Occupy Portland and Occupy Wall Street have issued a call for “citizens” to march and rally on January 20th for the latest cause — an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to make it “clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech” — and they’re willing to Occupy the Courts to get their message across.
(Correction: That should have read Occupy Outside the Courts, but it doesn’t sound so media sexy.)
- On January 20, 2012, at 11:30 a.m., citizens will gather at Pioneer Courthouse Square for a rally and march calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which makes clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
This is a national day of action just one day before the second anniversary of the infamous Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which held that corporations (as people entitled to the rights of the U.S. Constitution) can spend unregulated and undisclosed sums of money in order to influence elections. The Portland event is one of over 80 rallies at federal courthouses around the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Neither the Declaration of Independence, nor the Constitution mentions corporations, which were rare entities at our nation’s founding. However, thanks to decades of rulings by Justices who molded the law to favor elite interests, corporations today are granted rights that empower them to deny citizens the right to full self-governance. Armed with these rights, corporations wield ever-increasing control over jobs, environmental protections, elected officials, even judges and the law.
Yet, corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges citizens and their elected representatives willfully grant them. Move to Amend, supported by hundreds of thousands of people across the county, proposes a Constitutional Amendment that will overturn the Court-created legal doctrines of corporate personhood and “Money Equals Speech.” Occupy the Courts is a manifestation of the frustration of citizens with the increasing corporate control of our government and the momentum building across the country for an amendment that puts the power back in the hands of “We the People.”
On Friday, January 20th, Occupiers are to gather at 5:00 PM ET at Zuccotti Park (aka Liberty Square) and, at 5:30 PM, march to Foley Square. A rally will be held from 6:00 to 7:00 PM across from the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse.
Speakers include RevBilly, Russell Simmons, Virgina Rasmussen of Program on Corporations on Law and Democracy, as well as other planned speakers.
The following day, Occupiers will meet at noontime at City Hall Park (Broadway & Park Place) to receive assignments or “to join our mobile unit” that will take them to to-be-announced “Select Corporate Outlets in NYC.”
Once at their assigned locations, Occupiers are to ask customers and passersby “Is This A Person?” and/or “come up with creative ways to engage the public as well as provide them with useful research.”
Move to Amend
All of this is part of the well-organized Move to Amend campaign, which claims it has been “endorsed by hundreds of organizations, including several Occupy groups”:
Be sure to read the Move to Amend Occupy the Courts talking points, from which we learn
- Speakers at the Supreme Court will include: progressive radio talk show host Thom Hartmann; founder of the Coffee Party, Annabel Park; and Move To Amend national spokesman (and 2004 Green Party Presidential Candidate) David Cobb.
Dr. Cornel West will be speaking at the OCCUPY THE COURTS action in Gainesville, FL.
On January 20th, Move To Amend “will also kick off petition drives in at least 50 communities across the U.S. to put resolutions on the ballot calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood. Grassroots volunteers have already successfully passed such resolutions in several cities including: Los Angeles, CA; Albany, NY; Madison, WI; Boulder, CO; and Missoula, MT.”
A word of warning, though. Move to Amend’s fact sheet on Corporate Personhood includes a glaring factual error.
It claims: “It took over $1 [sic] million individual donors to raise about $750 million for Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008.”
According OpenSecrets.org, which draws its data from the Federal Election Commission, individual contributions totaled $656,357,572, or 88% (not $750 million). The other 12% came from political action committees ($1,830) and “Other” ($88,626,223).
Move to Amend happily swept all of the money up into one neat pile. Careless or deliberately misleading?
Fact check the rest of the talking points for yourself.
NOTE: This is no grassroots movement.
If you truly looked for George Soros’s name among those evil corporations at the bottom of the page, you may have noticed that production of the Move to Amend website is credited to the Liberty Tree Foundation.
Upon the foundation’s board of directors we find Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK and Global Exchange co-founder and Gaza flotilla leader (and, among other things, a Fidel Castro lover). The foundation’s president is John Nichols, political correspondent for The Nation magazine.
- … keynote speaker at last week’s “Moving Wisconsin Forward” rally was John Nichols, who identifies himself as a “progressive” writer.
Nichols co-authored four books and a number of major articles with Marxist activist Robert W. McChesney, founder of the George Soros-funded Free Press.
McChesney has called for the dismantlement “brick-by-brick” of the U.S. capitalist system, with America being rebuilt as a socialist society.
Digging even deeper, we turn to the foundation’s advisory board, which includes not only Benjamin and Nichols, but also McChesney, former SDSer and North Vietnamese Communist collaborator, Tom Hayden, and the late Marxist historian and once-Communist Party USA member, Howard Zinn.
The Occupy Wall Street announcement also includes a link to Occupy the Corporations, which we find hosted on the Public Citizen website.
Public Citizen, founded in 1971 by Ralph Nader, is funded in part by Soros’ Open Society Institute.
The board of directors for Public Citizen Inc., the lobbying and organizing arm for Public Citizen, includes Barbara Ehrenreich, a sixties radical feminist, socialist, and Honorary Chairwoman of Democratic Socialists of America, and Jim Hightower, a board member at Progressive Democrats of America.
I also highly recommend that you scrutinize the Occupy Wall Street and Move to Amend websites closely. Do you see any attacks there on George Soros and his corporations and corporate activities? Didn’t think so. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you — if you’re smart, that is.