Legalize Democracy | Full Documentary

LEGALIZE DEMOCRACY is a short documentary by Dennis Trainor, Jr. about the movement for a constitutional amendment to abolish in its entirety two illegitimate, court-created legal doctrines—the concept of “corporate constitutional rights” (sometimes known as corporate personhood) and “money equals political speech.”

Produced by and for Move to Amend, the national grassroots campaign to amend the US Constitution to unequivocally state that corporations are not people and money is not speech, This documentary details a history of Supreme Court decision that gave corporations constitutionally protected rights and established that money is free speech.

For more information about Move To Amend, go here. To get  DVD, go here.

Full Movie: Legalize Democracy

Written and Directed by Dennis Trainor, Jr.
Produced by AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.
Cinematographers Messiah Rhodes Paul Westlake
Color, Titles, and Graphics AJ Russo
Original score Goldi
Post Audio Engineer Tom Hutten
Additional Camera Arthur Louis
Executive Producers Pamela Brown, Daniel Lee, Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap, Egberto Willies

From TopDocumentaryFilms.com
The most dangerous threat to democracy in the United States of America is the mistaken belief that they actually practice one… because democracy is not a noun, it’s a verb. “Demos” means “the people”, and “kratia” means “rule”, so the word democracy means “the people rule.” We have the trappings of democracy… you just get to go and pull a lever every 2-4 years only for candidates that have been pre-approved and pre-selected by the ruling elite.

But when it comes to actually participating in a meaningful way in how the society is organized, how much pay you might get, whether or not you get healthcare, whether the country goes to war or not, whether we should address the climate crisis… in those kinds of questions the people never have an opportunity to participate.

For example, if in the debate around the healthcare had there not been elected officials with a commitment to pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies, if the priority wasn’t making sure that there were profits for people that make drugs and sell drugs, and people who provide medical care as insurers, if they weren’t the priority but the ordinary people don’t you think that would’ve been different?

The prison system along with the education system and the healthcare system are three things among many others that should never have a profit motive attached. The democratic self-government experiment started in the United States over 200 years ago and has gotten completely corrupted. The real people are not been listen to.

When considering the still unfolding history of the United States the words of journalist Molly Ivins ring true: “It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.” In other words who, according to the laws and cultures, gets to be considered a person.

Why I Support The Abortion Rights Freedom Ride: Ground Zero Texas

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

Transcript |
Texas Governor Rick Perry is on the record with his objective to “make abortion a thing of the past.” Looking at the evidence, it is hard not to come to any other conclusion than the war on women is being won by a radical and regressively religious agenda.

Six states in the nation have only a single abortion clinic left. By September 1st of this year, Texas is likely to have only six abortion clinics operating. The group End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women is embarking on an Abortion Rights Freedom Ride across the state of Texas this August, and the freedom ride has set high expectations for itself, including:

1. To forge a national strategic counter-offensive to what is a national war on women.

2. Radically reset the political, moral, and ideological terms of this fight so that millions understand that this fight is about women’s liberation or women’s enslavement and;

3. Mobilize all people of conscience to wage massive, independent, political resistance. Relying on politicians, and the courts, has not halted the barrage of attacks.

Not all pro-choice advocates are warming to the idea of Stop Patriarchy non-violent, yet highly dramatic and confrontational style and their oft-repeated slogan “Abortion on Demand and Without Apology.”

In preparing for my interview today, I spoke with Diane Derzis (owner of the last abortion clinic in Mississippi). Stop Patriarchy embarked on a Freedom Ride in 2013 and stood side by side with Derzis to help her keep open the only abortion clinic in Texas. She was warned last year herself, she told me, that Stop Patriarchy were too confrontational and were connected to a communist organization.  Diane mentioned that some of these warnings were coming from groups with ties to the Democratic Party. “The communist are coming,” she told me, laughing at the notion before reporting that she did not care what political stripes people wore, just so long they were fighting for a women’s right to maintain control over her body.

For the record, I am a proud signatory, along with Gloria Steinem, Cornel West, Mark Ruffalo, Cindy Sheehan and many others to a statement in support of the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride.

For me, the issue is deeply personal. As a community college student of 19, I impregnated a young woman. Neither of us was in a position to support a child, and- this is the most important thing; she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. We went through the harassment tactics of Randal Terry’s Operation Rescues outside the clinic and a few short years later my first arrest for civil disobedience was with the group Act Up as we shut down the Holland Tunnel in New York City protesting the 1992 Supreme Court Decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey– a huge blow the pro choice community in that it granted states so much freedom to restrict a woman’s right to choice that is directly related to empowering the likes of Gov. Perry in Texas.
It is for these reasons, and the fact that I want my daughter to come of age in a world where she is not a second-class citizen that I stand with Stop Patriarchy in saying Abortion on Demand and Without Apology.

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How The Supreme Court Made the U.S. Government Illegitimate

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

(Note: this is an episode clip. The full show will air on Monday, June 9)

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in McCutcheon V. FEC, the court struck down a limit on how much cash an individual could give to all federal candidates during an election cycle.

In the 5-4 decision, the majority of justices on the Roberts court ruled that individuals could buy elections. Or, in the words of Chief Justice Roberts,  “government regulation may not target the general gratitude a candidate may feel toward those who support him or his allies, or the political access such support may afford.”

In the dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Bryer, did not hold back in voicing the disgust felt by an overwhelming majority of Americans (if not by a majority of Supreme Court Justices) in writing that the majority’s “legal analysis is faulty: It misconstrues the nature of the competing constitutional interests at stake. It understates the importance of protecting the political integrity of our governmental institutions. It creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidate’s campaign.”

Furthermore, the dissenting opinion offered up this gem:

“Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws leaving a remnantincapable of dealing with the problems of Democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”  (Emphasis mine)

If we don’t have laws that empower us to deal with the problems of Democratic legitimacy, is our government legitimate?

That question, among others, in one I put to my guests on this week’s Acronym TV.

Christina Tobin is the founder and chair of Free & Equal. She has a long history of supporting ballot access, having gathered and defended over 1 million signatures for the Green Party, Constitution Party, Republican Party, Democratic Party, Libertarian Party, Socialist Equality Party and independents. Free & Equal Elections Foundation is a non-partisan grassroots organization, whose mission is to shift the power back to the individual voter through education. Their motto, “More Voices, More Choices.”

Daniel Lee is a lifelong activist. He serves on the national leadership team for the group Move to Amend, which is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and hundreds of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy; Move To Amend is calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.

State of Union

The Illegitimacy of the U.S. Government

Originally Posted at PopularResistance.org

In this episode clip (watch the full show here) Shahid Buttar outlines why he thinks the biggest enemy to the U.S. Constitution is a domestic enemy. Also, Kevin Zeese makes the point that the U.S. government is illegitimate.

“Every member of congress swears an oath of office to protect the constitution from enemies, foreign and domestic,” explains Buttar “and the principle enemy to the U.S. Constitution is a domestic one with three letters. The only debate in my mind is whether it is the NSA or the FBI.”

Kevin Zeese adds: “It’s a harsh reality for the country to face. The corporate main stream media’s job is not to give us the truth but to give us the myth that we are the greatest democracy on earth, when in fact I think the democratic legitimacy of this country is disappearing. We just had Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer make that point in his dissent to the (Supreme Court) McCutcheon decision.”

Shahid Buttar is the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, a 2003 graduate of Stanford Law School, and has appeared in media outlets including the Intercept, the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN, FOX News, Al-Jazeera and the Baltimore Sun. He spoke about NSA spying at Johns Hopkins recently to a packed audience organized by the Hopkins human rights working group and the New Political Society.

Kevin Zeese is an attorney and political activist who works on peace, economic justice, criminal law reform and reviving American democracy. He co Directs It’s Our Economy, serves on the steering committees of the Chelsea Manning Support Network, and is an organizer atPopularResistance.org.

Dennis Trainor, Jris a writer, filmmaker, producer, and activist. His documentary on the Occupy movement, American Autumn: an Occudoc, garnered critical praise from The New York Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and more.  He also wrote and directed Legalize Democracy, a documentary short about the Movement To Amend the Constitution.

atv abu grahib

To Dump Citizens United, We Need To Legalize Democracy [video]

This is an excerpt from the documentary, Legalize Democracy.

The premiere of the full documentary will be airing on Free Speech TV (FSTV) Tuesday, January 21, 2014- and all throughout the week

Check here for full listing, including how to watch live on the web.

Legalize Democracy
Written and Directed by
Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Produced by
AJ Russo and Dennis Trainor, Jr.

Cinematographers
Messiah Rhodes
Paul Westlake

Color, Titles, and Graphics 
AJ Russo

Original score
Goldi

Post Audio Engineer
Tom Hutten

Additional Camera
Arthur Louis

Executive Producers
Pamela Brown
Daniel Lee
Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap
Egberto Willies

Why Douche Waffles Get Elected?  | Direct TV Parody Compilation

The full campaign spoofing the Direct TV commercials, produced by Acronym TV for Move To Amend. All six spots, each about 30 seconds, are included here in this single video.

Written by Lee Camp and Dennis Trainor, Jr, and Directed by Trainor, these spots aim to hijack a popular meme to shine a seriously unserious light on the issues of corporate personhood and money as free speech.

Move to Amend is a coalition of hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of individuals committed to social and economic justice, ending corporate rule, and building a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests.

We are calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only, and that money is not a form of protected free speech under the First Amendment and can be regulated in political campaigns.
Over 300,00 people have signed the Move To Amend statement that states:

“We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.”

Links to each video as a stand-alone piece are below. We encourage you to share these far and wide.

Move To Amend, Direct TV Parody Campaign:
Don’t Be A Naked Hulk   http://bit.ly/1eMqmeQ
Don’t Do Interpretive Street Corner Dance http://bit.ly/IKi65g
Don’t Miss The Supermodel Love Letter   http://bit.ly/19fbNwm
Don’t Get Ducked Taped To A Chair In The Yard   http://bit.ly/1g3IG7b
Don’t Do Cats   http://bit.ly/1bdJL8P
Don’t Be A Loser With No One At Your Birthday   http://bit.ly/18YCOI2

Move To Amend’s Direct TV Parody Compilation
Written by Lee Camp and Dennis Trainor, Jr
Directed by Dennis Trainor, Jr.
Editing, graphics, keying and color correction by AJ Russo
Associate Producer Christopher Webb
Costumes Lara de Bruijn