AP: Hundreds Protest Citizens United Ruling At US Courthouses

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EDITOR’S NOTE:  I think this is a great example of how there are people actually standing up for the change that we the people, all claim we want.  Here they are protesting the new unlimited spending law in federal elections.  

This is something that affects all of us… yet how many of us got up off our sofas or even signed an online petition? We owe a debt of gratitude to these people willing to brave the elements and the police and challenges we can only imagine who have chosen to put their thoughts into action and make a difference.  Power to the People!  At least THEY get it.  THEY get that they can make a difference.  THEY get that their actions will educate, will plant the seeds of conversation and awareness that We the People CAN make a difference, if we want.  Thank you to everyone of them for their courage and conviction and chutzpah willingness to make a difference for all of us.

The Citizens United ruling was not just wrong, it was pernicious. It is merely one-step away from granting Corporations the right to vote. The concept is that the “legal person” status given to corporations and other business entities to facilitate commerce can be used to claim other rights under this legal fiction. As a legal person, the corporation is now allowed to use its economic strength to affect political process in our elections. Even foreign corporations that control domestic companies will have the right to invade our process without any restrictions.

by Meghan Barr, Associated Press

NEW YORK — Facing freezing temperatures and snowy weather, several hundred protesters gathered at courthouses across the nation Friday and some clashed with police as they protested a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that removed most limits on corporate and labor spending in federal elections.

In Washington, D.C., 11 people who got into confrontations with police were arrested on the courthouse steps and on the plaza, while another person was arrested inside the courthouse for unlawful entry. A crowd of about 100 protesters gathered on the sidewalk outside the court’s 1,300-pound bronze doors, which were shut on account of the protest, chanting: “Whose steps? Our steps.”

Earlier, demonstrators wearing black robes and pretending to be Supreme Court justices sang songs mocking the Citizens United ruling on the Capitol lawn.

Occupy Wall Street activists joined forces with Move to Amend, a grassroots coalition that organized the event in more than 100 cities, though the turnout in many places was low. In some cities, fewer than a dozen protesters showed up. Protesters said they were kicking off petition drives in support of a constitutional amendment that would overturn a 2010 court ruling that allowed private groups to spend huge amounts on political campaigns with few restrictions.

In San Francisco, where a couple of hundred protesters gathered in the city’s financial district, at least 11 protesters were arrested after chaining themselves to the front doors of Wells Fargo’s corporate headquarters. Others linked arms to prevent people from entering a Bank of America branch.

Many protesters spilled into the streets as police in riot gear and private security guards tried chasing them off. Two cable cars came to a grinding halt as protesters took over an intersection, and traffic in some places had to be rerouted or came to a complete standstill.

In Boston, fife and drum music played as protesters rallied at the federal courthouse. Some protestors even dressed their dogs in pinstripes and red ties, saying that dogs should be able to vote if big businesses basically can.

A demonstration of about 100 people outside the federal courthouse in Minneapolis included chants and street theater. One skit included a judge who performed a marriage ceremony between a person and a corporation.

About 50 people braved blizzard-like conditions in Chicago, waving at passing cars and chanting, “Money out of politics.”

In Cleveland, about 40 to 50 protesters in hats, hoods and gloves held a morning vigil outside the Metzenbaum Federal Courthouse, followed by a march through downtown streets. During the march, paper $50 “bills” were taped over the mouths of ralliers.

About two dozen protesters drew occasional honks from passing drivers as they stood outside Baltimore’s federal courthouse with signs that read: “Corporations are not people, Money is not speech,” and “B-heard: Corporate money out of politics.”

In Albany, about 50 demonstrators carried placards and a cardboard coffin labeled “Democracy RIP.” And several dozen protesters in Denver went inside the Capitol to meet lawmakers after the protest.

But in St. Louis, just four people showed up for a planned gathering outside of City Hall. They hung around for several minutes before leaving without a rally. Those who did attend blamed the frigid weather — blustery winds and temperature in the low 20s — and an apparent lack of communication.

It was a far cry from Occupy protests in the fall, when hundreds gathered around the clock at a small downtown park near Busch Stadium.

“Back in October it was easy to find out what was going on,” said 51-year-old Don Higgins of St. Louis. “You just went down to Kiener Plaza and asked somebody.”

The turnout was similarly small in Indianapolis, where protester Ken Chestek, a professor at Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, lamented the fact that only 15 people showed up for a demonstration against Citizens United v. FEC.

“When I heard the Citizens decision announced on NPR two years ago, I started screaming, ‘This is the end of the republic,'” he said. “To give corporations political power, that’s the end of democracy.”

 

6 Responses

  1. Right on, everyone. Thanks for the info.

  2. I was at the Occupy 5 Ideas planning meeting in Berkeley this morning. Seemed like when the founding fathers struggled over policy and focus. Several of the 75 or so were greay hairs helping any way we can. Lots of smart people. Lots of people with views. We can help motivate and educate wonderful young Occupy leaders–they’re the one’s that get us all out on the streets. Do you have 5 ideas to forward the movementz/ I could only stay for ah hour and a half. It went from 10 to 6. found out there is a website to post some foreclosure stuff. Please add Occupyresearch.net to your posts to share ideas for Occupy

  3. Reblogged this on Paulreardon's Blog.

  4. @ Linda wrote, “or whatever they do nowadays….”

    First offense….water boarding by Rumsfeld. Second….gooseshot to the face courtesy of Cheney. Third….Bush yelling into your ear with a megaphone about how everyone will hear us.

    By now your deaf, blind, and waterlogged. But if you survive all that, you’ll have to sit thru eight years of Obama felating banksters or CEO Romney privatizing what little is left of America.

    Maybe just ask for life in solitary?

  5. Huh? No replies?

    I agree these people are fearless souls. I really want to join them.
    Everyone should be out there pounding the pavement and braving the elements. Nobody wants to be arrested, I bet. I don’t. I don’t want to be on some black list labeled as a terrorist, beaten by the clowns in their black armor, or put on a no-fly list or whatever they do nowadays with people who are merely exercising their constitutional rights.

    There are a lot of us signing petitions, though, and communicating via e-mail and phone. We are passing around video clips all the time about the truths of this nightmare of “freedom” we are just waking up from. That is likely the reason they want to censor the Internet. Too many people getting a REAL education. Knowledge is power.

    We look forward to a new day and a new economy as well.
    That film “Thrive” is excellent.

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