Activists target Citizens United Supreme Court ruling
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IRVINE, CA (December 13, 2011): With Irvine’s City Council officially on holiday hiatus from its normal bi-weekly city council meetings, the designated Subcommittee comprised of Mayor Sukhee Kang and Councilman Larry Agran worked with Occupy Orange County CA @ Irvine via the assistant city manager, Sharon Landers, to extend the movement’s Letter of Understanding that allows them to continue camping on the lawn in front of Irvine’s Civic Center until noon on Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Occupy Orange County is now the last remaining encampment in Southern California.
Despite the cold and rain, a group of protesters continue to make their statement with tents as a symbol of the millions of Americans that have been foreclosed on due to the severe economic crisis in this country coupled with the lack of cooperation by the banks that hold the mortgages.
The Center for Responsible Lending has indicated in a recent report that by the time the current economic crisis passes 13 million homeowners will have been foreclosed on. The average American home consists of 2.59 inhabitants bringing the number of citizens pushed out of their homes to almost 40 million.
As part of the 99% the movement’s participants feel that a major factor contributing to the ever widening financial gap between the average American and the wealthy board members of corporations has been the January 2010 Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC which opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending on elections. Their decision deemed any corporation a ‘legal person’ with 14th Amendment protections of full personhood.
At a recent General Assembly, participants of the Irvine based movement passed a proposal stating, “A primary focus of Occupy Orange County is to get money out of politics because this is a key step toward confronting the remaining grievances of both Occupy and the American people.”
During the past year several legislators including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have proposed similar constitutional amendments that would overturn the Supreme Court decision favoring Citizens United. The constitutional amendment proposed by Move to Amend will clearly establish that money is not speech, a corporation is not a person, all corporations are subject to regulation, all campaign contributions will be disclosed and allows for no loopholes. This amendment will put people in charge of our government, and corporations in their proper place.
On Friday, January 20, 2012 Occupy Orange County CA joins with Move to Amend and four other national organizations in a day of awareness and education to draw attention to the need to pass this amendment. Over 40 cities are participating in this national day of awareness. The public is encouraged to come out in support of the initiative called Occupy the Courts. The Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana at 411 W 4th Street will be the site of the public demonstration beginning at 11:00 AM. A full day of demonstration, a mock presidential debate and speakers will end at 6:00 PM.
For more information on Occupy the Courts on January 20, 2012 please go to http://tinyurl.com/d46naea To volunteer for this initiative email Volunteer@Occupy-OC.org. To sign an online petition in support of amending Citizens United go to www.MovetoAmend.org where over 150,000 people have already signed.
Occupy Orange County CA is a local activist movement in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. The leaderless group currently occupies the park located at 1 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine, CA 92606. Awareness and education is the group’s major focus as they work to restore the US government to the people for the people. For more information, please visit www.Occupy-OC.org