Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

400 Arrested on Capitol Steps Protesting Big Money in Politics

Politics

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 DC, protesting the influence of Big Money on the political system.

The actions today dovetail into a series of rallies, teach-ins and direct actions dubbed Democracy Awakening on April 16-18, during which more than 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.

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 more than 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 more than 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."

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

7 Great Examples of People and Communities Living a Post-Carbon World

Bernie Sanders Calls for Nationwide Ban on Fracking

The Most Powerful Oil and Gas Lobby You’ve Never Heard Of

Top Climate Denier Turns Down $20k Bet From Bill Nye

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less
Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A woman walks to her train in Grand Central Terminal as New York City attempts to slow down the spread of coronavirus through social distancing on March 27. John Lamparski / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
polaristest / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Spinach is a true nutritional powerhouse, as it's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Read More Show Less