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Fri, Jan 20, 2012
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Citizens United v. FEC 2nd Anniversary Protest

Occupy Knoxville to Protest Corporate Personhood by Disrobing in Public Occupy Knoxville announced today that a small group of protestors will be disrobing in public to protest on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling. This ruling allowed corporations to give unlimited amounts of money to influence elections and has led to the creation of so-called Super PACs. The protest is to take place on Friday, January 20, from 11:00 until 1:00 outside the Howard H. Baker, Jr. U. S. Courthouse, on the corner of Main and Gay Streets. The group says that most participants will be involved in informational picketing and passing out literature. The Supreme Court ruling was a split decision (5-4). Justice Stephens, in his dissent, said, ". . . . corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires. Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their "personhood" often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of "We the People" by whom and for whom our Constitution was established." "We believe that corporations have too much influence in our politics and government, and this ruling has led to a completely unfair situation in which the voices of the people are drowned out by the vast sums of money being spent by corporations during political campaigns," said an Occupy Knoxville spokesperson. Most of the protestors will not be disrobing, but a small number promises to do so. An Occupy member was quoted as saying, "It may be cold out, but we are going to disrobe anyway, to show people the naked truth about what has happened to our Constitutional rights." A nationwide coalition of groups is calling for passage of a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling. These groups include Public Citizen, Occupy Wall Street and Move to Amend, which itself has signed on scores of supporting organizations. New York City, Los Angeles, Boulder, Albany and others have passed resolutions supporting this proposed Constitutional amendment. Resolutions have been introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate in support of a Constitutional amendment against corporate personhood. In the House, Representative Ted Deutch of Florida sponsored a resolution called Outlawing Corporate Cash Undermining the Public Interest in our Elections and Democracy (OCCUPIED) Constitutional Amendment. Occupy Knoxville participants say that they realize that it will be a long and arduous process to pass a Constitutional amendment, and the first step is to make sure that the public is aware of the issue and its ramifications. "Occupy Wall Street began as a response to the undue influence of corporations over our government, and that is still our central issue." ? ? oin us in protesting the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations to spend unlimited funds trying to influence our elections.

Event Location

Howard H. Baker Jr. U.S. Couthouse Courtyard
on the corner of Main and Gay Street
Knoxville, TN 37921