Activists Disrupt SCOTUS Proceedings Before McCutcheon Decision: Demand Free and Fair Elections, End to Corruption

Washington, DC - Activists from the grassroots group 99Rise, entered the Supreme Court of the United States chambers today, disrupted the proceedings, and demanded the restoration of democracy in America.

"Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, and tears to win the right to vote and extend the promise of democracy in America,” said Kai Newkirk, co-founder of 99 Rise and a participant in today's action, “It's time for our generation to step up and do whatever it takes to defend that right and end the corruption of big money in politics. If that means risking arrest in order to speak truth to power, so be it."

The participants were inspired to act in response to the recent decisions of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, which demolished the wall of separation between wealth and state, and the threat that the Supreme Court would make it even worse in McCutcheon v. FEC, which would remove the cap on aggregate candidate contributions.

"The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision was a betrayal of the American people and of our democracy. It took the systemic corruption of our government by big money interests to an obscene new level. If the Court eliminates the cap on aggregate donations by an individual in an election cycle - the question at hand in the McCutcheon case - it would put another round of shots into the dying body of our democracy."

The group is calling for a restoration of free and fair elections in America, an end to the corruption in our politics, and the restoration of representative democracy in America. Using nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience, such as was used in the Civil Rights Movement, they have been drawing attention to this issue with actions from coast to coast.

At today's action, Newkirk made this speech during the proceedings: “I rise on behalf of the vast majority of the American people who believe money is not speech, corporations are not people, and government should not be for sale to the highest bidder. We demand that you overturn Citizens United, keep the cap in McCutcheon, and an end to corruption. We demand free and fair elections and a real democracy now.” is a grassroots organization fighting to end corruption and win real democracy through nonviolent resistance. For more information, including pictures of previous actions, please visit


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2014

Contact: Kai Newkirk; 310-703-3046;

Alex Stevens; 720-404-4065;

David Loughnot; 323-377-2307;

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  • Yes – they did press charges. I pled guilty to 3 federal misdemeanors and was given a sentence of time served (I was in jail overnight when arrested, 2 days technically) in April. I am also barred from the Supreme Court grounds for a year and must pay the standard fee of $50 per convicted charge to the Victims of Violent Crime Fund. SCOTUS counsel pressed the prosecutors to push for a greater sentence but the judge was sympathetic. Well worth it – now we are building on the momentum created by this action with our California March for Democracy.
  • Bravo! And what happened? Did they press charges for this brave exercise of Free Speech? The SCOTUS needs to hear that more often.
  • Kudos sirs. I am glad someone has by his action made it known dissent inside the actual courtroom is viable… can you imagine 8 or 10 people scattered throughout crowd speaking as one person is hauled off causing plenty of time for message to be driven home. Would also like to see in speech about how Roberts wife made $800,000 that wasn’t reported and a crime. About Scalia being part of the Kochs plan for America, not the citizens. I am just afraid also that if one were to have to leave or something happens Obama would put a corporate lobbyist in their place.
  • Thanks for being a true gangster, Kai! Appreciate them ballz!