Corporations v Democracy Issue Committee

The Corporations v. Democracy Issue Committee is dedicated to understanding how corporations use their illegitimate constitutional "rights" and powers to define our law, politics, jurisprudence, work, technologies, food, communities... you name it! We do this by learning and helping others to learn how we got into this mess through the discovery and study of hidden histories. At the same time, we rethink WILPF activism in the context of our right to self governance and the meaning of real (radical) democracy, including the skills required to put it into practice.

Session III — Corporate Personhood

In Session II we noted the 1886 Supreme Court decision that gave corporations the same rights and protections as human beings, and in this session we explore that phenomenon in depth. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1868 in order to protect the rights of newly freed slaves. Section 1 reads as follows:

Session II — Historical Overview of the Corporate Taking of Our Authority to Govern

Few would argue that corporations today are not only ubiquitous but have enormous power over our lives. Was it always like this? How did it get to be this way? And what are the implications of this situation for democracy? The readings in this session explore the answers to these questions and challenge the concepts of democracy that are commonly accepted today. Indeed, so much power and wealth has been amassed by corporations that they can be said to govern, presenting a mortal threat to our bo

CCP Study Packet - Session I — Introduction

The first session of the study group provides an opportunity for the group members to meet each other, find out about the design and content of the course, agree upon discussion and facilitation guidelines, work out logistical details, and conduct an initial discussion.  The objectives of the study groups are: 

Getting Started

If you’re interested in convening a Challenging Corporate Power, Asserting the People’s Rights study group, here are a few tips for getting started:

•  You don’t need any special skills or knowledge.  Anyone can start a study group!

•  Announce the formation of the group in print and anywhere people gather:

Statement on Enron

The following is a statement from the leadership team of WILPF's campaign to Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People's Rights:

The focus of the Enron Corporation story belongs less on the individuals at the helm of the corporate entities involved and more on past and present public officials.

First Local Government Refuses to Recognize Corporate Claims to Civil Rights: Bans Corporate Involvement in Governing

On the evening of December 9, 2002, the elected municipal officials of Porter Township, Clarion County — a municipality of 1,500 residents an hour north of Pittsburgh in Northwestern Pennsylvania — became the first local government in the United States to eliminate corporate claims to civil and constitutional privileges.

Resolution on Corporate Constitutional Rights

Passed by Berkeley Peace & Justice Commission on May 3, 2004:

WHEREAS, Chapter 3.68 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, which contains the initiative ordinance creating the Peace and Justice Commission, sets forth several functions of the Peace and Justice Commission, including, but not limited to, "(A) Advise the Berkeley City Council on all matters relating to the City of Berkeley's role in issues of peace and socia


From the framework of WILPF’s analysis, the proposed war against Iraq would make a mockery of democratic decision-making while furthering a U.S. corporate agenda.

Who decides what action should be taken
by the government of the United States of America?

Statement concerning American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Action Alert of WILPF ‘s National Campaign to:

Abolish Corporate Personhood is the national action of WILPF’s campaign to Challenge Corporate Power, Assert the People’s Rights. One of our goals is to influence the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to abandon its position that corporations deserve the right to free speech.

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