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Knowing History is Key to Saying No to Corporate Rights

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- February 27, 1960 -- Beginning of the Nonviolent Sit-in Movement

Among those arrested at this action, which spread throughout the South to desegregate lunch counters, was Diane Nash, spokesperson for the action. Nash co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), one of the most important organizations during the 1960's Civil Rights Movement.

- March 13, 2010 - Murray Hill Inc. announces run for Congress

Washington Post article on Murray Hill Inc.'s announcement of its candidacy for Congress. "After the Supreme Court declared that corporations have the same rights as individuals when it comes to funding political campaigns, the self-described progressive firm took what it considers the next logical step: declaring for office. 'Until now, corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence peddling to achieve their goals in Washington,' the candidate, who was unavailable for an interview, said in a statement. 'But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves.'"

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- April 17,1905 - Lochner v. New York [198 U.S. 45] Supreme Court decision -- use of the 14th Amendment to invalidate government regulation of corporations

The decision shielded corporations from vast forms of government regulation. The Court invalidated approximately 200 economic regulations from 1905 until the mid-1930's passed by legislators -- usually under this interpretation of the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. The 14th amendment is one of many non- First amendment free constitutional rights won by corporations that would remain to be corrupted or perverted by corporations if all we did was reverse Citizens United of only end First amendment free speech corporate rights.

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- May 23, 1838 - U.S. troops begin forced removal of Cherokees from their land

Congress agreed to provide a 2-year "grace" period for Cherokees to "voluntarily" leave their lands in Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas for Oklahoma and further west. About 25% of those forced to relocate beginning on this date died from exposure, disease and starvation during the journey. What became known as the "Trail of Tears" was the forced removal of numerous Native American nations in the east, which included people from the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations.

- June 26, 2015 - Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision -- same sex marriage is legal

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a fundamental right to marry in all 50 states is guaranteed under the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution for same sex couples.

As with all decisions that for the first time guarantees rights to a new group of persons, the decision did not happen in a vacuum, but was the result of several decades of organizing for LGBT rights. A key moment that many believed sparked this social movement was the 1969 Stonewall protest in New York City.

- July 4, 1892 -- The Populist Party adopts the "Omaha Platform," its founding document

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"We demand a national currency, safe, sound, and flexible, issued by the general government only, a full legal tender for all debts, public and private"without the use of banking corporations"

"Transportation being a means of exchange and a public necessity, the government should own and operate the railroads in the interest of the people. The telegraph, telephone, like the post-office system, being a necessity for the transmission of news, should be owned and operated by the government in the interest of the people"

"The land, including all the natural sources of wealth, is the heritage of the people, and should not be monopolized for speculative purposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited. All land now held by railroads and other corporations in excess of their actual needs, and all lands now owned by aliens should be reclaimed by the government and held for actual settlers only"

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Greg Coleridge is Outreach Director of Move to Amend. He previously worked for more than three decades with the American Friends Service Committee in Ohio where he educated, advocated and organized on a range of justice, peace, environmental (more...)
 

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