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Weston activists protest Citizens United decision

Holding a banner over the I-95 Strawberry Hill overpass in Norwalk are volunteers from Democracy for America, including, second from left, Bob Gardner of Weston.

Holding a banner over the I-95 Strawberry Hill overpass in Norwalk are volunteers from Democracy for America, including, second from left, Bob Gardner of Weston.

MoveToAmend, a grassroots organization, is dedicated to overturning the recent Supreme Court “Citizens United” decision (2010) that defines corporations as people and money as free speech and has turned a century of traditional American election financing law on its ear.

On Friday, May 10, activists across the country held demonstrations with the message that corporations are not people and proclaimed Americans want their government back.

Starting at 7:30 a.m. in Friday’s bright sun and crystal clear skies, drivers on I-95 in Norwalk who saw the 32-foot wide banner above the Strawberry Hill overpass during the morning and evening rush hours — including a large percentage of truckers — honked their horns and gave V-signs, thumbs-up and waves.

Three miles away, on the Post Road/Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport, more volunteers held signs, distributed literature and answered questions from drivers and shoppers.

The effort was the work of residents from Norwalk, Trumbull, Westport, Weston, and surrounding towns who joined together to create the banners and signs and take turns holding them up at the two locations.

Democracy for America, the organization started by Howard Dean (now headed by his brother, Jim Dean of Fairfield County) is the local affiliate of the MoveToAmend bridge initiative.

Kate Tepper, chairman of the DFA chapter, said, “A series of Supreme Court decisions have unjustly given corporations unprecedented political power that threatens our democracy. We, the people, believe we have to take that power back, and a constitutional amendment is the only certain way to make it happen.”

Westonites Francine Goldstein and Bob Gardner helped produce and present banners, posters and handouts.

Alan Botens of Norwalk coordinated all phases of the local banner action. “I don’t think most people realize that when the Supreme Court ruled that money is a form of speech and corporations have many of the same constitutional protections as individual citizens, this essentially nullified decades of federal, state and local campaign finance regulations,” Mr. Botens said.

To learn more about the grassroots drive to overturn the Citizens United ruling, visit movetoamend.org, call Alan Botens at 203-451-2102, or email alananddebra@yahoo.com.

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