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Occupy Weston Takes Aim At Citizens United Ruling

Bob Gardner called on Occupy Weston to lead the drive to amend the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
Bob Gardner called on Occupy Weston to lead the drive to amend the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. Photo Credit: Ken Liebeskind

WESTON, Conn. – Occupy Weston defined its prime mission Saturday: overturn the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in the Citizens United case.

At the second meeting of Occupy Weston, Bob Gardner, a Weston resident, called on the group to seek the Board of Selectmen's support of its effort.

“Eight Connecticut towns have voted to support the move to amend the decision, but there hasn’t been a lot of interest in Fairfield County,” he said. “We should talk to the Board of Selectmen and see if they’ll support us,” he said.

The Citizens United decision from 2010 prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations, which led to massive political spending, with $6 billion spent in the 2012 elections, according to a report by the Center for Responsive Politics.

“A few people can outspend us and support any candidates they want, but fortunately in the last election very few of their candidates won,” Gardner said.

He said there is a national movement to amend the decision and called on Occupy Weston to get involved. “If this group has longevity and cohesion, we can accomplish that,” he said.

At the beginning of the meeting Saturday afternoon at the Weston Public Library, Keith Brooks, the Weston resident who chairs the group, said amending the Citizens United decision is the group’s top action issue. Prohibiting Wall Street and banking practices that harm society is No. 2.

“The inequality of income and wealth and the way corporate money is destroying our democratic way of life are the problems we face and we’re going to try and do something about it,” he said.

Group members have indicated the issues they want to work on and will break into committees to plan action.

Brooks’s goal is to distinguish Occupy Weston from previous Occupy movements that have been criticized for operating without agendas.

Occupy Weston's next meeting is planned for Jan. 12 at the library, Brooks said.

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