Oak Flat (Chi’chil Biłdagoteel) is an irreplaceable haven of high-desert biodiversity an hour east of Phoenix, Arizona. Oak Flat is a center of identity, culture, and religion for many Native Tribes, including the San Carlos Apache, Tonto Apache, White Mountain Apache, Yavapai Apache, Yavapai Prescott Indian Tribe, the Gila River Indian Community, the Saltwater Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Pueblo of Zuni, Hopi Tribe, and more.*
As one of the largest untapped copper deposits in North America, Oak Flat lies prey to transnational mining corporations Rio Tinto and BHP-Billiton, who, by playing by the rules–i.e. the laws that they help set as wealthy corporate persons exercising their constitutional rights–are legally taking this sacred site and Federally protected land.
You know how it is. Once you’ve seen how billionaires and giant corporations orchestrate violence, it’s hard to unsee it.
As profit-driven wars rage on, as climate catastrophe destructs ecosystems, as money-hungry politicians prioritize cash over our survival -- we know how it happens. We know that the ultra-rich and their corporations are using legal tools like corporate constitutional rights to make it extremely easy for them to cause massive harm.
You’re invited to a bold conversation -- *RSVP* "Abolishing Corporate Planetary Destruction"Read more
It was a David and Goliath moment in the labor movement. Last week, 2,654 workers in a Staten Island Amazon warehouse voted to form an independent union -- a 100% local and grassroots effort led and powered by the workers themselves, resulting in the first unionized warehouse in the largest online retailer in the world.
And what we've been seeing with the Starbucks union wave, which shows no sign of stopping, we don't expect it to be the last.
Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesRead more
Senator Bernie Sanders held a Senate Budget Committee hearing on Tuesday on “Corporate Profits are Soaring as Prices Rise: Are Corporate Greed and Profiteering Fueling Inflation?”
Hello! Corporate America here.
In many ways, we’re just like you. We have constitutional rights — just like you. The Bill of Rights and 14th Amendment — originally intended to apply just to human beings — have been extended to us by the U.S. Supreme Court for more than a century…and counting. Isn't this great!
Is your House Representative a co-sponsor of H.R.1976, Medicare for All, but is NOT yet a co-sponsor of H.J.R.48, the We the People Amendment?
Will you please urge them to cosponsor H.J.R.48 today?Read more
Russell Brand's commentary on "War Is (Still) A Racket: Corporate Power and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
"Is the situation in Ukraine really a resource war dominated by corporate power?"
Greg Coleridge says yes. "This is more than a political war. It's a resource war."
Check out Russell Brand's commentary on Greg's opinion piece published on CommonDreams titled: War Is (Still) A Racket: Corporate Power and the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.
With political polarization likely to become more intense the closer we approach the November midterm elections, one problem that increasingly angers individuals across the ideological spectrum is the excessive power of Big Tech.
Transpartisan concerns are legitimate that Big Tech corporations have incredible influence over our lives, are too economically and politically powerful, and are publicly unaccountable.
Similar outrage on the political right about corporate power in general is more recent. Mitch McConnell may have begun the criticism last year when he instructed “corporate America” to “stay out of politics” (though pivoting after realizing corporations bankroll GOP political campaigns). The annual convention of the conservative Federalist Society featured one speaker who stated, “The Chamber of Commerce is not our friend” while another lamented that “[m]assive corporations are pursuing a common and mutually agreed upon agenda to destroy American freedom.” “Big Business is not our ally,” said Marco Rubio, while Ted Cruz proclaimed “Big Tech is malevolent. Big Tech is corrupt. Big Tech is omnipresent.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has provided a new round of unilateral censorship by Big Tech against those critical of U.S. militarism, corporatism, and kleptocracy. YouTube has flagged Oliver Stone’s documentary Ukraine on Fire. The banning or limiting the visibility of Russia Today (RT) by Microsoft, Apple, Meta-Facebook, Google, YouTube and TikTok has meant the silencing of voices like journalist and author Chris Hedges and commentator and comedian Lee Camp – both of whom opposed the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Netflix has gone so far as to shelve a production of Anna Karenina. The U.S. government hasn’t had to formally do any of this censoring as corporations have effectively assumed that role.
Opposition to corporate power differs given the issue (i.e. political elections, lobbying, commenting on social issues). On Big Tech, however, there’s much agreement about their power to dictate in secret what ideas are promoted, which ones are suppressed and who is allowed to participate on their platforms.
The core issue is free speech. How much power should Big Tech have to assert their own “corporate” free speech to protect their own interests? And how much power should they have to deny free speech to others?
Big Tech corporations shouldn’t have constitutional rights to influence public policies favorable to them through political campaign contributions and lobbying, nor be the referee of free speech rights of billions of people. Meta-Facebook and Twitter decide the rules of those who access their electronic corporate “property.” The same is true of Google with its own authority to censor information and groups.
These corporations are driven primarily not by providing an arena for “free speech,” but their bottom lines. Sensationalism sells. Polarization is profitable.
Their business model is to keep users on their sites as long as possible to sell specific advertisements based on data mined from their online interests. The more lurid and outrageous the content, the longer viewers stick around and the more cash rolls in. This explains Meta-Facebook’s ads for body armor and other military equipment next to content promoting false election information and the attempted coup. Meta-Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen confirmed that the corporation has “a system that amplifies division, extremism, and polarization… Their profit maximizing machine is generating self-harm and self-hate — especially for vulnerable groups like teenage girls.”
Both sides have only themselves to blame for the creation of these technological Frankensteins. Meta-Facebook would never have become so profitable (with a market value above $1 trillion) nor able to monopolize social networking (with its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp) if not for incredibly weak antitrust laws and regulations on privacy, market power and advertising fraud that the political right constantly fights to maintain The political left, meanwhile, has largely taken a hands-off approach in Congress to the divisive and constitutionally-challenging issue of limiting free speech via legislation by permitting Big Tech companies to establish their own internal free speech rules.
So how can we make Big Tech accountable to We the People?
One proposal that’s not a real solution is regulation. Regulating monopolies throughout history had led to entrenched monopolies and captured regulatory agencies and regulators – leading to greater economic concentration and political power by the industry.
A better option is to break up the monopolies. Several bills in Congress have called for breaking up Meta-Facebook and Google. The result would be greater economic competition and somewhat weakened political power. This needs to be coupled with rethinking, if not reimagining, technological communication as a public utility, with some services/platforms public or democratically controlled.
Another option is to alter or abolish Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The law has become an incentive for corrupt business activities as the tech corporations are protected from any liability.
More fundamental is to shift back from the private/corporate arena to the public the issue of free speech – despite its complexity. An absolutist reverence to “free speech” in all its forms is neither noble, nor based in reality. While free speech is a critical requirement in any authentic democratic society, it must be balanced against the rights to safety, dignity, respect and integrity. “Freedom to speak” anywhere at any time on any platform threatening violence toward others with differences should not be protected. Political free speech is already limited in our society – whether time limits to testify in public forums or times of the day/night to read aloud the Constitution in your front yard.
Finally, constitutional rights of Big Tech corporations – in fact, all corporate entities – should be abolished by passing HJR48, the We the People Amendment. First Amendment “free speech” was intended solely for human beings. The hijacking of the First and other Amendments by corporate entities have corrupted the political process and insulated corporate entities in a variety of ways from public accountability and the ability to achieve political self-determination.
Many, if not all, of these solutions have support from vast numbers of people on the ground across the country and across the political spectrum. Now is both a teachable moment and organizing opportunity to search for transpartisan common ground to organize for ways to make Big Tech accountable to all people.
Greg, Jennie, Shelly, George, Leila, Daniel, Saleem, Jessica, Kaitlin, Joni, Milly, Jason, Alfonso & Tara
Move to Amend sponsored panel at the 40th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference (PIELC) on March 4, 2022
As an advocate trying to protect the environment, your opponents are almost certainly the wealthy, a large corporation, an entity funded by them, or a government agency overly influenced or beholden to them. The political, legal, and economic playing fields are slanted in favor of large monied interests more today than at any time since the Gilded Age. Only a constitutional amendment abolishing corporate constitutional rights and returning power to regulate campaign financing to the People’s elected representatives can restore balance to our political system and legal institutions.
John Fioretta (Move to Amend)
Karen Coulter (Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project)
Kai Huschke (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund)
Ben Manski (George Mason University)
Greg Coleridge (Move to Amend)
Greg Coleridge, the co-director at Move to Amend, talks about the importance of removing corporate influence, money and corruption from our government. Move to Amend calls for the “We the People” Amendment (HJR-48) to the US Constitution that unequivocally states that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns. In a nutshell, Move to Amend proposes an amendment that says corporations are not people.