Prohibition Of Campaign Contributions [1907] - History

(An Act To prohibit corporations from making money contributions in connection with political elections)

Be it enacted. ., That it shall be unlawful for any national bank, or any corporation organized by authority of any laws of Congress, to make a money contribution in connection with any election to any political office. It shall also be unlawful for any corporation whatever to make a money contribution in connection with any election at which Presidential and Vice presidential electors or a Representative in Congress is to be voted for or any election by any State legislature of a United States Senator. Every corporation which shall make any contribution in violation of the foregoing provisions shall be subject to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, and every officer or director of any corporation who shall consent to any contribution by the corporation in violation of the foregoing provisions shall upon conviction be punished by a fine of not exceeding one thousand and not less than two hundred and fifty dollars or by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.

Approved, January 26, I907.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Campaigns and Elections

Political observers in the early 1930s were of decidedly mixed opinion about the possible presidential candidacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Many leaders of the Democratic Party saw in Roosevelt an attractive mixture of experience (as governor of New York and as a former vice presidential candidate) and appeal (the Roosevelt name itself, which immediately associated FDR with his remote cousin, former President Theodore Roosevelt.)FDR's record as governor of New York—and specifically his laudable, if initially conservative, efforts to combat the effects of the depression in his own state—only reinforced his place as the leading Democratic contender for the 1932 presidential nomination. Under the watchful eyes of his political advisers Louis Howe and James Farley, FDR patiently garnered support from Democrats around the country, but especially in the South and the West. In preparation for his presidential bid, Roosevelt consulted a group of college professors, dubbed the "Brains Trust" (later shortened to the "Brain Trust"), for policy advice.

Other observers, however, were not so sanguine about his abilities or chances. Walter Lippmann, the dean of political commentators and a shaper of public opinion, observed acidly of Roosevelt: "He is a pleasant man who, without any important qualifications for the office, would very much like to be president." FDR's Democratic Party, moreover, was both factionalized and ideologically splintered. Several other candidates sought the nomination, including Speaker of the House John Nance Garner of Texas (who found support in the west) and the party's 1928 candidate, Alfred Smith (who ran strong in the urban northeast). The party further split on two key social issues: Catholicism and prohibition. Smith was a Catholic and wanted to end prohibition, which pleased Democrats in the Northeast, but angered those in the South and West.

In 1932, though, the key issue was the Great Depression, not Catholicism or prohibition, which gave Democrats a great opportunity to take the White House back from the Republicans. While FDR did not enter the Democratic convention in Chicago with the necessary two-thirds of the delegates, he managed to secure them after promising Garner the vice-presidential nomination. FDR then broke with tradition and flew to Chicago by airplane to accept the nomination in person, promising delegates "a new deal for the American people." FDR's decision to go to Chicago was politically necessary: he needed to demonstrate to the country that even though his body had been ravaged by polio, he was robust, strong, and energetic.

Roosevelt's campaign for president was necessarily cautious. His opponent, President Herbert Hoover, was so unpopular that FDR's main strategy was not to commit any gaffes that might take the public's attention away from Hoover's inadequacies and the nation's troubles. FDR traveled around the country attacking Hoover and promising better days ahead, but often without referring to any specific programs or policies. Roosevelt was so genial—and his prescriptions for the country so bland—that some commentators questioned his capabilities and his grasp of the serious challenges confronting the United States.

On occasion, though, FDR hinted at the shape of the New Deal to come. FDR told Americans that only by working together could the nation overcome the economic crisis, a sharp contrast to Hoover's paeans to American individualism in the face of the depression. In a speech in San Francisco, FDR outlined the expansive role that the federal government should play in resuscitating the economy, in easing the burden of the suffering, and in insuring that all Americans had an opportunity to lead successful and rewarding lives.

The outcome of the 1932 presidential contest between Roosevelt and Hoover was never greatly in doubt. Dispirited Americans swept the fifty-year-old FDR into office in a landslide in both the popular and electoral college votes. Voters also extended their approval of FDR to his party, giving Democrats substantial majorities in both houses of Congress. These congressional majorities would prove vital in Roosevelt's first year in office.

The Campaign and Election of 1936

FDR entered the 1936 election with a strong, but not invincible, hand. The economy remained sluggish and eight million Americans still were without jobs. Critics from various points on the political spectrum—such as Father Coughlin and Dr. Francis Townsend—had spent much of the previous two years attacking the President. (They supported Representative William Lemke of the newly formed Union Party in the 1936 election.) Likewise, by 1936 FDR had lost most of the backing he once held in the business community because of his support for the Wagner Act and the Social Security Act.

Republicans, though, had few plausible candidates to challenge FDR in 1936. They settled on Alfred "Alf" Landon, a two-term governor of Kansas who was the only Republican governor to win reelection in 1934. Nominated on the first ballot at the Republican convention in Cleveland, Landon was a moderate conservative—and notoriously lackluster public speaker—who the party hoped could take votes from FDR in the rural Midwest. Unfortunately for Landon, his moderation was often drowned out during the campaign by the conservative clamor emanating from the Republican Party, as well as from his running mate, Chicago publisher Frank Knox.

Roosevelt seemed to relish the attacks of Republicans, maintaining that he and his New Deal protected the average American against the predations of the rich and powerful, Referring to "business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking," FDR crowed, "Never before have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred." Roosevelt's supporters believed their candidate understood and sympathized with them. As one worker put it in 1936, Roosevelt "is the first man in the White House to understand that my boss is a son of a (expletive.)" FDR won the election in a walk, amassing huge majorities in the popular vote and in the Electoral College.

What the 1936 election made most clear was that because of FDR and the New Deal, the Democratic Party was now the majority party in the nation. Roosevelt had put together what came to be called the "New Deal Coalition," an alliance of voters from different regions of the country and from racial, religious and ethnic groups. The coalition combined southern Protestants, northern Jews, Catholics and blacks from urban areas, labor union members, small farmers in the middle west and Plains states, and liberals and radicals. This diverse group, with some minor alterations, would power the Democrats for the next thirty years—and it was Roosevelt who put it together.

The Campaign and Election of 1940

In 1940, Roosevelt decided to run for an unprecedented third term, breaking the tradition set by George Washington that limited Presidents to eight years in office. FDR had been coy about his future for most of his second term, but finally told confidantes that he would run only if the situation in Europe deteriorated further and his fellow Democrats drafted him as their candidate. Nazi Germany's successful invasion of Western Europe and defeat of France in the spring of 1940 took care of the former condition FDR's political operatives, especially Chicago mayor Ed Kelly, arranged for the latter. Not all Democrats, most notably long-time political adviser James Farley and Vice President John Garner, were pleased with FDR's decision to break from Washington's precedent. And conservative southern Democrats strenuously objected to FDR's vice presidential choice, Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace, a former progressive Republican, but now a staunch liberal New Dealer.

Republicans chose Wendell L. Willkie of Indiana, a corporate lawyer and president of a utility company, as their candidate. It was an unconventional choice. Willkie had voted for FDR in 1932 and had been a Democrat until 1938. While he opposed FDR's public power policies, especially the TVA, Willkie actually supported much of the New Deal's domestic legislation and was an internationalist in foreign affairs—controversial positions in a party with its share of vigorous New Deal opponents and isolationists. In many respects, Willkie was just the type of liberal Republican that FDR wanted to lure into the Democratic PartyDuring the initial weeks of the election season, FDR looked strong even though he campaigned only from the White House. Willkie proved lackluster on the stump and he seemed to agree with much of FDR's domestic and foreign agenda. In late September, though, Willkie began to tighten the race, largely by charging that if FDR won a third term, "you may expect that we will be at war." Roosevelt countered that he would not send Americans to fight in "any foreign war." Over its last month, the campaign degenerated into a series of outrageous accusations and mud-slinging, if not by the two candidates themselves then by their respective parties. On election day, FDR won 55 percent of the popular vote and the electoral votes of thirty-eight states. Willkie gained only ten states, but for Republicans even this was an improvement over their dismal showing in 1936.

The Campaign and Election of 1944

In 1944, in the midst of war, Roosevelt made it known to fellow Democrats that he was willing to run for a fourth term. Democrats, even conservative southerners who had long been suspicious of FDR's liberalism, backed Roosevelt as their party's best chance for victory. FDR received all but 87 of the votes of the 1,075 delegates at the Democratic National Convention. The real intrigue came with the Democratic nomination for vice president. FDR decided against running with his current vice president, the extremely liberal Henry Wallace, fearing that Wallace's politics would open a rift in the party between liberals (concentrated in the northeast) and conservatives (largely hailing from the south.) Instead, Senator Harry Truman of Missouri, who had the backing of the south, the big-city bosses in the party, and at least the tacit approval of FDR, took the vice-presidential nomination.

Republicans nominated Thomas Dewey, the popular governor of New York State, chosen with only one Republican delegate voting against him. Dewey ran as a moderate Republican, promising not to undo the social and economic reforms of the New Deal, but instead to make them more efficient and effective. Dewey, like Willkie four years earlier, was an internationalist in foreign affairs, voicing support for a postwar United Nations. One of Dewey's most effective gambits was to raise discreetly the age issue. He assailed the President as a "tired old man" with "tired old men" in his cabinet, pointedly suggesting that the President's lack of vigor had produced a less than vigorous economic recovery.

FDR, as most observers could see from his weight loss and haggard appearance, was a tired man in 1944. But upon entering the campaign in earnest in late September, 1944, Roosevelt displayed enough passion and fight to allay most concerns and to deflect Republican attacks. With the war still raging, he urged voters not to "change horses in mid-stream." Just as important, he showed some of his famous campaign fire. In a classic speech before the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, FDR belittled the Republican attacks on him. Recalling the charges from a Minnesota congressman who accused FDR of sending a battleship to Alaska to retrieve his dog Fala, FDR nearly chortled "These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or my sons. No, not content with that they now include my little dog Fala. Wll, of course, I don't resent attacks, and my family don't resent attacks, but Fala does resent them." With his audience abuzz, FDR delivered his punch-line: "I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself . . . But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog."On election day, voters returned Roosevelt to the White House. He garnered almost 54 percent of the popular vote—to Dewey's 46 percent—and won the Electoral College by a count of 432 to 99. Even though the Republicans had improved their totals in both the popular and electoral votes, they could not unseat FDR.


During the Colorado Gold Rush of 1858–59, most mining camps and early towns used saloons as places for government, suppliers, grocers, and other official functions. Later, saloons served as locations for labor union meetings, money caches, and places where immigrant miners could buy foreign-language newspapers. They were also hot spots for gambling, boxing, and prostitution.

Because the rough-and-tumble saloon scene was a feature of its early communities, Colorado soon saw a push for alcohol prohibition. Legal and moral arguments for the control of liquor existed as early as the mid-1860s, when Colorado was still a territory. Conscious of the region’s saloon culture, some towns were established as totally dry from the get-go, including the agrarian communities of Greeley (Union Colony) and Longmont (Chicago-Colorado Colony) in the early 1870s. However, the idea of turning the entire state dry did not gain traction until the end of the century. A state law passed in 1889 outlawed the sale or delivery of alcohol to American Indians. Further efforts to ban alcohol in the state followed this precedent and often corresponded with antiurban, anti-immigrant sentiments.

Federal Election Commission

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is a federal regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the nation's campaign finance laws. The commission was created by the United States Congress in 1975. The commission comprises six members who serve six-year terms of office. Two seats are appointed every two years. All commissioners are appointed by the president with the advice and consent "Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote." ⎛] of the United States Senate. ⎜]

The commission is authorized to do the following: ⎝]

  1. "to disclose campaign finance information"
  2. "to enforce the provisions of the law, such as limits and prohibitions on contributions"
  3. "to oversee the public funding of presidential elections"

No more than three commissioners can belong to the same political party. Any action taken by the commission must be approved by at least four commissioners. The commission is led by a chairperson who serves a single one-year term. The table below lists commissioners as of December 2016. ⎜]

Federal Election Commission members as of December 2016
Name Position Political party Appointment year
Matthew S. Petersen Chair Republican 2013
Steven T. Walther Vice chairman Democratic 2008
Caroline C. Hunter Commissioner Republican 2008
Ellen L. Weintraub Commissioner Democratic 2002
Ann M. Ravel Commissioner Democratic 2006
Lee E. Goodman Commissioner Republican 2013
Source: Federal Election Commission, "Commissioners," accessed December 16, 2016

Prohibition on Political Contributions by National Banks: Updated Guidance

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), after consultation with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), prepared this issuance to describe and to emphasize the prohibitions on political contributions or expenditures by national banks pursuant to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, 2 USC § 441b (the Act). This bulletin replaces OCC Bulletin 2000-8 (March 22, 2000).


The Act makes it unlawful for a national bank to make any contribution or expenditure or to provide any service (except usual and customary banking services) or anything of value in connection with any election to any political office, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office. This prohibition applies to all federal, state, and local elections, political conventions, and caucuses. 11 CFR § 114.2(a). In addition, it is unlawful for any officer or any director of a national bank to consent on behalf of the bank to any political contribution or expenditure prohibited by the Act, and it is unlawful for any candidate, political committee, or other person to knowingly accept or receive a political contribution or expenditure prohibited by the Act. 2 USC § 441b.

FEC Regulations prohibit other forms of political contributions or expenditures by national banks, including, but not limited to, the purchase of tickets to political dinners or other political fundraising events, advertisements in political literature, and donations of goods or services in connection with political fundraising events and activities. 11 CFR §§ 100.51-100.57 and 114.2. However, bank employees, in their personal capacity, may make contributions from their own funds. Also, a national bank is not prohibited under the Act from making a contribution to a fund whose purpose is to influence a ballot referendum, provided the referendum does not involve elections to any political office.

The Act requires that every political committee designate at least one insured depository institution as its campaign depository where all receipts are deposited and from which all significant disbursements are made. 2 U.S.C. § 432(h). National banks may serve as those depositories for political committees and may pay interest and dividends, in the regular course of business, on funds in such accounts. Fees for banking services may be waived or discounted, provided that such concessions are offered to others on equal terms and are a normal business practice.


The term "contribution or expenditure," within the meaning of the Act, includes any direct or indirect payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money, or any services, or anything of value (except a loan of money by a national bank made in accordance with the applicable banking laws and regulations and in the ordinary course of business) to any candidate, campaign committee, or political party or organization in connection with any election. 2 USC § 441b(b)(2). See also, 11 CFR §§ 100.82 and 100.142 (exception to the terms "contributions" and "expenditures" for bank loans).

For purposes of the Act, a loan by a national bank will be deemed to be made in the ordinary course of business if it: (i) bears the usual and customary interest rate of the lending institution for the category of the loan involved (ii) is made on a basis which assures repayment (iii) is evidenced by a written instrument and (iv) is subject to a due date or amortization schedule. 11 CFR § 100.82.

The term "contribution or expenditure" does not include: (a) communications by a national bank to its stockholders and executive or administrative personnel (b) nonpartisan registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns by a national bank aimed at its stockholders and executive or administrative personnel and their families and (c) the establishment, administration, and voluntary solicitation of contributions to a separate segregated fund (SSF). 2 USC § 441b(b)(2). However, national banks are not permitted to make direct or indirect contributions or expenditures of bank funds to SSFs. Additionally, national banks (including officers, directors, or other representatives acting as agents for the bank) are prohibited from "facilitating the making of contributions." 11 CFR § 114.2(f).


The Act gives the FEC exclusive jurisdiction with respect to civil enforcement of its provisions and provides the FEC with authority to assess civil penalties. 2 USC §§ 437c(b)(1) and 437g(a)(5). The FEC may also refer cases to the United States Attorney General for criminal prosecution when there is probable cause to believe that a violation is knowing and willful. 2 USC § 437g(a)(5)(C).

National banks are reminded that when a bank examiner discovers a direct or indirect political contribution or expenditure by a national bank, the OCC will require that the bank stop the practice, take measures to prevent its recurrence, and will make appropriate referrals to the FEC. In the event the FEC does not pursue a matter referred to it by the OCC, the OCC will consider taking appropriate action, including supervisory and enforcement actions to make the bank whole.


Requests for advisory opinions may be submitted in writing to the FEC if they concern the application of the Act, chapter 95 or 96 of the Internal Revenue Code, or a regulation prescribed by the FEC to a specific transaction or activity in which the requestor is involved. 11 CFR § 112.


The prohibition movement influenced Texas and American politics from the 1840s to the 1930s. In the nineteenth century a movement against alcoholic beverages arose when some Americans, appalled by the social damage and individual wreckage that alcohol consumption too often seemed to cause, sought to persuade citizens to refrain from drinking liquor. This "temperance" movement enjoyed considerable success and continued parallel with the prohibition movement. In the eyes of some reformers a sober America was attainable only under laws that declared illegal the manufacture and sale of liquor. In their view the profit motive led the distilling, brewing, and saloon industries to encourage more people to drink. The destruction of the legal liquor traffic appeared to be the solution of a widespread individual and social problem. Prohibition sentiment found ready partisans among fundamentalist Protestants in Texas. Fundamentalists had long taught that drinking is immoral, and many of them came to believe that state-enforced teetotalism would improve public morality. In this regard, during the prohibition era at least, fundamentalists contributed to the extension of state power. Legal prohibition would, they thought, conduce to greater freedom. In subsequent years, however, in spite of this temporary alliance with political liberalism, and in spite of continuing opposition to alcohol sales and consumption, fundamentalists demonstrated a staunch conservatism.

Drys, as the reformers were called, first animated Texas politics in the 1840s. The drys sought measures allowing voters in prescribed areas to declare prohibition in effect: to pass so-called local-option laws for neighborhoods, towns, cities, and counties. Eventually the drys sought statewide prohibition and an amendment to the United States Constitution declaring illegal the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. In 1843 the Republic of Texas had passed what may have been the first local-option measure in North America. A Texas law of 1845 banned saloons altogether. The law was never enforced, however, and was repealed in 1856. The prohibition controversy, however, did not disappear in either Texas or the nation. The United Friends of Temperance, the first Texas-wide dry organization, was formed around 1870. In 1883 the state branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was founded with help from the national WCTU leader, Frances Willard. There was a separate black WCTU for the state. In 1886 the Prohibition party offered candidates for office in Texas. The new Constitution of 1876 had required the legislature to enact a local-option law. In 1887 the drys engineered a state prohibition referendum, which they lost by more than 90,000 votes. Nevertheless, dry sentiment was widespread. In 1895, fifty-three of the 239 counties were dry, and another seventy-nine counties were partly dry under local option.

In the twentieth century the prohibition movement advanced from the rural counties of North Texas to convert a majority of the state's voters. As before, the liquor industries opposed the measure with well-financed publicity and well-placed financing of political leaders. In 1903 the Home and State began to counteract liquor publicity, and the Texas Local Option Association united dry groups. That association merged in 1908 with the state Anti-Saloon League , which had appeared in 1907. The league, formed in Ohio in 1893, was bringing new zeal and organizing skills to the dry campaign around the United States. In Texas the drys in 1908 and 1911 tried again for a prohibition law but lost the referendum by a close margin. Although the statewide dry campaigns had failed, the number of dry counties was increasing. North Texas was dry only areas with relatively large concentrations of African, Hispanic, and German Americans continued to license the liquor industries.

With the electorate split on the issue, prohibition continued to divide Texans. In 1913 Morris Sheppard , a dedicated dry, won a seat in the United States Senate and assumed leadership in the national prohibition campaign by his sponsorship of what became the Eighteenth Amendment. In 1916 the drys won enough congressional races to have Congress initiate the national prohibition amendment. The Texas legislature, encouraged by the Anti-Saloon League (which was reorganized in 1915 under Arthur J. Barton to provide sustained support for state prohibition), ratified the federal amendment in 1918. In 1919 Texas voters approved a state prohibition amendment.

Prohibition was controversial in both national and Texas politics in the 1920s. The Anti-Saloon League was deeply divided over the question of how to use the Eighteenth Amendment: as a measure providing new opportunities to persuade Americans to abstain from liquor, or as a measure demanding strict enforcement. In Texas, Atticus Webb, who assumed leadership of the state league, failed to obtain strict enforcement. In 1925 opponents of prohibition were in control of the Texas government and refused to support enforcement. In the meantime, the drys were unable to obtain funds for a large-scale, sustained educational campaign on behalf of abstinence. Nationally, popular support for prohibition receded dramatically after the onset of the Great Depression in 1929, and in 1933 the Twenty-first Amendment repealed prohibition. In 1935 Texas voters ratified a repeal of the state dry law. Thereafter the prohibition question reverted to the local level, and the drys had available only local-option statutes.

In the 1980s a neoprohibition movement emerged in the United States. The reformers sought not to outlaw the liquor industries but more closely to regulate their marketing campaigns. In 1984, for instance, Congress required Texas and all other states to declare the minimum drinking age to be twenty-one in order to receive full federal highway funding. Subsequently, "warning labels" stating the dangers of alcohol consumption were mandated.

1911: Republicans Force Amendments Extending Campaign Reform Legislation to Primary Elections

Lawmakers concerned with political reform push for amendments to the Tillman Act (see 1907) and Federal Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA—see June 25, 1910) that would extend those laws’ campaign finance restrictions to primary elections. Particularly strong in their support are reformers in the new Western and old Northern Republican-dominated states, who resent the Southern Democrats’ grip on their region of the country. Democrats have a powerful grip on the South, largely because few Southerners will countenance voting or campaigning as a Republican due to the Republican Party’s support for Reconstructionist policies after the Civil War. Southern Democrats are outnumbered in Congress, and unable to prevent the amendments from being passed. [Campaign Finance Timeline, 1999] The amendments will be found unconstitutional four years later (see 1921).

Summary of Campaign March 29, 2016

**For Next Steps in Absolute Prohibition Campaign click here. As of January 2017 we are collaborating together on strategies and sharing information. Spanish as well as English discussions are taking place, and French may be starting soon. Resource pages are also under construction on this website.**

Here is the information I presented to the CRPD Committee this morning:

Intervention by Tina Minkowitz at the opening of the 15 th session of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – as delivered

Members of the Committee, Secretariat, respected colleagues. I speak to you today on behalf of the Center for the Human Rights of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.

I present the results of a Campaign to demonstrate civil society support for the CRPD absolute prohibition of commitment and forced treatment. We asked participants to contribute their own knowledge and experience in the effort to persuade states to end the widespread suffering of those who are being medically tortured with no effective redress.

I will summarize the 41 submissions that are published on the Campaign website, which will be shared in electronic form with hyperlinks for easy reference. The materials are published in their original languages whether French, German, Spanish, Italian or English. A few other submissions are still coming in from people who misunderstood or were unable to finish before now, including from ENUSP (now added, see below).

The home page of the website is Some of the publications can also be found on collaborating blogs Mad in America, Sodis (Peru), PAIIS (Colombia), Dé-psychiatriser (France) and il cappellaio matto (Italy), and on participants’ individual blogs which are linked in their posts.

I begin with the memorials of those who died in psychiatry: M’hamed El Yagoubi writes about his wife and companion Nathalie Dale (in France). Dorrit Cato Christensen writes about her daughter Luise (in Denmark), and Olga Runciman dramatizes her anger and outrage over another death in Danish psychiatry. María Teresa Fernández speaks in honor of her brother (in Mexico), and also reflects from a moral perspective and as a person with a disability who works on the CRPD.

Survivors have a unique vantage point on degradations such as solitary confinement, restraints, injections, forced nakedness, brutality, authoritarianism, the stultifying effects of psychiatric drugs, the sheer destruction of electroshock, and sadistic psychological manipulations. How can we heal from abuse that society condones and that the law allows with impunity? For women forced psychiatry is sexualized and gendered, and should be recognized as both disability-based and gender-based violence. These writings stand as evidence of severe harm and as critique of laws and practices from the bottom up.

Jhilmil Breckenridge and Irit Shimrat evoke scenes of brutality, humiliation, and enforced subjection counterposed to the subjectivity of the survivor who is left to cope with her losses. Shimrat also looks back on a comic book hero she created as a young woman locked up on a psych ward for the first time.

Andrea Cortés describes how society seeks answers from experts, who punish people that don’t fit in, instead of learning to coexist Katherine Tapley-Middleton relates how forced drugging caused her eyes to roll up in her head, and the nurses withheld a side-effects remedy Roberta Gelsomino evokes frustration and anger towards those who did not help and refused to see her as a person.

Initially NO (see full original) combines political art and testimony to show how her rights under the CRPD were systematically negated by psychiatric violence Anne Grethe Teien counters Norway’s claim that it is not violating human rights by comparing its laws and practices with the CRPD and with her own experience. Pink Belette and Agnès, both in France, attest to brutality, authoritarianism, and meaningless review procedures Pink Belette also uses humor to rebuke psychiatric arrogance.

Connie Neil shares her journey with anger and grief over the destruction wrought by forced electroshock, and finally a possibility of forgiveness Eveline Zenith describes and analyzes the abusive character of psychotherapy that entails re-traumatization Corrine A. Taylor relates how she stopped psychiatric drugs in the face of a doubting psychiatrist and calls for everyone to have the same chance Christian Discher documents the taunting of a young man for his homosexuality as part of his confinement.

Lucila López, a user and survivor of psychiatry, a mother, and a social psychologist, discusses a range of issues related to commitment and forced treatment, including iatrogenic harm, Argentina’s national mental health law, the pathologization of poverty, and the situation of young people affected by consumption of legal or illegal drugs.

Added: Jolijn Santegoeds calls for care not coercion in the Netherlands, and for compensation to survivors, appending her personal experience 󈬀 years old, depressed and tortured in psychiatry.”

Researchers, scholars, lawyers, and clinicians, among them survivors and allies, express their adherence to the Campaign and build our knowledge base.

Robert Whitaker, journalist and founder of Mad in America, and Peter C. Gøtzsche, MD, researcher with the Cochrane Institute, each make a case against forced treatment from a medical standpoint. Clinician Jose Raul Sabbagh Mancilla in Mexico unconditionally supports the absolute prohibition of commitment and forced treatment. Psychologist Paula J. Caplan, PhD discusses inherently illegitimate psychiatric diagnosis as the entry point into human rights violations.

Karlijn Roex, PhD candidate in sociology, counters the use of “danger to self or others” to justify coercive psychiatric interventions, through scientific arguments, ‘user’ narratives, and moral principles. Anne-Laure Donskoy, survivor researcher, highlights the adoption of coercive mental health methods to enforce work requirements on benefits recipients in the UK.

Linda Steele, lecturer in law, characterizes commitment and forced treatment as disability-specific forms of violence condoned by domestic law and thus not amenable to legal recourse. Lawyer Francisca Figueroa notes the tension between the CRPD absolute prohibition and Chilean laws and practices condoning forced treatment. Documenta shared videos from its campaign against the system of inimputabilidad and security measures in Mexico, including a complaint under the CRPD Optional Protocol.

Bonnie Burstow, scholar and activist who advocates abolition of psychiatry itself, welcomes the Guidelines on Article 14 which clarify the absolute prohibition on forced treatment. Sarah Knutson makes the case for 100% voluntary treatment as an ex-lawyer, ex-therapist survivor activist, and presents an alternative approach to conflict and crisis.

Organizations and activists shared their advocacy and calls for action related to the absolute prohibition.

Added: European Network of (ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP) counters the positions of the Human Rights Committee and the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture in conflict with the CRPD and argues for real development of mental health care starting from the premise that forced psychiatric interventions must be banned.

Added: Fiona Walsh, survivor and human rights defender, reports on Ireland’s enactment of CRPD-noncompliant capacity and mental health legislation.

Erveda Sansi explains how Italian law still permits commitment and forced treatment in civil and forensic institutions. il cappellaio matto shares an interview with Dr Giorgio Antonucci on his work to abolish forced treatment in the 1960s that remained incomplete.

Coalition Against Psychiatric Assault created a video and petition calling on the Canadian government to withdraw its reservation that perpetuates compulsory treatment. Die-BPE of Berlin details the law and practice in Germany that allows substitute decision-making on the basis of a “lack of insight” standard, which violates the CRPD.

Asociación Azul calls for sweeping changes to allow people to be free and enjoy the same rights as others in their communities survivor activist Don Weitz calls for class action suits and criminalization of forced psychiatric treatments and involuntary commitals Jules Malleus shares a view of psychiatry as a destructive machine, utilizing images from dystopian films to make the point Ana María Sánchez calls for creative public policies beyond the elimination of commitment and forced treatment.

This concludes the summary of materials that constitute the Campaign. I hope it will strengthen our common motivation and determination to put an end to medicalized torture and insist on consistency among all human rights mechanisms global regional and national to ensure no person remains in a situation of commitment and forced treatment in violation of the Convention. We need to not allow this issue to be left behind in the SDG monitoring, in work on the rights of women and girls with disabilities, in the COSP, or in any other CRPD implementation. It is a huge task for all of us, and survivors and victims remind us of why it cannot be forgotten.

The Campaign will have a second phase, both to reach out again to regions that remained unrepresented, and to pursue common interests that emerge in the materials. For those who are interested I will plan to schedule public discussions via Skype or web conferencing within the next few months, and I can be contacted through the Campaign website and also on Facebook and Twitter as Tina Minkowitz and also on the official CHRUSP page.

Jefferson County prohibition

The Alabama State Legislature, under pressure from the Anti-Saloon League, followed on the heels of Georgia's 1907 state-wide alcohol ban by passing a "Local Option" law, giving counties the right to hold referendums on local prohibition measures.

The Jefferson County prohibition campaign was led by mayor George Ward and the Birmingham News, progressive voices that sought to improve the city's image in the wake of a series of bribary scandals involving liquor and gambling interests. Birmingham's “red light” districts, such as Pigeon’s Roost and Scratch Ankle, were also cited as both a public safety concern and a source of negative publicity.

In 1907 Ward and the News began a push for prohibition of alcohol within the city. A special election was held on October 28, 1907. By the time of the vote, Ward had softened his position to favor stronger regulation of saloons as an alternative to outright prohibition. Nevertheless, the city's slim majority of 300 in opposition to the proposal was eclipsed by voters in rural areas who strongly favored the measure. On New Years Day 1908, Jefferson County went officially dry. It had been reported that 120 saloons were closed, and that a number of operators, together responsible for over $300,000 in annual rents, relocated en masse to Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee.

The State of Alabama followed with another new law in November 1908 prohibiting the sale of alcohol statewide. Efforts to write the prohibition language into the Alabama Constitution of 1901, signed by Governor B. B. Comer, failed at the ballot box. Prohibition opponent Emmet O'Neal succeeded Comer as Governor after the 1910 general election.

These state and local prohibition laws were not entirely effective, in part because they prohibited only the sale of alcohol, rather than mere possession, thus obliging prosecutors to produce witnesses not only of the presence of liquor or its effect, but of the illegal transaction itself.

Many saloons closed, at least temporarily, when the law first took effect, but most of them appeared to re-open over the course of the following year. Although Brooks Lawrence of the Alabama Anti-Saloon League insisted that nothing stronger than "near beer" was being sold in the city of Birmingham, a correspondent found, on personal inspection, that twenty-four saloons were open on April 27, 1909 with "the same old signs, same old fixtures, same old bar keepers as in 'wet' times," and whiskey and beer was being served openly in all of them. The only difference he could detect in the conduct of the saloon keepers was that they "will not knowingly sell a man or party of men or boys any further liquor when the former believes the purchasers have had all they can safely carry." All around the city "locker clubs" appeared, in which members were given keys to lockers to store their own bottles. In reality, the clubs continued to serve liquor from open bars as before, maintaining the lockers for appearances' sake only.

The writer further investigated whether any convictions had been obtained in the county court for violation of the prohibition law. He was given twenty-two names, of whom all but four were African Americans and only one was wealthy enough to have hired an attorney, but who was convicted in absentia when he failed to appear. Most cases brought in the criminal court appeared to result in mistrials as juries could never agree on a verdict. One bar owner celebrated prohibition, claiming to be saving $1,500 per year under the new system.

In a 1910 publication, leaders of the national temperance movement complained that "Under local dry law for twelve months and under state wide Prohibition now for nearly two full years the benefits of the new policy have been constantly restricted and curtailed by hostile officials and unfriendly political leadership in more or less open alliance with the outlawed liquor dealers." Nevertheless, they held up the amazing population boom of the Magic City, mainly a result of the Greater Birmingham annexations, as proof that "going dry" was a boon to population growth.

Women Led the Temperance Charge Scroll to read more

The roots of what became Prohibition in 1920 started in the 19th century with the Temperance Movement, principally among women who protested against the abuse of alcohol and how it caused men to commit domestic violence against women. This illustration, published in a newspaper in 1874, shows women gathered in protest outside a local saloon. Courtesy of Library of Congress. Carrie Nation, circa 1900. The Bottle was a book published in London in 1847 that influenced the Temperance Movement in America for its frank depiction of a man’s descent from unemployment to violence against his family due to alcoholism. Courtesy of Library of Congress. Francis Willard, president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) from 1879 to 1898, photo circa 1880s to 1898. Carrie Nation Hatchet: Art Stove Company Carrie Nation commemorative hatchet

Women Led the Temperance Charge

Temperance began in the early 1800s as a movement to limit drinking in the United States. The movement combined a concern for general social ills with religious sentiment and practical health considerations in a way that was appealing to many middle-class reformers. Women in particular were drawn to temperance in large numbers. Temperance reformers blamed “demon rum” for corrupting American culture and leading to violence, immorality and death.

The earliest temperance reformers were concerned with the overindulgence of American drinkers and encouraged moderation. By 1830, the average American older than 15 consumed at least seven gallons of alcohol a year. Alcohol abuse was rampant, and temperance advocates argued that it led to poverty and domestic violence. Some of these advocates were in fact former alcoholics themselves. In 1840, six alcoholics in Baltimore, Maryland, founded the Washingtonian Movement, one of the earliest precursors to Alcoholics Anonymous, which taught sobriety, or “teetotalism,” to its members. Teetotalism, so named for the idea of capital “T” total abstinence, emerged in this period and would become the dominant perspective of temperance advocates for the next century.

Women were active in the movement from the beginning. By 1831, there were 24 women’s organizations dedicated to temperance. It was an appealing cause because it sought to end a phenomenon that directly affected many women’s quality of life. Temperance was painted as a religious and moral duty that paired well with other feminine responsibilities. If total abstinence was achieved, the family, its home, its health and even its salvation would be secure. Women crusaders, particularly middle-class Protestants, pointed toward the Christian virtues of prudence, temperance and chastity, and encouraged people to practice these virtues by abstaining from alcohol.

The Civil War put an immediate, if temporary, end to early temperance efforts. States needed the tax revenue earned through alcohol sales, and many temperance reformers focused on bigger issues such as abolition or the health of soldiers. As the United States returned to life as usual in the 1870s, the next wave of temperance advocates set to work – this time with an aim at changing laws along with hearts. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was one such group.

The WCTU was founded in 1873, and it became a national social reform and lobbying organization the following year. Its second president, Francis Willard, helped to grow the WCTU into the largest women’s religious organization in the 19th century. Willard was known for her self-proclaimed “Do Everything” policy. She was concerned with temperance as well as women’s rights, suffrage and international social justice. She saw alcoholics as mentally weak and unstable, and believed temperance could help improve the quality of life of individual alcoholics as well as their families and communities.

Willard also saw the value of the WCTU for its ability to increase opportunities for women. The organization trained women in important skills for a changing world – leadership, public speaking and political thinking. The way she shaped the WCTU perfectly summarizes the multifaceted goals of the female-dominated temperance movement. By using temperance as a rallying cry, they sought to improve the lives of women on many different levels.

Willard was a strong president, but her “Do Everything” policy became the WCTU’s greatest downfall. By tackling so many issues, it made little concrete progress on alcohol reform. One exception was the influence it had on public education. In 1881, the WCTU began to lobby for legally mandated temperance instruction in schools. By 1901, federal law required “scientific temperance” instruction in all public schools, federal territories’ and military schools. These lessons were similar to the anti-drug programs that exist in schools today, but they perpetuated anti-drinking propaganda and misinformation. Lessons stressed that a person could become an alcoholic after just one drink and that most drinkers died because of alcohol. They also perpetuated racist stereotypes, including the belief that African Americans could not hold their liquor.

As the temperance movement waged on, advocates became more extremist, none more so than Carrie Nation. Nation’s first husband, a doctor in the Union army, was an alcoholic. They married in 1867 and had one daughter before separating, due in part to his alcoholism. Nation and her second husband settled in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in 1889, where she was involved with the local WCTU chapter. At the time, Kansas was a dry state, but the law was generally not enforced. Nation believed something must be done, and in June 1900 she awoke from a dream in which God suggested that she go to Kiowa, Kansas, and break down a saloon. Nation did just that, and for the next 10 years she used axes, hammers and rocks to attack bars and pharmacies – smashing bottles and breaking up wooden furniture. She was arrested 30 times.

Nation referred to these attacks as “hatchetations,” and justified her destruction of private property by describing herself as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like.” One of the most radical components of Nation’s hatchetations was that she smashed pharmacies as well. She believed alcohol was evil regardless of use and thought the practice of prescribing alcohol for a host of ailments was as disturbing as the use of alcohol as a social lubricant.

Carrie Nation was a polarizing figure, but many people appreciated her actions and sent her gifts of hammers and hatchets. Companies also commemorated her efforts, and she sold souvenirs alongside her autobiography at lectures and other public appearances as she toured the country with her temperance message.

As the 20th century progressed, a final shift occurred in the Temperance Movement when groups such as the Anti-Saloon League began applying more political pressure and urging for state and federal legislation that would prohibit alcohol. As a shift toward legal action became the dominant approach to temperance, women, who still did not have the right to vote in most states, became less central to the movement. The early efforts of female temperance advocates no doubt shaped the movement, and the road to Prohibition was paved by their desire for a safer and healthier community.