Outreach to Indivisible Groups

Connecting the Indivisible and Move to Amend Movements

Indivisible Outreach Plan for Affiliates

Challenging Corporate Power Study Guide for Indivisible Groups

 

Connecting the Indivisible and Move to Amend Movements

“It’s time to move past ideology to reality. Government is our tool, that when wielded properly can help the American people grow our economy and strengthen our nation. We cannot simply dismiss the use of government to help solve problems. Government is US – not something being done to US.”

Source: Indivisible, https://www.indivisible.us

 

The Indivisible grassroots movement of resistance to the Trump administration and many Republican policies has attracted legions of people, many previously uninvolved, dedicated to the principle that government belongs to We the People, not the super wealthy or corporate interests. Phone calls, letters and direct actions at Town Hall meetings, Congressional offices and public pressure in other public spaces have contributed to specific victories against Presidential decrees, cabinet nominees and proposed Congressional legislation. 

The Move to Amend grassroots movement is a non-partisan, broad coalition of organizations and individuals, who share common values, working together to end all corporate constitutional rights (“corporate personhood”) and demand real democracy. Launched following the Supreme Court Citizens United 2010 decision, Move to Amend is working to enact the We the People Amendment (https://movetoamend.org/wethepeopleamendment), a constitutional amendment to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and shall be regulated in political campaigns. Both are essential elements to counter the hijacking of our government by corporate entities and the super wealthy.

 

Why Indivisible and Move to Amend should collaborate with one another to promote real democracy?

√ Reacting and responding to individual destructive actions by the President and Congress is essential to prevent immediate harms. Resistance alone, however, is following someone else’s agenda. Reaction must be complemented by proaction – educating, advocating and organizing for what we want. Short-term electoral and policy changes must be complemented by fundamental structural constitutional change that alters the basic rules of society to become more democratic, just and sustainable – which transcends political parties and ideologies.  It’s important to put out fires, but we’ll forever be firefighting unless we stop the arsonists who start them.

√ Move to Amend groups can provide assistance and supporters for Indivisible-sponsored actions that relate to corporate rule, money in elections, and democracy. They can help research and frame issues of interest to Indivisible groups, including why there’s a growing disconnect between public needs and existing public policies, and how fundamental changes are so difficult without constitutional changes.

√ Move to Amend can offer material and volunteers to Indivisible groups to arm you with a deep understanding of how our government isn’t broken, but instead  "fixed", or rigged, to benefit the few over the many. This is due to profoundly undemocratic provisions of the US Constitution, as well as numerous  Supreme Court decisions that  granted corporate entities with constitutional rights .. In addition, the US Supreme Court declared money is constitutionally-protected political “free speech” under the 1st Amendment, meaning those with the most money to spend (or invest) in elections have the most speech – drowning out the political voices of the 99%.. The High Court made numerous decisions over the last century that applied various sections of the Bill of Rights and other articles of the US Constitution to corporate entities,  provisions that were originally and solely {intended or meant}  for human beings. These never-intended corporate “rights” prevent us from fundamentally governing ourselves. Examples of these “rights” and their negative impacts include:

  • 1st Amendment Free Speech rights -- Perverted by corporations to donate/invest in elections  (right to speak), to thwart unionization and free association of workers with public ad campaigns, to prevent disclosure of harmful product ingredients, like genetically modified organisms, that communities have voted to disclose (rights not to speak), and to exempt the corporation from regulations, such as contraceptive coverage, that its owners object to on religious grounds (right to religious belief of the corporation)  
     
  • 4th Amendment Search and Seizure rights-- Perverted by corporations to avoid environmental, and worker health and safety inspections of corporate property. It’s also been used to prevent the disclosure of information -- most recently by Exxon-Mobil corporation of documents from past decades revealing its statements and scientific findings about climate change.
     
  • 5th Amendment Takings, Double Jeopardy and Due Process corporate rights -- Perverted by corporations to oppose environmental regulations protecting people and communities as “takings” -- meaning regulations that impact a corporation’s ability to make a profit can sue for future profits lost, creating a chilling effect for communities who would be responsible to pay corporations for lost profits. Corporations cannot be retried after a judgment of acquittal in court. The granting of property to a corporation by a public official cannot be unilaterally revoked by a subsequent public official or Act of Congress. 
     
  • 14th Amendment Due Process and Equal Protection corporate rights -- Originally intended to end discrimination of freed male slaves, this Amendment was perverted by corporations to claim any law that corporations had no authentic role in shaping (due process violation) or singles out a class of corporations (e.g. multinational vs local) or a specific corporation is unconstitutional “discrimination” (equal protection violation). Corporations have used these rights to build chain stores and erect cell towers against the will of communities; oppose progressive taxation and other public policies favoring local businesses over multinational corporations; and resist democratic efforts to prevent corporate mergers and revoke corporate charters through citizen initiatives.    
     
  • Commerce Clause-related rights (Article 1, Section 8) - Perverted by corporations to claim that scores of laws at the local and state level protecting the "health, safety, and welfare" of people in communities involving actions that cross state lines are unconstitutional. It has been used, for example,  to ship toxic waste from one state to another over community objections claiming the waste isn't actually "waste" but "commerce."  
     
  • Contracts Clauses-related rights (Article 1, Section 10) -- Perverted by corporations to claim that a corporate charter isn’t a state-issued license permitting the state to define permissible corporate actions (as was originally the case), but rather a “party to a private contract” and, thus, shielded from many forms of control by We the People, who define their purpose and boundaries. 

    More info at https://movetoamend.org/why-abolish-all-corporate-constitutional-rights

√ Indivisible groups can be a powerful force joining with Move to Amend as we lobby for passage of the We the People Amendment (House Joint Resolution 48), which has over 50 cosponsors in the US House of Representatives. The goal in 2018 is introduction of the Amendment in the US Senate and to secure more House co-sponsors. Indivisible members can be valuable voices in meeting with federal elected officials or their staff by sharing their specific issue concerns and the difficulty in their advancement due to the political power of corporate entities and the super wealthy. Enormous public support and pressure must be amassed to overcome the inherent fixed/rigged political system.

 

If you’d like to learn more, please contact Move to Amend at (916) 318-8040 or email info [at] movetoamend.org (subject: I%20want%20to%20learn%20more%20about%20connecting%20Move%20to%20Amend%20and%20Indivisible) . We can connect you with Move to Amend folks in your area, send a speaker to one of your meetings (depending on where you are located) and more! Your group can also use our Challenging Corporate Power Study Guide (designed specifically for Indivisible groups) to hold self-study sessions learning about how corporate power undermines our democracy at every turn and what you can do about it.

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