The protests were organized to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which declared corporations to be people with the ability to make unlimited contributions to try to elect or destroy candidates. While cities around the country held demonstrations at courthouses to contest the controversial ruling, Occupy San Francisco decided to take their actions to the corporate elite themselves.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up