Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

Hundreds of pro-democracy activists marched 140 miles from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the National Mall in D.C. to advocate for getting money out of politics. (Photo: Every Voice/Twitter/cc)

Mass Convergence in D.C. for 'Sit-In to Save Democracy'

Grassroots coalition launches unprecedented week of mass nonviolent action to call for campaign finance reform

Nika Knight

After walking nearly 150 miles over the course of nine days, hundreds of marchers arrived in D.C. on Monday and joined thousands of supporters to launch a full week of mass sit-ins and direct actions in the nation's capitol in an unprecedented protest against moneyed interests' influence over politics.

The thousands of grassroots activists took part in training sessions for civil disobedience upon their arrival in D.C., and announced planned rallies, direct actions, sit-ins, and teach-ins to take place throughout the week.

The mass march for democracy was organized by a coalition called Democracy Spring, and this week the movement blooms into Democracy Awakening, which has organized the teach-ins and rallies. Democracy Spring is also coordinating a series of mass sit-ins in front of congressional offices.

The events will culminate "with a Congress of Conscience Day of Action on Monday April 18, where hundreds more from both groups have pledged to risk arrest," Democracy Spring writes.

Besides calling attention to the broader issue of campaign finance reform, the coalition has several concrete demands. Democracy Spring is "calling on Congress to pass four bills," the coalition writes:

  1. The Government by the People Act and Fair Elections Now Act.
  2. The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015.
  3. The Voter Empowerment Act of 2015.
  4. The Democracy for All Amendment.

The groups are also "calling on the Senate to confirm a nominee to the Supreme Court who will vote to uphold political equality."

Hundreds of advocacy groups and unions that represent a wide range of interests—from the environment, to voting access, to reproductive rights, to public health, and LGBTQ community advocacy—are taking part. The organizations are united by a focus on breaking big money's grip on political power in the United States.

Democracy Spring argues that its campaign is headed inevitably toward victory, no matter the reaction of the powers-that-be:

Given the current makeup of Congress, immediate reform is extremely unlikely. In fact, we expect that the defenders of corruption in Congress will choose to put thousands of Americans in handcuffs instead of passing perfectly-viable, on-the-table pro-democracy reforms supported by the vast majority of the country.

But no matter what happens in the immediate endgame, we win. Because mass nonviolent action at this moment, on this issue, will focus the nation’s attention—as never before—on the urgency of this crisis, the existence of solutions to it, and the strength of the popular demand to enact them.

The activists are fighting for what "astounding majorities of Americans want," as Public Citizen president Robert Weissman writes. But "it's plain enough that public opinion is not enough," says Weissman. "We need massive public mobilization, to tear down the political barriers that stand in the way of winning the policies Americans support but plutocrats oppose."

The mass march that set off the Democracy Spring week of action was partly inspired by last January's New Hampshire Rebellion, a small group of 25 people who walked 145 miles to the New Hampshire state capitol in Concord to bring attention to the issue of campaign finance reform.

Marchers started off on April 2 from Philadelphia's Liberty Bell, and included Democrats, socialists, Independents, Republicans, and people from "all racial backgrounds," as Adam Eichen wrote in Common Dreams on Saturday.

"You don’t walk 140 miles for fun; you do it because you believe in your cause. No matter their political leanings, these voters are frustrated, as they see their voices get drown out by big money interests. They see no choice but to take their message directly to Washington," said N.H. Rebellion organizer Brian Beihl.

On Monday, the groups plan to rally at Union Station at 11am, to be followed by a mass sit-in at the capitol at 12:30.

Tweeting under the hashtags #DemocracySpring, #DemocracyAwakening, and #FightBigMoney, participants will chronicle the historic week-long campaign of civil disobedience.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·


Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·


New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·


West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo