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BK Blog Post
Posted by Jeffrey Clements.
Jeffrey Clements is a cofounder and general counsel of Free Speech for People, a national, nonpartisan campaign to oppose corporate personhood and pass the People’s Rights Amendment.
(From left to right: Jeff Clements, FSFP’s Co-Founder and Board Chair; John Bonifaz, FSFP’s Co-Founder and President; Debra Winger; and Congressman Jim McGovern)
Last night, Free Speech For People held an event in Cambridge, Massachusetts with the acclaimed actress Debra Winger and Congressman Jim McGovern, a leader in the US Congress for the call for a 28th Amendment to reclaim our democracy.
Both of our featured speakers made eloquent remarks about the crisis we face in our Republic today with the dominance of big money interests over our elections and our government. Congressman McGovern, who represents the 2nd congressional district in Massachusetts, spoke about why he has introduced amendment bills to overturn Citizens United, end our regime of unlimited campaign spending, and ensure that people, not corporations, shall govern in America.
Debra Winger made a powerful connection between the dangers we face with unchecked corporate power tracking and targeting our communications on the Internet and the dangers we face with big money influence in our politics. Below is an excerpt of her remarks.
May 27, 2015
Remarks by Debra Winger at Free Speech For People house party
These days, most people express themselves primarily on the Internet. That’s fine, but there is an illusion that we have been sold — and now we’ve bought and sold it many times over — that the Internet and everything we do on it– Facebook, Email, Google– is some sort of commons, where we wield our freedom and can come together. But when our Amazon homepage begins to predict what we want to buy, and our Gmail window displays ads related to text from our recent emails, and our every “like” on Facebook and Instagram is churned into the ad-buying algorithms, we begin to become the unknowing laborers doing our daily work to build the corporate algorithms, click by click.
The result of this can be a dangerous greying effect, an averaging out of opinion, a safe-zone of profitable expression on the platforms. This is the effect of money in modern-day forms of Internet expression.
The true commons of the polity, the people’s right to true representation in politics, cannot continue to fall along similar lines, lest we become the unknowing laborers for corporate interests each time we cast a vote. Facebook, Google, Amazon– we may depend on their platforms, and feed them our data for their use. But let’s not feed our votes for the use of the corporate polity. This is the most important data we can generate today.