2011 - Human Rights in the Era of Corporate Personhood

Article 21.
(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Preamble to the US Constitution

“We the PEOPLE of the United States…”

Move to Amend Rochester

“We the PEOPLE, Not We the Corporations”

On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule. 

Saving Ourselves from Frankenstein:
Human Rights in the Era of
Corporate Personhood

Every year we gather as a community to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Articles within the Declaration describe the hopes of the people of the world for freedom, justice and peace for everyone.


5:30    Welcome, Mary Boite
 Community Potluck

6:30      Reading of the Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

6:45      David Cobb, introduced by Dave Atias,   Move to Amend, Rochester

7:40      Question and Answer Session

8:00      Sam Fedele, Move to Amend  Rochester

8:10      Colin O’Malley, Metro Justice

8:20      Sally McCoy, Band of Rebels

8:30      Call to Action

8:45      Program ends

David Cobb is a lawyer, political activist, and engaged citizen. He has dedicated his adult life to making the promise of a democratic republic a reality in the United States. David is on staff at Democracy Unlimited and is a spokesperson for Move To Amend, a national coalition calling for a constitutional amendment to abolish “Corporate Personhood.” This is the legal doctrine that allows corporations to overturn democratically enacted laws seeking to protect citizens from corporate harm and abuse.

Sam Fedele has been involved in efforts to push back against big money special interests since 2006. He and Dave Atias kicked off a local effort (Move to Amend - Rochester) to raise awareness of the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission and work towards an amendment to the Constitution which reverses the court doctrines of corporate personhood.

Colin O’Malley is the Organizing Director for Metro Justice, Inc. and Metro Justice Education Fund, multi-issue, progressive grassroots organizations working for a peaceful, fair and just future. Metro Justice has been synonymous with peace and social justice activism
since 1964.

Band of Rebels.  Sally McCoy and Mellody Russo were among the organizers of Band of Rebels. BoR has been targeting corporate greed and power in the banking system since August 2011; it has also allied with labor and other local groups in the fight for economic justice.

Dave Atias, Center for Disability Rights; Mary Boite, Judicial Process Commission; Sandra Cain, Downtown Presbyterian Church; George Dardess, Muslim Catholic Alliance & Commission on Christian Muslim Relations; Barbara Deming, Episcopal Diocesan Public Policy Committee; Sam Fedele, Move to Amend - Rochester coordinator; Steven Jarose, National Coalition Building Institute; Gail Mott, Rochester Committee on Latin America; Colin O'Malley, Metro Justice; KaeLyn Rich; Hank Stone, Citizens for a United Earth.

Co-Sponsoring Organizations
1199 SEIU United Health Care Workers East
AARM (Activists Against Racism Movement
Abundance Cooperative Market
AE911 Truth Action Group
Airtight Services
Alberta Moss Scholarship Fund
Alliance for Democracy – Rochester
Alternatives for Battered Women, Inc.
Amnesty International, Group 191
Animal Rights Advocates of Upstate New York
ArtPeace, Inc.
Baha’i  Center
Band of Rebels
Bread for All – St. Joseph’s Community-Supported Bakery
Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF)
Buddhist Peace Fellowship
Catholic Muslim Alliance
Center for Disability Rights
Center for Interfaith Study and Dialogue (CISD)
Center for Sustainable Living
Center for Youth
Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene
Church Women United in Rochester
Circle, Inc.
CITA/Independent Farmworker Center
Citizens for a United Earth
Ciudad Hermana Task Force of Metro Justice
Coalition for the Beloved Community
Coffee Connection
Compeer, Inc.             
CONEA (Coalition of NorthEast Associations)
Downtown Presbyterian Church
Education for Peace, Inc.
Empire State Consumer Association
Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, Public Policy Committee
Faith in Action Network
Farmworker Legal Services of NY, Inc.
Feminists Choosing Life of New York
First Unitarian Church Social Justice Council
Flying Squirrel Community Space
Foodlink 328-3380
Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, University of Rochester
Genesee Unitarian-Universalists Standing Together (GUUSTO)
Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace
Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA)
Greater Rochester Libertarian
Green Party of Monroe County
Harvesting Hope for Farmworkers 
Henrietta United Church of Christ
House of Mercy
Interfaith Health Care Coalition
Interfaith Impact of NY State
Judicial Process Commission
Lake Avenue Baptist   Church
Latin America Solidarity Committee, Buffalo
Life Listening Resources
Living in Harmony in God's World
Metro Justice of Rochester
Migrant Support Services of Wayne County
Move to Amend - Rochester
Moving Beyond Racism
Ms Judith Boyd
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund
National Coalition Building Institute, Upstate NY (Rochester) Chapter
National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Rochester Section
National Organization for Women Greater Rochester Chapter (NOW)
NENA (Northeast Neighborhood Association)
New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)
Palestine Children’s Relief Fund – U of R Chapter
PathStone (Rural Opportunities, Inc.)
Pax Christi Rochester
Peace Action and Education Task Force of Metro Justice
PeaceArt International
PeaceWorks Rochester
Peacework Organic Farm
Planned Parenthood of Rochester/Syracuse
Progressives in Action
Project House/Green Irene
Racial Justice Committee of Metro Justice
Reconciliation Network – Don’t Kill In My Name
Regional Center for Independent Living
Rev. G. Alexander Holy City International  (COGIC)
Rochester Against War
Rochester Area Vegetarian Society (RAVS)
Rochester Committee on Latin America
Rochester Friends Meeting
Rochester Genesee Valley Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women
Rochester Independent Media Center (IndyMedia)
Rochester Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Rochester Poets Against the War
Rochester Roots
Rochester Social Welfare Action Alliance (SWAA)
Rural and Migrant Ministry
St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality
Save America's Mountains/Rochester 
School of the Americas Watch, Rochester
Sierra Club – Rochester Regional Group
Sisters of Mercy, New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community
Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester
Spanish Action Coalition
Spiritus Christi Church
Syracuse Peace Council 
Take Back the Land
Temple Sinai Social Action Committee
TIAR (The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester)
Toward a Global Perspective
Wayne Action for Racial Equality (WARE)
Western NY Peace Center, Buffalo
Women of Reform Judaism, B’rith Kodesh Sisterhood
Youth As Resources (YAR)