The civil disobedience campaign known as Democracy Spring is in the midst of an unprecedented mobilization featuring marches, sit-ins, teach-ins, and rallies in the nation's capital, all aimed to pressure lawmakers to take a stand against the corrupt campaign finance system.
"Yesterday can be the beginning of the end of this corruption and inequality in our democracy," Kai Newkirk, campaign director for Democracy Spring, told Democracy Now! on Tuesday.
"We sent a message to Congress that we will not accept inaction to save our democracy. And we sent a message to everyone from for political office that you have to make a decision," added Newkirk, who was among those arrested.
"If you choose to defend the status quo of corruption, we believe there's going to be growing nonviolent resistance in the streets, at the Capitol, at your fundraisers, and in the polls, to say that we will not take it anymore. We demand an equal voice in our democracy and we are going to be back at the Capitol today, tomorrow, and the next day."
On Tuesday, organizers are holding a civil disobedience training session before they, once again, march from Union Station to the Capitol steps for another round of nonviolent sit-ins. The group will be joined by dozens of elder activists who say they want to leave future generations a working democracy.
The coalition, which includes members of over 100 pro-democracy, civil rights, environmental, and peace organizations, says that more than 3,700 people have pledged to risk arrest, which would make Democracy Spring "the largest American civil disobedience action in a generation."
Newkirk said that it took hours to process the nearly 500 arrests and that there will be even more people joining the sit-ins Tuesday. Activists were charged with "crowding, obstructing, and incommoding," according to a statement released by the U.S. Capitol Police.
Among those arrested on Monday were progressive leaders including Young Turks host Cenk Uygur, author and food justice activist Frances Moore Lappé, co-founder of CODEPINK Jodie Evans, and Umi Selah, human rights activist and founder of the Dream Defenders... Full Article Available via Common Dreams