Resolution to End Corporate Personhood
Consented to by the NYCGA on 1/3/2012
Consented to by the Politics & Electoral Reform Working Group on 12/29/2011
Proposed by: the Subgroup to End Corporate Personhood of the Politics & Electoral
Reform Working Group
Type: Public Statement
A RESOLUTION TO END CORPORATE PERSONHOOD
The New York City General Assembly,
Convinced that one critical threat to authentic democratic self-governance comes
from the fact that corporations have been defined as legal persons,
Declaring that persons are rightfully recognized as human beings whose
essential needs include clean air, clean water, and safe and secure food,
Deeply disturbed that the granting of Constitutional protections to corporations
has compromised, or resulted in the destruction of our communities, economy,
democracy and natural world in many ways,
Recalling that corporations are human-made legal fictions, and that human
citizens are the source of all legitimate power in any democracy,
Deeply concerned that corporations need only profit for survival, and that such
profit and survival are often in direct conflict with the essential needs and rights of
Having observed that the great wealth of large corporations lets them misuse the
legal system to overpower human beings and communities, thus denying The
Recalling that corporations are not mentioned in the Constitution, that The
People never granted constitutional rights to corporations, but that individual
judges and courts have misguidedly done so without Our consent,
Particularly disturbed that the rollback of the legal limits to corporate spending
in elections creates an unequal playing field enabling corporations to influence
elections, candidate selection, and policy decisions,
Having seen that large corporations own most of America’s mass media and use
that media as a megaphone for their own agenda, drowning out other voices,
With conviction that defining property as people is fundamentally immoral and a
threat to real people, all other life forms, and the planet,
Be it resolved that the New York City General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street
joins the millions of citizens, grassroots organizations and local governments
across the country in calling for an Amendment to the Constitution to firmly
establish that money is not speech, that human beings, not corporations, are
persons entitled to constitutional rights, and that the rights of human beings will
never again be granted to fictitious entities or property.
We support a proposed New York City Council Resolution calling for such an
amendment and urge the members to vote YES.
We further call on other communities, movements, and jurisdictions to join with
us in this action by passing similar Resolutions.
By making this resolution one of our public statements.
Corporate personhood is incompatible with democracy and individual
sovereignty. We have the opportunity to declare our will to restore constitutional
protections to human beings.
Occupy Los Angeles came to consensus on a similar resolution on November
27, 2011 (2 days before they were evicted) and another on December 5, 2011
in support of a Los Angeles City Council resolution to end corporate personhood
which passed unanimously on Dec 6, 2011.
On January 4, 2012, the New York City Council is set to vote on a similar
resolution calling on Congress to begin the process of amending the Constitution
in order to reverse the 2010 Supreme Court ruling of “Citizens United vs. Federal
Making this public statement days before the City Council votes, and before
large-scale national actions marking the 2-year anniversary of “Citizens United”
on January 20 and 21, positions OWS as a key voice in the dialogue and creates
a powerful and resonant context that can rally more people to the movement.
We propose this resolution as one of many strategies for self-empowerment, not
as part of a political party or as an endorsement of the current political system,
but as one of many parallel efforts at curbing corporate dominion.