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January 9, 2012 - Occupy Congress

Ten years ago yesterday, we marched on Senator Feinstein's office to demand an investigation of 9/11. Yesterday we marched on the San Jose Courthouse where the infamous ruling that has been used to grant corporations the rights of people was written. Occupy San Jose organized the rally which was followed by a General Assembly. The rally was prelude to the next national day of action to Occupy the Courts on January 20th, 2012, in protest of last year's horrific Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case which virtually granted the right to buy elections to the rich, the giant corporations, and the folks that own them. Move to Amend has been educating, agitating and advocating a 28th Amendment "to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights." It was an honor yesterday to have with us, California Assemblymember Paul Fong, who was a principal co-author of the California Disclose Act, AB 1148, which would at least identify the top three sponsors of political ads.

I was able to speak, as well (there are bonuses when you bring a sound system at the last minute, when one is desperately needed) and my son, Jules, also spoke. We had just returned from the family gathering in Quebec last Thursday, received petitions from Santa Clara County to get on the ballot on Friday, so I was able to announce that I would be running for Congress in California's 18th District and begin the process of collecting three thousand signatures in six weeks. We still need to develop the website, campaign materials... But the whole purpose of running is to strengthen the Occupy Movement, put more pressure on the system, enable ourselves and others to educate, organize and create a better story, better rules to move us away from empire, war, violence, corporate rule and towards community, peace, justice, cooperation that serves life.

I probably wouldn't have the strength to run without the support of my son, Jules, who has gained tremendous experience from his years at Oberlin, interning with elected officials, non-profits, including the American Monetary Institute, and shares my passion for political and social change. It's actually fun to be with him, go to events, and figure out what to do next. The challenge, as always, is that there aren't enough hours in the day to do everything, and I hope that our efforts will energize and engage a lot of people, because we certainly can't do this alone.