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January 27, 2012

The Real Citizens United

By Jennifer Slattery

Corporate Personhood shreds human rights

The mainstream media may try to ignore it, but the end of corporate controlled government is on the horizon. People are protesting in huge numbers across America; the real citizens have united, and when that happens change is inevitable. They have occupied the streets, the courts, and come November: the voting booths.

Every day more cities, including New York and Los Angeles, have demanded and end to Corporate personhood. A constitutional amendment has been introduced in the Senate, and soon the voting public will have their chance to cast Corporate Personhood into the wastebasket of history.

There are many fronts where you can join other citizens in taking control of our democracy back. The Amend 2012 campaign is attempting to put a "voter instruction" initiative on ballots in all 50 states that, if approved, would instruct Congress to adopt an amendment making it clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech. Voter instructions were a tactic used by the term-limit movement, and also by progressives who pushed for the 17th Amendment (which allowed voters to directly elect senators to Congress). If our predecessors could do it, so can we!

Can’t get out in the street? Well there’s still a lot you can do! Why not add your voice to the pending civil action suits to be filed by (instruction on how to join via OccupytheCourts):

“While bringing a lawsuit is normally an extremely expensive proposition, "The right of a party to a legal action to represent his or her own cause has long been recognized in the United States, and even predates the ratification of the Constitution." These so-called "pro se" civil actions are very inexpensive for the common person, but remain very expensive to the corporate entities that must hire a team of lawyers to defend their interests.

So how can an individual with no legal training fight against a team of experienced lawyers?  By joining together with other like-minded individuals, and using the power of the Internet to learn, grow, and collaborate.  If you'd like to learn more about bringing a pro se civil action against corporate power run amok, or if you'd like to file your own civil action, please visit the online community.

So we can use the courts to our advantage the same way the corporations have! According to the dissenting opinions of Supreme Court Justices Souter, Sotomayer, and Ginsburg in the Citizen’s United case; this is what the framers of the constitution would have demanded:

“Unlike our colleagues, they had little trouble distinguishing corporations from human beings,and when they constitutionalized the right to free speech in the First Amendment, it was the free speech of individual Americans that they had in mind.”

That’s why, while a voter instruction on the ballot of every state in November is a great start, we need to achieve the Thirty-eight states approval to ratify the proposed constitutional amendment in congress. Here’s the proposed 28th Amendment:

Section 1 [Corporations are not people and can be regulated]

A) The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.

B) Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

C) The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.

Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]

A) Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate's own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

B)Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

C)The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

Section 3

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

So how do we do get this Amendment added to the Constitution? Join the Move to Amend coalition and help organize the passionate people in your state to fight back. We need to create a ground game in every state that can spread the word, pressure legislators, and demand action now. Whatever you do, whatever your status in life, your voice is the ultimate tool to fight the corruption strangling our democracy. Whatever you do: don’t be silent. You matter in this fight, and while The corporate monstrosities may have billions of dollars at their disposal, they’ll never have the power you do: the power to VOTE Corporate Personhood to a cold, shallow grave.


Jennifer Slattery is a dedicated human rights activist, former private investigator, and a  member of the Occupy Movement. She lives in NY, and would be happy to answer any and all questions you might have:         

Tag(s): Corporate Personhood, Move to Amend, Citizens United Ruling

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On February 22, 2012 at 10:19 AM Emirhan wrote:
But, did you see But, did you see the team of guys OCing in Phoenix, I gaetanreuing their wont be police brutality there.So while I disagree that having OCers at the protests is bad, I do understand where he was coming from.I the occupy movement should take a porcupine approach, one of non-aggression, fierce defense.

On February 22, 2012 at 12:37 PM Jennifer Slattery wrote:
I didn't see (link please if you have one!), but I agree with you on the porcupine oppoach. Non-Violence & aggression is so important .

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