The “Occupy Wall Street” protest, “Get Money Out” campaign and a planned protest by The Coffee Party all hope to stop the government from pandering to the wealthiest Americans.
As corporations enjoy near record profits and Americans face staggering unemployment, protesters have pledged to occupy Wall Street in lower Manhattan until something is done about corporate greed and the influence of the wealthy on American politics. The protesters have been camped out in New York’s old Liberty Plaza, now called Zuccotti Park, since September 17.
On Thursday, the protesters published a list of grievances. First on the list was campaign finance reform.
“All votes are no longer equal in our democracy,” the list stated. “Money must be put outside of politics, or politicians will continue to pander to those who contribute the most to their campaigns, rather than their own constituencies.”
The protest coincided with another campaign, “Get Money Out,” started by MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan. The campaign seeks to undo the controversial Citizens United decision with a constitutional amendment that prohibits political contributions to federal candidates and campaigns.
“Until we get money out we can’t address the corrupt structures that prevail over health, energy, education, defense, trade and banking,” Ratigan wrote on The Huffington Post. “And until we do that we will suffer massive poverty, resource loss, anger and frustration. But we can harness all of that to alter the structure through simple singular focus, modern and traditional media, the web and our own personal resolve.”
The Coffee Party, a grassroots group formed in 2010 as an alternative to the tea party movement, is also planning an “Enough is Enough Rally” and “Citizens Intervention” at the U.S. Capitol on October 29. The goal of the rally is to make Congress respond to the needs of all the American people, rather than just their biggest campaign contributors.
“We must seize this moment, and band together as informed, responsible Americans across all partisan and cultural divides to demand accountability, not to Wall Street profiteers or oil barons, but to We the People,” the event’s organizers wrote in a blog post.
“Americans know that the corrupting influence of money in politics is at the root of our government’s continued failure.”