Note: We asked the organizers of last
week's Occupy the Courts rally to blog about the experience. What follows is an
edited version of the report submitted by event organizers and participants.
hit the streets across the nation last Friday to mark the second anniversary of
the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which granted corporations
the same constitutional rights as U.S. citizens.
bone-chilling temperatures, the people marched for hours, handing out
informative pamphlets and letters, and collecting signatures on a petition to
overturn the ruling.
petition was to amend the constitution to state that only people have rights,
not inhuman corporations, and that paid speech is not free speech," said
protestor John Northerner. "There
were similar protests in 130 cities in 46 states.
know, corporations cannot join the military, vote in elections, serve on jury
duty, or even go to jail. The idea that they are people is as
preposterous as the idea that paid speech is free."
what they call "a fight for democracy," protestors picketed and chanted,
"Corporations are NOT people."
political contributions as a protected form of free speech, as the Supreme
Court did on Jan. 21, 2010, will allow ultra-wealthy interests to undermine the
democratic process and the American Republic, opponents of the ruling argue.
"Everyone from the police to Homeland Security to the
federal employees to the citizens on the street were encouraging and supportive
of our cause," said Cheri Monroe, one of the event organizers.
"Many thanked us for our hard work and for representing true
argued that local communities need protection against domination by large
corporations free to funnel millions into SuperPACs that will result in the
unfair influence over the election of local politicians and judges. In short,
they said, the decision tips the scales of influence in favor of business and
to the detriment of citizens.
find ourselves in a time when we feel the need to petition to legalize
democracy," Monroe said.
little to no support or news coverage on our passionate stance for an America
of, for, and by The People, we protesters find ourselves having to buy permits
to take to the streets and by sheer numbers, overwhelm the courts today.We are a success because it takes real
courage to stand for your convictions.For every one of us there are 100 people who wanted to be here but had
effort garnered 55 signatures, Northerner said, "even thought it was the
coldest day of the new year at that time and we were competing with
simultaneous protests at the State House against the deceptively named
right-to-work bill and the Eliminating Hygiene Standards bill HB1006."
more information, or to sign a petition visit www.MoveToAmend.org