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Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Let your representative know what you want

By Mike Diel
July 5, 2012 | 3:33 p.m. CDT

Last weekend Occupy CoMO put on Occupy Missouri. We had occupiers from St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield attend. We set up camp at the Boone County Courthouse, which the county was kind enough to let us use. We had inspirational speakers, a couple of eye-opening movies and lots of good camaraderie. Our Saturday march was shortened quite a bit because of the weather.

But, by far, my favorite part was a direct action we did Sunday. Occupy does not endorse candidates. We want to change the system not the players. But some of us are Democrats and strive to get them elected.

One woman got an invitation to a rally with Claire McCaskill at the Democratic office on the corner of Broadway and Providence. There were already a lot of people there when we arrived. And we were told not to go inside with our signs, so most of us stood outside.

Before we went, we agreed on a common message: to amend the constitution to end Citizens United — the whole corporations-are-people-and-money-is-free-speech nonsense. It was brilliant because Sen. McCaskill’s speech was all about money in politics and how the super-PACs are spending a fortune on negative ads.

After her speech, two of us chanted, "Corporations are not people, and money is not free speech" inside the office. We didn’t want to disrupt the meeting — most of us will be voting for her.

When she came out of the office, I followed her to the car holding my Move to Amend sign. I got a chance to tell her, "All your opponents stand for everything Occupy is against."

The rest of us chanted "Corporations are not people. Money is not free speech. Corporations are not people. Money is not free speech."

If you agree corporations are not people and money is not free speech, you ought to let the senator know. Contact her by phone at 442-7130, by email on her website, by fax at 442-7140 or at her Columbia office at 915 E. Ash St.

Mike Diel is a Macon resident.