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Connexions Other Voices – Corporate Crime

April 9, 2016

The April 9 issue of Other Voices, the Connexions newsletter, is now out. The focus of this issue is corporate crime.

Corporations first emerged as a form of legal partnership which allowed a number of investors to pool their capital to establish joint ventures. At the same time, incorporating limited companies allowed investors to limit their risk and their liability. Shareholders could shield themselves and their assets from liability if the venture failed or incurred debts, or if the corporation broke the law.

In the last century, corporations have been able to acquire tremendous power, including the power to make governments write laws and sign treaties to serve the interests of companies and their owners.

At the same time, corporations have increasingly become legally unaccountable for their behaviour. Yet all too often corporations break the law and engage in criminals acts which would be severely punished if they were committed by ordinary individuals. These illegal acts range from deliberate health and safety violations that cost lives, to land seizures, to environmental negligence that contaminates lands and waters. Most of these illegal acts are never prosecuted, and those that are, are usually dealt with by a fine that corporations can treat as a cost of doing business.

There are movements demanding that corporations be held accountable for their crimes in a serious way, and, specifically, that corporate executives should face jail time when the corporation they are in charge of engage in behaviour that causes death, injury, and illness.

Our topic of the week for this issue of Other Voices is Corporate Crime, and a number articles, as well as a book, a film, and a website, explore aspects of the problem.

In the Organizing section, Other Voices features an article about the use of petitions in grassroots organizing. In People's History, there is an article about the use of new digital technologies in work to preserve indigenous languages.

The current issue of Other Voices is online at
To find back issues, see
To subscribe and receive Other Voices by email every two weeks, send an email to

For more information contact:
Ulli Diemer
Phone: 416-964-5735

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