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Supreme Court

Secretive U.S. Supreme Court muzzles civil disobedience citizen who challenges corporate personhood

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Supreme Court, civil disobedience, corporate personhood


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(NaturalNews) A top online news network has obtained and released unauthorized video of what it described as a "historic protest" during a recent proceeding of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cenk Uyger, a host for The Young Turks, introduced the video in this way:

Well, we have a historic protest at the Supreme Court. Not only did someone rise up and speak out against the court in the case of McCutcheon, and speak out in favor of democracy and the American people -- and that is actually fairly unprecedented, it has only happened a couple of times in the last two decades -- but we now have video of the event.

It was the first time that video of the high court during proceedings has been posted online. The video was made by Noah Kai Newkirk, 33, of Los Angeles, Uyger said.

Corporations are not people; money is not speech

The case he referenced -- McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission -- was argued Oct. 8, 2013. It is a case involving campaign finance and has yet to be decided. The case, nicknamed "Citizens United, Part 2," involves challenges to federal election law that gives "personhood" to corporations and allows them to donate tens of millions to campaigns for federal office. Opponents like Newkirk oppose the law, because they say it allows large companies to have undue influence on the outcome of U.S. elections.

In the video, which is about two minutes long and shaky in portions, captured the disruption. Newkirk is a member of a group called 99Rise, which says on its website, 99Rise.org, that its aim is to "get big money out of American politics."

As proceedings continued, Newkirk rose and spoke:

"I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe that money is not speech, corporations are not people, and our democracy should not be for sale to the highest bidder. Overturn Citizens United. Keep the cap in McCutcheon. The people demand democracy."

At that point, unidentified men wearing court badges descend on Newkirk, before the video feed ends abruptly amid the noise of an apparent struggle.

Next, narrative posted in the video mentions "arcane" Supreme Court rules and, in 2014, "how this gets reported." Then, viewers see how Newkirk is physically restrained in video shot from "another perspective."

"Now, what exactly is he protesting?" Uyger asks at the conclusion of the renegade video shot by Newkirk. "You gotta understand something. The corruption of our politics did not begin with Citizens United, it goes all the way to Buckley v. Vallejo where they said, 'money is speech.' There, you heard Kai Newkirk saying that it is not speech. In fact, a lot of people make the argument, of course, it is property."

'Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, tears...'

He went on to say that, in a prior ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that "corporations are human beings" and could spend unlimited amounts on political parties. The McCutcheon case involves lifting established limits (caps) that corporations can give to individual candidates, which Uyger argues is akin to "legalized bribery."

Uyger says that because the high court doesn't allow cameras -- like other courts -- their proceedings are basically being conducted "in secret."

"Now, I know that they publish transcripts" of proceedings, he said, "but why don't they want to show what they're doing? Why don't they want to show their face as they steal our democracy from us?"

In quotes provided to the show, Newkirk said:

Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, and tears to win the right to vote and extend the promise of democracy in America. It's time for our generation to step up and do whatever it takes to defend that right and end the corruption of big money in politics. If that means risking arrest in order to speak truth to power, so be it.

Sources:

http://www.youtube.com

http://www.tytnetwork.com

http://www.reuters.com

www.99rise.org

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