Members of the Occupy Martha’s Vineyard movement gathered outside the Edgartown District Courthouse Friday, protesting the anniversary of the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
By 10:30 a.m., about seven people had gathered by the courthouse. “We’re protesting the fact that our courts are no longer representing the people,” said group member Macey Dunbar, holding a sign that said “Corps rnt people.” Other protesters held signs saying “Occupy our courts, move to amend Citizens United” and “End Corp Rule.”
In the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that the government could not limit political spending by corporations.
The group is pushing for “a constitutional amendment to overturn the ruling for Citizens United,” said Ann Rosenkranz.
Occupy MV member Sarah Nevin said that the group contacted the courthouse before the protest and were told that they did not need a permit to congregate. A judge and the clerk magistrate were “happy to have us,” she said, as long as they did not block the courthouse entrance.
One onlooker stopped to take issue with the group’s protest: While she agreed with their stance, she said protesting a federal decision at a the district courthouse made the movement “look flaky” and did a disservice to the cause.
While there’s a “real concern not to undermine the validity of the occupy movement,” Ms. Nevin said, the Vineyard doesn’t have a federal courthouse. Other protesters noted that the district court is part of the greater national court system.
The group takes issue with “the whole concept of how our democracy has been sold out to the highest bidder,” Ms. Dunbar said.