May 2012 marks the 126th anniversary of the Supreme Court granting corporations the rights of human beings. That’s right, Corporate Personhood didn’t begin with Citizens United!
In 1886 the U.S. Supreme Court declared that under the law corporations were “persons” and gave them the same rights as human beings. But a corporation exists only on paper. It is simply a legal creation that allows a group of people to engage in activities as a single entity.
Democracy means that We the People rule. But with the help of corporate personhood, corporations are ruling us! This is not democracy.
Corporate personhood is neither logical nor legitimate. It was invented by corporate lawyers to obtain big advantages for a few people over the rest of us. As a result, giant corporations are able to act with little concern for the future of life. They are doing enormous damage to working people, small businesses, communities, the environment, and democratic processes.
We all want to live in a world that is safe for ourselves, our families, and all living species. By working together we can find sensible, affordable, sustainable ways to provide essential goods and services for everyone without destroying our planet. Corporate personhood is a barrier to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It must be abolished.
This 126th "Birthday" of Corporate Personhood is a great opportunity to educate our fellow community members about Corporate Personhood and the Move to Amend campaign!
Help Move to Amend pass the 250,000 petition signers mark by May 31st by holding local events and collecting signatures in your community. Educate your fellow citizens about Corporate Personhood. Be as creative and engaging as possible!
Steps for Action:
1. Hold a planning meeting.
Invite your friends. We can post your meeting on the Move to Amend website and send an announcement to the petition signers in your area if you register it with us two weeks in advance.
Email links to the materials below in advance and print them up to pass around at the meeting to get the juices flowing.
2. Determine your action.
Arrange the participants in a circle and tape large sheets of butcher paper to the wall. Conduct a brainstorm to get the ideas flowing for what kind of action(s) you can do. Remember, in a brainstorm there are no bad ideas, just get everything up!
Next, see which ideas have the most energy and enthusiasm. You can do more than one thing! Or combine ideas to make the perfect scenario.
3. Let us know what you’ve got planned.
info [at] movetoamend.org (Send us information) about what you’ve got planned and we’ll help you spread the word to petition signers in your area. Share your ideas and materials you create and we’ll make them available to other groups.
Carry out your action(s). Collect as many signatures as you can. Videotape your creative actions and put them up on YouTube.
5. Followup - Keep the momentum going!
Submit your collected signatures to Move to Amend. Affiliate your new group. Contact the people who signed the petition in your community and invite them to your next meeting to determine your next action.
Tools You Can Use:
To get attention:
- Corporate person costume instructions (pdf)
- “Interview with a Corporate Person” Skit (pdf)
- Corporate Personhood Song
- "As the Country Turns" Skit for a short drama
- Build a freeway banner
- "Corpenstein" cartoon by Matt Wuerker
To educate your community:
- Corporate Personhood Talking Points
- Tips for writing Letters to the Editor
- Overrule the Court brochure from Move to Amend
- Move to Amend bookmark
- What Could Change If Corporate Personhood Were Abolished handout
To grow our numbers:
Want more background on Corporate Personhood?
- "The Santa Clara Blues: Corporate Personhood vs Democracy" pamphlet
- Corporate Personhood Talk
- Corporate Personhood Timeline
- Corporate Personhood and the "Right" to Harm the Environment
- Labor Organizing Must Challenge Corporate Rule
Be sure to check out our Local Action Toolkit for more materials you can use. If you have any questions, or need help getting started, info [at] movetoamend.org (let us know)!