"Occupy Portland calls for a day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations. We are rejecting a society that does not allow us control of our future. We will reclaim our ability to shape our world in a democratic, cooperative, just and sustainable direction.
We call on the Occupy Movement and everyone seeking freedom and justice to join us in this day of action.
There has been a theft by the 1% of our democratic ability to shape and form the society in which we live and our society is steered toward the destructive pursuit of consumption, profit and greed at the expense of all else.
We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people. They used it to create the anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona among so many others. They use ALEC to spread these corporate laws around the country.
In doing this we begin to recreate our democracy. In doing this we begin to create a society that is organized to meet human needs and sustain life.
On February 29th, we will reclaim our future from the 1%. We will shut down the corporations and recreate our democracy.
Join us! Leap into action! Reclaim our future! Shut down the corporations!
*This action received unanimous consensus from the Portland General Assembly on Sunday January 1st, 2012."
from huffington post
Efforts to amend the Constitution to declare that corporations are not people and money is not speech gained support in two notable New York forums this week. The New York City General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street movement on Tuesday officially called for a constitutional amendment to overturn a controversial Supreme Court decision from 2010 . On Wednesday, a similar resolution passed the New York City Council.
Such an amendment would reverse not only the Supreme Court’s 2010 opinion in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which held that corporations have the constitutional right to spend unlimited sums of money to influence elections, but also its seminal 1976 decision in Buckley v. Valeo, which first established that money constituted speech for First Amendment purposes.
Beyond New York, the Los Angeles City Council almost a month ago and several other city governments across the nation have supported anti-Citizens United resolutions. MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan has launched a petition calling for an amendment that has pulled in nearly 300,000 signatures, and members of Congress have proposed various joint resolutions in the House and Senate to start the process from Washington.
The OWS NYC resolution states, "Be it resolved that the New York City General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street joins the millions of citizens, grassroots organizations and local governments across the country in calling for an Amendment to the Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights, and that the rights of human beings will never again be granted to fictitious entities or property."
On Dec. 30, the Montana Supreme Court added its authority to the Citizens United backlash by upholding the state’s century-old ban on corporate cash in campaigns. The majority decision, written by Chief Justice Mike McGrath, described Montana’s own history of corporate control over state government as sufficient justification for the ban’s constitutionality. This fact-bound determination defied the U.S. Supreme Court’s conclusion that independent electoral spending can never give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to reverse its Montana counterpart — and any other court that chooses to follow Montana’s lead. Unless and until the U.S. Supreme Court’s composition changes in favor of those challenging Citizens United, the amendment process now gaining momentum remains a better option than litigation for those who want corporate money out of politics.
"All week! All year! We’ll still be here!"
"Whose park? Our park!"
The chants went up 10, 20, maybe 100 deep shortly before midnight at Zuccotti Park as Occupy Wall Street activists surprised the New York Police Department and retook the space that was once the homebase for their movement. The barricades surrounding the park went down. They have since been removed. Protesters were allowed to come and go through the park.
Earlier, activists danced on the piles of barricades. Some climbed the lattice of metal and hoisted American flags. Others waved signs and banners. The Zuccotti Park Christmas tree was wrapped in an Occupy Wall Street banner. Of course, there were the drums.
By 11:30, the NYPD had started to amass again with reports of mounted police units and scooter units arriving on the scene. There were reports via Twitter of police using pepper spray at various spots. By shortly after midnight, the police seem to fall back again. The Occupy movement’s own fake police tape made an appearance. The OWS bat signal championing the 99 percent was projected on a nearby building.
Zuccotti Park hadn’t been occupied since police cleared it in mid-November in an early morning raid. That led to police raids on other encampments across the country from Boston to Los Angeles.
The New Year’s Eve takeover of Zuccotti Park could be temporary, as police still are maintaining a presence around the park. But shortly after midnight, the mood was still festive with activists hugging each other, sharing in the solidarity of surviving their first pepper spraying. And just feeling the shock of it all.
"This came out of nowhere," explained Tim, the narrator of the live stream. And a few minutes later: "I love being here. That’s all I have to say."
The events began to escalate when a mother and her two young girls crossed into the park and began camping inside it earlier in the evening. After the tent was removed, activists were allowed inside the park at 8 p.m., according to a New York Times account.
The Times reported: "By about 10:30 p.m., there were more than 300 people inside, and the sounds of drums, horns and whistles pierced the night. One man carried a big, white placard that read, "’New Years Revolution.’"
The numbers of activists and revelers have only increased.
"People are still bouncing on the barricades," Tim told his live-stream viewers. "It’s still going here."
At about 12:40, some activists left the park and began marching. Their destination was unclear.
UPDATE (Sunday, January 1 — 12:00 p.m. ET): As of 2:10 a.m., The New York Times reported that NYPD officers forced protesters out of the park, leading several out in handcuffs. The New York Daily News added that a new line of barricades was put in place, with several nearby streets closed off as a result of the incident. As for the activists marching away from Zuccotti Park, both papers noted that protesters headed uptown, with separate marches being documented on both the east and west sides of the city.