Groups protest Supreme Court ruling favoring corporationsAt the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that awarded corporations constitutional rights to contribute to political campaigns, activists in the Move to Amend group on Friday, January 20, staged “occupy’’ rallies at federal courthouses in 100 cities nationwide.
By: John Myers, for the Duluth News Tribune
At the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that awarded corporations constitutional rights to contribute to political campaigns, activists in the Move to Amend group on Friday, January 20, staged “occupy’’ rallies at federal courthouses in 100 cities nationwide.
In Duluth, Occupy the Courts held a rally in the Civic Center outside the federal building, with more than 50 people braving subzero wind chills to show their opposition to the court ruling.
Protesters said they want to pass a constitutional amendment firmly establishing that money is not the same thing as free speech and that only people, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights.
The Jan. 21, 2010, Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case “hijacked our democracy,’’ said Nathan Ness, organizer of Friday’s rally in Duluth. He said the decision opened up unregulated and virtually unlimited contributions by corporations and other large groups such as labor unions.
“We have to get corporate money out of politics. It’s undermining our democracy,’’ Ness said.
Those corporate contributions are playing an increasing role in elections, most noticeably the recent Republican caucuses and primaries, said Duluth City Councilor Sharla Gardner.
“They’ve allowed candidates with little support from people and little credibility to stay in the race because there is this money behind them,’’ said Gardner, who said she was proud Duluth was the first city in Minnesota to pass a resolution in support of the Move to Amend effort.
Friday’s event included a poetry reading, a reading of Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax’’ and music by the Raging Grannies of Northern Minnesota from Grand Rapids.
Reach writer John Myers at email@example.com.