News & Action
Dear Global Exchange Supporters,
What happens when the law itself stands in the way of democracy? We change the law.
In last night's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama stressed the need for unity in Washington in order to move forward and fix the current state of our democracy. And with last week's Supreme Court ruling in Citizen's United v. Federal Election Commission, expanding corporate constitutional "rights" by giving corporate entities the ability to spend money directly to influence federal elections under the Constitution's First Amendment, the need for unity to fight for democracy is more apparent than ever.
However, the unity that we need now is not in Washington; the unity that we need lies in our own grassroots movement. Change comes from the bottom, not the top and we're taking action to end corporate rule.
For over 100 years our laws have changed to give corporations legal protections privileges and rights. Law that says that corporations are "persons" and have "rights". Corporations use those rights against us everyday, in our elections and in our communities.
Global Exchange's Community Rights program partners with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) to change the rules that put corporate "rights" before the rights of people and nature. And we do this at the grassroots-assisting communities confronted by corporate harms to pass cutting edge local laws that assert their rights to make local governing decisions. These rights-based ordinances also strip corporations of Constitutional protections-including " corporate personhood."
That is what we're doing in communities like Mt. Shasta, Nevada City, Santa Cruz and many other communities across CA who are realizing that if we want change we have to CREATE it where we live and to not just ask for our rights but to assert our rights over corporations. We have to be Rosa Parks, and stand up to illegitimate law.
Everyone is waiting around for leadership in Washington, but the only true place that we can actually get things done, with real leadership, is in our communities. The grassroots movement of people powered mobilization is what is needed most.
So we leave you with words from revered social historian, Howard Zinn who passed away yesterday. In an interview last May with Amy Goodman, Howard Zinn invoked Martin Luther King, Jr. in how to bring about change in government:
"King believed ... that you cannot depend on presidents, and you cannot depend on elections and voting to solve your problems. People themselves, organizing, demonstrating, clamoring, they are the ones who can push the President and push Congress into change. And that's what we have to do now with Obama."
Thank you, as always, for your work on behalf of peace and justice,
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