Democracy Movement Awakens in America

t started with Democracy Spring. Gathering at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, 150 people set out on a 10-day, 140-mile march to Washington DC. The group then held a week of direct action at the United States Capitol, where over 1,000 people were arrested. It was the largest civil disobedience action ever to take place at the US Capitol. Actress and big Bernie Sanders supporter Rosario Dawson was among those arrested during Democracy Spring.

Democracy Spring flowed into Democracy Awakening for a mass rally and march before a closing day of action when another 300 were arrested, including Ben and Jerry, and Cornell Brooks, the convener of Democracy Awakening and president of the NAACP.

With the leaders of some of the largest political organizations in the country getting arrested at the Capitol, you would have thought the corporate media would be there hoping for a bloodbath. The truth is they were missing in action. Why?

On day 1 of the civil disobedience, Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks explained that the reason the media is ignoring Democracy Spring is that they are part of the establishment. Uygur said the media doesn’t want money out of politics because they depend on that money when it is used to buy campaign ads. Uygur declared that while this is just the beginning, they are no longer coming for us, but we are coming for them.

Democracy Spring founder Kai Newkirk told the crowd: “We want a government that is of, by, and for the people – not the one percent…. And we stood up and sent a message that we are going to win that, one way or another.” Newkirk founded the organization 99rise and garnered attention after rising during a Supreme Court session and telling the justices: “I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe money is not speech, corporations are not people, and government should not be for sale to the highest bidder. We demand that you overturn Citizens United, keep the cap in McCutcheon, and put an end to corruption. We demand free and fair elections and a real democracy now.” Newkirk also recorded that Supreme Court hearing and illegally posted it online.

Claiming success, Democracy Spring has posted the following on their website:

On April 2nd, 150 people set out from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and marched for ten days over 140 miles to Washington DC. From April 11th-18th, thousands more took mass nonviolent action on the steps of the US Capitol to give Congress a choice: either end the corruption of big money in politics and ensure free and fair elections or arrest hundreds of people, day after day, simply for demanding an equal voice.

1,400 arrests and eight days later, our message is clear: the American people will no longer accept the status quo of big money corruption and voter suppression. There will be a growing political cost to pay for candidates and politicians who defend corruption. We will disrupt their fundraisers, their debates, their press conferences, and ultimately, their chances at the polls. We will make 2016 a referendum on whether we have a democracy that works for everyone or a plutocracy that serves the wealthy few. Together, we will claim our democracy. Join us.

Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News


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