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We The People + Corporations vs. People

Program #CIEN002-CIEN001.

First Program: We The People

Corporate rights are at the core of almost every environmental and social justice problem that we face. Corporate power grew immensely toward the end of the 19th century with the dismantling of legal restraints and the redefinition of corporations as persons with free speech rights. Today, the level of corporate power over the political system and the economy is unprecedented. And it shows no signs of lessening. The Citizens United Supreme Court ruling made a bad situation worse. It allows for unlimited penetration of corporate money into politics. What does it mean for the workings of a self-styled democracy to have corporations calling the shots in Washington and the state houses? We the people are on the short end of the stick. How can citizens change this unfair and unequal situation?

Second Program: Corporations vs. People

The Citizens United Supreme Court decision gave corporations a green light to secretly funnel in as much money as they want to elect candidates. The justices in their supreme wisdom have once again privileged corporations over citizens. The results have been dramatic. Even with a weak economy a record amount of cash has flooded political campaigns. Although corporations are not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution or Bill of Rights a series of legal decisions have given them the rights of personhood and free speech. Focusing on limiting or even stopping corporate harms is an inadequate response to a fundamental problem. And that is corporations rule and not the people. Citizens are marginalized and are left with Coke and Pepsi choices.

Speaker(s):

Paul Cienfuegos (click to view archive)

Paul Cienfuegos is a leader in the Community Rights movement, which works to dismantle corporate constitutional so-called “rights” and assert the people's inherent right to self-government. He founded Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County in 1995, and co-founded Community Rights PDX in 2011. His radio commentary and podcast plays weekly and can be accessed at CommunityRightsPDX.org/podcast  More info at PaulCienfuegos.com.

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