St. Patricks Day is a drunken celebration of all things Ireland that falls right in the midst of lent. Few recognize it today as a rebellious holiday. Forgotten still are the days when Irish were sold into slavery by The English. The Irish are a fierce and strong people who have survived centuries of struggle like all Americans. These struggles of domination and power are as old as civilization itself. Nobody understands this better than our veterans yet the battle for domination doesn’t always take place on a battlefield. At this years Fourth Annual St. Patrick Peace Parade in Boston, veterans are speaking out against the corporate special interests that have hijacked our Constitution and Republic.
The Constitution Restoration Cooperative Association, led by Viet Nam Veteran Joe LaBonte, is determined to highlight the distinction between “We The People” and “We The Corporations”. In response to Citizens United Ruling, which considers corporations people, giving them unlimited power to finance lawmakers and influence our republic. Joe is not alone, as a simple google search will show you that there is a huge movement growing to overturn Citizens United ruling and restore our Constitution to “The People” instead of the corporations.
Anyone who takes a clear look at it can see that the interests of the general public and the interests of corporations are diametrically opposed. People want good schools for their youth, services for their elderly, good paying jobs, and a healthy environment. The Constitution guarantees justice equally for “We The People” including social, environmental, economic, civil and criminal justice. These are ideals that veterans fought and gave their lives for.
A corporation is designed to create profit for private shareholders. This means that a CEO must cut operating costs to increase profits. This includes lowering wages, avoiding taxes, reducing costs on containment, or disposal of wastes/pollutants, and the desire to do away with government regulations. This includes environmental regulations that were put into place to safeguard our water and air, regulations that protect workers health/safety, financial regulations that protect citizens against things like predatory lending and many other regulations created to guard justice for “We The People”. Public Health and Safety is not and never has been a top priority for private corporate interests.
Clearly we can see that corporations and the public have opposing interests. Corporate rule and de-regulation has caused incidents like the poisoning of water in West Virginia (and many other places), collapse of economy, and bail-out for bankers that has cost tax-payers billions of dollars. Corporations have found ways to almost completely avoid taxes, yet they hold more representation in Washington than the average citizen.
Obviously our politicians can not serve both the interests of the public and corporations simultaneously, that would be impossible. So the question naturally arises, “who do our politicians serve? The people or the corporations who purchased their campaign?”
The American tax-paying citizen is carrying the burden of public health, infrastructure, environmental degradation, wars, and the occasional banker bail-out. Corporations have attained representation without taxation (loopholes and corporate welfare) and the citizens are right back at taxation without representation.
CRCA President, Joe LaBonte believes that we can solve this problem through creating a “Constitutionally literate nation by September 17, 2017” by focusing on youth. Encouraging youth to understand The Constitution and,
challenging our leaders locally, State and Nationally on their knowledge of the Constitution
Who better to raise this question with our elected officials than veterans who served to protect our Constitution and the youth who will be the leaders of the future? LaBonte calls this, “part of our ongoing efforts to bring the Constitution to the fore of our public discourse”.
In a city with a long history of Irish pride, and a place where the Boston Tea Party happened, The United States Constitution will be marched down the streets in The St. Patricks Day Peace Parade on March 16th. Please learn more about this important event by reading their complete press release and be sure to show up in support if you live in the Boston area. Support our veterans, support our youth, support our Constitution and celebrate St Patrick wherever you may be!