Sunday, April 24, 2016

245.1 - Good News: Democracy Spring protests push to restore power of the vote

Good News: Democracy Spring protests push to restore power of the vote

Our Good News this week involves an update of last week's report on the Democracy Spring protests in Washington, DC.

The Democracy Spring actions, now concluded, were a week-long series of workshops, rallies, speeches, and nonviolent civil disobedience, all around the theme of restoring the power of voting by means such as, among others, restoring the voting rights act, clamping down on voter suppression, and getting big money out of the political process.

Last week, I was able to report that on the first two days of protests, over 500 people had been arrested in civil disobedience at the capitol. By this past Monday, the last day of the protests, over 1400 had been arrested, including 300 on that final day, marking it as the largest non-violent direct action protests in Washington for a single week. In addition, some 5,000 rallied on the Mall on Sunday.

I need to make something clear: When I said "The Democracy Spring actions, now concluded," I meant that specific week of protests to draw attention to the issues involved. Part of what's involved in the actions, goes beyond that; it means people going back to their own constituencies - their own organizations, their own workplaces, their own neighborhoods - and their own home districts where they can dig in with their own legislators to push them to move to restore the power and the meaning of the vote.

This is a new movement, just getting started, but it represents people waking up to the erosion of our right to vote and more importantly, again, the erosion of the meaning of our vote. What we have to do now is, as NAACP president Cornell Brooks said the the crowd before getting arrested, "Stay woke."

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