Occupy Palo Alto Calls for End to Corporate Personhood

May Day demonstration at Lytton Plaza followed march from City Hall.

Members of Occupy Palo Alto met at City Hall Tuesday morning to call for an end to corporate power and express solidarity with workers.

About ten occupiers met at 11 a.m. and began a consensus decision-making process through which they agreed upon demonstrating at Lytton Plaza Tuesday afternoon.

Occupy Palo Alto has been quietly meeting weekly, developing its local strategy and readying for an anticipated surge of interest that often comes with warmer weather, according to Steffy Reader, a member of Occupy Palo Alto and Board President of the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center.

Today’s action had the dual-purpose of reinvigorating the anti-corporate campaign while also coinciding with May Day actions worldwide.

"We wanted to come out on May Day in solidarity with all the other May Day actions," said

"I wouldn’t say there is any one particular top priority or demand. A lot of us are concerned ultimately with the amount of power that corporations have, and with restraining the ability of corporations to damage the environment."

Reader said that Occupy Palo Alto will begin calling for the Palo Alto City Council to adopt a resolution in the next six months supporting of a federal constitutional amendment revoking constitutional rights for corporations.

Similar actions were planned up and down the Peninsula to coincide with May Day, the annual day of action and holiday for laborers.

“May Day on the Peninsula,” is designed to “call out the 1%, to focus attention on important issues in the labor and immigrants rights movements, to remind corporate interests that headquarter themselves on the Peninsula that they are not safe from the people's anger just because they are not located in Oakland or San Francisco, and show those in power that without the 99% their engines of profit can and will cease to function,” according to the statement.

In Los Altos at noon, members of ORWC planned to join Occupy San Jose and members of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View, plus other groups, to walk inside the local branch of a yet-to-be-announced “large corporation,” according to the statement.

The corporation is being targeting by Occupiers “for their CEO's stance on unions and healthcare rights, and because the corporation in question has fired workers who have tried to unionize,” according to ORWC.

Then, at 1:30 p.m., students from Sequoia and Woodside High Schools planned a half-day student strike in Redwood City, according to ORWC. The students planned to walk out during their lunch hour to express solidarity with May Day. They planned to meet at Red Morton Park “for a picnic and an afternoon of speaking out, information sharing, and free education,” according to ORWC.

Other Occupy events were planned throughout the day in San Jose and Mountain View, as well.


Mark Weiss May 01, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I don't necessarily stand with or for Occupy, May Day or PPAJC but I do think Palo Alto should take the lead and adopt a resolution in support of the Amendment that would negate the Citizens' United decision, you reference above. On March 2, I attended a lecture by movement co-founder Jeff Clements and immediately texted our Mayor Yiaway Yeh on this topic. Here is another link: http://www.freespeechforpeople.org/get-involved Corporations are not people, people.
Stephanie Reader May 02, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Thanks for a good article! Just to clarify my remarks, the effort to pass a City Council resolution is being led by Santa Clara County Move to Amend and Peninsula Peace and Justice Center. It is clear -- from the signs at yesterday's May Day rally, the comment above and the response to your poll -- that there is a broadly-held desire in Palo Alto for the City Council to add its voice to the many other towns that have already called for an end to corpoarate personhood. ~ Stephanie Reader http://www.scc-mta.org http://www.peaceandjustice.org
Roger Brina May 03, 2012 at 12:03 PM
These efforts are not being led by Santa Clara County Move to Amend or the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center. They have their role to play, but to argue that they are "in the lead" is grandstanding, just as when SCC MTA had a conniption fit over the fact that Occupy Mountain View worked to pass a similar resolution in MV without MTA being able to take credit.


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