Occupy Wilmington mourns downfall of democracy

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A funeral procession complete with casket and dirge marched through the streets of downtown Wilmington today. It was not a person the Occupy Wilmington group mourned, but what they call the downfall of democracy.

The Occupy movement is protesting the Supreme Court decision that grants corporations "personhood." Protestors say it gives corporations the power to buy elections and run our government.

"It is a travesty to our democracy that corporations can spend as much money as possible, with no limit, on our elections," Occupier Keenen Altic said. "It's something that, you know, nobody else out here has enough money to compete with that."

Altic says although it may seem the Occupy movement is diminishing, the group is still strong and making an impact.

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If the people of the wilmington occupy group are so interested in safety,peace,harmony and justice-ask them why so many people are dropping out of their group,including women,for feeling unsafe. you won't get an honest answer,but maybe it's about time someone started asking that group-who uses any cause it can get it's hands on to make itself look good,what really goes on inside of it before trusting any of their claims of wanting protection for anyone. here we have a group who says it's for the people,who cannot and will not even protect the people in it's own group(they had the funds to help put towards the young mans bail who was arrested in connection to not moving from Innis Park and decided not to use it) and make's members speak under a veil of privacy so no outsiders will know what really goes on. so to come on this website or any other,or go on tv and talk about justice,peace or harmony is hypocritical at best,disgusting at worst. wilmington needs to know what this group is REALLY all about.

You think this is something new? That this is all the result of Citizens United? Remember - the Supreme Court simply RESTORED the right of large groups to contribute after McCain - Feingold didn't let anything like the lil' ol' Constitution get in the way. Money has been influencing elections and campaign advertising since 1787. It's is fact that you cannot escape anywhere throughout American history.

Technology and modern communications have fueled the demand for more money, and you're not going to stop it. No one is going to win the White House without a coast-to-coast marketing campaign costing hundreds of millions. Hmmmm.....unless.....

Since you're all willing to stifle the free speech of union menbers or corporate shareholders despite what the Supreme Court said, why not try to stifle free speech by gagging the candidates? Why not push for totally outlawing radio and TV advertising by political candidates?

After all - if they can do it to cigarette manufacturers....

Unions wouldn't need to spend on lobbying if Wall Street didn't do it. Which came first, Wall Street or unions?

I have heard many people who have jobs, kids, and a life in general, say that they don't have the time to do research about candidates. What they do have time for is for the TV to be on constantly. Campaign marketers know this and they capitalise on it. Is it really anybody's fault who has a life that their knowledge of candidates is reduced to cheap shot bicker banter. That's what is readily available as "sound bites". As a result, too many American's think that if you vote for a republican you get more justice in society. Likewise, they think that if you vote for a democrat you're going to put an end to American imperialism. Then again you can do research and wind up in a sea of misinformation that leads you to believe that gold is sound money. Watch "money as debt". It explains that fallacy.

The point is not that large amounts of money will enable them to influence the vote.

The point is that after the election, those politicians are beholding to the organizations that gave them all that money.

It will influence our politician's vote in the Congress, Senate, and state legislatures, after they are elected.

Ever heard the saying old saying, "You have to dance with the ones that brought you."? It applies here.

The issue at hand is not only about campaign finance and the super pac money that various groups, nonprofits , unions etc spend to influence voters. If voters consistently did their own research on candidates the media advertisements would be less relevent anyway. Media ads are really about name recognition anyway.The really salient issue here is about corporate money influencing government and legislation through campaign donations and agressive lobbying once someone is elected and wants to stay in office and needs ever increasing amounts of money every election cycle. Corporate donors should not be writing legislation as they do now. The evidence is everywhere in legislation. Pick a peice of legislation and follow the money back to it's source. Who do the elected officials rely on for information about various bills they introduce? Candidates do not even have to disclose who is giving them money anymore.

Do you sincerely believe that legislation governing off-shore drilling can make any sense at all without major input from the oil industry? That legislation regarding gun control can be technically accurate and make sense without input from the firearms industry?

Do you remember the so-called assault weapons ban that was passed during the Clinton Administration? One of the deciding factors included in the law was that the weapon had a pistol grip. That right there insured that the AR-15 was made illegal, while the Mini-14 that had a conventional rifle stock was still legal. They were functionally identical, fired a .223 round from thirty round magazines, but the pistol grip on the AR-15 somehow made it worse.

That's an example of legislation being written by idiots that don't know what they're doing. Dodd-Fwank Financial Reform is another and the reason that you are paying bank fees for formerly free services.

Ban industry input on legislation and the 536 "duty experts on nothing" will be more worthless than they already are.

I am soooo sorry that I missed the procession, But I had to work. I do, however, need to see more "occupiers", I need entertainment during winter months...

Note to Occupy Wilmington,
America is a Republic, not a Democracy. Our founding fathers NEVER wanted a democracy. Perhaps this short video will help to explain it: THE AMERICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE

To be completely accurate it is a Democratic Republic,and there are allot of things our founding fathers wanted or didn't want that may have served our nation at it's inception but had to change,or be modified as we grew as a nation.

...and if you can't do that, give up and try to pay your own way through life.

Where in the Constitution did it allow for such change? It didn't. There is no reason that this country cannot be governed according to the Constitution as our founding fathers intended. If our government had adhered to the Constitution I doubt that there would be a need for the Occupy movement.

The founders never intended for the United States to be a democracy. We need to return to the founders' vision of a republic governed by the landowning business elite, a nation where women, blacks, and men who didn't own property couldn't vote.

The people do. Regardless of all the ad time in the world, the individual voter is the one who has to make up his mind.

So when the Teamsters give a few million to a SuperPAC touting Obama's peaises, *I* am not influenced. I know Obama's record. I have heard Obama speak. Every union in the country could empty their coffers for ads, and there is NOTHING that would get me to vote for Obama.

So if people are too stupid to check a politician's voting record or listen to his own words, don't blame corporate America or the PACs.

BTW, I notice that you people never do mention the unions having the same right as corporations to throw money into campaigns.

HOW convenient!

I agree with you. There is not a mudslinging ad or a campaign contribution that has any effect on how I vote. I don't know if people are too stupid or just too lazy to take the time to listen to what the candidate's themselves have to say. Unfortunately people go to the polls without a clue about the people they are voting for. It doesn't take a lot of time to check out a candidate's website to see what he stands for. Watch the debates and not what the media says about them. For those who do have political history, check out their records. It's not rocket science but we would be a lot better off if people would make informed decisions.

Regardless how much money a corporation sinks into a campaign it is still the people that vote. The problem comes in when the politicians vote to benefit the ones who donated to their campaigns. So it seems to me the Occupy movement might make better use of their time by protesting the politicians as opposed to the corporations.

You have pointed out,correctly, that the voters are the ones who are responsible. I understand you believe large amounts of monies spent before elections either by PACs,Corporations or Unions have no effect on how voters view or choose their representatives.You take pride and well you should that you independently scour a candidates voting record and research his Political beliefs.
I have no reason to doubt that what you say is true, but I must sadly share with you the fact that you are are standing quite alone. Many of our electorate although intensely interested in the political process do not have the time or inclination to do that type of research. Instead they gather ideas and opinions from Newspapers,TV, Radio there Political Parties.It's rare that voters or for that matter members of congress compile facts independently so as to form reasoned choices.
Be aware it is at this point that money from PACS, Corporations, Unions etc begins to corrupt the process and it continues till the the Representatives no longer answer to those who elected them but to those who made it possible for them to be elected and who will secure their further elections through monetary support.
One example of this happened during the last election. I truly believe that the Tea Party people were honest in their dissatisfaction with the state of our government,the debt,education and how Middle America and society was losing ground. The Tea Party was as angry as the Occupy Movement is now.
They worked hard to elect candidates that said they understood the anger and know how to fix the problems,they defined the solutions and went off to fix Washington.
Once in Washington the problem fixing promised the voters turned into
not being allowed to use their own judgement and having to take a pledge to a person who was not even in our government, that pledge super seeding their oath of office and promise to those who elected them.
If we elected a Roman Catholic to any government office and he refused to use his or hers independent judgement and work for the best interest of his voters before he asked the Pope what to do, we would not stand for it.We would recall! Yet Grover Norquist has dictated policy to a group of congress people by refusing to finance their future champagnes. This is how Money Corrupts the Process.
We have accepted this for so long that we are no longer outraged or aware of how wrong it is.
I mentioned how so much of what we think or decide is formed from what we hear on TV or Radio. We live in a time when our newspapers, Radio Stations and TV coverage is controlled by multimillionaires,multinational corporations and special interests. Can you imagine Walter Cronkite saying anything like what you hear from talk radio or MSNBC or Fox News?
We've been pitted against each other and they have distracted us from joining together to solve our problems. There is no doubt in my mind that Tea Party People, Democrats, Republicans, Progressives,People of Faith and Atheists basically want the same thing a decent standard of living,education for their children and the hope that they can work for some security in their later years.
You made the comparison of corporate money and Union money used to buy influence, I can not equate the two. The corporation exists for the sole purpose of making money for it's executives,boards and share holders. Unions exist to protect workers ( human beings) they are not the same.
You probably won't even bother to read this reply, I hope you do.
I didn't intend to go on as much as I have but I thought there might be an opportunity to have some exchange of ideas that would result in understanding.

Actually, the Occupy Movements objection is to the entire citizens united decision. That includes the right of Labor unions or any other large group to influence out elections through huge amounts of money. To try and say that just because it s indeed true that the people vote that corp., or union money for that matter, do not unduly influence our goverment and elections is just silly. HIstory proves it.

I was going to post...but you said it all for me.

and it has been falling down since January, 2009!!!

I am an old man who does not like either party. I would love to vote for somebody, anybody other than Obama. At this point, I do not know who to vote for. The Republicans seem to have a bunch of losers. Mitt will implode soon. Is it possible that somewhere down the road we will get to the only guy who is qualified?

He is such an asterik in this race that I may not even remember his name. I think John Huntsman. He was an ambassodor to somewhere important to this country's self interest.

We need people like this.