Police Arrest 400 at US Capitol in Protest of Money in Politics
At least 400 people were arrested in Washington, DC after the Democracy Spring march and sit-in at the US Capitol building.
Protesters on Monday focused their demands on creating fairer elections and politics that are unmarred by corporations’ big bucks.
The Democracy Spring movement is calling on Congress to take immediate action on four key solutions, all of which aim to reduce the influence of money in politics, expand and protect voting rights, and ensure all Americans have an equal voice in the US government. The group is also demanding that the Senate fulfill its constitutional duties with regard to the Supreme Court.
Monday’s sit-in called for mass arrests on the steps of the US Capitol.
“People are fed up with the system, they are fed up with the corruption, and we want free and fair elections,” Cenk Uygur, host of the TV show Young Turks and one of the participants in the protest, told RT. “This is our core American right.”
Uygur and other prominent activists, like retired Police Captain Ray Lewis, were taken into custody.
Despite the large attendance at the demonstration, mainstream media was notably absent.
Two proposed bills are designed to get money out of politics. The Government By the People Act is designed to increase the power of the small contributions, while the Fair Elections Now Act would provide for public funding for candidates.
“What we see now is not a democracy, it’s become an oligarchy,” Holly Mosher, producer for the ‘Pay 2 Play’ documentary, told RT. “It’s time to clean up Congress.”
“Let’s get together, let’s clean this up, let’s make some solutions. Corporations are not people, money is not speech,” she added.
“The enthusiastic public response to Democracy Spring demonstrates Americans’ deep frustration with a political system they no longer feel hears their voices. Democracy Spring will turn widespread frustration into a powerful force to fulfill our country’s promise of government of, by, and for the people,” Democracy Spring lead organizer Kai Newkirk said in a statement.