Missoula, MT Becomes 3rd City to Formally Denounce Corporate Personhood; “Occupy the Courts” Scheduled for 1/20/12
Voters in Missoula, MT voted Tuesday night to ask the U.S. Congress to write an amendment to the constitution stating that corporations are not people. The measure, supported by 75% of voters, makes Missoula the third town in the U.S. to pass such a resolution. Madison, Wisconsin and Boulder, CO (our piece here from last week) have also passed similar measures. The nationwide movement is being organized by Move to Amend.
The measure is not a binding law but does show that there is rapidly growing momentum in the United States for such a change. From Missoulian.com:
Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken brought the referendum to the Missoula City.
The measure – similar to others across the country – calls on the U.S. Congress and state leaders to amend the U.S. Constitution to say that “corporations are not human beings.” It earned 10,729 votes in favor and 3,605 against. Wolken said she planned on being satisfied to capture more than 50 percent of the vote, “really happy” with more than 60 percent, and “over the moon” with anything more.
“Basically, it affirmed what we were all seeing on the streets, which is the average Missoulian wanted to have their voice heard … and they want their elected officials to fix the problem of corporate personhood,” Wolken said. “So I hope this message is heard and we get started on fixing the problem.”
As she sees it, corporations have been given too much power, and as stated in the Missoula resolution, their “profits and survival are often in direct conflict with the essential needs and rights of human beings.”
The movement has grown slowly but organically since the January 2010 “Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission” Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for a peeved populus. It stated that the government can not ban campaign contributions from corporations because that would be unduly regulating speech.
According to the local resolution, the ruling on Citizens United corrupts one foundation of democracy by “rolling back legal limits on corporate spending in the electoral process.”
“(The decision) … allows unlimited corporate spending to influence elections, candidate selection, policy decisions and sway votes,” reads the Missoula resolution.
Councilwoman Wolken said the Missoula city clerk likely will prepare a letter to send to state and national leaders urging the amendment once the office has finished work on a more pressing priority, replacing the Municipal Court judge. She also said she expects action from state legislators as well.
“I have no doubt that when the legislative session starts back up, that this will be on the top of the list,” Wolken said..
Move To Amend is currently planning a nationwide protest inspired by Occupy Wall Street to be held on January 20th, 2012, the two year anniversary of the Citizens United ruling. “Occupy The Courts” will take place at federal courts across the country:
Occupy the Courts will be a one day occupation of Federal courthouses across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday January 20, 2012.
Move to Amend volunteers across the USA will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.
Americans across the country are on the march, and they are marching OUR way. They carry signs that say, “Corporations are NOT people! Money is NOT Speech!” And they are chanting those truths at the top of their lungs! The time has come to make these truths evident to the courts.