez Narrows, held up oil tanker traffic. This was to bring attention to Prince William Sound. Everything was collapsing. Seabirds, marine mammals, fish...And this got the attention of President Clinton."

Learn more: Interview 20 Years After Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Alaskan Coastline Remains Contaminated, Residents Still Struggle for Justice | Democracy Now!

Since those early days, Ott has become accomplished in civic activism and grassroots engagement, including becoming a founding member of Move to Amend and inspiring youth and adults with accessible, science- and civics-based trainings, and with Stories, to engage people in working together towards a healthy democracy and a healthy energy future.

Dr. Riki Ott currently directs two projects through Earth Island Institute, The ALERT Project and Ultimate Civics

Don't miss the chance to hear from one of Move to Amend's founding leaders on what’s happening now and how you can support this important movement for justice, a livable world and self-determination/democracy!


Watch the recording of this engaging conversation with Dr. Riki Ott here: https://youtu.be/1G33Mn8kzFw 

Jennie C Spanos


In a democracy, the people rule!