It seemed best to keep the focus on HCR until it passed so I held off on posting the next step on organizing for GROW. Now that HCR has passed, addressing the corporate domination in our democracy and this nation seems even more pressing .

We all witnessed the lies, deceptions, hatred and madness that Corporate America whipped up to try and destroy health care reform. And they nearly won. Passing HCR was a rare victory for the people of this country over corporations but unfortunately, one that too many Americans see negatively because of the corporate propaganda that has infected them. Still, there is a momentum now for The People to take on the corporations.

Next up on the Congress’ and Pres. Obama’s agenda is regulation and reform of financial corporations. Combine those bills with the stimulus and the dynamics are quite clear. We have come to a tipping point for our economy, society and democracy. The U.S. will either tip over irretrievably to being a plutocracy, run to enrich corporations and the wealthy, to the disadvantage of 99% of Americans or this march towards permanent plutocracy will be halted and reversed.

There are so many critical issues needing attention at this point in our history and not all are directly related to corporations. However, the corporate agenda on each issue will always be enforced and hugely financed. Add to that, every issue is processed by and presented or ignored by the corporations that own the MSM. Corporations are a bottleneck through which most Americans receive their view of issues, the country and the world.

Fox News presents the most obvious example of how corporate power controls the discussion, the reality and the course of events in this nation. The pendulum has swung so far away from America being a country, of, for and by The People. It is indeed a time in our history where activism is continually needed to combat the unending campaign by corporations to further dominate this nation and exploit its people. They aren’t going to stop, we can’t afford to either.

Previously in American history, activism and taking responsibility for what happened in and to this country was seen as something that was part of one’s life as an American. The reality today is that most don’t seem to see this as an ongoing thing. Some folks show no social responsibility at all, just a focus on their individual lives. Others may be concerned and involved temporarily then disengage. Then there are those who feel that as an American, they have a duty to remain vested in what America is and will be.

The truth is that the proponents of greed, hatred, prejudice, plutocracy, theocracy, social injustice and many other not-so-pleasant things never take a break, they keep trying to move the country to conform to their selfish agendas.  They must be met at each turn by those representing the majority of Americans or these dedicated and fervent parties which represent a small minority of Americans, will eventually prevail.

Which brings me back to GROW.  I know it’s been a few weeks since the last post on GROW, as mentioned above, this was intentional so as not to split energies and focus from activism to push for the passage of HCR. My hope is that enthusiasm remains high for working collectively to continue making a difference in this country and standing up for returning this democracy to The People.

GROW’s Focus

In the last posts on GROW, the focus of the group was put up for discussion. A majority supported GROW starting out with a single, primary focus of addressing the SCOTUS ruling that gives corporations unlimited spending on elections, recognizing them as having the same rights as actual people. So, that will be the initial focus of GROW.

GROW’s Operation and Options

A number of operational issues received a consensus of agreement in the last post and appear below. Also, several suggestions were offered then and are also included:

1. Secondary issues that are connected to corporate dominance of our society can also be part of GROW’s efforts as it “grows”, including election finance reform, outlawing contributions by lobbyists, promoting voting to younger voters, spotlighting and countering corporate agendas being promoted by the MSM, identifying corporate-beholden politicians and possibly supporting primary and GE challengers to them.

2. GROW’s first protest will legitimize it as an actual entity so that needs to happen first.

3. Protests should be visual and humorous/satirical to be more attractive to the media for broadcasting and to encourage people to share with others in hopes of bringing more attention to the issue and GROW. They could be designed for both groups and individuals to perform simultaneously, wherever they are in the country, to give the appearance and impact of a national protest.

4. Prior to each protest, press releases should be sent out to local and national media, notices should be handed out and posted on walls, telephone poles, etc. at and around the location(s) where a protest is to occur.

5. After staging its first protest, GROW should actively pursue associations with other grass roots Progressive groups such as the Coffee Party, Move To Amend and individuals such as bloggers, organizers, political artists, etc., to support their efforts and sites and in turn seek their support on GROW’s protests and growth. It is hoped that various grass roots Progressive groups could be networked and coordinated on various initiatives. Facebook and Twitter should be actively used to promote GROW and its activities.

6. A YouTube channel should be set up for GROW to display videos of its protests and for videos created by members, this could include a video version of “Corporations Are People Too”. Links to the videos would be spread by members across the internet. Fliers featuring Dr. Suits or other amusing approaches to getting the message across, with tear offs of GROW’s URL could be circulated at colleges and elsewhere.

If you have any comments, criticisms or additions to the above, please don’t hesitate to add them in a comment below.

GROW Website

In response to the vote we held on the name of the website for GROW, I have retained the site, growdemocracy.org . It will take donations to finance web hosting for that site so in the meantime, I have set up an initial website for GROW at WordPress.com which is open and active now: http://growdemocracy.wordpress.com/.  You will need to sign up for a WordPress.com account to blog there but it is as quick and easy as signing up here. You may want to use the same email address you used here so the same Gravatar shows for you there too.

Time to Design The First Protest!

As to where things are now, with everything else generally discussed, now it is finally time to discuss what the first protest should be. As we’ve discussed and there seems to be consensus, it should be a clever, amusing, visual protest. What would be great is to come up with a concept that can be done by groups as well as individuals so that those who are in the vicinity of other members could protest with them and those who are not could protest too. As mentioned above, this could give the impact of a national event (think how few teabaggers it took yelling at town halls to make that a massive story).

Once this is decided, all that will left to be decided is setting a date and with that protest, GROW will be a legitimate activist group!

So, let’s bat it around, what would be amusing and eye-catching (aka MSM-catching) ways to protest the SCOTUS ruling and promote the need for there to be hard limits on corporate spending on elections?

No idea is too silly so don’t hold back. Have fun with this and who knows, you may come up with the idea that launches GROW!

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Chernynkaya
Member

we can make them anything! Box costume ideas we could adapt:

Khirad
Member

Make the Barbie one into a Mittens Ken one, brought to you by?

Chernynkaya
Member

OK–I’m hopelessly uncool. Who’s Mittens Ken?

Khirad
Member
Chernynkaya
Member

BRILLIANT!

Chernynkaya
Member

Here’s my latest madcap idea for a SCOTUS protest:

We can wear simple boxes that are ballot boxes, with the words, “Keep corporations out of elections.” Or “Keep Speech FREE– not expensive!”

Oh, you’ll think of something really clever!

Here’s a fancy box costume to give you the idea:

FrankenPC
Member

Heck…with Walmart the protest would be easy. Simply dress in the bibs the greeters dress in. That would be pretty subversive as the customers wouldn’t even know we didn’t work there.

Khirad
Member

Or, a Walmart box with rifles sticking out and stomping on censored CD’s?

Chernynkaya
Member

Now you’re talking!

Chernynkaya
Member

How about having Corporations as our kids? In strollers. I can see a baby (think of Planter’s Peanut guy) corp. that we treat as a person. I am trying to think of ways to illustrate how ridiculous to think of corps as persons. Can I marry a corp– I mean, they’re RICH and my mom would approve?

On another tack, maybe we can print up corporate dollars to represent how to donate to candidates the corporate way? We could send them to corporate candidates.

javaz
Member

Or an Insurance Company delivering a baby and then denying it coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

javaz
Member

Wow, another great idea, Cher!

A woman marrying a health insurance company would be a good one since every mother’s dream is for her daughter to marry a doctor, right? and an insurance company would be even better!

Proctor and Gamble – do they still exist? – cleaning toilets, Kraft Foods making meals in the kitchen, whoever makes Pampers changing a baby, Gerber feeding a child, and a pharmaceutical taking the temperature of a child and giving them an aspirin.

javaz
Member

Yae!

GROW is on the move!

I suggested this before, but will suggest it again for the heck of it.

AdLib, you are a computer genius and natural humorist and you’ve already made a couple youtube type videos – the Sarah Palin interview with Larry King for one.

Would there be a way to grab actual photographs from the net of Wall Street and banks as a backdrop, and then have cartoonish characters following WTS’s drawing for Dr. Suits?

Not sure how you do the voices, but there would be the child asking the questions – can corporations jump rope – then have the child jump rope and then stare at the dark foreboding and cold buildings as they loom in the background and then the mother answers the question.

Perhaps the cartoon child could walk up to the dark, cold and foreboding buildings extending an ice-cream cone when he asks if corporations can eat ice-cream, and then ride his bike, swing on a swing, as the buildings loom behind him.

The 5 court justices should have some visual surrounding them of floating money.

Like I said before, I can visualize it, but cannot explain it well, and anyway, that’s my .02 cents again!

Chernynkaya
Member

OK, I’ll go first (gulp).

With the midterms coming up, how about some kind of satire about each of our states’ candidates being a corporation instead of a person?

Exxon Mobile for Senator of Texas

LensCrafters as governor of Calif?

FrankenPC
Member

Or do that in reverse. Take corporate logos and plaster some volunteer children with them. Make the point that corporations have purchased the next generation wholesale.

javaz
Member

That’s a great idea, Cher!