To mark the second anniversary of the Citizens United v. FEC ruling, we took part in a nationwide day of action calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn the destructive decision and get corporate money out of our elections. We met in Sue Bierman Park on the Embarcadero and marched through the financial district, stopping at several financial institutions to expose their injustices and demand that they give us back our democracy. It was a beautiful day full of education, inspiration and empowerment.
Before we took off, Ben and then Joanie discussed the importance of California’s proposed DISCLOSE Act and how we can help get it passed. This would require political advertisements to include the corporations that paid for the message, a crucial step in reclaiming our democracy.
Next, we marched to Bank of America at 50 California Street where Bob discussed the economic unfairness of their practices and the amounts that they’ve poured into our elections.
Citibank was another stop on the tour, where we attracted a lot of attention from supporters driving by.
The handmade signs in the march were incredible! These are such an effective and creative way to show how much we believe in the cause and the need for change.
Our last stop was 555 California, Bank of America’s former headquarters and current home to many corporate thieves of democracy.
Finally, we took to the streets to demand change. Whose streets? Our Streets!
Elections are the people’s choice! Corporations stole our voice!
A week ago today we took part in Occupy Wall Street West and had a great time with so many others that know that we need to get corporate money out of politics. As long as we keep up these types of demonstrations, we can successfully continue the national conversation about economic and political justice that has already begun! For a complete rundown of the day, including activists shutting down Wells Fargo, Bank of America and other fantastic statements of dissent, please visit OccupySF.
Also, Keith Olbermann spoke to Josh Harkinson of Mother Jones about all of the actions that happened over the weekend to draw attention to the Citizens United ruling and they specifically discuss Occupy Wall Street West starting at 1:48. Check it out:
Often, when I tell someone about the possibility of a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United v. FEC, they say that it’s exactly what the country needs and that they completely support it, but that it will never happen. Even though 85% of Americans believe that corporations have too much power in our democracy, many think that congress has become so corrupt and dependent on corporate funding that this amendment cannot possibly get through. Of course this is the exact reason why we need it so badly, but I definitely understand where they’re coming from. Our government has gotten scary. Really scary. So it’s hard to believe that we have enough power to change our situation after it’s spiraled so far out of our control.
But we do.
Within the past three months, legislators around the nation have taken the message of the Occupy Movement and are using democracy to express our discontent and create lasting change. The amendments in the House of Representatives and the Senate were just the beginning. Now city councils all over the nation, including Los Angeles, New York City and Oakland, have passed resolutions condemning the Citizens United ruling and urging congress to pass an amendment. Even the Montana Supreme Court restored a 100-year-old state ban on direct spending by corporations on political candidates or committees.
As long as we keep gathering together to show our anger over corporate injustices and writing to our representatives to show our support for resolutions like these, we can make this happen and finally get control of our democracy again.
Please join us at our next two demonstrations, Occupy Wall Street West on January 20th and March for a 28th Amendment on January 21st, and call or write your local, state and federal representatives to urge them to vote for similar resolutions or legislation.
Bernie Sanders appeared on the Colbert Report on Tuesday night and gave a good argument against Citizens United and for a constitutional amendment. He even mentioned our day of action on January 21st, the Second Anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC! These two make a pretty great team.
Feeling like this subject is too complex? Like a constitutional amendment is too big to accomplish or even contemplate? The Story of Stuff Project made this great video that explains how destructive the Citizens United v. FEC ruling really is and how we can fix it. Enjoy!
Last month, 28th Amendment marched with OccupySF and many other Bay Area organizations to recognize Human Rights Day. There were some great speakers from Burma to kick off the rally and the march itself was fun and exuberant. We even witnessed some of the holiday shoppers spontaneously join us! It got us excited for our marches on January 20th and 21st and was, of course, a lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon.
Taking it to the streets!
Because corporate money buying our elections is a serious threat to human rights.
Speaking out against against injustice!
Many different groups gathered in solidarity for human rights.
Join us in exposing how the financial institutions that make up Wall Street West, some the largest corporations in the world, endanger our democracy, communities, homes, education, environment, livelihood and well being. Dozens of Bay Area organizations are coordinating this daylong, non-violent direct action that will be focusing on several different corporate offenders throughout San Francisco’s Financial District. 28th Amendment will be bringing attention to Bank of America and the large amounts of money they pour into our elections in exchange for government influence. For more information visit occupywallstreetwest.org