The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: (202) 588-1000

MEDIA ADVISORY: Why Risk Arrest for Democracy? 'Democracy Awakening' Speakers Explain, Preview April 16-18 Mobilization


WHAT: Telephone press conference during which the leaders of the NAACP, Public Citizen, Greenpeace USA and the Franciscan Action Network will explain why they are risking arrest during Democracy Awakening, a three-day (April 16-18) mobilization in which thousands will converge on Washington, D.C., to demand democracy reforms.

They and other speakers on the call - including the Rev. William Barber II, pastor and Moral Monday architect - will provide details about the overall event and discuss the broader democracy movement that has prompted people to risk arrest at the Capitol throughout this week.

The action started April 2, with Democracy Spring, featuring a march from Philadelphia to Washington D.C., followed by five days of sit-ins at the Capitol beginning Monday, April 11.

The movement will build over the weekend. On Saturday, Democracy Awakening features teach-ins; Sunday features a march and rally; Monday is a day of lobbying and civil disobedience. Hundreds of people - including at least 55 organizational leaders or other high-profile people - will risk arrest that day.

More than 260 organizations have signed up to support or attend the landmark Democracy Awakening mobilization. Participants will call for voting rights reforms, campaign finance reforms and the filling of the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy.

WHEN: 10 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 13

WHO: Marge Baker, executive vice president, People For the American Way
The Rev. William Barber II, pastor and Moral Monday architect (rally speaker)
Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO, NAACP (rally speaker; will risk arrest Monday)
Patrick Carolan, executive director, Franciscan Action Network (will risk arrest Monday)
Tefere Gebre, executive vice president, AFL-CIO (rally speaker; will risk arrest Monday)
Annie Leonard, executive director, Greenpeace USA (rally speaker; will risk arrest Monday)
Kai Newkirk, co-founder and director of, and a lead organizer for Democracy Spring (was arrested this week)
Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen (rally speaker; will risk arrest Monday)

CALL-IN: 1-800-875-3456, passcode BRAD71543

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people - not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

(202) 588-1000