127 Years is Enough

MTA freeway

All of the issues that I write about are tied together and exacerbated by growing corporate power.  Huge transnational corporations now dominate nature, culture, political systems, and the rule-making institutions of the global economy.  As an antidote, I support the movement to Amend the Constitution to make it clear that corporations should not have constitutional rights.

Last Friday, May 10, Guari and I took a two-hour shift holding freeway banners over the Brunswick Road overpass in Grass Valley.   The signs said “Corporations are not people” and “Money is not speech.”

Our local Nevada County Move to Amend Coalition  created and displayed the banners throughout the day as part of a coordinated action with other Move to Amend affiliates around the country.   The theme of this action was “127 years is enough.”  Groups in over fifty communities displayed freeway banners to commemorate the Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad Supreme Court case, which was decided 127 years ago, on May 10, 1886.   In that case, corporations argued that they are protected under the 14th amendment, the amendment that was passed to ensure equal protection of African Americans after slavery was abolished.   Since ruling in favor of corporations in 1886, in case after case, the Supreme Court has expanded the constitutional rights of corporations, leading up to the Citizens United case in 2010.

The goal of the Move to Amend coalition is to raise awareness and build momentum toward passing a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate personhood and declare that money is not speech.

For background and a spiritual perspective on this issue, see my article, “Democracy is for People“.   You can also read a related analysis in “If It Doesn’t Breathe, It Doesn’t Deserve Free Speech,” an excerpt from my book, Shaking the Gates of Hell.

To stay informed, to take action, or to find an affiliate group near you, go to Move to Amend.  You can also check out Earth Justice Ministries “Projects and Campaigns” or Nevada County Move to Amend.

Amend the Constitution to Limit Corporate Power

Corporations are not people 3

Tonight is the first 2013 meeting of our local Nevada County Move to Amend coalition.  We are part of a national coalition that is working to pass a constitutional amendment that would abolish corporate personhood and make clear that money is not the same as free speech.

Why get back to work on this issue? We’ve all got many other important things going on in our lives.  (I’ve got my grandchildren to play with, for instance.)

Passing a constitutional amendment  in order to make it possible for human beings to limit corporate power may be a long shot.  The concept of  corporate personhood seems abstract, not so easy to understand.  And we know that there will be huge opposition to such a movement, with large corporations spending millions on lawyers, lobbyists, and media campaigns.

Still, it’s worth a try.  Since the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, many people have become concerned about corporate domination of the political process, and they may get on board with an amendment to limit corporate power.  To me, such a constitutional amendment is the most direct path we have to challenging corporate rule and making possible a democracy of, by, and for the people instead of of, by, and for the corporations.

Read more that I have written on this topic in “Democracy is for People,” adapted from an article published last May in Response Magazine.   Our Nevada County Move to Amend is on FaceBook.  Find out more about the national campaign at the Move to Amend  website.

Corporate domination of culture, economy, and politics affects every issue of concern and everything that is of value in life.  Find out more and join in the effort to amend the constitution and limit corporate power.