Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MoveOn Rallies To Fight Corporate Corruption Of Our Politics.

Aug 10, 2010

A new campaign has been launched by the popular and powerful, progressive group, Simultaneous rallies across the country had its counterpart right here in Brooklyn where a group of some 50 residents crowded into the small triangle that sits in the middle of Flatbush Avenue at the intersection of Atlantic and Fourth Avenues, across from the Atlantic Terminal shopping mall. wants to Fight Washington Corruption
The campaign aims to return our government to "the other 98% of us" - that is the majority of the American people who have been left out in the cold while corporate cash saturates the Congress and lobbyists representing the banks, the oil companies and the war profiteers call the shots on what legislation gets passed.

Shawn Walsh of Brooklyn MoveOn
Shawn Walsh, MoveOn's Brooklyn coordinator, welcomed the ralliers and laid out the three main points of her organization's new campaign:
  •  To reverse or override the recent Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court which reversed long-standing rules barring Corporations from influencing elections. Citizens United allows unrestricted corporate cash to be spent on behalf of candidates who would support the corporation's agenda.
  • To shine a light on lobbying activities in Congress so the public can know what they're up to and can know which Congress members have met with lobbyists of various corporations. They also demand legislation shutting the revolving door between Congress and corporate offices by mandating a 5-year waiting period between those employment positions.
  • To make elections fairer by leveling the playing field -- grass roots candidates need public financing so that they compete equally with corporate-backed office-seekers with lots of money for media and publicity.
    NYC Public Advocate blasted Target for tainting the Minnesota election
    Speakers included NYC Public Advocate, Bill DeBlasio, who pounded Target for taking advantage of the Supreme Court decision allowing unrestricted corporate money to be used to influence elections. Target stores is, shamefully, the first corporation to put the decision to work by donating $150,000 to the extremist Republican candidate for governor of Minnesota. That candidate, a supporter of the Arizona law that allows police there to terrorize citizens and non-citizens on the suspicion that they might be undocumented aliens, is also viciously anti-gay and anti-labor. DeBlasio demanded a pledge from Target to withdraw from financing such campaigns and to reject future participation on the basis of Citizens United. If not, then consumers and stockholders, he said, must be informed of their perfidious activities so that pressure can be brought to bear on their bottom line.

    Council Member Tish James - a champion against local corruption.

    City Council member, Letitia "Tish" James, a champion in the local fight against corporate corruption of politics, spoke next. It was ironic that the rally was held directly across from the Ratner-owned shopping mall and the construction site where Ratner is to build his new stadium complex despite massive opposition from the communites affected.

    James had led the opposition to that corrupt  land grab, standing with the community. In an impassioned speech she urged the crowd to hearken back to the glorious struggles of the American civil rights movement and the fight for woman's voting rights as models for the battle to reclaim democracy that is now confronts our country .
    Me: "What's more corrupt than a trillion dollar war while people are losing jobs and homes?"
    I spoke next, representing Brooklyn For Peace, claiming war as the biggest corrupting force of all. I spoke of the no-bid war contracts given to Vice President Cheney's Halliburton Corporation which he previously headed before his election as an example of the sickening corruption infecting Washington.

    The spending of a trillion dollars on the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan while Americans lose jobs and homes and cities decay with terrible cutbacks to services shows the insidious virus that has infected our government -- a government beholden to the demands of the corporate elite in their drive for ever-larger profits at the expense of the rest of us.

    I applauded MoveOn's initiative because I believe it's clear that we can't end these wars and war spending nor can we make progressive change as long as this corruption is allowed to fester in the halls of Congress.

    I quoted Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who was frustrated, back in April, by bank lobbyists who persuaded the Senate to cripple a bankruptcy reform bill that would have come to the aid of Americans struggling to hold on to their homes. In his anger at their subterfuge, Durbin said:
    "and the banks -- hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of banks created -- are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place." (i.e. the banks own the Senate)"
    What a striking admission - the banks own the Senate! But it's so true and therein lies the battle ahead - to loosen the grip of corporations on what is supposed to be the "People's Congress." If Citizens United is allowed to stand and the cesspool of corporate cash continues to inundate Congress then our democracy is doomed and we will live in a land where Corporations will do whatever they please - they'll continue to beat down labor, exploit immigrants, wage endless (and profitable) wars and drill for oil in the Gulf and gas in our soil, polluting our precious water and poisoning our planet. That's not a future I want for my children and their children.

    Susan Metz - "separate your lives from corporate influence."
    The final speaker, Susan Metz, a life-long teacher, called on people to live outside of corporate control by supporting food co-ops, using alternative media and pursuing independent political action that could be used as a lever against the corporate-dominated parties.

    We're at a crossroads now - the fight ahead is crystal clear -we must take back our government so that it is truly works for the other 98% of us!

    To see ALL my photos of today's rally, just CLICK HERE.

    1 comment:

    Wahyu Wijanarko said...

    How come rallies can fight Washington corruption?