democracy spring

Democracy Spring leads to Awakening

Thousands of activists are mobilizing for Democracy Spring, a 10-day march to the U.S. Capitol followed by a series of civil disobedience actions.

Democracy Spring, set for April 2-16, will give rise to Democracy Awakening, a series of teach-ins, concerts and massive rally set for April 16-18.

Activist Elizabeth Lindquist is among the thousands of participants who pledged to join the protest.

“I’ve been volunteering in the democracy movement for several years,” she said. “So, as soon as I got the Democracy Spring announcement email, I signed up to participate.”

Lindquist, who lives in Roscoe, Illinois, near the northern border with Wisconsin, is serving as a coordinator for Wisconsin.

“At this point, I am guessing we’ll have at least 20 people from Wisconsin and at least 20 people from Illinois,” she estimated. “Since it is such a long event, with a wide variety of options as to when to come and go, coordinating travel from the Midwest is difficult.”

A map at democracyspring.org shows much of the effort to mobilize activists is taking place in the eastern part of the country.

A call to action from organizers stated the goal: To demand Congress take immediate action to end the corruption of big money in politics and ensure free and fair elections.

Organizers also have stated support for congressional reform bills to implement small-dollar citizen-funded elections, combat voter suppression, empower citizens with universal suffrage and introduce a constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that corporations are people for political purposes.

Democracy Spring will launch from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia on April 2, when activists begin a 10-day, 140-mile march to Washington, D.C.

Actions will begin in the capital on April 11 and culminate on April 16.

Then comes the arrival of Democracy Awakening, which will include a rally for reform on April 17.

“We’re not talking about the nostalgic disenfranchisement of 1965,” said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP. “Once again, states with the worst histories of discrimination are pushing for new barriers to block the young, the poor, the elderly and minority voters from the ballot in 2016. We must answer the call for action.”

Details are still coming together for both mass mobilizations.

Lindquist said, “We just know it is mass nonviolent sit-ins and legal protests. I’m excited to see what they have in store.”

Democracy Spring and Democracy Awakening have endorsements from more than 100 organizations, including unions, student groups, civil rights organizations, social justice associations and more.

In early March, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Matt Rothschild shared notice of the plans. He wrote to WDC friends, “It could be historic, so I hope you can participate in one way or another.”

Other groups promoting the mobilizations include Common Cause, Food & Water Watch, Greenpeace, People for the American Way, Public Citizen, U.S. PIRG, the Democracy Initiative and Communications Workers of America.

“As long as our government is controlled by corporate interests, we’ll never be able to protect our food, ban fracking or prevent disasters like we’ve seen in Flint,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food $ Water Watch. “Our democracy is broken. And, for the sake of our food, water and climate, it’s time for us to fix it.”

 

Democracy Spring connections

For more information about Democracy Spring, go online to DemocracySpring.org.

For more about Democracy Awakening, go online to DemocracyAwakening.org.

To connect with regional coordinator Elizabeth Lindquist, email gelindquist@gmail.com.

 

Democracy Awakening calendar

Democracy Awakening events include:

  • Workshops and training sessions on April 16 All Souls Church and St. Stephen’s Church in Washington, D.C.
  • Rally for Democracy on April 17 on the National Mall, with a march around the Capitol, followed by training in nonviolent civil disobedience.
  • Congress Day of Action on April 18, with direct action and lobbying efforts.

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