Corporations v. Democracy
Going for the Whole Corporate Enchilada: WILPF Strongly Endorses Move to Amend
It’s getting clearer every day that the issues WILPFers care about are impeded on a grand scale by corporate power, corporate money, and corporate culture. Profiteering has replaced public service and concern for our “common wealth” in too many state legislatures and in the halls of Congress. Our Republic is threatened because of it.
Indeed, for many WILPFers the question has become, “How do you meaningfully dissent when you no longer live in a Democracy?” The Move To Amend (MTA) campaign stands apart from many of the other Pro-Democracy campaigns because it targets the root of corporate power: the constitutional rights corporations stole from human persons. Move To Amend wants to strip from corporations ALL of those rights, not just their first amendment rights. We plan to do it by amending the Constitution of the United States.
Organized money is backing endless war, environmental damage, climate change and conflict in the Middle East.
The only way to fight organized money is with organized people!
UNITE AGAINST CITIZENS UNITED!
Organize Now In Your Area For
Rallies or Demonstrations on (or around)
Friday, January 21st, 2011
1st Anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on
Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission.
80% of Americans polled last spring said the Supreme Court ruling was wrong!
BACKGROUND: Corporate America is raking in more profits than ever before. They are using those dollars to weaken the safety net that protects We The People and to effectively silence us. The new Congress will be stacked with members who owe their allegiance to the vastly wealthy corporations that funded their campaigns. They will take their lead from weapons manufacturers, big ag, dirty old energy corporations, corporate polluters and free trade junkies. The ‘profits at any price’ crowd.
The Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom deplores the just-released Supreme Court decision in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Weighing whether free speech protections under the First Amendment prevent Congress from restricting corporate political campaign expenditures, the 5 to 4 decision overturned federal campaign regulations for corporations that were first enacted in 1907, and overruled Supreme Court cases decided in 1990 and 2003 that agreed restrictions on corporate money in politics do not violate the Constitution.
The Citizens United decision has been called the "worst Supreme Court decision since Dred Scott."
Untold amounts of corporate and special interest dollars already make free elections difficult and keep otherwise good people from running campaigns that demand obscene amounts of money and media connections.
Corporate Power is an issue that undergirds and creates obstacles for all the issues important to WILPF branches and members. It will take a concerted and strategic approach from all of us towards a unified response in order to move each of our issues forward, through the walls of corporate personhood.
Many are saying that with this decision American citizens will see their civic engagement in the voting process as both unnecessary and irrelevant, since corporate CEOs will be able to hand select our candidates, our priorities and our policies. No further voting or political contributions from ordinary citizens will be required, since none will be
effective against the billions of dollars corporations will be unleashing on our so-called democracy.
Pundits on both the conservative and progressive sides are calling it a dangerous threat to democracy. Even Tea Party founders are recognizing the negative impact this decision will have.
By What Authority
an article prepared and posted by the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy
“FREE TRADE’S” FOOTPRINT A DECADE AFTER SEATTLE
© 2009 Jane Anne Morris
On this Tenth Anniversary of the “Battle for Seattle,” we could celebrate, we should commemorate, but we must evaluate.
Right, then. What seemed so important at the time? It is difficult to even see back to 1999 without becoming lost among other landmark events soon to bask in their own tenth anniversaries.
The last decade’s memory palace hosts the Y2K kerfuffle, a muffed Bush election, the burst of the Dot-Com bubble, Nine-Eleven, war, another muffed Bush election, war, the Obama election, war, a worldwide economic meltdown, war, and a “jobless recovery” fueled by a “New Deal”-style rescue plan for banks, investors, hedge fund managers, and insurance and automobile corporation executives. Oh, and more war. Even for those who were embattled in Seattle, who trotted with the Teamsters or tacked with the Turtles, or watched it on television, or read the book, saw the movie, or got the T-shirt, that’s a lot of water over the dam. Yet, the Battle for Seattle was iconic.
The Case for Credit Unions
By Vickie M. Fouts
Where do you want to keep your hard earned money, within the community or in the pocket of major bank CEOs and their stock holders? Do you use a local credit union or a national bank for your financial needs? It can make a big difference in whether you are helping a neighbor make a modest, middle-class income or just helping corporate CEOs get richer.
Breaking Up Isn’t Hard to Do
Take action by investigating locally-owned and operated banks or credit unions. Investing in local institutions will have a positive impact on your community. (Make sure the bank is FDIC insured and the credit union is NCUA guaranteed.) Then tell your national bank : “I’m moving my money to a financial institution where I can be assured my money will be invested in projects to benefit my community.”
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair
On August 1st WILPF joined the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy, Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, Shays 2: The Western Massachusetts Committee on Corporations & Democracy, and the Clements Foundation in a friend of the court brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The brief, drafted and filed by attorney Jeff Clements in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission, represented all five organizations in urging the Supreme Court not to overturn laws preventing corporations from making political contributions in federal elections.
“The notion that corporations have the same speech rights as people under our Bill of Rights is contrary to the words, history, spirit and intent of our Constitution,” said attorney Jeff Clements. “The organizations that joined to bring these arguments to the Court have worked with others for many years to empower democratic self-government. They remind us that corporations do not vote, speak, or act as people do, but are products of government policy to achieve economic and charitable ends. As such, corporations need not be allowed to influence our elections if Congress and state governments judge that such influence is detrimental to democracy.”
Single Payer is coming....
by Mary Zepernick
As songwriter Leonard Cohen sings in his ironic rumbling voice, "Democracy is coming, to the U.S.A.!."
Indeed, people from California to Maine and in between, weary of waiting for gifts bestowed from on high, are increasingly claiming their right to make decisions about what does and does not go on in their communities - from stopping harms to creating new institutions. And what these activists, many of them speaking up and stepping out for the first time, are most dramatically encountering is the power of government and corporate complicity - giving rich political meaning to the term codependency.
By Marybeth Gardam, Chair, Corporations vs Democracy Issue Committee in Collaboration with the
Food Democracy/Local Economy Subcommittee of the Earth Democracy Issue Committee
Jim and Tomi Allison, WILPF Corporations v. Democracy Committee
Last fall Detroit auto executives flew into Washington to predict the imminent demise of the American auto industry absent an immediate bailout at taxpayer expense. Congress and the White House swiftly obliged, with many billions of dollars in loans, and more to come. All of that went to the producers, and nary a penny to those who would actually buy cars if only they were affordable. The same economy that had trashed Detroit had also trashed them.
Corporate Power Causes Collapse of US Financial System
This is the final discussion session in this study packet. During this session, the group will need to attend to some logistical business in addition to its regular discussion time.
The democratic founding ideals of the American Revolution were soon subordinated to the fears of white propertied men who had the power to take charge and write the Constitution. These men believed that genuine people’s rule (what Alexander Hamilton called “the mob at the gate”) would undermine the order and stability on which they believed the future of the republic rested. Many people are surprised to learn that the word “democracy” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution of the United States of America.