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Inspiring Activists!

Ralph welcomes two “doers” to the program, first Devin De Wulf, to tell us about how he and his group of community activists are protecting the food supply in his hometown of New Orleans by outfitting restaurants with solar panels that withstand power outages in a hurricane. Then Nathan Proctor of US PIRG tells us about his organization’s latest victory that gives consumers the Right to Repair their electronics, saving on money, toxic waste, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Devin De Wulf is a community activist in New Orleans, and founder of the Krewe of Red Beans and Feed the Second Line. His Get Lit, Stay Lit initiative is a campaign to crowd-fund and install solar panels and batteries on local restaurants to provide the neighborhood power during outages.

I would say 99% of [people who don’t evacuate for hurricanes], don’t evacuate due to financial hardship. It’s really expensive to evacuate. So, people who are lower class and working class just don’t evacuate. Not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. So the hurricane comes, and the day after the storm you are pretty much by yourself. It’s just you and your neighbors.

Devin De Wulf, founder of the Krewe of Red Beans and Get Lit, Stay Lit.


Nobody else cares about your community as much as you do. And that is why local control of disaster response is really vital. Because the current model that we have in America is: a hurricane hits, and maybe the Red Cross, or maybe World Central Kitchen will fly a bunch of staff into a place. But we don’t need that. All we have to do is enable the local restaurants and the local people to be the first responders. And they’re going to do a great job, because it’s their community.

Devin De Wulf, founder of the Krewe of Red Beans and Get Lit, Stay Lit.


[On Get Lit, Stay Lit] This is the real thing. This has great multiplier effects. And once it’s installed, the sun is there! And you’ve got a microgrid. And you’re self-reliant.

Ralph Nader

Nathan Proctor leads the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s (US PIRG) Right to Repair campaign.

Basically, every manufacturer today is a tech company. And the more technology, and especially the more software that’s running in everything… the more opportunity there is to lock you out of things that you should otherwise own.

Nathan Proctor, US PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign

We used to have this understanding that when you got a car, it came with a full-service manual in the glove box. Then companies realized that they didn’t have to share that with you, or they weren’t being forced to share that with you. And then they could basically collect monopoly rents on the service. And then, increasingly, part of that is this planned obsolescence program where when nobody can fix it, then they can force you to buy new things all the time.

Nathan Proctor, US PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign

[Medical equipment] manufacturers have started denying access to manuals, denying access to spare parts. They lock the actual device with software. So that if you want to [fix something] it will lock down the device until somebody punches in a code. And only their authorized service representatives have those codes. So, you’re paying a ransom to the manufacturer to come in and punch a code to use equipment that you already own.

Nathan Proctor, US PIRG’s Right to Repair campaign

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 407 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. David Faubion says:

    Thank you Nathan Proctor and US PRIG’ Right to Repair Campaign!@!

    “Only I can fix it” are the infamous last words of an inhumane being consumed with greed, hubris, narcissism, and lying con that seems now to be endemic in commerce, especially industries, and to a rapidly increasing extent in politics. The greedy con wants to mechanize institutions like the economy, education, law, and the Constitution so that they atrophy in efficacy and usefulness.

    Only when we return to treating our institutions as organic, growing, and evolving entities then will they serve us. The economy, for example, was once a moral philosophy but has become a machine that constantly breaks down requiring only a few mechanics to fix what is unfixable as it is.

    Therefore, let us rage against the unfixable machines transformed from our offspring-like entities that should never have been mechanized and–worse–quasi-mechanized with robot-like ideologues running their proprietary gadgetry.

  2. David Faubion says:

    This listener could tell that Devin De Wulf’s recent experience that he related to us so eloquently has inspired him to realize that basic human needs like electricity are too vital for us to be trusting them with the for-profit private and increasingly unaccountable enterprise. So we rage against the anti-cooperative corps. Enterprise of our future, our survival, and our joyful liberation will engage communities as Devin has so deftly organized like the sun itself creating life on earth.

  3. Ken Warfield says:

    Please tell Devin De Wulf about a mechanical potential energy storage infrastructure that the power companies may be more interested in which could help multiple communities. Of course there are always issues with the grid during a crisis. This is a company from Europe, but is quickly going worldwide. Here is the link: Energyvault.com