Matthew Renda

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May 9, 2013
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Local group to protest Citizens United decision

The Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission decision made by the United States in 2010 is a much derided court action that critics claim provides corporations with undue influence on American democracy in the form of campaign contributions.

Grass Valley residents are scheduled to congregate Friday around the Brunswick overpass and display messages to draw attention to their call for an amendment to the United States Constitution, to overrule the Supreme Court and declare that constitutional rights such as free speech do not apply to entities such as corporations, according to a release issued by the local chapter of Move to Amend.

The protest will commence at 8 a.m. and continue until 6 p.m.

Move to Amend is a grassroots coalition dedicated to ending what it perceives as illegitimate legal doctrines “dedicated to ending the illegitimate legal doctrines that is destroying the democratic process and prevents the American people from ruling ourselves,” the release stated.

The protest in Grass Valley is part of a nationwide event involving at lease 50 other cities and seeks to commemorate the 127th anniversary of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad decision, in which the Supreme Court first ruled that corporations are “persons,” entitled to rights under the Constitution.

“127 years ago corporate lawyers were able to exploit the 14th Amendment — intended to ensure equal rights for African Americans – and convince the Supreme Court that they deserved Constitutional protections intended for human beings,” said Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, national director of the Move to Amend coalition. “Since that date we have seen a steady expansion of corporate power and wealth at the expense of the rights of people and communities. We’re protesting today to say enough is enough.”

The Move to Amend coalition is working to grow grassroots support for a constitutional amendment that clearly and unequivocally states that: 1) Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only; not to artificial legal entities such as corporations or labor unions; and 2) Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or 530-477-4239.

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The Union Updated May 9, 2013 11:58PM Published May 9, 2013 10:54PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.