Here are some links to photos and videos from Seattle January 20th and 21st, 2012:
Thank you everyone for all the hard work.!
Jim McDermott at our rally Saturday January 21st:
Check this out for what is going on in Seattle and Tacoma and the state of Washington on January 20th and 21st on the anniversary of "Citizens United vs the Federal Elections Comission". It is as old as the "Corrupt practices Act" of 1912 in Montana, and recently upheld by the Montana Supreme Court. (The first state in the union to try and regulate big, anonymous, and out of state money in State Elections). The history is the same. Occupy The Government is something we knew and did at it's creation, and try to do when needed. Why? Because we are human and we learn things over and over again, and then we evolve. It is time to evolve.
Occupy The Government!
Get The Money Out Of Politics
Two Days of Action and Education
Move To Amend - Occupies The Courts - Friday
People Ignited Against Citizens United - Saturday
January 20 & 21 in Downtown SeattleA broad coalition that includes Occupy Seattle, Move to Amend, People for Free Speech and other organizations is initiating two days of action to kickoff a public awareness campaign focused on amending the Constitution in order to limit the power of corporations to impact elections.
Our aim is to raise awareness of the Citizen's United vs. FEC ruling, which crippled our government's ability to regulate American campaign spending by huge, multinational corporations. The decision was based upon the assumption that corporations count as people with all the rights of a natural person, including free speech. It was also based on a previous ruling affirming that monetary expenditures are a form of free speech. Since there is no mention of corporations in our Constitution, and by no means are they granted the full rights of an individual, it is apparent that a corrupt, political court has taken it upon themselves to shape our legal and election system according to special interests.
This legal allowance of unlimited campaign spending by human-made legal fictions doled out by corporate lobbyist's behind closed doors, with a single-focused legal responsibility to generate profits, poses a critical threat to free and fair elections in the United States. The great wealth of corporations lets them misuse the political system and overpower human beings in the struggle to be heard. This immoral granting of natural rights to unnatural entities is leading to the decline of democracy, communities, the economy, and the natural world.
It is imperative that the American people are made aware of this threat to our democratic system. Furthermore, it is critical that our Constitution is amended to include language that makes it undeniably clear that corporations are not people, and that they do not posses the same rights as natural persons. This would clear the pathway for our Congress to regulate campaign spending.
Join us on Friday, January 20, for a rally at the Federal Courthouse (700 Stewart Street.) as Move To Amend - Occupies the Courts! Bring signs and banners between 10- 4 to show your solidarity with your fellow humans, grassroots organizations and local governments countrywide, entertainment and speakers from 11 to 2.
(At the US Supreme Court and 100 Federal Courts so far! 700 Stewart Street Seattle.)
The action continues from 12-4 on Saturday, January 21 with a rally, entitled: People Ignited Against Citizens United. We’ll have informative speeches, music, and interpretive activities at
Westlake Park (4th & Pine).
At 2pm, we will march from Westlake to Seattle City Hall and continue on to the Henry M. Jackson Federal Building (915 Second Avenue, between Marion & Madison).
National and local organizations actively promoting and participating in Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission 2 year anniversary events - partial list:
Free Speech For People:
Center For Media and Democracy:
The Alliance For Democracy:
Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic Revolution:
Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy:
African American Ministers in Action
California Church Impact
Campaign for America's Future
Center for Corporate Policy
Center for Environmental Health
Center for Health, Environment & Justice
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Coffee Party USA (local decision)
Free Speech for People
Friends of the Earth
Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
Global Community Monitor
Grassroots Recycling Network
Institute for Policy Studies - Global Economy Project
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Move On (local decision)
National Women's Health Network
Oil Change International
Rainforest Action Network
Rebuild the Dream
Story of Stuff
We the People Campaign
Wisconsin Wave, A project of the Liberty Tree Foundation
Working Families Party
Subject: Big News From Montana
First State in the Union to Limit Campaign Spending for state elections, in 1912, by state initative. Thank you MONTANA!
---- Original Message -----
From: Craig Salins To: Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 1:54 PM
WashClean and MoveToAmend friends...
HELENA - The Montana Supreme Court on Friday overturned a lower court ruling and reinstated the state's century-old ban on direct spending
by corporations for or against political candidates.
The justices ruled 5-2 in favor of the state's attorney general's
office and commissioner of political practices to uphold the
initiative passed by Montana voters in 1912.
Western Tradition Partnership, a conservative political group now
known as American Tradition Partnership, joined by Champion Painting
Inc. and the Montana Shooting Sports Association Inc. had challenged
the Montana ban after the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in Citizens
United v. Federal Election Commission. The U.S. Supreme Court decision
granted political speech rights to corporations.
District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock of Helena ruled that the U.S. Supreme
Court decision rendered the Montana ban unconstitutional.
But the Montana Supreme Court's majority saw it differently and
"Citizens United does not compel a conclusion that Montana's law
prohibiting independent political expenditures by a corporation
related to a candidate is unconstitutional," Chief Justice Mike
McGrath wrote for the majority. "Rather, applying the principles
enunciated in Citizens United, it is clear that Montana has a
compelling interest to impose the challenged rationally-tailored
The court held that corporations are not deprived of political speech
by the Montana law.
They can form political committees, as many other groups have done,
but must file reports disclosing where they raised their money and how
they spent it. They also can hire legislative lobbyists.
"The many lobbyists and political committees who participate in each
session of the Montana Legislature bear witness," the majority opinion
said. "Under the undisputed fact here, the political committee is an
easily implemented and effective alternative to direct corporate
spending for engaging in political speech."
Joining McGrath in the majority were Justices Brian Morris, Patricia
Cotter, Michael Wheat and Jim Rice.
Dissenting were Justices James Nelson and Beth Baker.
Nelson said the Montana court was required to follow the U.S. Supreme
Court precedent and strike down the state ban, even though he
adamantly disagreed with the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United
"In my opinion, District Judge Sherlock's well-reasoned and courageous
- though politically unpopular - decision should be affirmed," Nelson
wrote. "I cannot agree with this court's determination not to do so."
Baker said she would uphold only those provisions in state law to
ensure that independent corporate political expenses were properly
reported and disclosed.
It was unclear Friday whether American Tradition Partnership would
appeal Friday's ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"We're reviewing our options," said Donald Ferguson, executive
director of the group. "We feel Montanans do not forfeit their
freedoms of speech and association simply because they associate as a
The Montana Supreme Court decision was a major victory for Attorney
General Steve Bullock, who personally argued the case. He is a
Democratic candidate for governor in 2012.
"We're really pleased with the decision and think it's based on solid
constitutional analysis, common sense and a clear understanding of our
history and our current system of electing our state's leaders,"
He said Montana has had a Corrupt Practices Law in place since 1912
and it has served Montana well.
"The Citizens United decision deals with federal laws and elections -
like those contests for president and Congress," Bullock said. "But
the vast majority of elections are held at the state or local level,
and this is the first case I am aware of that examines state laws and
McGrath's majority opinion is replete with references from books by
Montana historians discussing successful efforts by the Copper Kings
in Butte in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to control the
state by influencing legislative and judicial decisions through bribes
and applying political pressure on at least one governor.
"This naked corporate manipulation of the very government (governor
and Legislature) of the state ultimately resulted in populist reforms
that are still part of Montana law," McGrath wrote. "In 1906 the
people voted to amend the state Constitution to allow for voter
Shortly thereafter, Montanans used this initiative power to enact such
reforms as primary elections to choose political candidates, the
direct election of U.S. senators and the Corrupt Practices Act.
The opinion said evidence presented in District Court and not refuted
by Western Tradition Partnership reveals that the group's purpose "is
to act as a conduit of funds for persons and entities including
corporations who want to spend money anonymously to influence Montana
"WTP seeks to make unlimited expenditures in Montana elections from
these anonymous funding sources," McGrath wrote.
He noted that Western Tradition Partnership also has filed separate
lawsuits challenging Montana's campaign spending laws and the
constitutionality of the state's political donation limits and its
Elsewhere in the decision, the chief justice asked, "If the statue has
worked to preserve a degree of political and social autonomy is the
state required to throw away its protections because the shadowy
backers of WTP seek to promote their interests."
Missoulian State Bureau reporter Charles S. Johnson can be reached at
(406) 447-4066 or at chuck.john...@lee.net.
[Montana] Supreme Court upholds state ban on corporation spending
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Kenn Dzaman
To: "chuck.john...@lee.net" ...@lee.net>
Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 9:53 PM
Subject: Nice Reporting
Dear Charles S. Johnson,
Montana just set the pecedent for our initiative campaign in
Washington. We will be looking at the "Corrupt Practices Act" passed by initiative in Montana..
Montana is beautiful country! (Is it a part of Canada?)......
This closes out the year with good news and "ammo" into the election
season of 2012. Please check out what we are doing in Seattle and Tacoma. I will personally have a sign thanking Montana and their wise Supreme Court Justices.
Thank you for the reporting.
People's Power League
100 Years Old on
June 11, 2011
The Vigilance of the Pen
The People's Power League formed in Deer Lodge Montana on June 11,
1911. Forty-one men from towns all over Montana adopted a straight-
forward plan to assure that political power was returned to the
citizens of the state. They would free themselves from the strangle-
hold of megalithic corporations housed in New York and New Jersey by
assuring the voter's right to nominate candidates in an open primary
starting with the president and continuing down to local officials.
Fairness would be guaranteed in campaigns and elections by barring
corporate money from influencing the outcome.
The odds were against them. The Legislature was bought and paid for by
the Amalgamated Copper Company. It would never pass the laws needed to
implement the plan. Undaunted, the legal minds of the People's Power
League drafted three Initiatives while the newspapermen went to work
on 'public opinion.'
A Small Step for 1912, a Giant Step for a Century
By 1912, the Initiatives had all passed. Montanans would no longer be
compliant citizens swallowing the corporate agenda hook, line and
sinker. The self-absorbed corporate bosses back East and their
corporate henchmen failed to see the tidal wave of indignation.
Read the following excerpts from the writings of these determined
pioneers and you may understand why the Initiatives passed.
"Campaigns were conducted by simply the opening of a barrel, and
sowing the state from one end to the other with corporation money—the
largest barrel winning in the end. This extravagant campaigning
prevented the election of any but the wealthy or those supported by
E.H. McDowell, Terry Tribune (February 1910)
"Butte would be a bad place for the corporation to look for advocates
of consolidation. We are consolidated and amalgamated to death. Some
groups of financiers may be profiting by the operation, but out here
in Butte we are playing the role of "goat' and it is far from a
Butte Daily News (July 1910)
"The legitimate business interests, honest industry, equality before
law, representative free government, and individual liberty, are being
destroyed in the state of Montana through the operation and
encroachments of law-violating corporate combines. A modern feudalism
is being established through the subjugation of the people to the
power of organized wealth controlled by non-residents, who have
enlisted in their service an army of mercenaries and fortified these
behind special legislation corruptly secured to administer government
to the people of Montana. These influences have penetrated to every
branch and department of government in Montana–state, county, city,
and school district; judicial, executive, and legislative. They
dominate both party political organizations, and dictate the selection
of representatives in congress and national senate. Through authority
of laws secured from the last legislative assembly of the state, these
foreign forces are now engaged in perfecting a monopoly-combine with
power and purpose to control in every form of industry or business
which can be made lucrative."
J.C. Murphy, Montana Lookout (April 1910)
The Montana Corrupt Practices Act
It's a delicate balancing act to pit freedom of speech against fair
elections. However, it can be done and Montana can lead the nation in
finding a way.
The Corrupt Practices Act, 1912, State of Montana, as it pertains to
Section 25. No corporation, and no person, trustee, or trustees
owning or holding the majority of the stock of a corporation carrying
on the business of a bank, savings bank, cooperative bank, trust,
trustees, surety, indemnity, safe deposit, insurance, railroad, street
railway, telegraph, telephone, gas, electric light, heat, power,
canal, aqueduct, water, cemetery, or crematory company, or any company
having the right to take or condemn land or exercise franchise in
public ways granted by the state or by any county, city or town, shall
pay or contribute in order to aid, promote or prevent the nomination
or election of any person, or in order to aid or promote the
interests, success or defeat of any political party or organization.
No person shall solicit or receive such payment of contribution from
such corporation or such holder of a majority of such stock.
Section 50. In like manner as prescribed for the contesting of an
election, any corporation organized under the laws of or doing
business in the state of Montana may be brought into court on the
ground of deliberate, serious and material violation of the provisions
of this act. The petition shall be filed in the district court in the
county where said corporation has its principal office, or where the
violation of law is averred to have been committed. The court, upon
conviction of such corporation, may impose a fine of not more than ten
thousand dollars, or may declare a forfeiture of the charter and
franchises of the corporation if organized under the laws of this
state, or if it be a foreign corporation may enjoin said corporation
from further transacting business in this state, or by both such fine
and forfeiture or by both such fine and injunction.