REAL Democracy History Calendar: October 1 – 7

October 1

1854 – California State Supreme Court decision stating that non-whites are barred from testifying in court
“No black, mulatto or indian shall be allowed to give evidence in favor of or against a white man.” People v
Hall, 4 Cal 399 (1854)

1997 – “Can Corporations Become Enlightened? A Buddhist Critique of Transnational Corporations” by David Loy
“[Despite the talk we occasionally hear about “enlightened” corporations, a corporation cannot actually become enlightened in the Buddhist sense of the word. Buddhist enlightenment includes realizing that my sense of being a self apart from the world is a delusion that causes suffering for the world and for me. To realize that I am the world—that I am one of the many ways the world manifests—is the cognitive side of the love that an enlightened person feels for the world and its creatures. The realization and the love are two sides of the same coin, which is why Buddhism emphasizes that genuine enlightenment is accompanied by a spontaneous welling-up of compassion for all other sentient beings. Legal fictions such as corporations cannot experience this any more than robots or computers can.”

This is from a chapter from the book “The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory,”
(2003 edition), first published on October 1, 1997.
http://enlight.lib.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-MISC/101784.htm

2014 – Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls for “corporate death penalty”
“I do…believe that corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies should be given the death penalty. This can be accomplished through an existing legal proceeding known as ‘charter revocation’” State Attorneys General can invoke this remedy whenever corporations put their profit-making before the “public welfare.” http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/01/jailing-climate-deniers-robert-kennedy-jr/

October 2

1869 – Birth of Mohandas Gandhi
“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. The they fight you. Then you win.”

2012 – Man ticketed for driving in carpool lane with corporation
“On Oct. 2nd, 2012, Jonathan “The Carpool Guy” Frieman was driving in Marin County’s carpool lane alongside legal documents that represented his nonprofit corporation, the JoMiJo Foundation, when he was pulled over by California Highway Patrol and issued a citation for violating California’s High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), aka carpool regulations. Jonathan was the only human passenger in the car; however, California’s High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), aka carpool regulations. These set the number at “2 or more persons per vehicle,” for driving in the carpool lane during permitted hours. Jonathan was the only human passenger in the car; however.

At the time of the citation on Oct 2nd, Mr. Frieman had informed the state trooper that he was not in violation of California State Vehicle Code because the nonprofit corporation next to him (represented by its articles of incorporation) qualifies as a “person” under state law. Nonetheless, the state trooper cited Mr. Frieman and instructed him to take it up with the court.”
http://www.thecarpoolguy.com/case

October 3

1944 – Birth of Jim Price, Tuscaloosa (AL) Move to Amend facilitator; Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy (POCLAD) Principal, former Sierra Club regional field representative
“When organizing (especially in regions like the American South) we are faced with a communications choice. Do we present Move to Amend as a lighthouse, beaming our true values and mission, providing an alternative vision to that of the dominant culture, or do we emphasize different themes and language in communicating with various groups along the political spectrum? We believe it is crucial to present to all we meet that Move to Amend is about more than winning the passage of the “We the People” constitutional amendment. Failure to make clear that we seek to build a truly democratic movement with leadership that includes those who have long suffered oppression in this country would be disingenuous. It would give a false impression about who we are and what we are about.

Key questions those wanting to form a local Move to Amend Affiliate group may want to ask themselves are presented in the article linked here: http://www.poclad.org/BWA/2014/BWA_2014_Dec.html

1990 – Reunification of Germany
Germany is one of many nations, including Italy, Japan, Belgium, Ireland and more, in which is as easy for workers to form a union as it is for investors to form a corporation. The United States is not among them.

2001 – Founding of Reclaim Democracy
Reclaim Democracy was one of the earliest national organizations to educate, advocate and organize on “corporate personhood.” They work to “create a representative democracy with an actively participating public, where citizens don’t merely choose from a menu of options determined by elites, but play an active role in guiding the country and its political agenda. We believe that one’s influence should be a direct result of the quality of one’s ideas and the energy one puts into promoting these ideas, independent of wealth or status. We inspire citizens to make conscious choices about what role corporations should play in our society and to limit them to that role.” Jeff Milchen was the major driving force in their beginning. In addition to resisting corporate rule and unlimited money in politics, they also work on building positive alternatives, which include promoting independent businesses, cooperatives and employee-owned firms. http://reclaimdemocracy.org/about/

October 4

1822 – Birth of President Rutherford B. Hayes
“The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.”
―Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes: Nineteenth President of the United States

October 5

1941 – Death of Justice Louis Brandeis
Corporations are “the Frankenstein monster which states have created by their corporation’s laws.”
In Louis K. Liggett Co. v. Lee, 288 U.S. 517 (1933)

1969 – Death of Harry Emerson Fosdick, U.S. pastor
“Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people.”

October 6

1917 – Birth of Fannie Lou Hamer, civil rights activist
“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

October 7

2011 – Psychologists for Social Responsibility Stands Against Harmful Legal Definitions of Corporate Personhood
From their statement, passed on this day:
From the statement: Corporations are not people. From a psychological perspective, corporate personhood is a misleading and highly dangerous legal fiction. It provides protection to corporate leaders for activities in which they would otherwise bear personal, lawful responsibility. This legal validation of corporate personhood therefore shields select, powerful corporate officials from the law and liability, encouraging recklessness in the form of unethical, dangerous and, in some instances, illegal behaviors. Operating within these overly expansive legal shields, the prioritization of maximizing profit over human welfare has contributed to a sense of widespread discontent directed toward corporations and the law, and equally toward our government, which is perceived to fall short of a democracy that is “of, by, and for the people.” … From this psychological perspective, PsySR joins the diverse voices calling for change. Corporations have long received sufficient and appropriate legal protections through their status as “artificial entities.” We therefore strongly encourage U.S. lawmakers, from Federal to local levels, to redress the growing damage caused by the destructive fiction of corporate personhood. Together we can work to advance both equality and economic rights, and to better fulfill our democracy’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, for actual human beings.
http://www.psysr.org/materials/PsySR-Statement-on-Corporate-Personhood.pdf

2015 – Article, “Black Cooperative Economics During Enslavement, An Interview with Jessica Gordon Nembhard” by Beverly Bell and Natalie Miller
“Black cooperative history closely parallels the larger African-American civil rights and Black Liberation movements. After more than 10 years of research, I’ve found that in pretty much all of the places where Blacks were trying to assert their civil rights, their independence, their human rights, they also were either practicing or talking about the need to utilize cooperative economics in one form or another.

“I’ve put together a continuous record of collective economics and economic cooperation [practiced by U.S. Black people] from the 1600s to the 21st century. They span informal pooling of money to more formalized mutual aid societies and other kinds of economic collective relationships, to what we would now call actual cooperative businesses.”
http://otherworldsarepossible.org/black-cooperative-economics-during-enslavement

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