Corporations and Democracy

There is looming up a new and dark power... the enterprises of the country are aggregating vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital, boldly marching, not for economical conquests only, but for political power.... The question will arise and arise in your day, though perhaps not fully in mine, which shall rule, wealth or man; which shall lead, money or intellect; who shall fill public stations, educated and patriotic freemen, or the feudal serfs of corporate capital?
~ Edward G. Ryan, Chief Justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court, 1873 The corporation is the dominant economic institution of our time. Please read our resources regarding corporate chartering, corporate constitutional rights, and democratizing the corporation.

Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance

October 12, 2011
Liberty Tree

On Wednesday, October 12, 2011, the Liberty Tree Foundation convened a special briefing, the Teleconference on the Global Wave of Resistance. This global conference featured over 100 participants, and updates from leading organizers of the global wave of student and labor strikes, occupations, and revolutions. Panelists include core organizers from the UK, Germany, Israel, and Chile, as well as Wisconsin, Boston, Oakland, Washington D.C., and Wall Street, among others. This was the second such teleconference on corporatization and austerity org

Additional Information: 

Panelists included Nicolas Valenzuela, Uri Gordon, Mo Gas, James Sevitt, Adam Porton, Sarah Manski, Nadeem Mazen, Elaine Brower, Matt Nelson, plus moderator Ben Manski.

How emergency management in Michigan subverts democracy

November 2, 2014
Jake Blumgart - Next City
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Originally published on July 3rd, 2013

If you haven’t been following the goings-on in Detroit, this should bring you up to speed: Its elected leadership has lost control of the city. In April a state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, signed an order effectively relegating city officials to the sidelines and placing himself in full control of Detroit’s policy apparatus. Nothing can be enacted without his approval.

Chevron engaged in massive election spending to subvert local democracy in Santa Barbara

October 28, 2014
Colin Loustalot - Santa Barbara Independent
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The majority of oil wells in the county today do not use the high-intensity techniques (fracking, acidizing, and steam injection) banned by Measure P.

So why are oil companies spending millions of dollars to defeat it?

Chevron engaged in massive election spending to subvert local democracy in Richmond, CA

October 21, 2014
Michael Winship - Moyers & Company
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When the Citizens United decision came down in 2010, many feared the Supreme Court had unleashed vast and unfettered campaign contributions from corporations bent on tightening their hammerlock on government and politics.

Detroit's water crisis is a democracy crisis

October 21, 2014
Sarah Lazare - Common Dreams
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Detroit's "unprecedented" shutoff of water utilities to city homes condemns residents to "lives without dignity," violates human rights on a large scale, and disproportionately impacts African-Americans, United Nations investigators declared Monday following a two-day inquiry.

Tribal activists plan community owned solar power plant

October 17, 2014
Mary Hansen - Yes! Magazine
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A proposed community-owned solar project on an abandoned coal mine in Arizona illustrates how cooperative economics make it possible to stop extracting fossil fuels—without leaving workers behind.

Week of action to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Nov. 8-14

October 3, 2014
Action Alert from PopularResistance.org
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This fall, communities across the U.S. will once again join international allies in a global week of action against unjust trade. With Obama pushing to announce a TPP “framework” in November and the threat of Fast Track tripling in the lame-duck session, we need to demonstrate that hundreds of thousands still oppose corporate agreements meant to put profit before people and the planet.

The Global Climate Strike: Why We Can't Wait

September 24, 2014
Ben Manski and Jill Stein

The following article written by Liberty Tree board members Ben Manski and Jill Stein describes an idea currently under consideration within the Global Climate Convergence process . . . (the GCC is a project of Liberty Tree).

Community Democracy, and the Future of Broadband

September 3, 2014
David Morris
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Map shows municipal and locally-controlled broadband networks nationwide. Communities invest in telecommunications networks for a variety of reasons - economic development, improving access to education and health care, price stabilization, etc. They range from massive networks offering a gig to hundreds of thousands in Tennessee to small towns connecting a few local businesses. (Image: Institute for Local Self-Reliance)

Public Banking & Economic Democracy

May 21, 2014
Gwendolyn Hallsmith
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Private banks have not always been accepted institutions, fixtures of commerce, and purveyors of most of our economic transactions. Throughout US history, there have been robust public conversations about banks, largely due to their propensity to derail the economy when their business models fail. One example of this was in rural Vermont in 1806, when the state established their first public bank. Testimony on that bill, from Governor Tichenor lays out the problem:

TRUTHOUT: Building a more democratic banking system

March 17, 2014
Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
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In Part I of this series, we examined breaking up the too-big-to-fail-or- jail banks, regulating them - especially

Al Jazeera: Oxfam says world's rich threaten democracy

January 21, 2014
Al Jazeera
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The 85 richest people on planet "own the wealth of half the world's population", the charity said.

The world's elite have rigged laws in their own favour undermining democracy and creating a chasm of inequality across the globe, charity Oxfam said in advance of the annual get-together of the world's most powerful at Davos.

WATCH: Ben Manski, Leland Pan, Jolie Lizotte and more on the future of student organizing

November 7, 2013
Liberty Tree Foundation

Last August hundreds of people from across the country convened in Madison, WI for the  2nd Democracy Convention.  Made up of nine individual conferences, the Convention was an extraordinary space for individuals and organizations to network with and learn from one another in the service of building a larger, more dynamic democracy movement.

NAOMI KLEIN: How Science Is Telling Us All To Revolt

October 29, 2013
Naomi Klein
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In December 2012, a pink-haired complex systems researcher named Brad Werner made his way through the throng of 24,000 earth and space scientists at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, held annually in San Francisco. This year’s conference had some big-name participants, from Ed Stone of Nasa’s Voyager project, explaining a new milestone on the path to interstellar space, to the film-maker James Cameron, discussing his adventures in deep-sea submersibles.

WATCH: New documentary about Move to Amend

October 22, 2013
Move to Amend
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Move to Amend is thrilled that our brand new mini documentary about Move to Amend is FINISHED!

ELLEN BROWN: We need public banks more than ever

October 2, 2013
Ellen Brown
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To ask whether public banks would interfere with free markets assumes that we have free markets, which we don’t. Banking is heavily subsidized and is monopolized by Wall Street, which has effectively “bought” Congress. Banks have been bailed out by the government, when in a free market they would have gone bankrupt.

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