Nathan Wellman | April 11, 2016
Initial reports suggest that hundreds of protesters are being arrested outside Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., right now for participating in a peaceful demonstration against corporate money in politics.
With over 53,000 tweets, #DemocracySpring is trending on Twitter and on Facebook, and the protest is still unfolding. However, some noted that even with a massive outcry, mainstream media coverage was nowhere to be found.
The protesters arrived at the U.S. Capitol Building in D.C. after marching 150 miles from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia over the course of a week as a part of the Democracy Spring campaign. Upon arriving, they engaged in a peaceful sit-in outside the Capitol, with the goal of staying there for another week.
The Democracy Spring website says the campaign’s goal is to “demand a Congress that will take immediate action to end the corruption of big money in our politics and ensure free and fair elections in which every American has an equal voice.” Furthermore, their proposals include support of the Government 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.
The website reports that over 3,600 people have pledged to take part in this act of civic disobedience, though a final number has yet to be confirmed. Police were quickly called to the scene, and they began arresting people not even an hour after the protest begun.
Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks took part in the sit-in, saying “They can arrest us today and they can arrest us tomorrow, but we’re gonna keep coming back. They can’t arrest the whole country.”
Despite the arrests, the mood of the sit-in remains peaceful and even celebratory. Police reported that the protest has resulted in a record number of arrests at the US Capitol.
Meanwhile, activists around the country have taken to Twitter to show their support.
The sit-in is scheduled to last until April 18th, with more people planning to bus in throughout the course of the week, so it’s safe to say that more arrests are on the way.
If the police can figure out where to put everybody.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW