Every year, on July 4th, the US celebrates its independence from Britain. And every year, campaigners try to 'take ownership' of the holiday to make a call for a different kind of independence.
Peace campaigners, for example, have long known July 4th as the day that the UK should 'declare independence' from the US, by getting rid of their military bases littering the British countryside.
But this year, I think the best July 4th call comes from the inspirational Canadian media campaign group the Adbusters Foundation: 'On July 4th, Declare Independence from Corporate Rule'
As we contemplate the bizarre fact that the multi-national coffee chain Starbucks has won its appeal against Brighton and Hove City Council and been allowed to give local democracy - and people - a slap in the face in the pursuit of profits, this campaign could hardly be more timely here in Kemp Town.
A corporation is not a person. It’s an organisational structure that has no morality and feels no remorse.
Yet the modern corporation enjoys the same rights as you or I: free speech, the ability to own property, the right to lobby government officials and protection against self-incrimination.
Decades of deregulation and laissez-faire capitalist ideology have allowed corporations to steer the world's political, economic, environmental and cultural agendas.
Are you happy about that? I'm not - I think we deserve better. Rights - tempered by responsibilities - should be ascribed only to living beings, and I think it's the duty of every elected politician to make this argument at every opportunity.
And if local democracy is to mean anything, then, when it comes to setting planning rules, the wishes of a properly-elected council should always prevail over the wishes of big business. That it didn't in St James's Street just shows how far we have to go to ensure local people make the decisions that affect them here.
Democratic deficit isn't just the preserve of Iran, Zimbabwe or other 'usual suspect' countries in the developing world.