Three years and the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in the Citizens United case is still the most popular rallying cry for the movement to abolish corporate personhood and the doctrine of money as speech. All around the country, various groups organized and sponsored events to mark the third anniversary of only the most recent of notorious decisions in Supreme Court history.
Here in New York City, the Money Out-Voters In rally was organized by Demos, Common Cause/NY, Public Citizen and OWS Faith, among others, and sponsored or endorsed by more than a dozen labor unions, including SEIU, the UFT and the Teamsters, and other movement allies including Free Speech for People, Move To Amend/NYC and Citizen Action/NY. The event took place on the 10th floor of New York University’s Kimmel Center and was attended by at least three hundred activists, professional organizers and concerned citizens. Speakers included a rallying cry from Jeff Clements, author of Corporations Are Not People and co-founder of FSFP, and a stirring oration from Reverend James A. Forbes, Jr., Senior Minister Emeritus, The Riverside Church. The keynote was offered by former city Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Mark Green. You can read the full text of his speech here and see the day’s itinerary on the MOVI facebook page.
After the speechifyin’ and organizin’, the Occupy folks led everyone downtown to Federal Hall, to the steps where our first President was sworn in, and turned the place into a spectacle of corporate marital orgasmatopia. Lucky for us, Dennis Trainor Jr. (Acronym TV, American Autumn) was on hand to chronicle the nuptials…
A Citizens United Wedding
Columbus, Ohio — Citizens United opponents likened the rights of corporations to a national scandal this week: Manti Te’o’s hoax girlfriend. “If you think about this notion of a ‘catfish relationship’ of an online, supposedly hoax of a person who was relating to another person that didn’t even exist,” said Greg Coleridge, of Move to Amend. “The media has jumped on that, meanwhile the ultimate Moby Dick … of a hoax is that we have defined corporations as persons.” Coleridge spoke to about 20 people during a press conference today on the danger of giving rights to corporations. Later, about 30 people marched to the Ohio Statehouse with signs and a megaphone to spread their message. MORE
Indianapolis, Indiana — Robert Pederson is with the Indiana Alliance for Democracy. He says Hoosiers need to help generate support for a constitutional amendment. “Saying that corporations are not persons with constitutional rights and that money spent in politics is not speech and should be limited,” Pederson says. MORERep. Sarbanes
Annapolis, Maryland — a group of protesters marked the ruling’s birthday at a rally attended by federal and state lawmakers in front of the Maryland state house in Annapolis. “Let’s repeal this Citizens United case,” Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), a leading campaign finance reformer in Congress, said to the loudest cheers from the three-dozen or so attendees gathered in Annapolis. MORE
We also received a bit of good news in Congress via Jeff Clements which I’ll be posting separately later. Not a bad week for the movement overall. Let’s keep gathering steam. Still a lot of track ahead of us.