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Gibson writes: "The corporate media's unkind, one-sided coverage of the Occupy movement has hurt our image, steering focus on our camps instead of our cause. The news cameras' heavy favoring of the inarticulate and the unwashed has encouraged and enabled mainstream America to alienate and tune out family, friends and neighbors standing against a corrupt corporatocracy."

The Supreme Court's decision on corporate personhood has extended the reach of money in politics. (photo: DanVolper.com)
The Supreme Court's decision on corporate personhood has extended the reach of money in politics. (photo: DanVolper.com)



Occupy Phase II: The Supreme Court

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

31 December 11


Reader Supported News | Perspective

 

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns

 

fter the swearing-in of the first Congress elected by unlimited corporate election spending, 2011 went down as the year Congress fiddled while America burned. Republicans and Democrats both took their turns engaging in their fair part of naked corruption.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on clandestine insider trading deals, where elected officials in Washington revealed key elements of legislation before passage, enabling financiers to turn huge profits. The National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Obama, creates a legal grey area that could deny Americans due process rights. The same Congress that voted down creating millions of good-paying jobs for unemployed constituents without batting an eye, is the same one seriously considering censorship of the internet.

Congress is well-deserving of its record low approval ratings. In early December, Congress attracted thousands of activists for Take Back the Capitol, a week-long protest that staged dozens of sit-ins in Congressional offices, and managed to shut down four blocks of K Street for an entire afternoon. That energy has persisted. On January 17th, the first day of the 2012 legislative session (and the 4-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street), Occupy is aiming to mobilize hundreds of thousands in Washington.

At Occupy Congress' 11 AM national General Assembly meeting, two solutions must be proposed - to rally behind Sen. Bernie Sanders' Saving American Democracy amendment as a state-by-state effort to undo corporate personhood, and to immediately gather huge numbers on the steps of the Supreme Court in protest of the Citizens United vs. FEC ruling.

The corporate media's unkind, one-sided coverage of the Occupy movement has hurt our image, steering focus on our camps instead of our cause. The news cameras' heavy favoring of the inarticulate and the unwashed has encouraged and enabled mainstream America to alienate and tune out family, friends and neighbors standing against a corrupt corporatocracy. Syndicated columnists and network commentators constantly accuse us of lacking focus or direction. But, acting on these two solutions both solidifies the remaining resolve of the Occupy movement, and creates a winnable goal based on a central demand.

Just as Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge has become the rallying cry for conservatives at the federal and state levels, the Bernie Sanders anti-corporate personhood amendment can become a similar litmus test for all candidates who want support from the Occupy movement. Just as Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli is rallying conservative state attorneys general to fight healthcare reform, progressive AGs can similarly mount a state-by-state campaign to challenge the constitutionality of Citizens United. Want the Occupy vote? Sign the anti-corporate personhood pledge.

Our constitution already makes it clear that no person may be owned by another person. Under that precedent, Wells Fargo would never have been allowed to acquire Wachovia. Newscorp, Disney, Viacom, CBS, Time Warner and GE wouldn't have been allowed to conquer the media.

A proposal to stand behind the Sanders amendment, followed by mass arrests of thousands on the steps of the Supreme Court would be the perfect catalyst to a state-by-state movement focused on ending corporate personhood for good. When Occupiers return to their cities, they could continue by participating in Move to Amend's Occupy the Courts on January 20th.

While Occupy has made great strides in influencing the public dialogue, there is still a troubling void where a central, unifying rallying cry should be. Social movements can't be powered by raw emotion forever. If we want to win, 2012 must be the year we occupy SCOTUS.


Carl Gibson, 24, of Lexington, Kentucky, is a spokesman and organizer for US Uncut, a nonviolent, creative direct-action movement to stop budget cuts by getting corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. He graduated from Morehead State University in 2009 with a B.A. in Journalism before starting the first US Uncut group in Jackson, Mississippi, in February of 2011. Since then, over 20,000 US Uncut activists have carried out more than 300 actions in over 100 cities nationwide. You may contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

Comments   

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+50 # andyt 2011-12-31 18:20
Perhaps we need petitions backed by mainstream entities associated with older, settled folks, military, professionals, etc. to lend an idea of the widespread support given to Occupy.
 
 
+13 # John Locke 2012-01-01 11:37
We can draw attention to Media control by challenging their license renewals on the groiund that they fail to provide the public service they are required to provide under FCC guidelines, it would require one million dollars of funding and a challenge to the license, but the challenge alone would create the attention we want...the million dollars would be required to gain access to the license and this is on a state by state level as well as the syndicate itself..
 
 
+29 # goodsensecynic 2012-01-01 12:36
I'm 66. I've lived in the same suburban home with a three-car garage and a swimming pool for 30 years. I am also a professional with an annual family income of well over $200,000. I qualify.

I've also been a supporter and financial contributor to the local Occupy Movement. I'm alreadly "lending an idea of support" and I'm not alone.

Here's the problem. The genius of the Occupy Movement is that it doesn't have photogenic leaders with the gift of the gab. There's no "poster-person" and there's not much hierarchy in the places that have been "occupied."

Occupy is a semi-anarchic, semi-"commune"i stic experiment in social organization.

Yes, the political parties, the corporate media and the whole late capitalist holocaust in all its economic, ecological and ethical forms will do what they can to marginalize, mock and, if needed, crush the Movement with force of arms.

The point for now is NOT to play the game. I admire Michael Moore & Sean Penn can say good things to Piers Morgan; but, having leaders and laundry lists of demands isn't needed; bottom-up insubordination and constant interrogation of authority is.

There'll be time to negotiate, commiserate and get co-opted later. Now, crowds of what were once called "loose and disorderly" people (in suits or not) are essential.

Or, you could just take over the Democratic Party like the rabid religious right took over the Republicans.
 
 
+18 # jon 2012-01-01 16:46
"just take over the Democratic Party like the rabid religious right took over the Republicans"

THAT is GOOD!
 
 
+4 # cynnibunny 2012-01-02 14:36
Goodsensecynic (nice handle) - I wouldn't call the 'semi-anarchic' organizing style of Occupy anything like Communism. I would call it democracy, real democracy. When people can rally behind a cause that - as you state so well - does more than enough by 'insubordinatio n and constant interrogation of authority' AND not become splintered because one guy said this, another gal said that - that is true democracy. We will see significant change when people can put aside their unresolvable differences (like abortion, religious beliefs, etc) and instead focus on a simple, straightforward message for economic equality. We at the bottom 99% have more in common than we realize. Let's work together to get our message through!
 
 
+18 # jenny lea 2011-12-31 18:51
I'm worried that the focus needs to be on changing laws about keeping money out of politics rather than a constitutional amendment. The 14th amendment passed in 1868 but civil rights didn't move forward until 200 years later when laws were passed.
What do you think of the plan at http://www.moneyouttapolitics.org/?

Please check it out
 
 
+12 # prim 2012-01-01 04:47
www.moneyouttapolitics.org/


I hope the 99% will read and follow the above blog. Focusing on one issue will make it a powerful force, which is necessary to combat the controlling interest of the 1%.



OCCUPY! When the movement started, I was filled with hope, but this expectation is fading. Money is too powerful. The enriched media, part of the 1%, effectively confuse the demands of the 99%. This is easily done. There are many problems and each singular one splinters the demands into many fractions. The umbrella, that covers all these ills, is MONEY!

If the 99% can focus on this factor and eliminate this tool of the 1%, it will give us an all important system whereby we can start correcting the other problems.

I am so encouraged that Michael Moore has taken this position. The occupy movement has lacked a prominent spokesman, and he has now stepped in. Please spread this concept, and follow Michael’s suggestion.


Michael Moore’s blog:

‘In 2012, I'm Only Backing Candidates Who Pledge
to Get Money OUT of Politics – Like Dan Kildee from Flint’
 
 
+1 # jky1291 2012-01-02 22:49
In fighting the most corrupt and powerful forces the world has ever seen, it is necessary to adopt a limited laser focus on the essential issues upon which everyone agrees are required to advance progressive improvements in our political and economic systems, uniting a majority needed to achieve those goals, rather than diminishing support necessary to achieve any progress with a laundry list of issues that generate controversy. The Rebuild the Dream movement complements Occupy Wall Street's goals, and their Contract for the American Dream, developed last summer by a nationwide grassroots consensus, would serve as an excellent guide for future activities to build the momentum needed to overcome the inordinate influence of the wealthy, special interests, and multinational corporations. Advancing these 10 essential issues increases our chance of exploiting the weaknesses of the obscenely wealthy 1%'s indefensible positions. It is essential that a candidate that genuinely supports and will fight for the fundamental issues presented in the Contract for the American Dream is identified, recruited, and elected as an Independent 3rd party President to wrestle our country out of the death grip of the multinational corporations.

http://contract.rebuildthedream.com/?rc=rtd_home

If one only votes for the lesser of 2 evils the result still cannot be acceptable.
 
 
+25 # vieja 2011-12-31 21:25
The problem with your proposal, Jenny, is that many good state laws already on the books that would regulate corporate spending in elections or prevent it altogether have been cleanly invalidated by this Supreme Court ruling. Federal law trumps state law, plain and simple. A long-term battle for a constitutional amendment seems absurdly complicated and unwinnable on the face of it, but really--we have no choice. If we want to break corporate hegemony in this country, corporate personhood, and Citizens United, have to be eliminated via constitutional amendment. (The movetoamend.org site lists multiple state laws that could be found unconstitutiona l vis a vis CU.)
 
 
+13 # Hexalpa 2011-12-31 23:24
I am "not so sure" that the only alternative would be a constitutional amendment. Here is my reasoning: American corporations were not created nor "granted personhood" by our constitution. Therefore, it stands to reason that no constitutional change should be required to "remove or qualify" corporate "personhood".
What the Legislature hath granted, the Legislature can taketh away!
 
 
+5 # jon 2012-01-01 16:52
Quoting Hexalpa:
I am "not so sure" that the only alternative would be a constitutional amendment. Here is my reasoning: American corporations were not created nor "granted personhood" by our constitution. Therefore, it stands to reason that no constitutional change should be required to "remove or qualify" corporate "personhood".
What the Legislature hath granted, the Legislature can taketh away!



Which means, that if we had a rock solid Democratic majority in Congress and Administration, it would be done.

So there you have it, anti-corporatis ts, never EVER vote republican.

And THAT, ultimately, is the bottom line, and rallying cry !!
 
 
+7 # m... 2011-12-31 22:39
Under the umbrella talking-point of the greatest fraud ever perpetrated--- ''SMALLER GOVERNMENT'' Rightwing Neo Corporate CONservatives have engaged in the largest flim flam, con-job in history and forced through relentless deregulation schemes to benefit the Global Corporate elite.
One tragic outcome-- Media Ownership and Operation Rules were deregulated to bare bones. This resulted in a Media situation where now, almost all Media Enterprises are owned and exploited by a very few GLOBAL Corporate Conglomerates.
These Media Fiefdoms scoop up bits of reality, chunks of 'truth' and piles of information they treat as little more than commodities to use, abuse, manipulate, contort, distort, present (or withhold) at their pleasure according to what is in their best Corporate Financial, Economic and POLITICAL Best Interest.
Such narrow control of information and the distribution of it is dividing us, dumbing us down and destroying Our Republic while aiding and abetting the transfer of OUR collective wealth and power from 99% to the 1% Corporate Elite.
We are literally being talked into giving away our collective power as WE THE PEOPLE away to Global Corporate control and a Government by Lobby.
The Occupy Movement should make the effort to force Congress to break up these Media-Industria l Empires into many hundreds of bits and pieces which must operate under a modern Fairness Doctrine a central theme of this great and growing movement.
 
 
+33 # uglysexy 2011-12-31 22:55
Clarence Thomas should be actively Shamed into recusing himself from the Obamacare arguments and decisions. It is a disgrace that he will be hearing the case at all....given his Wife's Overt Activist Attempts to try and Scuttle Obamacare.
 
 
+14 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-01 08:40
Clarence Thomas has to go because he is an unethical judge. Obamacare has to go because it will benefit noone but WS and the middle class will shoulder the financial responsibility. We need a Single-Payor Insurance Plan to provide HC
for all in an ethical and feasible manner.
 
 
+20 # goodsensecynic 2012-01-01 08:47
Emphasis must be placed on the word "should." Of course Thomas should be shamed into recusing himself in thse cases. In fact, he should be shamed into resigning from the court. It is, after all, a disgrace that he was appointed in the first place.

Your fine sentiments, however, rely on the premise that Thomas has the capacity for shame. It is, however, not in his nature. I leave it to the psychologists to label the disorder, but he seems to share it with ex-candidate Herman Cain. Whatever it is, their arrogant narcissism, limitless sense of individual entitlement and perceived exemption from minimal moral constraints in the pursuit of selfish ends isn't what Medgar Evers, James Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, Martin Luther King and Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, the four little girls killed in Birtmingham, Alabama's 16th Street Church who alleged and unwittingly spawned Condolezza Rice (your republic's next vice-president? ) died to achieve.

This is not about "be careful what you wish for," but it is about holding people accountable to those who won their freedoms for them ... regardless of religion, race or gender.
 
 
+10 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-01 09:44
WOW! This is good Goodsensecynic!
 
 
+2 # karenvista 2012-01-03 20:23
Quoting uglysexy:
Clarence Thomas should be actively Shamed into recusing himself from the Obamacare arguments and decisions. It is a disgrace that he will be hearing the case at all....given his Wife's Overt Activist Attempts to try and Scuttle Obamacare.


How do you shame someone who has no shame?
 
 
+10 # Joan Manning 2011-12-31 23:14
The Occupy movement complains about one-sided media coverage which focuses on "the inarticulate and unwashed" and concludes the Occupiers are "without focus or direction."
From the start I thought the Occupiers made a serious mistake in not having articulate and presentable spokespeople
to answer the media's questions. It's too easy to label them hippies,which is the opposite of what they are.
 
 
0 # molesoul 2012-01-03 21:15
Brilliant! If we want the Occupy movement to grow and strengthen, they need to enlist a high profile spokesperson to articulate one or two ideas - e.g., money out of politics - that ALL of the 99% can get behind. To get there, Occupiers need to let go of their ideological rigidity.
 
 
+6 # arkee 2012-01-01 02:22
I wish the Occupy movement all success, especially in light of the fizzling out of the social protest movement in Israel. I have a question--how many of the protesters and occupiers are registered voters and what fraction of them voted in 2010. It is futile and dishonest to protest in the street and to stay away from the ballot box. I suggest a massive voter registration campaign and primary challenges to the red dog Democrats. Obama plus a liberal majority can get things done and it is up to the public to provide that.
 
 
+3 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-01 08:08
arkee: OWL protesters would legetimize their cause by being proactive and voting IF a candidate worthy of their vote enters the political ring.
NOWEVER, your facetious statement that...
"Obama...can get things done..." is truly laughable, Hasn't he done enough? Would OWS be protesting if it were not for Obama=WS=recess ion1=fascist state? Obamacare is a chimera that will be paid for by the middle class with decreasing HC benefits while padding the pockets of Insurance and pharmaceutical companies (WS)! Obama & the "liberal majority" are on different sides of the spectrum. Obama and the 99% have nothing in common.
 
 
+3 # Linda 2012-01-01 07:07
I agree with you arkee .
Congress and the Senate make the laws not the President . Keeping Obama and getting rid of the Republican's ,Tea Party Congress and Bluedogs ,replacing retired Supreme Court justices with liberal justices is what we should really be concerned about not replacing Obama with a radical right wing fanatic because your not happy with Obama .
Obama will lean left when there is a left majority,he will have no choice. Just like he has no choice but to lean right with a right wing majority .

I already signed Bernie Sanders petition to change the Constitution.

From the start I worried that OWS would be infiltrated by the Tea Party grandfather Ron Paul and it seems with the setting up of his campaign tent in Occupy Oakland that is exactly what has happened .
If people are backing away from supporting OWS its partly because they don't feel they are represented by the movement .
The most vulnerable in our society is the elderly, disabled and poor which Ron Paul's agenda would hurt greatly.
We have already watched as some of the programs that help us survive were being cut by these Tea Party Republican's in Congress as well as the generic Republican's and Bluedogs .

Ending these wars while important to all of us but there is no draft nobody has to enlist like they had to in the Vietnam war.

The majority of the 99% are the poor , disabled and elderly .Its us who need representation !
 
 
-4 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-01 08:34
Linda, what planet do you live on? Obama leans left or leans right when he thinks it will benefit his agenda. He has demonstrated again and again that he does not care about his constituents. what he cares about is Obama. He will do whatever it takes to get re-elected which means being indebted to his 1% WS wealthy contributers. As far as his rhetorical promises to help the 99%, it's a political game to Obama. Can't you see that?
 
 
+7 # Linda 2012-01-01 12:00
On this planet dorianb for 67 years and I would venture to guess a whole lot wiser than you !
Obviously sense you made it clear that you will not vote for Obama and the only other candidates running are Republican's I can assume your either not voting at all or voting for Republican Ron Paul and you don't give a damn if another Republican gets elected and appoints more Republican's to the Supreme Court stacking the deck against us for our lifetime .

Also obvious to me from what you said to arkee about the middle class my guess you are one of them and they are the only ones you care about.
FYI the middle class are not the only ones who pay taxes we all do only the poor have far less take home pay after they do .
In case you haven't noticed we all pay taxes on nearly everything we consume !My state ranks one of the highest in taxes . So come down off that high horse!
First of all your statement about Obama's health care bill is right wing propaganda . It is Paul Ryan's plan that Bernie Sanders said would cost our children way into the future and decrease health care benefits not Obama's .

FYI you don't speak for all of the 99% sense the majority of that 99% would disagree with you including those who are walking to Washington DC on behalf of those like myself who have seen cuts in social programs. Those same social programs you deem unimportant because you think it doesn't effect the middle class ! Nobody is immune to poverty.
 
 
+1 # jky1291 2012-01-02 23:16
I'm sorry but if the Obama supporters want to split the progressive vote and give the White House to the Republican terrorists that is on them, because there are enough Independents who will not vote for Obama, as well as disenchanted Democrats that he has zero chance of being reelected. But, a true Progressive could enjoy a landslide victory, by leveraging the 90% and growing dissatisfaction with Congress. While I will never vote for another Republican as long as I live, the tax reduction extension welfare entitlement bailout for millionaires and billionaires, following the health care capitulation, forfeited my support for President Obama. It is one thing if one does not know what is right, but it is inexcusable when one knows what is right and still refuses to uphold those principles. If one only votes for the lesser of 2 evils the result still cannot be acceptable. It is essential that a candidate that genuinely supports and will fight for the fundamental issues presented in the Rebuild the American Dream movement is identified, recruited, and elected as a 3rd party President to wrestle our country out of the death grip of the multinational corporations.

http://contract.rebuildthedream.com/?rc=rtd_home

If President Obama wished to run in 2016, I would wish him well, hoping he had learned what is required to truly represent all of the citizens of this nation, not just the wealthy 2%.
 
 
+3 # Pufferly 2012-01-01 07:54
jenny lea: good idea but fix the math.
 
 
+7 # Linda 2012-01-01 08:30
Sorry Jenny but I don't agree with that sense you could be asking us to vote for someone who is actually against the majority of the peoples best interest if your not considering that social issues are important to the majority of us .

Maybe there are those of you who are not in the same position as the majority of us so you have no problem in voting against our best interest ?

I think Bernie Sanders is much more informed about the inns and outs of how government actually works than any of us are. I trust he knows that by changing the Constitution it will open the door to reverse the Citizens United decision or at the very least make it more difficult for them to dump millions of dollars into campaigns if candidates have to disclose their backers .
What is wrong with voting out those in Congress and the Senate who vote in favor of corporations ? They are after-all the ones who make the laws not the president !

I think I know where you and MOP are heading with this . I for one will not vote for Ron Paul and doom myself and millions of others who would become homeless ,starving and freezing to death with his agenda pushed through by the Tea Party Congress and the rest of the Republican's !
 
 
+2 # dorianb@fuse.net 2012-01-01 10:01
Bernie Saunders is very well informed and his heart and convictions are in the right place which means he would represent and take a stand for the people. The problem is Bernie Saunders is "unelectable" at this time and he has said so himself, which means he would ensure a Republican victory. We need a strong and committed candidate to run on the democratic ticket now who is also electable and will work to correct failed policies/premis es of Obama and regain the trust of the constituents. Obama is a lost cause. How dare he call himself a liberal or man of the people and sign a fascist bill that goes against freedom and due process? He's worse than a Republican because they admit who they are. Oh, wait a minute. He apologized and said he's sorry when he signed it. What else is new?
 
 
+4 # Linda 2012-01-01 12:05
Don't look now but there is no Democrat running against Obama in 2012 !For any Democrat to Jump ship now would be handing the election over to the crazies on the right and that includes Ron Paul who btw is still a Republican the last I looked !
I have a feeling even if Bernie were running you would vote Republican dorianb!
 
 
+1 # Okieangels 2012-01-02 10:08
There is a Democrat running against Obama in 2012 - Darcy Richardson. http://www.darcy2012.com/
I'm jumping ship, thank you very much. I would vote Green if I could in Okie-land.
 
 
+15 # Kayjay 2012-01-01 11:56
I am all for the notion of occupying the Supreme Court. Until more of the oppressed 99 percent DEMAND a voice re. the political agenda, nothing will ever change. Currently all these corrupt court members and office holders have yet to pay a price for merrily stuffing taxpayer monies in their own pockets, as the nation sinks lower. We need more involvement from the 99 percent, period. We need Sanders' amendment and need to vote for un-monied candidates. Until we can find a way to stem corrupt flow of cash.....we need to DEMAND overt documentation of ALL sources of money in their campaign coffers. We need to demand knowing exactly what is in our food, and conversely who is trying to drive our political agenda! Persevere OWS...in many ways. Be demanding...or we all will suffer.
 
 
+6 # redjelly39 2012-01-02 10:12
90% of all TV, Newspapers, Radio & the Internet are controlled by 6 Corporations...
AOL/Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch's News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) -- now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric's (Comcast) NBC is a close sixth.
They are all using the same playbook and this is the reason Occupy will never get the proper coverage it deserves and also why we can never trust anything they say.
 

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