Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't think corporations are people? Join Friday protests.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 5:03 PM

In a way, it seems absurd that there’s an apparent need to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to affirm what is obvious to most people. But, with an abundance of absurdities confronting us these days, this is where we Americans find ourselves: In a place where people are fomenting a national movement to change the law of the land, making these two basic points unalterable:

1)   Corporations are not people, and

2)   Money is not speech.

To draw attention to the issue, demonstrations are planned at U.S. courthouses across the country on Friday, Jan. 20. Those include a protest to be held in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The actions mark the two-year anniversary of a 5-4 decision in the landmark Citizens United case. As a result of the high court’s ruling in that case, corporations and unions are now able to spend unlimited amounts of money.

As reported in The Nation magazine, we are just beginning to see what the decision has wrought:

Citizens United’s easing of restrictions on corporate and individual spending, especially by organizations not under the control of candidates, has led to the proliferation of “Super PACs.” These shadowy groups do not have to abide by the $2,500 limit on donations to actual campaigns, and they can easily avoid rules for reporting sources of contributions. For instance, Super PACs have established nonprofit arms that are permitted to shield contributors’ identities as long as they spend no more than 50 percent of their money on electoral politics. So the identity of many, possibly most, contributors will never be known to the public, even though they are already playing a decisive role in the 2012 election season.

In Detroit, protestors will gather across the street from the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., from 3 to 5 p.m.

To find out more about the issue, and the movement building around it, go to movetoamend.org.

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