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
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
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
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!
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
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.
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
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.
personhood skit Move to Amend members got together
to perform this skit at their local 4th of
July celebration, but it's appropriate any
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
Democracy "I Miss Democracy" has appeared at
and other events all over the country. To
bring her to your town you'll need:
a sash that says "I Miss Democracy"
"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
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
Evening wear replaced by "corporate
Talent competition replaced with
pro-corporate song and dance