- UPDATE: The protest at the Charles L. Brieant, Jr. United States Courthouse, at 300 Quarropas St, on Friday has been canceled.
Westchester residents put their foot down Tuesday and took to the city streets to promote economic justice and protest corporate personhood.
“We are sick of politicians in Washington putting the big banks and corporations before working families,” said Marjorie Morales, a local MoveOn.org member. “We need an economy that works for all Americans, not just the richest 1 percent.”
Moveon.Org, a non-profit political activism organization, and its Hudson Valley Coalition partners organized the event in support of Occupy Wall Street and their spin-off movements Occupy Congress and Occupy the Courts, which seek to “Take Back America – One Court Case at a Time.”
Occupy Wall Street , a movement that started in New York City and spread accross the world—who denounce destructive corporate greed, representing the 99 percent of American's instead of the country’s wealthiest 1 percent.
The White Plains event was a part of a week-long of Occupy events around the country.
On Tuesday, Occupy Congress invaded Washington D.C. giving “pink slips” to congressional representatives and marching on all three braches government. Occupy Congress says elected officials aren’t holding corporations accountable, and sold the futures and rights of Americans to the 1 percent.
“There is consensus that we are on the wrong track and that our ‘leaders’ do not have our interests at heart,” says the press release.
“In the face of this endemic corruption, the Occupy movement is about organizing locally to discuss and change these problems from the ground up. We came to show the 1 percent’s Congress what democracy looks like.”
The Westchester group rallied in front of the Renaissance Plaza fountain getting honks and thumbs up from supporters driving by. They also held a candlelight vigil down Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains to U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey’s office—encouraging smiling passersby, some who were taking pictures, to join the cause.
Lowey was in Washington D.C. Tuesday, as Congress was back in session.
“For our nation to reach its potential, the economy needs to work for all Americans,” said Lowey, in an email to White Plains Patch. “Rather than playing partisan games, Congress must get to work on policies that will create good-paying jobs and provide targeted tax relief for hard-working middle-class families in our region and nationwide."
The group who rallied in White Plains Tuesday agreed, and their demands were clear:
- Make Wall Street and millionaires pay their fair share to create jobs, rather than make cuts that hit the middle class and poor.
- Campaign financing reform
- End tenure for Congress, ending lifetime salaries and healthcare
The Westchester group also wants to see the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision amended.
Citizens United overruled two aspects of the First Amendment so that the government cannot ban corporate funding of politicians in candidate elections and can’t regulate political speech—giving corporations the consituational rights given to people.
“The Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government,” says the Occupy the Courts website. “Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.”
Citizens United also gave rise to political action committees (PAC) also known as super PACs, the outside group, which can collect unlimited funds from corporations, unions and individuals to campaign for or against political candidates.
“It is major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans,” said President Barack Obama in a press release.
The Westchester groups is also against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would restrict access to sites that host pirated content to prevent copyright infringement and could pass this week. While the aims to crack down on sits that are overseas, it would require U.S. search engines, advertisting networks an dothe rprovidres from withholding those services, according to CNN Money.com.
Google's Public Policy Director said YouTube would go black and wouldn't be able to function. Websites, including Google, Wikipedia, Redditt will go black on Jan. 18 in protest of SOPA.
"YouTube would just go dark immediately," Google public policy director Bob Boorstin said at a conference last month. "It couldn't function."
The Westchester Groups encourges resdients to contact their elected officials regarding these (contact your officials here), and to join their group. Those who are intersted can email Marjorie Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org.