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Anniversary of Citizens United decision observed with protest rally

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To mark the third anniversary of the Citizens United decision, nonprofits and community groups held a rally at the federal courthouse in downtown Indianapolis Friday.

About 50 people, holding signs and American flags, listened to speeches decrying the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which removed limitations on corporation spending to support or defeat a candidate or issue.

A handful of speakers from labor, health care and environmental advocacy organizations denounced corporate influence on elected officials and public policy. They charged big business was spending money to manipulate public opinion and to support candidates sympathetic to the business agenda.

“Let’s get big money out of politics and take back the Statehouse,” Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition, said to the crowd.  

The rally, which lasted was about an hour, took place at the southeast corner of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse. It was part of the national Occupy the Courts movement which will hold about 250 similar rallies across the country to protest the Citizens United decision.

Members of the Move To Amend – South Central Indiana group traveled from Bloomington to attend the event. James Allison of South Central said the purpose of the demonstration was to make the public aware of the issues surrounding the Supreme Court decision and to promote an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The national Move To Amend organization is pushing for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United by stating corporations are not people and money is not speech.

During the speeches, the crowd attending the rally was mostly silent and few people walking by the courthouse stopped to listen. One passerby inquired what was happening. When one of the demonstrators told him the gathering was to protest Citizens United and unlimited corporate spending, the passerby muttered, “oooooooh,” and walked away.

Julia Vaugh, policy director of Common Cause Indiana, asked the crowd to lobby the Indianapolis City-County Council to adopt a resolution supporting Move To Amend’s constitutional amendment.

More and more people are paying attention, she said, because Citizens United impacts the issues people care about.
 

 

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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