Take the message to the streets!
Street theater and visibility: draw a crowd for democracy!
Scroll down for some links to ideas, scripts and props for focusing public attention to the Citizens United decision, corporate rule, and the need for real democracy. 

"Supreme In-Justices"
Five out of four Supreme Court justices are working for... who?!?

The Alliance's Portland chapter marked the first anniversary of Citizens United by decorating the pro-corporate majority on the court with the logos of their beneficiaries. Then they took a march downtown to connect with passersby on the importance of amending the constitution to end corporate access to personhood rights. Since then the justices and "in-justices" have appeared regularly to help spread the word on a constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood.

To make your own set of justices and "in-justices," borrow or purchase some judicial or graduation garb (you can also find costume gavels online). Then download and print corporate logos from the internet. Search for "large" images, since they reproduce the best. You can print the logos on paper and laminate them to make them reuseable and to help them stand up to bad weather. Stick them to the robe or to a sash.  Matching umbrellas make you more visible in a crowd and protect from the sun as well as the rain.

Don't forget to include the logos of any local, state or regional companies if they have been attempting to influence your elected officials and write policy for their own benefit!

supreme court with logos

supreme court with logos

Three plays by Jim Allison
Historians Jim and Tomi Allison began thinking about the history of corporate power in 2005, inspired by a study guide developed by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. After years of presenting scholarly talks and writing papers on the subject of corporate personhood, Jim took a colleague's suggestion and approached the topic dramatically, writing three short plays about the Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific decision, the Powell Memo, and the Dodge v. Ford decision, which established that a corporation's duty is to maximize profits for its shareholders.  Download the plays for staged readings and performances. Jim's preface gives some historical background behind the three plays.

The Prosecution of Judge Waite
Historians Jim and Tomi Allison have long studied corporate personhood's checkered history. Jim's play, "The Prosecution of Judge Waite" brings their research on the background behind the Santa Clara decision to audiences in an entertaining dialogue with Judge Morrison Remick Waite, who presided over (and who now reconsiders) the decision that was reinterpreted as giving corporations the rights of human beings.

You can download the play here. The players act in front of a powerpoint backdrop, which you can download here.

Many thanks to Jim and Tomi, and to Marybeth Gardam of WILPF for developing the production and sharing it with other groups.

Judge Waite

Mr. Powell Writes a Memo
In 1971, corporate America saw Richard Nixon as a puzzle: a Republican who wanted more regulation of business, including higher taxes on capital gains, an end to tax shelters and stronger environmental and job safety regulation. A corporate lawyer, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., laid out a counterattack in a confidential memo, sharing it with a friend at the US Chamber of Commerce. Powell went on to sit on the US Supreme Court, but his memorandum served as a blueprint for a half-century of corporate dominance of politics, elections, public opinion, the media and the courts.

"Mr. Powell Writes a Memo" features Powell, his friend Edward R. Murrow, and the offstage voices of Ralph Nader and William Rehnquist.

You can download the play here.

What Corporations Do
Law students "Ford", "Friedman" "Madison" and "Smith" discuss the Dodge v. Ford decision and how it is often mis-taught, what corporate officers owe to their shareholders, the roots of corporate law and the real costs of doing business.

You can download the play here.

Corporate personhood skit
Move to Amend members got together to perform this skit at their local 4th of July celebration, but it's appropriate any time!

You can download a .pdf of the script here. A props list and even sound effects are available at this page at the Move to Amend site. To make a "corporate person" costume, see instructions here.

I Miss Democracy
"I Miss Democracy" has appeared at WILPF and other events all over the country. To bring her to your town you'll need:
  • a sash that says "I Miss Democracy"
  • a tiara
  • "evening gown" (recycle a prom or bridesmaid dress!) or swimsuit
  • convertible car or pickup if participating in a parade
  • signs such as "Tired of Corporations Running Our Country?"
Take this idea to the next level and hold an "I Miss Democracy Pageant" with "contestants" trying to impress corporate "judges":
  • Contestants can give a short speech about their pro-corporate interests: "I love walks on private beaches... I think my most important asset is my intelllectual property... I want to help disadvantaged corporations around the world."
  • Evening wear replaced by "corporate logo" attire
  • Talent competition replaced with pro-corporate song and dance
  • Question portion featuring corporate-themed questions
  • Winner receives an "I Miss Democracy" sash, tiara featuring large dollar signs, and a bouquet of dollar bills
Or you can appear as present-day democracy with a cane, sling, or black eye, to make a point about how you're getting beat up by greedy corporations and their friends in government:

I Miss Democracy