Commemorate Constitution Day: Friday, September 17

Celebrate We the People • Condemn We the Corporations • Connect to Move to Amend

The US Constitution says “We the People,” not “We the Corporations.” Nowhere in the Constitution are corporations even mentioned—let alone protected and anointed with human rights to do virtually what they want, where they want, whenever they want politically, economically, socially or environmentally. 
 
Constitution Day, September 17, is a terrific opportunity to take this message to your school, your neighborhood, city or town, or your elected officials. Start now to do something – educate, advocate or organize—on that date to say and proclaim that constitutional rights belong to human beings, not corporations.
 
Constitution Day recognizes the ratification of the US Constitution, which was signed by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. It’s also a day to recognize new US citizens, and was known as “Citizenship Day” prior to 2004. That was when an amendment to a spending bill mandated that publicly funded educational institutions set aside time on September 17 to provide special lessons or programming on the Constitution and its history.
 
If you’re a student or a teacher, Constitution Day is a great day to do some educating on your own on behalf of ending corporate personhood. But there’s no reason to stop at the schoolyard. Everyone should know how our constitutional rights have been handed over by an unelected Supreme Court bit by bit to a corporate elite, and that we all need to be part of the movement to get those rights back for people alone. The recent Citizens United vs FEC Supreme Court decision granting corporations greater First Amendment free speech rights is just the latest example of the decline of real democracy and self-governance by human beings.  
 
What can you do? 
 
Here’s some suggestions for individuals or groups who want to raise  the issue of corporate personhood—from model letters to the editor, to street theater, to fliers and other resources for tabling events or house parties. You can also check our Organizing Resources page. And start planning! 
 
Hold a mock funeral for democracy outside your local federal building. Have a few corporate fat cats run off with the Constitution—the inheritance that we can use to build a truly democratic society, if the people, not the corporations, are the leaders.
 
If you’re tabling, play “Pin the Crime on the Corporation”—ask participants to guess which company, represented by logos on a money bag—is responsible for which of a long list of crimes against workers, communities, and the environment.
 
Have people sign this Declaration of Independence from Corporate Rule. Half-sheet handouts are here.
 
Organize a houseparty. Good films to show include The Corporation, or Capitalism: A Love Story; or see past selections from Countercorp’s annual Anti-Corporate Film Festival.
 
Constitution Day would be an excellent time to send out a call to others in your area to start work on a local resolution in favor of abolishing corporate personhood, or to start organizing your own Move to Amend group—if you want more information, contact us here.
 
Organize a reading of a play on corporate personhood. Download the script for “Interview with a Corporate Person” here
 
And if you’re working on your own, write a letter to the editor—you can link to a sample letter and talking points here
 
Call in to a talk radio station. Whether “liberal” or “conservative,” talk radio hosts should be open to hearing someone on September 17 talking about the Constitution and its rights for people! Here's some tips for getting your point across.
 
If you’re organizing any kind of public action, don’t forget to have Move to Amend petitions for signing! They and other MTA resources are available here.
 
Thanks for what you’re doing for democracy. Happy Constitution Day!