January 20th, 2011 | by REBECCA JACOBSON News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Activism

Why You Might See The "Supreme Court" on Friday in Downtown Portland

Supreme Court US 2010

If you're downtown on Friday and see nine U.S. Supreme Court justice lookalikes roaming the sidewalks, don't be alarmed. They're just part of a protest by Alliance for Democracy to mark the anniversary of the court's 2010 decision that allowed unlimited corporate funding of broadcast political ads.

The so-called “Judges' Ramble” on Friday, Jan. 21 steps off from SW 4th and Oak at 11:15 am and will wind its way to Pioneer Courthouse Square, City Hall and the federal courthouse. The nine participants will be cloaked in black robes and plan to carry gavels (and black umbrellas, in case of rain). Four participants, representing the “good” justices (those who voted against unlimited corporate contributions), will hand out leaflets to passers-by. The other five "bad" justices from the court majority will wear sashes bearing corporate logos (the usual criminals: Chevron, Wal-Mart, GM, Pfizer).

Michael Munk, who will portray "bad guy" Justice Anthony Kennedy, acknowledges the march to commemorate the court's 5-4 Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission decision is a bit of a gag. But it's one, he says, that spotlights an important point.

“This is something to attract public attention,” said Munk, author of The Portland Red Guide, a history of radical movements in Portland. “This was a very serious decision that changes the entire legal history of who is entitled to free speech. Pretending that a corporation has the same legal standing as an individual person sounds to us so absurd.”
 
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