The Rapidian

David Cobb of Move to Amend visits Grand Rapids

David Cobb of Move to Amend will speak at Fountain Street Church about an amendment to the Constitution, ending corporate personhood. The event is co-hosted by Occupy Grand Rapids and local members of Move to Amend.
Underwriting support from:

For more information:

David Cobb/Move to Amend at Fountain St Church

7pm Thursday January 12th, 2012 

24 Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI

Cost: absolutely FREE! 

Hosted by: Fountain St Church, Occupy Grand Rapids, and Move to Amend

 

Members of Occupy Grand Rapids and Move to Amend are scheduled to discuss this event and the issues surrounding corporate personhood on Paleo Radioa locally-produced talk show about politics, religion and culture hosted by Jeremiah Bannister on 95.3 FM & 1680 AM at 3pm-6pm on Wednesday January 11th.

Anyone wishing to participate in the discussion can do so by calling 616-656-1680 or by visiting the livestream channel online.

David Cobb "on fire"

David Cobb "on fire" /Wikipedia

Portrait of the City of Grand Rapids "Make Room for Progress"

Portrait of the City of Grand Rapids "Make Room for Progress" /by Scott Warren

David Cobb event on January 12

David Cobb event on January 12 /Move to Amend

On Thursday January 12, Fountain Street Church will host David Cobb of Move to Amend as the next event in the Duncan Littlefair Great Speaker Series. Local representatives of Move to Amend and Occupy Grand Rapids are co-hosting the event, focused on discussing the reasons for separating corporate money from politics.

David Cobb will speak on the key issues of the Move to Amend campaign, an organized nationwide effort to create a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution that addresses two serious legal issues threatening democracy in America: corporate personhood and money being considered free speech. 

Cobb will discuss how the proposed amendment abolishes the concept of corporate personhood, or the legal fiction that corporations are people, and therefore have the same rights as people (often at the expense of actual people). The Supreme Court has made a series of controversial decisions over the last 125 years that critics see as cumulatively having an eroding effect on individual freedoms and the collective rights of communities in favor of corporate interests.  Environmental protection, occupational safety and labor rights, food and drug safety, consumer protection, and regulation of finance are just a few examples of the many  ways in which corporate personhood has negatively impacted the lives of millions of people in this country and abroad.  

The concept of money being considered equivalent to free speech has had massive impacts on politics in the U.S., essentially allowing corporations to donate unlimited amounts of money to politicians. The lack of transparency in campaign finance and congressional lobbying obscures the true motivations of politicians who have become financially dependent upon corporate donations in order to remain financially competitive with other candidates for re-election. The current atmosphere in American politics has become that of the perpetual campaign season, where elected officials focus more energy and time on appealing to prospective campaign financiers than conducting the actual work that benefits the citizens of their district. 

In addition to the grassroots efforts to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution on a national level, citizens across the United States have been taking steps to address these important issues on a local level. City government in both Los Angeles and New York City have adopted resolutions declaring that corporations are not people. The state of Montana has recently reinstated their ban on corporate campaign contributions. This is seen by many as a major step in forcing the Supreme Court to address the issues by accepting the inevitable corporate-initiated legal challenges opposing the ban.

Occupy Grand Rapids has taken up the responsibility of circulating a petition that supports the City Commission of Grand Rapids adopting a Resolution to Abolish Corporate Personhood. Occupy Grand Rapids asks any persons connected to the City of Grand Rapids (past, present or future) to sign the petition in support of this resolution. People (actual human beings only!) connected to the city as a resident, a worker, a frequent visitor, a student, or any other meaningful context should feel free to sign the petition if they support this cause.

Disclosure: Scott Warren is a citizen journalist and activist involved in the Occupy Grand Rapids movement, and creator of the online petition to the City Commission of Grand Rapids to Abolish Corporate Personhood

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