Sitting In At Democracy Spring

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Democracy Spring protesters march to the U.S. Capitol. Photo Mark Wilson / AFP

Police arrested a record number of protesters - about 500, including Lady Liberty - at the US Capitol during a Democracy Spring sit-in against big and dark money in politics. Organized by a coalition of progressive groups, the Democracy Spring campaign is demanding "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.” The mood of the protesters, some of whom had marched 150 miles from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, was celebratory, with people calmly lining up to be handcuffed as others chanted, "This House is your House."

The arrests stopped when police ran out of buses and places to put protesters; activist Van Jones helpfully suggested they be put in the Senate and House, which offer "400+ chairs criminals have been sitting in for a while now." Still, despite the high number of arrests and broad support on social media - with over 50,000 tweets on #DemocracySpring - most mainstream media was notably missing in action, prompting the one-time chant, "Where is CNN?" The action is scheduled to last until April 18, with or without more buses. From Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks, “They can arrest us today and they can arrest us tomorrow...They can’t arrest the whole country.”

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