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Monday, January 16, 2012

Occupy DC Passes Corporate Personhood Resolution; Occupy Pittsburgh

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

From Huffington Post by Arin Greenwood

WASHINGTON -- Occupy DC's General Assembly passed a "corporate personhood resolution" on Saturday calling for a constitutional amendment ending the "judicial fiction of corporate Constitutional rights."
The resolution calls on Congress to "enact" the amendment (though it should be noted that Congress can't actually enact a Constitutional amendment on its own -- once two-thirds of both houses vote for the amendment, then the states also have to ratify it).
The proposed amendment would also require "Congress to regulate campaign finance" and would mandate "public financing of public elections." The resolution contains other "non-amendment solutions" for untangling money and politics as well:
In 2010, the United States Supreme Court decided in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that independent spending on elections by corporations and other groups could not be limited by government regulations. This decision is only the latest in a long line of judicial rulings that have invented the legal doctrine of corporate personhood, affording corporations the same constitutional rights as people. The corrupting influence of money in politics, exacerbated by corporate personhood, subverts democracy. The Supreme Court has enshrined corporate personhood and interpreted the First Amendment to prohibit Congress from regulating money in politics. The only way to reverse these rulings is an amendment to the Constitution.
We support an amendment that does the following:
Ends the judicial fiction of corporate Constitutional rights.
Requires Congress to regulate campaign finance.
Mandates public financing of public elections.
We also support these non-amendment solutions:
Ending the revolving door between lobbyists and the executive and legislative branches of the government.
Restructuring the Federal Election Commission to give it prosecutorial power and neutral, non-political commissioners.Requiring the disclosure and complete transparency of all independent political expenditures.
Banning lobbyists from acting as either fundraisers or bundlers.
We implore the DC city council, the Maryland legislature, the Virginia legislature and all legislative bodies to pass resolutions calling on Congress to enact an amendment and other solutions.
We call on all people to exercise their civic duty by taking action, where possible, against corporate personhood and the corrupting influence of money in politics without waiting for the government to fix itself.
Occupy DC reserves the right to oppose an amendment or other solution even if it adheres to the provisions above.
Consent to this proposal does not require that an individual be completely in line with every piece of the proposed solution.
This concern is one of many that Occupy DC will address. More solutions are forthcoming.
Occupy DC is planning to participate in "Occupy the Courts," a one-day protest taking place on Friday at the Supreme Court, as well as at other federal courts around the country. Citizens Unitedwas decided on Jan. 21, 2010.
Occupy DC also plans to ask the District of Columbia Council to pass an anti-corporate personhood resolution, similar to the resolutions passed by the New York City Council and the Los Angeles City Council.
Historical sidenote: The last amendment to become part of the U.S. Constitution is the 27th Amendment. This amendment says that if Congress votes to give itself a pay raise, the raise doesn't take effect until the following Congress (in other words, if the 112th Congress votes for a pay raise, the 113th Congress gets the raise). The amendment was first introduced in 1789. It became fully ratified in 1992.

Occupy Pittsburgh is still Occupying!!!

@OccupyPGH 1/16/2012 - Day 94 @The People's Park

Occupy Pittsburgh hereby makes it known that The Bank of New York Mel- lon Corporation (NYSE: BK, hereafter BNY Mellon), a Delaware Corporation, with headquarters at One Wall Street, New York City, New York, is currently occupying a premises at 500 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We, the people of Pittsburgh, have so far tolerated the presence of this organization on this property, and as for the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment, we have enjoyed a friendly relationship with most of BNY Mellon’s staff, who are almost entirely part of the 99% of society who are not millionaires.

On Friday, December 9, 2011 at approximately 6:30 pm, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) posted several notices at the entrances to the People’s Park (BNY Mellon Green) requiring the removal of “all tents and other structures as well as camping equipment and other stored personal items” from BNY Mellon Green by noon on Sunday, December 11, 2011. The notice stated that the presence of these items or overnight camping past this deadline would be considered an unlawful trespass.

Occupy Pittsburgh is  holding a public demonstration in front of the U.S. Steel Tower, 6th and Grant Street, at noon on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, to protest the bilking of millions of dollars from state and local governments and Pittsburgh schools.

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