On May 16, 2010 democracy activists Laird and Robin Monahan dipped hands and feet in the Pacific, and set out on foot from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Their goals: reach the Lincoln Memorial in Washington by mid October, and, most importantly, build grassroots awareness of the need to amend the Constitution to end corporate personhood along the way.
This public and very long-term action was Laird’s response to the January 21 Supreme court decision in Citizens United. Initially, he wrote, he felt betrayed and angry. “It seemed to me that the court had made a fraud of the Constitution. It made people second class citizens to corporations.” He realized that what the Court had done called for a stronger response than the usual letters, petitions, or phone call to Congress. He envisioned a cross-country walk, and that vision has took form with the help of friends, family, and the Move to Amend coalition.
For more than 5 months, these two brothers hiked across the country, promoting the need to amend the constitution to reflect what we all see as obvious, that corporations are not people and money is not speech. They camped out along the way, met with thousands of locals, networked with politicians, and rallied in front of countless courthouses.
Laird and Robin, both Vietnam veterans, were featured in numerous news stories, local and national, during their trek. They reached thousands of people and inspired many to get involved in the campaign. Both of them are still involved with Move to Amend today in their home state of Minnesota.