Today, April 2nd at 10 am there will be a Democracy Spring Kickoff Rally at the Liberty Bell on 5th and Market Street. All marchers are expected to check in starting at Noon after the demonstration to prepare for a 140-mile march to the Capitol in Washington DC. The goal of this demonstration is, “to issue our demand: that Congress 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 Democracy Spring includes a growing coalition of over 100 organizations, including a steering committee made up of 99Rise, Avaaz, Democracy Matters, Energy Action Coalition, the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), and the United States Student Association (USSA). The proposed reform bills are: the Government by the People Act &Fair Elections now Act; the Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 &Voter Empowerment Act of 2015; and the Democracy for All Amendment. These proposed bills recognize the recent erosion of the Voting Rights Act and the continuing disintegration of the voices of the American citizens in elections.
The following is a list of a few of the endorsing organizations. For a complete list please visit the website: 15 Now Philly, 99 Rise, 100 Grannies for a Livable Future, ACTION United, AFL-CIO, MoveOn, National LGBTQ Task Force and many more. If your organization or any individual is interested in endorsing the Democracy Spring, it can be completed via the webpage.
Each political campaign continues to be overwhelmed and more controlled by large money and Superpacs and gets further and further away from actual democracy. The voices of the American people almost do not matter in the face of severe austerity, corporate financing, and mass incarceration. So the Democracy Spring will call on the members of Congress and candidates for office to take the Equal Voice for All Pledge, which commits them to “fight for pro-democracy reform.”
“We know that this is no ordinary ask. But these are not ordinary times.”
After the March to Washington, there will be a rally on April 11th at the Capitol Building, but if there is refusal to take the pledge, the marchers will stage a nonviolent sit-in. They will stage a mass sit-in each day for at least 7 days at the Capitol and Congressional offices and risk arrest. The organizations planning this expect that reform will not come easy nor without consequences, but no matter what happens, “We Win.” If Congress chooses to place thousands of Americans under arrest as opposed to passing pro-democracy reforms, “We Win.”
“We simply cannot solve the urgent crises that face our nation if we don’t have democracy first.”
This is an important time to have your voice heard by bringing your body and voice to join with many others. The invisible have been silenced for far too long because the powers that be believe that they have rendered the majority powerless. In the midst of a tumultuous, money-drenched 2016 presidential campaign and 80% of Congress being up for re-election, this is a perfect storm of opportunity. Anyone who is interested in joining the Democracy Spring regardless of party affiliation is encouraged to attend the Kickoff Rally today at 10 am. For answers to Frequently Asked Questions please click here.