1961 – Death of Charles E. Wilson, CEO of General Motors corporation and U.S. Secretary of Defense
“What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what’s good for General Motors is good for the country.”
2014 – “What the BLEEP Happened to Hip Hop” two-day event in Portland
Hip Hop Congress and Move to Amend partner presented “What the Bleep Happened to Hip Hop?”, a multi-racial and intergenerational public education event part of a larger national campaign seeking to raise awareness of the dangerous power corporations currently wield over the arts, culture and society in general, and the hip hop industry specifically.
1672 – Royal Africa Company chartered
The corporation was granted a charter, or license to exist, by the King of England. The charter established a legal monopoly on English trade in West Africa. The main communities that it mined and sold: gold and slaves.
1960 – Death of Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst, English campaigner for thesuffragette movement in the United Kingdom
“My belief in the growth and permanence of democracy is undimmed. I know that the people will cast off the new dictatorship as they did the old. I believe as firmly as in my youth that humanity will surmount the era of poverty and war.”
1903 – Death of Henry Demarest Lloyd, American progressive political activist and muckraker
“We are calling upon the owners of industrial power and property, as mankind called upon kings in their day, to be good and kind, wise and sweet, and we are calling upon them in vain…We have put power in their hands and ask them not to use it as power.” (1894)
1918 – Death of David K. Watson, Ohio Republican Attorney General
Watson sought to revoke the charter of the Standard Oil Company in 1892 for forming a trust. In his legal brief to the Ohio Supreme Court, he stated, “Where a corporation, either directly or indirectly, submits to the domination of an agency unknown to the statute, or identifies itself with and unites in carrying out an agreement whose performance is injurious to the public, it thereby offends against the law of its creation and forfeits all right to its franchises, and judgment of ouster should be entered against it . . .” State v. Standard Oil Co., 30 N.E. 279 (Ohio 1892)
2008 – Bank Bailout Bill Fails in Congress
The financial industry imploded in 2007 and 2008. The causes were primarily banking corporations engaging in incredibly risky loans (i.e. subprime mortgages) and too much leverage (loaning out many more times than actual assets – in some cases 30 times – called “fractional reserve” lending). The response was a call to bail out the largest financial corporations that had the greatest amount of toxic assets (called “zombie” banks). Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson, former head of Goldman Sachs financial corporation, on behalf of the Bush administration introduced a 3 page vague proposal asking for $700 billion to bail out the big banks. The public was outraged at what they rightly thought was a blank check bailout. Calls to Congress numbered more than 10:1 against the bill. Congress voted the act down.
2004 — Publication this month of “Standing Up To Power: Community Challenges Corporate Claims to Constitutional “Rights” by Virginia Rasmussen & Richard Grossman
“Since the American Revolution, people across this country have engaged in passionate debate and sustained struggle to define the proper nature of corporations. Over the past half-century, those debates and struggles have often taken the form of community resistance to corporate and government imposition of projects on unwilling communities.
“The claims asserted by FROST members can be heard today in many communities where people are resisting state-sanctioned corporate might. That is because the issues presented here are intimately tied to a central source of injustice – that a republican form of government constitutionally guaranteed to the people cannot exist when the State does nothing to prevent corporate directors and their agents from doing what the Constitution forbids the State to do.” — Friends and Residents of St. Thomas Township (FROST