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White Plains Protesters Fight Corporate Donations

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- After joining Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park five times, Nyack College professor Joan Mallory rallied against super PACS' "evaporation of democracy" blocks away from her White Plains home Tuesday.

"I oppose Citizens United. Corporations are not people. They don't work as hard as you and I," Mallory, 69, said of the Jan. 2010 Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission Supreme Court ruling that forbids the government from limiting the political spending of corporations and unions. "There're gross inequalities in our society. We have moved to a place where we think human worth is based on net worth."

Nearly 20 others elicited honks from those driving past Renaissance Plaza while chanting against a court ruling they said allows corporations to donate unlimited amounts to super PACS, effectively drowning out donations from individuals.

The MoveOn protest sought to gain support for a constitutional amendment that repeals the Citizens United decision with a candle-lit vigil at the corner of Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue and march to Rep. Nita Lowey's office (D-Harrison).

Protesters said they chose Lowey's office because she is White Plains' representative, not because of her political ideology. Lowey's office did not immediately return a call for comment.

"It gives them the right to donate large sums of money to campaign financing, even anonymously. So really, the corporations are controlling our county," said Marjorie Morales, a New Rochelle organizer with . "There’s no democracy when they’re in charge."

The Occupy Wall Street-inspired protest attracted supporters from across the county, including Teal Martz, 23, a Larchmont resident who said the candles were meant to help empower individuals in an era of "corporate oligarchy."

"The emphasis is that the individual makes up the whole. A single light may not make a difference but a bunch can light up the city," said Martz. "The problem is super PACS happen before people come into the media, so often times they're already planning who's going to win before people know about them."

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