THIS is what democracy looks like. And more specifically, what American patriots throughout the nation, determined to renew our democracy and reclaim it from the auction block, look like.
Marking the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending in our elections, the rapidly growing movement to fight back with a 28th Amendment to the Constitution has seriously stepped out into the national spotlight.
Thousands of Americans, in nearly every state turned out for over 350 events to “celebrate” the anniversary of the Court’s disastrous ruling and the resulting unprecedented leverage of corporate power over politicians. And from courthouse steps to corporate offices, from mock arrests and funerals to rousing rallies to teach-ins and simple one-on-one engagement with neighbors, the (cold) air was thick with the spirit of people-powered democracy that they’d prefer to raise up instead.
Indeed, this wasn’t just another series of protests and demonstrations, but a chance to turn Citizens United into a mechanism that unites citizens. Last weekend was a movement-building moment; an initial “coming out” for the 60-plus organizations, and countless citizens, united by the common purpose of ensuring that democracy is for We the People, not corporations and concentrated wealth.
Occupying Corporate Offices, Downtowns, and State Capitols
On Saturday, thousands of people joined Public Citizen and our allies to Occupy the Corporations, often demonstrating and engaging in creative actions at Bank of America branches and offices, Chevron gas stations and other corporate outposts in our communities. They ranged from local activists braving snow by the dozens to rouse and educate their community in places like Joliet, Illinois and Prince William, Virginia; to activists with the Rainforest Action Network and Occupy groups who “arrested” Cargill at its Minneapolis headquarters and conducted manhunts for a “person” going by the name of Bank of America in Charlotte and San Francisco; and to the hundreds who joined Congressman Jim McDermott to rally and march through downtown Seattle in the slippery aftermath of an ice storm.