The Santa Clara County chapter of Move to Amend will hold a rally at noon Thursday in St. James Park, near the Historic Courthouse. Move to Amend is a nonpartisan organization arguing for a 28th amendment that would overturn corporate personhood and rule that money is not equivalent to free speech.
It’s been more than two years since the Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission Supreme Court ruling granted corporations the right to make unlimited contributions to political campaigns. The ruling also established that corporations have the same protected rights to free speech as individual persons. A result of that ruling was the Occupy Wall Street movement, which spread across the nation last year and has arguably the most militant faction of protesters in Oakland.
This is an issue particularly close to home for San Jose, home of the 1886 Supreme Court case Santa Clara County vs. Southern Pacific Railroad Company. The decision in that case ruled that the 14th Amendment equal protection clause protected both corporations as well as natural persons, an assessment that unintentionally laid the foundation for more recent laws regarding corporate personhood.
“We invite all citizens to learn about the whole sad story of how Corporate Personhood came to be, and we have to start with its birth here in Santa Clara County in 1886,” says Judy Young, of Santa Clara County Move to Amend.
Thursday’s event will include singing peace activist group The Raging Grannies, as well as plays and various speakers.