Women. Power. Peace.

Bobbie Paul: Let’s Move to Amend

These remarks were originally given by Bobbie Paul at a Rally Against Corporate Pershonhood,  January 20, 2012 on the steps of the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in Atlanta.

Now is the time for us to be bold, brave, stand together, and grow a movement to abolish corporate personhood.

Let’s restore our democracy - one  that defends and protects the essential needs and rights of human beings -needs like clean air, clean water, a safe environment that includes safe and secure food - essentials that large corporations do not need.  For these corporations do not live or breathe in and out like you and me -  profit is their sole means of survival.

We know that here in Georgia huge corporate interests - long before Citizens United (a clever name and an oxymoron)  - have long used their power to control or intimidate citizens, judicial appointees and elected officials, to get their way.

Environmentalists know how hard it is to try to shut down coal-fired plants, to stop the insanity of building dangerous nuclear plants, to stop landfills, halt the continual pollution of their neighborhoods when there are short term dollars to be made and billions of dollars in federal loans to be guaranteed. For corporate persons only!

There has always been an uneven playing field between citizens and corporations but now that field is immense, cavernous.

We must say no to corporate personhood that allows corporations to wield the coercive force of law to overpower human beings and communities.

Especially our small rural towns that were once held together by hardworking folks farming the land, building relationships, establishing deep roots and families, creating a shared history, cherishing community, and love.

One such town is a nuclear reactor community in Burke County - Shell Bluff - and its concerned citizens who know the pain of community dissolved and held in a stranglehold  by a corporate power.

A power so big that was able to come in and destroy a community, promising it jobs and who knows what else. This giant saw land for nuclear power reactors, wanted it, went through the courts, and, through questionable means, got it. 25 years later this once thriving community lives in fear, isolation and poverty.  How could this happen?

It happened because this great power came in, and in its greed, failed to love. What did we expect?

We must restore the love and reverse the evil that corporations can do, with the blessing of the courts.

As MLK, Jr. said:

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.  Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

If we agree with Martin then Citizens United vs FEC must be a mistake.

Let’s correct this mistake of corporate personhood that has no heart and cannot love. Let’s move to amend.

Bobbie Paul serves as Executive Director of Georgia WAND. She has spent almost 25 years supporting the vision of WAND’s founder – Dr. Helen Caldicott – to gradually rid the world of nuclear weapons. She has helped the Georgia chapter define its three areas of concentration across the state and Southeast region:  Peace in Action, Environmental Justice and Empowering People to Act Politically. Paul has watch-dogged Savannah River Site (SRS) for over fifteen years and led campaigns to successfully restore Department of Energy (DOE) environmental monitoring of SRS in Georgia. Paul is a former theatre professional and the co-founder of a regional theatre company in St. Petersburg, Florida (now known as American Stage Company). She has worked for the US Department of State as a theatre specialist in Egypt and Jordan.

 

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