As backlash continues following President Donald Trump's bizarre and widely ridiculed Monday press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin—which came amid rising concerns about foreign meddling in U.S. elections—grassroots activists and national advocacy groups have planned more than 175 anti-corruption candlelight vigils, scheduled to begin at sundown on Wednesday.
Trump's self-dealing and attacks on the rule of law have dragged our country to a new low, but the roots of today’s corruption extend beyond Trump.
— DemocracyIsForPeople (@democracy4ppl) July 18, 2018
The Confront Corruption and Demand Democracy vigils are being organized by several sponsoring groups, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Common Cause, CREDO Action, Democracy for America, Greenpeace, Hip Hop Caucus, MoveOn, People's Action, Public Citizen, and the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights.
The groups are calling out the Trump administration, declaring on the action's website, "From attacks on the Russia investigation to ethics scandals in the highest offices in the land, we must reject attempts to shield corruption from political consequences, public scrutiny, and legal accountability."
However, the coalition is also demanding broad reforms that would transcend President Donald Trump's time in office, noting that "recent self-dealing, conflicts of interest, and attacks on the rule of law have dragged our country to a new low, but the roots of today's corruption extend well beyond any one president or Congress."
"Restoring faith in our democracy and ensuring government works in the best interest of all Americans, not to the personal benefit of political insiders and the wealthy and well-connected, requires comprehensive reform," the website continues, followed by the coalition's top demands:
- Our democracy must ensure the freedom to vote and have that vote counted.
- Our democracy must be honest.
- Our democracy must have meaningful participation.
- Our democracy must provide transparency into our government and our elections.
- Our democracy must be responsive.
The sponsoring groups have created a searchable database of protest locations.
— Greenpeace USA (@greenpeaceusa) July 18, 2018
The number of events nationwide has nearly tripled since Rachel Maddow previewed the action on her MSNBC show Tuesday night.
Thank you @maddow for amplifying the #ConfrontCorruption vigils taking place TONIGHT at 8pm ET. The number of actions has swelled to 150—with people all across the country rising up to resist Trump's assault on our democracy and the rule of law.
— Public Citizen (@Public_Citizen) July 18, 2018