Demonstrators in Urbana Call for Campaign Contribution Limits
About three dozen demonstrators chanted near the Federal Courthouse building in Urbana on Friday, opposing a U.S. Supreme Court decision that removed most limits on corporate and labor spending in federal elections.
A coalition called Move to Amend organized the Occupy the Courts protest and others like it in more than 100 cities. The group is trying to overturn the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. The case allows private groups to spend on political campaigns with few restrictions
Nancy Dietrich, who was at the rally in Urbana, said she hopes more political candidates begin to re-evaluate where they get their campaign contributions.
"We don't think corporations are people, and corporations shouldn't have as much power to influence political decisions as the people do," Dietrich said.
Ivan Ruiz was also at the rally. He described excessive corporate campaign contributions as an "epidemic" that is not getting better.
"The corporations now are the ones that are choosing our president because they're the ones that have the money to influence public opinion, and that's been a problem in the past," Ruiz said.
Matt Murphy, who was at the demonstration in Urbana, said he doesn't know if Citizens United will actually get overturned, but he said he is optimistic that campaign contribution limits will change.
"This may not fix all the problems, but it's certainly something we can do, and it's certainly a good start to get people to sort of take back our elections from the corporations," Murphy said.
Occupy Wall Street activists also participated in the demonstration in Urbana.
Meanwhile, around 50 people lent their voices to the protest in Chicago, chanting across the street from the Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
(Photo by Sean Powers/WILL)