Light display on Walker Art Center bridge protests money in politics [PHOTO]

MoneySpeechWalker.jpg
Phyllis Roden (@proden53)
People driving into Uptown were greeted with this message Saturday night.
A group of activists protested the role money plays in American politics with a light display on the Walker Art Center bridge on Saturday night, after the first day of Rock the Garden concluded.

One of the protest's organizers, Phyllis Roden, tells us the display was in part inspired by the Minnesota Legislature's failure to pass a bill calling on Congress to overturn Citizens United, the controversial 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by corporations, associations, or labor unions. (We reported on that bill in April. Read it here.)

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"We're still out there, working on it," Roden says. "It's a new concept we thought we'd try. It's fun."

Roden says the tactic was inspired by Milwaukee's Overpass Light Brigade.

"It's effective. These messages don't go into the brain immediately, but at some point it's like, 'Oh yeah, I get it,'" she says, adding that a minimum of 12 people are needed, one to hold each of the lights.

Roden's group staged its first lighted protest outside the Capitol in St. Paul earlier this year after the Supreme Court's McCutcheon decision came down and further deregulated how donors can spend money on political candidates and groups. They also protested on the Walker bridge the week before Rock the Garden.

moneyspeech1.jpg
Phyllis Roden
Roden and her group protest near the Capitol.

Roden says her group hasn't heard anything about the display from Walker officials.

"We haven't decided what our next move will be, whether we'll go to the Stone Arch Bridge, but it's kinda fun to keep doing it at the same place," she says. "The repetition starts to get noticed."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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13 comments
Mary Aho
Mary Aho

Money can be an expression of an idea... Kinda like art. Is art not speech?

Jonathan David
Jonathan David

If only they had enough money to make the message intelligible.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

ya but money = power and power is better

Lily Ann
Lily Ann

Thank you for clarifying Paul Karlson! Signing now!

Beverly Gores
Beverly Gores

Seems to me the slogan "money does not equal speech" is FOR the policy of money in politics because it is saying, to me, that since money isn't speech, it is okay to give as much money as you want. It makes no difference.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

I wonder if this group will allow me to get my message out for free?  On the other hand, is their money and light boards only for democrat causes?

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

So, is all the money Mark Dayton’s Ex-Wife spends through Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) a bad thing?  Remember, Education Minnesota was last year’s biggest donor. 

I wonder if this applies to all those commercials Franken has been running...  

Paul Karlson
Paul Karlson

The group is #MoveToAmend . To get Big Money out of politics and take action, sign the petition at www.MoveToAmend.org!

misterrosewater
misterrosewater

Much more successful than their first protest attempt "CHOMPS  EENEY"

_Joe_
_Joe_

Come back and try again after reading up on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

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