From: Winona Human Rights Commission
The Winona Human Rights commission would like to announce our endorsement of the Move to Amend (MTA) Coalition and ask our fellow citizens to learn about MTA and add themselves or their organizations as endorsers as well. Please visit www.movetoamend.org to learn more and add your support. We also remain concerned about Winona’s ongoing relationship with Wells Fargo as a local example of financial interests overriding concern for human rights.
The MTA coalition encourages U.S. citizens to strengthen democracy by rejecting the concepts of corporate personhood and money as speech. These ideas have proven detrimental to the vitality of our democracy and we need to hold politicians responsible for removing them from our public life.
Move to Amend is a non-partisan, broad coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is generally accountable to the people, not to corporate interests. “We call for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to unequivocally state 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,” states movetoamend.org.
As a commission we have also asked the city to divest from Wells Fargo because of its role in financing the Dakota Access Pipeline. While the City Council voted not to follow our recommendation we feel that the request springs from the same value of placing human rights above monetary influence. We invite the people of Winona to educate themselves about Wells Fargo’s role in the pipeline and join us in asking the city to reconsider divestment.
The pipeline crosses through sacred burial grounds and will be housed under the Missouri River, where it is a huge risk to drinking water safety. It endangers the primary source of life-giving water for not only the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, but for thousands and thousands of Americans. This broader concern should be felt even more acutely in Winona because there is a friendship covenant signed by the city of Winona to the Dakota Nations stating: “The Dakota Nations, tribes, and communities of the Oceti Sakowin and the city of Winona, Minn., establish this Covenant of Friendship as a solemn commitment to the perpetual peace, friendship and compassion between the Dakota people and the people of the city of Winona; and to the mutual recognition of equal rights and respect for the Dakota language, culture, and natural law.”
Join us in stating that human, not corporations, are entitled to the personal rights guarantee in the constitution, and it’s in all of our interest not to allow money to speak louder than our desires to protect the communities and resources that we value.