Part of nationwide week of protest on 2nd Anniversary of Citizens United ruling
Washington, DC – On the second anniversary of the much-despised Citizens United ruling, protesters gathered at the high court and unfurled a large banner reading “U.S. Supreme Koch” to protest the undue influence that far-right special interests and billionaires like the Koch brothers wield over the Court and U.S. politics.
Two years ago, the Citizens United ruling opened the floodgates to secretive and unlimited corporate political contributions and gave a major boost to the rapidly expanding political empire of David and Charles Koch and those of other millionaires and billionaires.
“The Kochs and their kind are engaged in a hostile corporate takeover of our nation’s political system,” said John Sellers, co-founder of The Other 98%. "We've come to the scene of the crime today – the U.S. Supreme Court – to tell the justices exactly what we think of the infamous Citizens United ruling that made that takeover possible.”
“The Supreme Court has undermined government of, by and for the actual people by defining corporations as people and money as speech,” said Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, the largest grassroots health care advocacy organization. “The Citizens United ruling has been a disaster for the middle class, which is under constant assault in Congress and in the Supreme Court by Republicans accountable only to big corporations and the wealthy. It’s crucial that the justices be independent of corporate influences when they rule on matters like the health care case, which will forever affect health insurance consumers and 100 million people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid.”
Insurance companies and other big business interests, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have fought comprehensive health care reform for years, spending millions on lobbying, political contributions and misinformation campaigns that hurt consumers. Citizens United created a toxic political environment in which corporations can spend unlimited sums of money to oppose candidates and legislation that would benefit seniors, families and businesses.
Pictures and video clips will be posted later today at http://www.healthcareforamericanow.org and http://other98.com/citizens-united-supreme-court-action/.
The protesters represented a host of citizens groups, including The Other 98%, Health Care for America Now, Backbone Campaign, Greenpeace, Velvet Revolution and AFSCME.
Health Care for America Now is the nation’s leading grassroots health care advocacy organization. HCAN led the fight over the past two years to win passage of health reform and to keep Congress from being steamrolled by corporate special interests.
The Other 98% is a grassroots network of concerned folks and online activists fed up with the status quo in Washington. We've been fighting, since Tax Day 2010, against the bankers, CEOs and lobbyists who have hijacked our democracy to serve themselves at the expense of everyone else. We are everywhere. And we are hopeful.