Hundreds of people gathered in downtown San Francisco today to mark the fifth anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on election campaigns.
Protesters from numerous organizations gathered on Market Street near the Montgomery station this afternoon carrying signs, singing songs and chanting in an effort to raise awareness about the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission ruling and express their desire to see it overturned.
People marched with signs that read “corporations are not people” and “money is not speech.”
According to Eddie Kurtz, the executive director of the California-based non-profit Courage Campaign, “We demand that Prop 49 be put back on the ballot in 2016. California voters deserve the right to formally weigh in on the most vital political issue of our time.”
Kurtz said Prop 49 would give California voters a chance to vote on a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United ruling.
Entertaining the crowd this afternoon was Oakland-based hip-hop artist Khafre Jay, who sang to the audience about why he felt it was important that the ruling be overturned.
“The American dream is less of what it seems now that corporations are human beings,” Jay sang.
Jay is the executive director of hiphopforchange.org, which he said works to support artists with positive messages and help them reach the community.
Another activist in the group marching with a banner towards the San Francisco Federal Building in the Tenderloin neighborhood was Eileen Menteer, who came to the demonstration from her home in Mountain View.
Menteer said she and everyone who came out to protest today just want to “find out where the campaign money comes from” and said there are many problems that result from endless campaign contributions, such as lack of investment in education and disregard for the environment.
Hannah Albarazi, Bay City News