Democracy Over Corporations

Move to Amend ( is a coalition of groups seeking a constitutional amendment to eliminate corporate personhood, an amendment that will correct the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Constitution which gives corporations the protection of human rights and makes a mockery of democracy. Democracy Over Corporations (DOC) is a local, Athens affiliate of Move To Amend. APJN was instrumental in launching DOC, by co-sponsoring in June of 2010 a talk by David Cobb, spokesperson for the national Move To Amend organization, and continues to serve as fiscal agent for DOC.

DOC started meeting shortly after David Cobb’s talk. Our approach was to educate ourselves about corporate personhood and to raise public awareness of the issue. We have had informational meetings and have had brochures printed, which have been distributed at the Athens Farmers Market, the July 4th parade, Pawpaw Festival, and elsewhere. John Howell and Rob Wiley from DOC were interviewed on WAIS and they have had articles printed in both local newspapers. John has appeared twice on local access TV. DOC has put in the hands of Athens City Council people Thom Hartmann’s book, Equal Protection, about corporate personhood, and hopes to have the Council adopt a resolution expressing its support for a constitutional amendment eliminating it. Many signatures in support of such an amendment have been gathered by DOC at the Farmers Market and at other events and places. These will be presented to Council. In three cities, Madison, WI, Boulder, CO, and Missoula, MT, voters have overwhelmingly approved such resolutions. DOC will soon have a functioning website through which to further its work.

The deep dissatisfaction with the current political processes of the country offers fertile ground for a non-partisan step directed against the overbearing political power of large corporations. Bringing about a constitutional amendment seems to some a nearly impossible and distant goal, but the time may be right to make it happen. In order to achieve our goal a national movement must arise. For that to happen, the work of local affiliates of Move To Amend around the country, like DOC here in Southeast Ohio, needs to be intensified. We must garner broad based support from people, support that can counter the deep pockets of the corporate world, which will seek vigorously to protect its privileged status. As long as corporate interests dominate government, we will only have policies that support the bottom line of corporations. These are likely to include neither peace nor justice. A commitment to peace and justice requires working toward the fundamental change we seek. Come join us.

By John Howell

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