Common Dreams: ‘Just the Beginning’ as 400 Arrested on Capitol Steps Protesting Big Money in Politics

The following is an excellent article written by Lauren McCauley on the Common Dreams website on April 12, 2017 titled “‘Just the Beginning’ as 400 Arrested on Capitol Steps Protesting Big Money in Politics” and I quote:

“‘Just the Beginning’ as 400 Arrested on Capitol Steps Protesting Big Money in Politics”

‘If you choose to defend the status quo of corruption, 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 want a government that is of, by, and for the people—not the one percent," said Democracy Spring campaign director Kai Newkirk. "And we stood up and sent a message that we are going to win that, one way or another." (Photo: Sarah Mimms/ Vice News)

“We want a government that is of, by, and for the people—not the one percent,” said Democracy Spring campaign director Kai Newkirk. “And we stood up and sent a message that we are going to win that, one way or another.” (Photo: Sarah Mimms/ Vice News)

Vowing that this is “just the beginning,” more than 400 people were arrested on Monday for holding a massive sit-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., protesting the influence of Big Money on the political system.

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. Meanwhile, others shared support for the demonstrators on Twitter:

The actions dovetail into a series of rallies, teach-ins, and direct actions dubbed Democracy Awakening on April 16-18, during which over 200 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people will demand that Congress fill the vacant Supreme Court seat and pass legislation that restores voting rights and reforms the campaign finance system.

“This could be a moment that could turn the tide,” Newkirk said.

The “vast majority of people in our country” agree that the political system is not representing us, he added. “It is corrupt and because of that we have a rigged economy. 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.”

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(I DO BELIEVE THAT THE NEW FULL-TIME DNC CHAIRMAN, TOM PEREZ, IS DOING A LOT BETTER JOB OF ORGANIZING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY THAN THE OLD CHAIRMAN.  TOO BAD, THEY WOULDN’T HAVE DONE IT EARLIER.

LaVern Isely, Progressive, Overtaxed, Independent Middle Class Taxpayer and Public Citizen Member and USAF Veteran

 

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About tim074

I'm a retired dairy farmer that was a member of the National Farmer's Organization (NFO). Before going farming, I spent 4 years in the United States Air Force where I saved up enough money to get my down payment to go farming. I also enjoy writing and reading biographies and I write about myself as well as articles and excerpts I find interesting. I'm specifically interested in finances, particularly in the banking industry because if it wasn't for help from my local Community Bank, I never could have started farming which I was successful at. So, I'm real interested in the Small Business Administration and I know they are the ones creating jobs. I have been a member of Common Cause and am now a member of Public Citizen as well as AARP. I have, in the past, written over 150 articles on the Obama Blog (my.barackobama.com) and I'd like to tie these two sites together. I'm also on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook and find these outlets terrifically interesting particularly what many of these people did concerning the uprising in the Arab world. I believe this is a smaller world than we think it is and my goal is to try to bring people together to live in peace because management needs labor like labor needs management. Up to now, that hasn't been so easy to find.
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