Thousands Will Sit-in at Congress Today to Demand Government Of, By, and For the People

For Immediate Release

Thousands Will Sit-in at Congress Today to Demand Government Of, By, and For the People

WASHINGTON - Several hundred marchers with Democracy Spring arrived in Washington, D.C. on Sunday night, finishing up a 140-mile, 9-day trek from Philadelphia to the U.S. Capitol. Today and every day this week, they’ll be joined by thousands who have pledged to risk arrest in mass civil disobedience at the U.S. Capitol.

Their demand, deeply resonant in this fractious election year, is that Congress take immediate action on four key solutions to reduce the influence of money in politics, expand and protect voting rights, and ensure we all have an equal voice in our democracy.
 
The Democracy Spring marchers announced the demands at a kickoff rally on Saturday, April 2 at Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell, where they declared that if Congress doesn’t meet them upon their arrival in D.C., a week of unprecedented mass sit-ins at the capitol will commence. More than 3,600 have pledged to risk arrest starting Monday April 11, including celebrities and many public figures. 
 
"This is a huge moment for our country. Almost every American agrees our democracy is seriously out of whack - that our elections and government are dominated by wealthy special interests. And yet Congress is doing nothing. So today we say no more. This inaction is not acceptable,” said Democracy Spring lead organizer Kai Newkirk. "The enthusiastic public response to Democracy Spring demonstrates Americans’ deep frustration with a political system they no longer feel hears their voices. Democracy Spring will turn widespread frustration into a powerful force to fulfill our country's promise of government of, by, and for the people,” added Newkirk. 
 
The campaign is backed by a coalition of over 100 national organizations, unions, churches and community groups, with students, retirees, veterans and religious leaders traveling across the country to join the week of sit-ins.
 
The marchers, including Americans from at least 33 different states, were welcomed by churches and community groups along the route, and joined by notable figures such as Lawrence Lessig, author-activist Frances Moore Lappé, Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), actor Sam Waterston, and actress Gaby Hoffman.
 
This week of historic nonviolent action at the capitol includes a 3-day series of teach-ins, rallies and marches in D.C. convened under the umbrella of Democracy Awakening, culminating with a Congress of Conscience Day of Action on Monday April 18, where hundreds more from both groups have pledged to risk arrest.
 
The coalition is calling on Congress to pass four bills: the Government by the People Act and Fair Elections Now Act; the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015; the Voter Empowerment Act of 2015; and the Democracy for All Amendment. In addition, they are calling on the Senate to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court who will vote to uphold political equality.
 
Democracy Spring has no current position on Merrick Garland’s nomination. The campaign calls on the Senate to fulfill its constitutional duty to hold hearings so that the American people may learn more about his positions on campaign finance and voting rights and, ultimately, take an up or down vote on the nominee.
 
For more information and the complete schedule of events please visit: http://www.democracyspring.org/dc_calendar and http://democracyawakening.org/events/
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