April 2nd -18th March and Sit-in to Save Democracy.
The 2016 presidential elections are revealing more dramatically than ever the corrosive effect of big money on the U.S. elections that are predicted to be the most expensive in U.S. history. Codepink will join Democracy Spring/Democracy Awakening actions, to get money out of Politics! This campaign will begin with a march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the US Capitol in Washington D.C., where thousands will “sit-in” in a mass nonviolent action to save our democracy. Activists will demand that Congress take immediate action to end the corruption of big money in our politics and ensure free and fair elections that they are not brought and paid for by the 1%.
In 2010 the Supreme Court paved the way for big money in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission which by a 5-4 ruling determined that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to support specific candidates, as long as they don’t contribute directly to campaigns. The subsequent Supreme Court case Speech Now.org v. FEC eliminated fundraising limits for corporations. Thus emerged Super PAC’s and political nonprofit groups – 501(c)s that aren’t required to disclose their donors – that raise and spend unchecked amounts of money to buy “free” elections in the interests of the 1%.
The action to get the money out politics begins at the Liberty Bell on April 2 with a 9-day, 140 mile march to the US Capitol. In the tradition many movements that came before—from the women suffragists, to the civil rights workers, to the United Farm Workers—activists will march to bring people together in this fight for freedom and equality. During the march marchers will reach out to their fellow citizens and encourage them to participate in the action by demanding that Congress pass bills to ensure that elections represents the will of the 99% not the money of the 1%.
The marchers will reach the US Capitol on April 10th. From April 11-16, thousands will gather to reclaim democracy with a powerful, peaceful, and massive sit-in at the Capitol Building for which over 2,300 people have already pledged to risk arrest. Everyone risking arrest must attend a nonviolent civil disobedience training. There will be training twice a day from April 11th-16th, one in the morning prior to that day’s action and one in the evening to prepare for the next day. The first training will be on the evening of Sunday, April 10th. Together we can open the door to reforms previously considered impossible and get the money out of politics.
On April 18th citizens will gather at a rally and issue a simple demand to Congress: listen to the People and take immediate action to end the corruption of big money in politics and ensure our elections are free, fair, and afford every American an equal voice, regardless of wealth. Citizens who want elections free of the corrupting influence of money will call on every member of Congress and candidate for office in America to join citizen equality champions in taking an Equal Voice for All Pledge that commits them to fight for pro-democracy reform.
Different CODEPINK members are going to be involved in every part of Democracy Spring / Awakening, so join us for just a day or join us for it all! Email Rebecca from the CODEPINK DC office (Rebecca@codepink.org) and let her know when you will be joining us.
If you are traveling to the area and looking for a place to stay during the march or sit-ins, Democracy Spring is organizing affordable housing. Otherwise, you can find an affordable place through Airbnb, youth hostels in the area, Hotel Harrington, or Residence Inn Arlington Pentagon.
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