By What Authority:

April 2013

Poclad Article

Greetings POCLAD supporter!

It’s been over a decade since we at POCLAD first proposed the idea that corporations were not merely exercising power, but that they were ruling us. At the time the phrase “corporate rule” seemed shocking to many people, and some accused us of using extreme language to make a point.

But for others, the phrase “corporate rule” resonated, and people like you helped POCLAD plant and nurture seeds across the country. We are pleased to report that those seeds that have germinated and grown to become a nascent democracy movement in the United States!

It is easy to see the problem. Recent events have underscored just how brazen corporate rule has become. The oligarchs and plutocrats are destroying the planet we depend upon for life itself, and creating a racist, sexist and class-oppressive world with the plunder.

In 2010, the Supreme Court literally legalized corporate bribery of political candidates in Citizens United vs. FEC. We are proud that POCLAD and several POCLAD-inspired allies filed an amicus brief in that case directly challenging “Corporate Personhood,” the ridiculous legal doctrine that allows corporations to overturn democratically enacted laws.

Because we know what you know-- the problem goes beyond corporate money in elections. The reality is that there are solutions to every single problem facing our country--and we are certainly facing many. But these solutions are not being implemented because “We the People” do not control our own government.

Courts have overturned literally thousands of laws enacted to protect elections, workers, health and safety, and the environment. Unelected and unaccountable judges claim that these exercises of democratic authority are illegitimate, claiming that such laws violate the constitutional rights of corporations.

But there is hope!

The day the Supreme Court issued it’s opinion, POCLAD and several key allies launched Move To Amend—a multi-racial and multi-ethnic coalition of groups and individuals from across the country to demand an amendment to OUR Constitution to make it clear that:

  1. Artificial entities (for-profit corporations, non-profit corporations, unions, limited liability companies, partnerships, etc) do not have the inherent and unalienable constitutional rights of human persons under our Constitution; and

  2. Money is not speech, and “We the People” have the right to pass campaign finance laws to protect the integrity of elections.

POCLAD was instrumental in launching the coalition, and continues to provide key support. POCLAD principal David Cobb serves on the National Leadership Team; Greg Coleridge is coordinating efforts across Ohio; Mike Ferner is helping in Toledo; Mary Zepernick is instrumental in MA. Although not engaged directly with the MTA coalition, Virginia Rasmussen is active in efforts to criminalize fracking in New York.

Here is our quick report to keep you abreast of just how broad—and deep—the Move To Amend movement has become in less than three short years:

And we are excited to share what we have planned in 2013!

I hope you can see that we have learned from our sister and brothers in Latin America, Iceland, Europe (and from the Tea Party folks here). True social movements do not ask, “What is possible within the existing political and economic power systems?” They articulate their demands clearly and boldly, organize themselves, and force the existing power structure to address them.

We are under no illusion that a constitutional amendment will fix everything that is wrong with our social, political, economic and legal systems. But we think this is the sort of concrete and tangible action that can help spur the systemic change the country needs.

In light of everything we have done-- and all that we plan to do—it is without shame that we ask for your financial support. We don’t get any money from large foundations, and 100% of our budget comes from people like you.

We in POCLAD hail these courageous citizens who know that the time for wresting illegitimate authority from corporations and engaging the struggle for real democracy is now! They have chosen one of the most pervasive corporate assaults of our time to take this case into their communities.

If you want to make a tax-deductible donation, please mail a check to "JAPA" (Jane Addams Peace Association) which serves as our fiscal sponsor and mail to POCLAD, P.O. Box 246, S. Yarmouth, MA 02664-0246.

Onward to the world we deserve,

The POCLAD collective

David Cobb, Greg Coleridge, Jim Price, Lewis Pitts, Mary Zepernick, Mike Ferner, Virginia Rasmussen