[intro-text size=”25px”]Political activists from around Northeast Ohio will be joining thousands across the country to take part in a massive sit-in at the Capitol building in Washington, DC; organizers hope this sit-in will be the largest act of civil disobedience in a generation. The protest will take place between April 11th and 16th with the ambitious goal of demanding that Congress address what the movement sees as the corrupting influence of moneyed special interests in the United States government.[/intro-text]
The undertaking is impressive: before the sit-in, there will be a 10 day march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the Capitol Rotunda, at which point the protesters will refuse to leave until Congress addresses their concerns. Pledgers to the movement have promised to risk arrest rather than leave before their goal is achieved, which includes but is not limited to, overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision. Some of the notable pledges include former Democratic Presidential Nominee and campaign finance reform guru: Lawrence Lessig, host of Internet news network “The Young Turks”: Cenk Uygur, and actor and political activist Mark Ruffalo.
“I am willing to risk arrest because I have a responsibility to show my kids that it’s important to fight for what you believe in,” says Sara Scott, a mother from Medina who has pledged to participate in the sit-in. “I want to help move our country back toward the democratic principles on which it was founded,” she continues, “so that future generations can be confident that their government represents their interests, and not just the interests of the wealthy and powerful.”
Roberto Juarez, a field organizer and coordinator for Democracy Spring in DC said, “We have over 2,400 folks who have committed to the sit-ins and are willing to risk arrest.” That number is expected to swell as media coverage of the kickoff rally and subsequent march from Philadelphia grows. Additional rallies are being held in towns along the route through Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. All this leads up to the massive sit-in at the Capitol building in DC.
“April 11th is the big day,” says Juarez, “where folks are going to challenge Congress to take up this issue and take immediate action, or they’re going to need to arrest thousands of patriotic Americans.” Regardless of which outcome occurs, the march and subsequent sit-in will certainly be well-timed. Many voters today are fed up with the amount of money pouring into the election process, as evidenced by the popularity of outsider, self-funded candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election.
“Everyone has a reason that we need to get money out of politics,” Juarez says, “from climate change, to racial justice, to immigration reform, to all these different things that folks really care about.”
Democracy Spring will be providing mass housing and legal support for those volunteering to take part in both the march and sit-in, as well as providing assistance with transportation to DC if necessary. If you are interested in participating in the march or the sit-in, go to www.democracyspring.org for more information.