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.”
99Rise.org 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 99Rise.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2014
Contact: Kai Newkirk; 310-703-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Stevens; 720-404-4065; email@example.com
David Loughnot; 323-377-2307; firstname.lastname@example.org