Occupy Spokane to host panel for 'Occupy the Courts' day

Jan 19, 2012

SPOKANE, Wash. – Occupy Wall Street has officially endorsed "Move to Amend the Constitution" as a primary mission.

Spokane groups will mobilize tomorrow as part of a nationwide effort called Occupy the Courts. It’s a move to urge lawmakers to rethink the Citizens United decision, passed two years ago tomorrow. Concluding that “corporations are people," the Citizens United decision overruled precedents that blocked corporate spending on political campaigns. Now, corporations can support or oppose candidates and contribute freely.

Bethany Heath organized many of tomorrow’s events in Spokane. She says occupy wants to make changes around Spokane that mirror the national effort.

“So we’re trying to increase our voice in politics, and trying to get politicians to listen to what we’re saying. And we’re also trying to get stuff done here in the city to try to ease the burden on some of the people that are experiencing these problems the worst.”

And some politicians and familiar names are listening.

The panel discussion

Heath organized a panel that will begin at 3 p.m. in the city council chambers. Panelists include former Mayor Mary Verner, Director of PJALS Liz Moore, and local activist John Waite. Heath says the panel will serve to bring awareness of the Move to Amend the Constitution to Spokane.

“Campaign financing is getting out of control. And attack adds are gonna be worse this year than ever. We’re kind of hoping that people, as they become aware of the campaign financing problem, will be at least advised that we’re trying to fix it here on the local level.”

Heath and Spokane Move to Amend will host several events. At 11:30 a.m. they will occupy the federal courthouse in Spokane, an act that will happen in hundreds of cities throughout the country, including at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

At two in the afternoon they invite the community for entertainment in the Chase Gallery, and the day will peak with the panel discussion.

Copyright 2011 Spokane Public Radio