Recently, Public Citizen banded together to perform a social experiment with other key organizations determined to push for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision. Along with Move To Amend, Common Cause, People for the American Way and others, we agreed to send out three tweets that would include: a string of dollar signs, a link to www.DollarsOrDemocracy.org, designed by award-winning viral filmmaker Annie Leonard’s Story of Stuff team; and the hash tag “#reclaim”. Some also posted to their Facebook pages. None of us knew if it would add up to anything but, by mid-morning of the day we deemed,“The Day When Money = Speech” had already broken through the chatter in D.C. to trend on Twitter.
In a little over 24 hours, the reclaim hash tag was tweeted over 1,600 times and countless more had adopted the string of dollar signs ($$$$$$$$) expressing frustration with corporate interference in politics. Mitt Romney’s loose-lipped comment in Iowa that corporations are people deserved its own hash tag, and so #corporationsarepeople was launched and that was used 436 times within the same time period.
While some parts of Washington, D.C. seemed quiet with Congress away, online the frustration with the status quo was palatable. Our message was retweeted by such diverse voices as Joe Trippi, who revolutionized online organizing and small donor cultivation, The Yes Men, an activist troupe that specializes in impersonating corporate executives to underscore their unfair, anti-social activities and filmmaker Michael Moore, who posted our campaign to his Facebook page. The coalition’s other external partners, including the likes of The Young Turks, founded by ex-MSNBC host Cenk Ugyar, Campus Progress, Coffee Party, Greenpeace and the Hip Hop Caucus, spent Aug. 11th tweeting up a storm that may not settle for quiet awhile. Today, the hash tag #reclaim has already been used 2,400 times . . .
For a copy of the press release and explanation of the action see: http://pubc.it/release081111