REAL Democracy History Calendar – August 29 – September 4

August 29

1786 – Shays’ Rebellion breaks out in western Massachusetts; debtor farmers try to prevent foreclosure of their mortgages           
Shays‍ ’ Rebellion was an armed uprising in Massachusetts during 1786 and 1787 led by Revolutionary War veteran Daniel Shays. Four thousand rebels (called Shaysites) rose up against perceived economic injustices (home foreclosures, bankruptcies, land seizures) by Massachusetts, but also against faraway elite rule, government corruption and regressive tax policies.

1936 – Birth of U.S. Senator and former Republican candidate for President John McCain
He called the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision, “the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the United States Supreme Court I think in the 21st century.”

August 30           

1944 – Birth of Molly Ivins      
“It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our constitution to everyone in America.”

August 31  

2015 – “Awkward! The idea of ‘corporate personhood’ relies on the same Amendment that gives birthright citizenship” article by Mark Ames
“[M]ost of the GOP candidates want to change the 14th Amendment to deny birthright citizenship to children born here to foreign parents…

“But beyond the twisted racist dementia fueling this, there’s another problem for these GOP candidates: Section One of the 14th Amendment, granting birthright citizenship to anyone born in the US, is also the same section of the same amendment interpreted by our courts to grant corporations “personhood”…

“So to repeat: GOP candidates from Trump and Bush down the line to Silicon Valley’s boy-disrupter Rand Paul want to revoke citizenship to living humans born in the US to foreign parents; but they support granting citizenship rights and guarantees to artificial persons –corporations – which are really legal fictions granted by the states, allowing a pool of investors legal liability and tax advantages in order to profit more than they otherwise would as mere living humans”…

“And here we are today—where we have an Amendment meant to protect vulnerable and abused minorities now under attack from Lincoln’s party, who at the same time want to use the same section in the same amendment to protect fictitious artificial persons and allow them greater rights and powers than even those of us born here to American parents.”

September 1

1868 – Birth of Frank McKinney Hubbard, American cartoonist, humorist, and journalist better known by his pen name “Kin” Hubbard
“If the government was as afraid of disturbing the consumer as it is of disturbing business, this would be some democracy.”

2005 – Publication of “Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water” by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke
The book describes “how, contrary to received wisdom, water mainly flows uphill to the wealthy. Our most basic resource may one day be limited: our consumption doubles every twenty years—twice the rate of population increase. At the same time, increasingly transnational corporations are plotting to control the world’s dwindling water supply. In England and France, where water has already been privatized, rates have soared, and water shortages have been severe. The major bottled-water producers—Perrier, Evian, Naya, and now Coca-Cola and PepsiCo—are part of one of the fastest-growing and least-regulated industries, buying up freshwaterrights and drying up crucial supplies.”

September 2

1885 – Rock Springs massacre
One hundred and fifty white miners in Wyoming, struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, attack their Chinese fellow workers. Twenty-eight were killed, 15 wounded, and hundreds more were forced out of town.

Racism becomes an enemy once again to solidarity and justice.

1975 – Death of Mabel Vernon, U.S. suffragist, pacifist, and a national leader in the United States suffrage movement
Vernon was a Quaker and a member of the American Woman Suffrage Association. Inspired by the tactics of the Women’s Social and Political Union in Britain, she helped organize many public actions for women’s suffrage, including the “Silent Sentinels” — protests that involved daily picketing of Woodrow Wilson’s White House urging his support for the 19th Amendment.

September 3

2005 – Death of Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist
In a dissenting opinion in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, 435 U.S. 765, 822 (1978), he stated:
“A State grants to a business corporation the blessings of potentially perpetual life and limited liability to enhance its efficiency as an economic entity. It might reasonably be concluded that those properties, so beneficial in the economic sphere, pose special dangers in the political sphere.

“Furthermore, it might be argued that liberties of political expression are not at all necessary to effectuate the purposes for which States permit commercial corporations to exist….

“I would think that any particular form of organization upon which the State confers special privileges or immunities different from those of natural persons would be subject to like regulation, whether the organization is a labor union, a partnership, a trade association, or a corporation.”

Note: Rehnquist was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Richard Nixon and to be its Chief Justice by President Ronald Reagan

September 4

1957 – Arkansas governor calls out National Guard to prevent school integration
In the name of “Preserving the Peace,” Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, called in the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Little Rock’s Central High School. The action was a challenge to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling that racial segregation of schools was unconstitutional.  Reacting to the use of Guard to back the court-ordered integration, President Eisenhower federalizes the entire Arkansas National Guard and using it to protect the nine black students who entered the school.

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