300+ arrested at ‘Democracy Spring’ sit-in at US Capitol (VIDEO)
Over 300 of “Democracy Spring” protesters have been arrested on the steps of the US Capitol. Thousands of activists arrived in Washington DC, after a 10-day, 140-mile (225km) march from Philadelphia, to protest the role of money in politics.
Between 300-500 protesters got arrested at US Capitol, @calebmaupin tells me #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/t8w6yYEyBN— Nebojsa Malic (@NebojsaMalic) April 11, 2016
Prominent activists are among the hundreds who have been arrested so far.
Ret captain Ray Lewis among last to get arrested in 'Democracy Spring' sit-in at US capitol https://t.co/okKd97phCCpic.twitter.com/yeznEyNaHb— RT (@RT_com) April 11, 2016
.@cenkuygur@MichaelAWoodJr and @kai_newkirk now arrested #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/hTPhnYbCZW— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 11, 2016
The protest appears to have broken the record for the number of people arrested at the US Capitol.
Hundreds already arrested at #DemocracySpring at the #UScapitol Hundreds more awaiting arrest pic.twitter.com/Lv7hEg8iCi— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) April 11, 2016
Two hours on, police arresting activists one by one at the US Capitol #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/Fv3YHGhX5o— Paulina Leonovich (@Polly_evro) April 11, 2016
Arrests being lined up in front of a police bus. #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/frq957Ct7h— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) April 11, 2016
Police slowly picking people out, lining then up to be cuffed. About half arrested so far. #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/PT6MzfUuI4— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) April 11, 2016
Arrests continue in front of the Capitol at #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/DQJ7HA0HrW— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) April 11, 2016
Police announced they "ran out of space" for arrested activists, Ruptly's Paulina Leonovich reported.
Crowd goes wild as @kai_newkirk announced they already broke record for most arrests at Capitol #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/XhNU5VHgWx— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 11, 2016
At least 10 buses have been used to transport arrestees from the sit-in at the Capitol.
'One more bus'-#DemocracySpring protestors chant as US Capitol Police bus too small to hold them all pulls up. pic.twitter.com/0pe0MN9GjN— Dean Scott (@deantscott) April 11, 2016
“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.”
Protester just solved a rubix cube in seconds for a cop, cop laughed, then he went and got in line for arrest #DemocracySpring— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 11, 2016
“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.”
Henry talks to @RT_America about the 20+ states that passed restrictive voting laws. #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/kG2RCrRxvH— Tyler Creighton (@tylercreighton) April 11, 2016
Crowd chanting to get rid of super delegates #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/Q6nQmG3R54— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) April 11, 2016
Just about to head to #DemocracySpring in DC. Time to take dark money out of our elections! pic.twitter.com/ttGNzmKkTA— Susan McDaniel (@daisiesnow) April 11, 2016
Somebody dancing, handcuffed! #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/jGAMfGu4ii— Alejandro Alvarez (@aletweetsnews) April 11, 2016
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.
Democracy Spring: Thousands to protest money in politics
Democracy Spring: Thousands to protest money in politicsOn April 11, 2016, citizens will culminate their march from the Philadelphia Liberty Bell to the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC with more than 3,000 committed to getting arrested. Watch to learn why.Posted by RT America on Sunday, 10 April 2016
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.”
READ MORE: Democracy Spring: Mass civil disobedience, teach-ins, and rallies heading to DC
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.
Wow. Overflow at the first action training. Get ready to make history y'all. #DemocracySpring#SpringIsComingpic.twitter.com/8nQk4io79i— Democracy Spring (@DemSpring) April 10, 2016
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.
People are arriving by the hundreds for the second civil disobedience training of the week. Today the future begins. pic.twitter.com/mCwlXAqRw6— Democracy Spring (@DemSpring) April 11, 2016
Trainer from the stage: "Today we will be successful. Today we will engage in the largest act of civil disobedience this century."— Democracy Spring (@DemSpring) April 11, 2016
“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 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.
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.
Emily's here from the UK. She's worried America's broken democracy won't let us fix climate change. #DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/PCbVRsLuzH— ReThink Democracy (@ReThinkDemocrcy) April 10, 2016
The sit-in concludes April 16 with Climate Justice Day - followed by a “Democracy Awakening” through April 18, a series of events closely aligned with spring that will be “as integrated and complementary as possible”, says the campaign’s website.
ALERT! A historic movement to get money out of politics is hap...
ALERT! A historic movement to get big money out of politics is happening NOW! SHARE the word! Join us in DC this week and learn more here: www.democracyspring.org and www.democracyawakening.orgGive Democracy Spring's page a LIKE!Posted by Occupy Democrats on Sunday, 10 April 2016
If you want a better #democracy, join us in #DC for #DemocracyAwakening. https://t.co/LgAOANFN9Lpic.twitter.com/rSjrruOBRY— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) April 8, 2016
During the Democracy Spring march from Philadelphia to DC, activists could be heard shouting pro-democracy slogans such as “Money out, voters in. I believe that we will win” and “From Philly to DC, marching for democracy,” among many others.
After marching 140 miles from Philadelphia, #DemocracySpring hundreds reach #DC, #USA to begin Capitol sit-in. pic.twitter.com/7n5LCQcJhc— Al-Sharif Nassef (@alSharifpasha) April 10, 2016
“I’m marching because slavery still exists in this country for a system that we called mass incarceration,” one of the anti-establishment activists told RT in an interview.
Attendees are being asked and trained to be non-violent protesters with guidelines that include no destruction or damage of property, “no weapons or any means of physical defense, including shields,” and no masks or other ways to conceal identity.
Follow RT's Caleb Maupin (@calebmaupin), who is at the demonstrations.
#DemocracySpring assembling in #WashingtonDC Columbus Circle pic.twitter.com/i6pc3VsdwG— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) April 11, 2016
#DemocracySpring protesters tent. Eating before Planned Arrests. #WashingtonDCpic.twitter.com/dIL6xGylFK— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) April 11, 2016
#DemocracySpringpic.twitter.com/jUYEB0j6jZ— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) April 11, 2016
LIVE on #Periscope: #DemocracySpring marching to #USCapitol planned arrests #Protesthttps://t.co/TW2ZurC5eY— Caleb T. Maupin (@calebmaupin) April 11, 2016