The organizers behind a coalition of largely leftwing groups that engaged in mass civil disobedience on Monday pledged more arrests and disruptions in Washington, DC today and throughout the week.
Following a day in which more than 400 protesters were reportedly arrested for staging a sit-in on the U.S. Capitol steps Monday, Kai Newkirk, Democracy Spring’s campaign director, tells Breitbart News his group is just getting started.
“Yesterday was incredible,” said Newkirk, who himself was arrested and released on Monday. “We’re back today and we keep building. Yesterday’s events were the spark to begin our determination to save our democracy.”
“Expect our civil disobedience to continue,” he added. “We call on people from across the political spectrum to join us.”
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) April 11, 2016
A statement from the U.S. Capitol Police announced on Monday that “more than 400 individuals have been arrested for unlawful demonstration activity, and are being processed using mass arrest procedures.”
Each protester arrested will be charged with “crowding, obstructing and incommoding,” the police said.
— Washington Peace Ctr (@WashPeaceCtr) April 12, 2016
Newkirk said police figures were released before many of protesters were process. He said that over 500 protesters were eventually arrested on Monday, with most of them already released as of this publication.
Newkirk said that some of those arrested may return to engage in civil disobedience on Tuesday, but he expects a lot of the revolutionaries need to get back to their daily lives. He said that his group had spoken to over 1,000 people willing to protest this week and that he is expecting a new crop of protesters to arrive in DC throughout the week.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) April 11, 2016
As Breitbart News reported on Monday, more events are slated for this week, including “Elders Standing for Democracy Spring ” on April 12, “Racial Justice Day” on April 13 and “Labor Solidarity Day” on the April 14.
When Democracy Spring starts to wind down, a second wave of protests and mass civil disobedience is slated to cause disruptions starting on Saturday, April 16. That second wave, calling itself Democracy Awakening, consists of a slew of groups, many of which are backed by billionaire George Soros.
Democracy Awakening is a three-day activist movement that claims it is “coming together to demand a democracy that works for all of us – a nation where our votes are not denied and money doesn’t buy access and power.”
Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a group that says it champions citizen interests, is a lead organizer of Democracy Awakening. Weissman told Breitbart News in an interview last week that the Awakening movement’s specific plans for “direct action” are not yet finalized, but he said it will include civil disobedience and activists risking arrest.
Asked why the group decided to take part in Democracy Awakening, Raquel Coombs, the NAACP’s vice president for communications and digital media, told Breitbart News:
This Presidential election will be the first in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. 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. Congress has solutions to restore the integrity of the voting process and remove those barriers but has so far failed to act on any of those legislative proposals.
Democracy Awakening is our way of coming together across all faiths, political affiliation, and race and claim a democracy where every voice is heard and every vote counts equally.
Groups signed onto Democracy Awakening include a litany of Soros-financed organizations. Those Soros-financed groups include MoveOn, AVAAZ, Campaign for America’s Future, Common Cause, Democracy for America, Democracy 21, Demos, Institute for Policy Studies, People for the American Way, Project Vote, and UHCAN.
Weissman’s Public Citizen has also received significant financing from Soros’ Open Society.
Soros’ Open Society has also given numerous grants to the NAACP.
‘Day of Action’
Democracy Awakening is planning three days of teach-ins, marches, film screenings and even after-parties. The marches aim to “circle the Capitol to call on Congress to stand up for democracy and stop blocking the reforms we need.”
So-called direct action initiatives commence on Monday, April 18, with the coalition dubbing that date the “Congress of Conscience Day of Action.” The day seeks to end the movement through a full day of “non-violent direct action and advocacy.”
Democracy Awakening requires activists who participate in the direct action to “attend a training on Saturday, Sunday, and/or the action briefing on Monday morning.”
Reads Democracy Awakening’s website: “On Monday, April 18th, hundreds will come together for a day of mass civil disobedience to save our democracy; will you be one of them? Together, we’ll push for a Congress of Conscience — one that stands up for our democracy rather than stands in its way.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.