Hundreds Arrested At ‘Democracy Spring’ Sit-In At The US Capitol

Hundreds Arrested At ‘Democracy Spring’ Sit-In At The US Capitol


Record for most people arrested at one protest.

Hundreds of “Democracy Spring” protesters have been arrested on the steps of the US Capitol. 

Thousands of activist arrived in Washington DC, after a ten day, 140-mile (225km) march from Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, in protest against corruption in politics.

Starting April 11th, thousands of Americans will sit-in on the US Capitol in Washington, DC in what will be the largest act of civil disobedience this century.

According to Russia Today the protest appears to have broken the record for the number of people arrested at the US Capitol.

Police announced they “ran out of space” for arrested activists, Ruptly’s Paulina Leonovich reported.

At least 10 buses have been used to transport arrestees from the sit-in at the Capitol.

“People are fed up with the system, they are fed up with the corruption, and we want free and fair elections,” Cenk Uygur, host of the TV show Young Turks and one of the participants in the protest, told RT. “This is our core American right.”

Arrests being lined up in front of a police bus.

“The fight begins today. It doesn’t mean we win today. But in the end, we always win,” Uygur said. “Progressives have never lost. We won in civil rights, we won in women’s rights, we won in gay rights, and we’re going to win in getting our democracy back.”

With the goal “to claim the democracy we were promised”, various advocacy groups headed up by Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen and 99Rise.org, plan to hold a “mass sit-in” over the next eight days in the hope of persuading Congress to tackle “corruption of big money in politics and ensure free and fair elections”, according to campaign director Kai Newkirk.

In addition to putting their bodies on the line, activists will use technology to hold “call-in days”, submit online petitions, and organize “Twitter storms” to raise awareness of their campaign, which they have described as “one of the largest civil disobedience actions in a generation.”

After arriving in DC on Sunday, organizers held civil disobedience training for activists ahead of Monday’s advance on the Capitol, with attendance higher than expected.

Some attendees are understood to have been turned away due to the large number of people and asked to return for Monday’s training classes instead, which have also attracted large crowds.

“We hope that it will be the beginning of the end of the corruption of our democracy,” Newkirk told RT, stressing their main pledge is to make Congress pass “four bills that we’re pushing for,” referring to theGovernment by the People Act, Fair Elections Now Act, the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 &Voter Empowerment Act of 2015, and the Democracy for All Amendment.

While the first day of the sit-in includes everyone, organizers have drawn up a schedule of events with each day focusing on a different theme and demographic, including elders, young folks, students, and activists from racial justice and labor solidarity movements.

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Mass Civil Disobedience, Sit-ins, Marches, and Rallies Heading to DC

Democracy Spring: Mass civil disobedience, Sit-ins, marches, and rallies are heading to DC.

US Spring top


Thousands of people concerned about big money in politics, congressional dysfunction, and voter disenfranchisement are expected to converge on Washington, DC for a week-long program of civil disobedience, teach-ins, rallies, and marches.

The Public Citizen and 99Rise.org organizations are unifying a coalition of groups, including Greenpeace, the AFL-CIO, NAACP, National Nurses Union, and civil rights movements, that will stream into the nation’s capital starting on Monday. 

People associated with 99Rise.org kicked of the “Democracy Spring” campaign on April 2 by marching the 140 miles from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, “where the dream of American democracy took flight,” to Washington, DC, where they will begin a week-long sit-in at the Capitol building.

“We hope we will be able to rally to celebrate that Congress has come to its senses and passed at least one of the perfectly-viable reform bills now pending before it,” 99Rise organizers wrote on the Democracy Spring website.

“In Washington DC, Democracy Spring expects “thousands of Americans” to engage in a “sit-in on the Capitol building in Washington DC in what will be the largest civil disobedience action of the century.”breitbart.com

According to the reports at RT USA, people will rally at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station and then march to the Capitol, hoping to arrive at 12 noon on Monday. Over 3,000 people have pledged to risk arrests during the week, including activists Mark Ruffalo, Gaby Hoffman, Lawrence Lessig, Cenk Uygur, Zephyr Teachout, Umi Selah, Frances Moore Lappe, Ben Cohen, Medea Benjamin, and The Yes Men.

During the sit-in, organizers said they will coordinate call-in days, online petitions, Twitter storms, and local solidarity actions. The first day be for everyone, followed by themed days for the rest of the week oriented towards senior citizens, youth, and students, as well as racial justice and labor solidarity movements. The event will culminate with Climate Justice Day on April 16.

“There are four different bills that are on the table now that would change the way elections are funded and overturn Citizens United, and that would protect the right to vote,” Kai Newkirk, a spokesman for 99Rise, told RT’s Thom Hartmann, while describing the reforms they would like to see Congress act upon.

Democracy Spring then becomes Democracy Awakening from April 16 to 18, which will entail a weekend-long series of teach-ins, a rally, a march, and acts of civil disobedience organized by Public Citizen, with more than 260 organizations involved.

Workshops will involve discussions about attacks on unions, voting rights, campaign finance laws, and criminal justice reform. A march and rally at the US Capitol building is scheduled for April 17, and a day of direct action is planned for April 18.

Thousands of people expected to converge on Washington, DC for a week-long program of civil disobedience, teach-ins, rallies, and marches.

“What’s exciting about this is who is joining in. We have got everybody from Greenpeace to ALF-CIO and also crucially the NAACP, civil rights movement and we are really wedding together money and politics efforts and voting rights efforts which I think is not the end of something but the beginning a great new stage in the democracy fight,” Rob Weissman of Public Citizen to RT’s Thom Hartmann in describing his hopes for Democracy Awakening.

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