With little fanfare and almost no news media attention, some of the same radical groups involved in shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally last week are plotting a mass civil disobedience movement to begin next month.
They intend to march across the East Coast in order to spark a “fire that transforms the political climate in America.”
The operation, calling itself Democracy Spring, is threatening “drama in Washington” with the “largest civil disobedience action of the century.” The radicals believe this will result in the arrest of thousands of their own activists.
“We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail,” the website for Democracy Spring declares, channeling rhetoric from the Occupy movement.
The group is backed by numerous organizations, including the George Soros-funded groups MoveOn.org, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Demos.
MoveOn.org has been playing a prominent role in organizing anti-Trump activism, including last weekend’s shutdown of the billionaire’s rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion.
Another group endorsing Democracy Spring is the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The DSA’s Chicago branch drove protesters to last weekend’s nixed Chicago Trump event, as this reporter exposed.
The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, announced in a press release earlier this month it is “all in behind Democracy Spring,” perhaps indicating significant mobilization.
Next month’s Democracy Spring chaos is set to begin with a meetup on April 2 at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.
“Then, in the spirit of Granny D, the Selma to Montgomery marchers, Cesar Chavez and the farmworker pilgrimage, and others who walked for freedom, we will set out on a 10 day, 140-mile march from Philadelphia to the Nation’s Capitol,” states the website.
In Washington DC, Democracy Spring expects “thousands of Americans” to engage in a “sit-in on the Capitol building in Washington DC in what will be the largest civil disobedience action of the century.”
What do the radicals claim to want?
Despite the fact that many of the main groups endorsing Democracy Spring are funded by billionaire Soros, the group complains that “American elections are dominated by billionaires and big money interests who can spend unlimited sums of money on political campaigns to protect their special interests at the general expense.”
But if the status quo goes unchallenged, the 2016 election — already set to be the most billionaire-dominated, secret money-drenched, voter suppression-marred contest in modern American history — will likely yield a President and a Congress more bound to the masters of big money than ever before.
The stage is set for a bold intervention to turn the tinder of passive public frustration into a fire that transforms the political climate in America, that sparks a popular movement that can’t be stopped.
The group continues:
We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail, along with the unmistakable message that our country needs a new Congress, one that that will end the legalized corruption of our democracy and ensure that every American has an equal voice in government.
The leaders of the group have already held training sessions, the website says. Democracy Spring states it is requiring “mandatory nonviolent civil disobedience trainings twice a day for those risking arrest from April 11th-16th.”
For those arrested, the group says it has already secured the legal aid of an unnamed lawyer “with decades of experience with civil disobedience cases.”
“He is leading a team of pro-bono lawyers who will provide legal counsel and representation for all participants who risk arrest as part of this campaign,” the website continues.
Democracy Spring is threatening “drama in Washington” that cannot be ignored: “With hundreds of patriotic Americans being sent to jail, day after day for at least a week — simply for sitting in to save our democracy — the drama in Washington will rock the business-as-usual cycle of this election and catapult this critical issue on to center stage.”
The group says that it is not plotting violence.
The website posts the following rules for those engaging in civil disobedience:
We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any person.
We will maintain an attitude of openness and respect toward all we encounter in our actions.
We will not destroy or damage any property.
We will carry no weapons or any means of physical defense, including shields.
We will not wear masks or otherwise conceal our faces or identities.
We will exercise personal and collective responsibility to ensure that all participants adhere to this agreement.
Despite the involvement of groups active in opposing Trump, Democracy Spring’s website does not mention Trump by name.
In December, Kai Newkirk, campaign director of Democracy Spring, interrupted Trump at a CNN-hosted GOP debate, saying, “The American people deserve free and fair elections, not billionaire auctions.”
It remains to be seen how many people will actually turn up for Democracy Spring’s planned revolution. So far, the group only has 1,653 Twitter followers, while their Facebook page boasts 4,778 followers. The group sent out three Facebook invitations for next month’s events, garnering only 57 guests for Sit-In Day 1, 11 guests for Day 2, and 5 guests for Day 3.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.
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