This is Civil Resistance at work...
In three separate acts of strategic civil disobedience, 13 brave citizen activists have stood up to disrupt the United States Supreme Court and protest their role in the wholesale corruption of our democracy.
They have spoken out against the Court's outrageous Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions and put their bodies and liberties on the line to defend democracy and to call on all Americans to take action.
Will you stand with them? Sign the petition.
Watch unprecedented video footage from inside the Supreme Court of each disruption:GOAL: 2,361 signatures
I stand with the Supreme Court Disruptors. We the People must overturn Citizens United, reverse McCutcheon, and reclaim democracy for all in America.
In the coming months, thousands of people will come together across our country - on college campuses, in homes, in places of worship - to train and prepare to lead the struggle to reclaim democracy for the 99%.
If nonviolent action is the lifeblood of this movement, our unique, intensive DNA Trainings are its heart. They are the key to the 99Rise model of decentralized, momentum-driven organizing.
Our trainings plug fired-up individuals (like yourself!) into the wider 99Rise community and empower them to become powerful nonviolent warriors in the fight for our democracy. In short, mass trainings are how we translate movement momentum into movement organization.
This free, intensive training will give you the entire “DNA” of 99Rise - everything that makes this movement tick - so that by the end of the weekend, you’ll have received the full set of theoretical, strategic, relational, and communications tools needed to become a 99Rise leader, form an independent team, and spread the DNA in your community. Do the training, be the movement.
Basically, this shit is hot. Don’t miss out on the chance to help build the nonviolent army of the 99% and lead the next stage of America’s democratic revolution. RSVP for an existing training on the Action and Event Calendar, or Request a Training near you below!ONLINE RESOURCES:
Thanks to the Citizens United and McCutcheon Supreme Court decisions, the 2012 and 2014 elections were the most expensive in our country's history, with much of that staggering cost coming from sources that remain secret. The elections are over, but Big Money continues to wreak havoc on our democracy.
Nine out of ten Americans agree that there is way too much corporate money in politics. With traditional channels of public influence overwhelmed by moneyed interests, we must take up the proven tool of nonviolent direct action to make our voices heard.
When hundreds and even thousands of people put their bodies and freedom on the line for a just cause it moves the public and challenges injustice like little else. From the women's suffrage to civil rights movement, from the Indian independence struggle to the Arab Spring, mass nonviolent action has proved essential to the advance of democracy in our country and throughout the world.
Now it's our turn.
Thousands of people across the country have already taken to the streets in defiance of the corrupting influence of money in politics. And thousands more have stood in solidarity with the brave Americans arrested for civil disobedience at Wall Street Banks, the California statehouse, $32,000/plate fundraisers, and within inner sanctum of our country's corruption: the United States Supreme Court.
99Rise will continue to mobilize waves of strategic nonviolent action - culminating in the largest civil disobedience action in American history - placing ever-increasing pressure on both lawmakers and big money donors to put democracy back in the hands of the people.
But we can't do this without you. Your statement of support will empower a legion of nonviolent soldiers to stand up and take action for a free and fair democracy. We ask you to pledge your solidarity with the thousands of brave Americans who not only wish to voice their opposition to the corrupting influence of big money in politics, but are prepared to put their very bodies and freedom on the line to do so.
By signing the Declaration of Solidarity (and sharing it with your friends!) you’ll help make certain that those who will risk arrest to reclaim democracy KNOW that a growing movement has got their back and that they can call on you to stand with them!GOAL: 1,722 signatures
We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the 10,000 people willing to risk arrest in the largest civil disobedience action in American history to free our democracy from the rule of big money.
The fight to end the corrupting influence of money in politics calls for mass nonviolent action. We, therefore, support all those willing to put their bodies and freedom on the line to advance the nonviolent struggle for democracy.
Alex Stevens published FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Young Patriots Launch 99Rise, a National Movement to Get Big Money Out of American Politics, Demanding Wall Street Banks Fully Disclose All Secret Political Spending in Press Releases 2012-09-24 13:55:57 -0700
Young Patriots Launch 99Rise, a National Movement to Get Big Money Out of American Politics, Demanding Wall Street Banks Fully Disclose All Secret Political Spending
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
8 Arrested in Los Angeles Sit-In at Bank of America; NYC Protestors Promise Second Wave of Sit-Ins If JP Morgan Chase Fails to Disclose By October 17th Deadline
(Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY, September 28) – Dozens of young citizens alarmed by the unprecedented flood of anonymous corporate money into the 2012 elections today launched 99Rise, a new anti-corruption movement to get Big Money out of American politics. In Los Angeles and New York City, 99Rise activists presented two major Wall Street bank executives with a simple, modest demand: full disclosure of all secret political expenditures. In the democratic tradition of 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that revitalized the Civil Rights movement, 8 protestors in Los Angeles participated in a coordinated act of civil disobedience at Bank of America Plaza, refusing to leave until their demand was met. Similarly, in New York City activists presented JP Morgan Chase with an October 17th deadline, promising to return for a second wave of sit-ins if the bank fails to disclose its secret political expenditures by that date.Read more
Alex Stevens endorsed 2013-02-03 14:01:04 -0800
More than 8 in 10 Americans now agree that we must put a stop to unlimited outside political spending, and soon our elected officials will be forced to respond to this clear mandate for change. But after the most expensive election in history, our bought Congress will only be held accountable through nonviolent action on a truly massive scale.
So that's exactly what we'll do. By signing this pledge, you join a growing Nonviolent Army of deep patriots willing to put their bodies on the line to engage in the Largest Civil Disobedience Action in American History. For us to make history, we first need the pledge of 10,000 people like you. Add your name below and together we will win a democracy that finally responds to the needs of the 99%.
I pledge to be one of 10,000 people who will risk arrest in the Largest Civil Disobedience Action in American History in order to get big money out of politics.Endorse
Tropical Storm “Isaac” isn’t the only storm looming over Tampa.
Western Florida faces what some people call a “Tsunami of Slime.”1 More shady money is pouring into this election than ever before - bankrolling more deceptive attack ads with less accountability. And with the start of the Republican National Convention today, Tampa will officially become ground zero for this tsunami of shadowy outside spending. In the words of arch-lobbyist Jack Abramoff: "It's a mega-fundraising, lobbying extravaganza.”2Read more
Support the Movement!
99Rise is a grassroots movement that relies entirely on the gifts of members to support our actions, make certain our small team of full-time organizers stays fed, and keep this website up and running! Help reclaim our democracy from corporate rule. Give a one-time gift by simply filling out the form on the left.
Or, better yet, become a monthly sustaining donor by clicking here now!
Our community of monthly donors sustain 99Rise and make everything we do possible. Please join them and become a sustainer today!
All donations made through this page fund the 99Rise 501(c)(3) nonprofit and are tax deductible.
Join the growing movement to get big money out of politics. Please sign-up below:Sign up
99Rise is the parent organization of Democracy Spring. Go to www.democracyspring.org to join the movement.
America is in crisis, and our democracy on the auction block. We’re here to do something about it.
99Rise is a network of activists and organizers dedicated to building a mass movement to reclaim our democracy from the domination of big money.
We believe that only by getting big money out of politics – by winning a democracy that responds to the real needs of "the 99%" – will we open the door to finally realizing the progressive promise of the American Dream.
We thus seek a Constitutional Amendment and supplemental federal legislation that would guarantee the principle of political equality, as well as ensure that neither private wealth nor corporate privilege could be used to exercise undue influence over elections and policymaking. To this end, we are committed to deploying the most powerful tool of social and political change: strategic nonviolent resistance.
Politicians should work for us, not their corporate sponsors.
Four years since Wall Street crashed our economy, the worst of the 1% have grown more powerful than ever while the rest of us - working families, students, people of color, the unemployed, immigrants, veterans - have slid ever further behind.
Super-wealthy donors spend billions buying results in Congress, and average citizens just can’t keep up. To solve any of the grave challenges facing our country, we must first free our democracy from the domination of Big Money. Each and every American has a stake in this fight, and the 99% must unite to win it.
The fight to reclaim democracy for the 99% cannot be won without mass nonviolent action.
When Big Money rules elections, we can’t count on the political victors to deliver change. We have no choice but to turn to the tradition of strategic nonviolent action used so successfully by generations of Americans before us who didn’t even have the right to vote in elections period.
With your help, we will make this critical issue impossible to ignore and create a clear public mandate for all elected officials: GET MONEY OUT! ... and that's just the beginning.
We are a decentralized movement of deep patriots standing up to government of, by, and for the 1%.
United by a common story, a shared strategy, and a set of simple, clear guidelines, we work together in a decentralized movement where every community is empowered to take independent creative action and every member can develop as a leader. In our “starfish” model of organization, you - and anyone who shares our vision - can attend a DNA Training and gain all the tools you need to form a team and become a leader in the open network of 99Rise organizers expanding across the country.
Join the movement now!
There's no time to waste. Sign up below to get plugged in right away (you'll receive periodic action alerts), and then check out the pages above to learn more about how you can help build the movement fighting to win a democracy that finally responds to the needs of the 99%.Sign up
Faced with the inaction of a political elite corrupted by Big Money, we have taken the call for full disclosure of dark money directly to the Wall Street banks, corporate mega donors, and shadowy nonprofit groups that are flooding the 2012 election with what will amount to more than $900 million in secret campaign cash.
Their deadline for disclosure was September 28th, 2012. They have failed to comply.
We will not be silenced. Voters cannot make an informed decision at the ballot box without at the very least knowing who’s been buying each candidate. And with Election Day quickly approaching, we’re running out of time. If the worst of the 1% continue to bankroll politicians in secret - then our only option is to bring the demand for disclosure right to their very doorsteps.
That’s why beginning on 9/28 and continuing through the month of October in cities across the country, patriotic Americans will take up the tradition of nonviolent struggle for our democratic rights and march together to deliver our End Dark Money Petition straight to the offices, lobbies, and headquarters of the organizations driving the secret sale of our democracy. There we will stay peacefully and refuse to leave until they disclose all records of anonymous or unreported political spending to the American public.
We may be arrested, we may be dragged out or worse, but we’ll keep coming back - weekend after weekend, wave after wave - for as long as it takes. Our arrests will be a small sacrifice in the long struggle to realize the promise of a democracy that finally, truly responds to the needs of the 99%, to We the People. As the numbers of deep patriots putting our bodies and freedom on the line for democracy grow from hundreds into thousands our campaign of nonviolent sacrifice will make the corruption of our democracy by Big Money impossible to ignore. If enough of us take a stand and sit in, we can define the 2012 election narrative and force candidates from the Congress to each and every statehouse to make a choice - stand on the side of democracy and the 99% or the side of Big Money corruption and the worst of the 1%.
The political climate in America has rarely been so ripe for real change. A huge majority of Americans believe Dark Money is wrong and Big Money shouldn’t rule our democracy. They’re waiting for someone to do something and something to happen. But with the rapid advance of the corruption of our democracy and the consolidation of a Big Money rule, “one dollar, one vote” system of plutocracy, this moment may be our last, best hope to save democracy.
Some things are worth living, dying, and fighting for. Our democracy - and the hope it holds for a better life for the 99% and all Americans - is one of those things. Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, and tears for the same cause. Now, in this dark hour when our democracy is under a deadly, insidious assault, our generation must rise. This is our chance, now is the time - join us at an upcoming action and Demand Democracy.Become a volunteer
In the aftermath of the greatest economic collapse since the Great Depression, millions remain jobless, foreclosures continue to tear families from their homes, and students are burdened as never before by crushing debt. Public education and other essential services are being dismantled and more and more children are growing up in poverty. As our young veterans slowly return from distant wars to a nation of declining opportunity, catastrophic global climate change accelerates unchecked.
Yet as we, the 99%, fall ever further behind and struggle just make ends meet, a tiny fraction of the wealthiest 1% of Americans - the very people whose reckless Wall Street schemes caused the crash - are getting richer by the day. How can this be?
Short answer: our democracy has been corrupted by big money. Our politicians represent the interests of the billionaires and corporations who pay for their campaigns instead of the people who vote them into office.
The system is rigged and the people know it. 84% of Americans think money has too much influence over our elections, and Congressional approval ratings are the lowest in our nation's history. There can be no doubt: our democracy no longer serves the People. It serves the worst of the 1%, who buy our elections like a high-priced auction item.
In this post-Citizens United world of Super-PACs, "dark money" and unlimited corporate dollars cascading in campaign coffers, it has never been so clear that we simply cannot solve our most urgent problems, we cannot build an economy that works for all, we cannot renew the promise of the American Dream until we free our democracy from the domination of big money and place it firmly in the hands of the People.
We now face a choice: to rise up together and reclaim democracy for the 99%, or to give up hope for a better future, condemning ourselves and our children to a dying planet and a decaying Republic.
It's time for the 99% to Rise.
Want more hard data on the crisis of corruption? Here are the numbers:
Rule by Big Money: The Facts
Big Money Wins Elections. Candidates who raise and spend the most money routinely win more than 90% of federal elections in a given year. As a result, members of Congress spend 30%-70% of their time fundraising. Source: Demos; Lawrence Lessig, "Republic Lost", p. 138
Campaign Spending Has Exploded. Between 1974-2010, political spending by all candidates for Congress increased by a staggering 2,237%. From 2000-2012, total federal election spending more than doubled, soaring from $3 billion to $6.3 billion. Add on lobbying and you're at $12.9 billion for 2012. Source: Lessig, p. 91; Vox
A Tiny Economic Elite is Putting Up the Cash. In 2014, just 0.23% of Americans gave $200 or more to political candidates, while a mere 0.04% gave the maximum amount to any one candidate. In 2012, 61 big donors giving an average of $4.7 million each matched the small-dollar contributions of over 1.4 million grassroots donors. Source: Center for Responsive Politics; Demos
Money Buys Results in Congress. The ROI (Return-on-Investment) from corporate lobbying & political contributions is off the charts:
5,800% - Big Oil’s ROI on lobbying the 111th Congress for $20 billion in fossil fuel subsidies
22,000% - Multinational Corporations’ ROI on lobbying for a temporary tax break on offshore investments in 2004
77,500% - Big Pharma’s ROI on a 2003 lobbying campaign to keep prescription drug prices high by baring Medicare from bargaining for competitive prices Source: United re:public
Citizens United and McCutcheon Will Make 2016 the Most Expensive, 0.1%-Dominated, Dark-Money Drenched Election Ever. Estimates hover around $10 billion dollars total, with the Koch brothers' political network already committing to spend nearly $900 million alone. The Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision made unlimited outside spending legal as "independent expenditures", resulting in $1.28 billion in outside spending in 2012; their 2014 McCutcheon v. FEC ruling permitted individual wealthy donors to dole out up $3.5 million each in direct contributions. Source: Bloomberg; New York Times; Demos; Demos
Meanwhile, the 99% Has Been Left Behind. While the bottom 90% have experienced virtually no increase in income or wages for over thirty years, the wealthiest 1%'s share of total national income has risen to 20%, even while their taxes have been cut in half, with the top tax rate falling from 70% to 35% since 1980. The wealthiest 400 Americans now have as much wealth as the bottom 150 million. Source: Robert Reich
Economic Wealth Translates into Political Power. The richest 1% of Americans now control over a third of the nation's wealth, while the bottom 90% control only a quarter. That gross economic advantage buys immense political influence. According to a landmark 2014 Princeton Study on the responsiveness of government to different constituencies, while "economic elites are estimated to have a quite substantial, highly significant, independent impact on policy... the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." Source: Allegretto, EPI; Gilens & Page
Big Money Corruption is at the Root of Our Problems, Blocking Progress on Every Front
Climate Change: For every $1 the fossil fuel industry spends on lobbying and campaign contributions, they get $59 in federal subsidies from Congress, a 5800% return on investment. Since 2008, Big Oil, Coal, and Gas spends well over $100 million every year lobbying Congress. So despite a 97% consensus amongst climate scientists that climate change is real and caused by humans, over 56% of Republican Congress members are climate deniers. Source: Oil Change International; Center for Responsive Politics; ThinkProgress
Health Care: The health care industry has spent over $5 billion lobbying Congress and financing federal campaigns over the last decade. As a result, the Affordable Care Act - lacking a public option and failing to universally insure the public - has delivered millions of new clients to giant health insurance corporations, whose share prices have risen an average of 290% since the ACA was signed in March of 2010. Source: Center for Responsive Politics; The Center for Public Integrity
Education & Student Debt: For-profit colleges have given nearly $10 million in federal campaign contributions since 2010. Despite overtly predatory practices, a full 86% of all for-profit college revenue comes from federal taxpayers, mostly in the form of federal government student loans, which burden 96% of their students, graduating with an average of $23,590 in student debt. And while these exploitative colleges only enroll about 10% of all college students, they receive 25% of all government student aid. Source: Center for Responsive Politics; Forbes; For Profit U; U.S. Department of Education
Immigration & Mass Incarceration: Between 2000 and 2010, the three largest private prison corporations spent nearly $7 million in state and federal campaign contributions, and almost $20 million lobbying for policies that would produce more prisoners with longer sentences to fill their empty beds and generate higher profits. In ten years, the private federal prison population has more than doubled and private companies now jail almost half of all immigrant detainees. Source: Justice Policy Institute; Washington Post; Associated Press
War & Defense: Military arms contractors have contributed nearly $200 million to candidates and committees since 1990 and routinely spend well over $100 million each year lobbying Congress, incentivizing endless foreign military interventions to justify their profitable government contracts. In 2014, U.S. defense spending totaled $610 billion, more than the next seven countries combined, and accounting for nearly 20% of all federal spending. Source: Center for Responsive Politics; Center for Responsive Politics; Stockholm International Peace Research
It takes a movement. Our government no longer responds to the will of the people. The only way to win in the fight to reclaim democracy for the 99% is to build a movement that can overcome the inertia of a political elite bought by the 1% and win a constitutional amendment securing free and fair elections, once and for all.
When elections are dominated by Big Money, voting alone is not enough - only strategic nonviolent action on a truly massive scale will get the job done.
For Americans struggling to realize the promise of democracy in the face of entrenched interests, this is nothing new. From the abolitionists to the suffragettes, the first union organizers to the activists of the civil rights movement, Americans have used strategic nonviolent action to win the democratic struggles of their day.
Now it’s our turn. Ready? Here’s the plan:
The Grand Strategy
As a tool, "Grand Strategy" provides a transparent outline of a movement's strategic orientation to all its members, and enables a decentralized organization to act in coordination. The 99Rise Grand Strategy empowers all our teams and leaders to take independent creative action that effectively advances our common goal.
Ultimately, the Grand Strategy gives an overarching and chronological framework for how we can enact our principle of Strategic Unity, which states, "We pursue the goal of Constitutional and federal legislative reforms that establish political equality regardless of wealth by mobilizing a critical mass of active public support through campaigns of escalating nonviolent action."
THE FIVE PHASES:
Phase I - Present - April 2016
Build the movement through forming teams, doing trainings, and developing leaders. Promote the Grand Strategy and articulate a reform agenda to establish political equality for all.
Phase II - April 2016 - September 2016
Intervene in the 2016 elections through mass civil disobedience to create a national crisis and a popular mandate for fundamental reform.
Phase III - September 2016 - December 2016
Mobilize voters to elect representatives and a President committed to enact the mandate. Unite the movement around the reform agenda.
Phase IV - January 2017 - December 2017
Demand that Congress, the President, and state legislatures honor the mandate and enact the reform agenda by a specified deadline. Escalate to mass civil disobedience and noncooperation if the demand is not met on time.
Phase V - January 2017 - November 2018
Monitor and enforce implementation of the reform agenda, through further escalation if necessary.
We are the 99%, in all of our tremendous diversity. We are the students and young people, the homeowners, the workers, the families, the immigrants, the seniors and retirees, and every other American sick of seeing their democracy serve only the interests of the 1%. United by a common vision, a common strategy, and a set of simple, clear guidelines, we work together in a decentralized movement where every community is empowered to take independent, creative action and every member is encouraged to develop as a leader.
How we work together ...
99Rise is organized more like a “starfish” than a “spider”.
We all know that if a spider has its head or leg cut off, it will end up dead or severely crippled. As Ori Brafman & Rod Beckstrom note in their seminal work "Starfish & the Spider", with starfish its a very different story. Starfish have no head, and can regrow lost limbs. And get this: because their major organs and essential biological information are replicated throughout each and every arm, certain species of starfish can even regenerate an entirely new starfish from a single piece of arm.
Similarly, and drawing on additional insights from swarm theory, open source design, and network marketing, 99Rise works through a model of decentralized organization that distributes our essential leadership information and capacities (what we call “the DNA”) throughout the open network of our organization.
The decentralized organization and distributed leadership of 99Rise is made possible through our intensive 2-day DNA trainings, as well as our Online Basic Trainings and monthly Online Orientations. These DNA trainings empower local groups and individual leaders with the set of theoretical, strategic, relational, and communications tools they need to form a team and independently organize creative nonviolent actions that contribute to a nationwide coordinated campaign and build a unified movement.
We can never have too many teams nor too many passionate leaders. Request or join a training and be the movement!
Where we come from ...
In the wake of several years of uprisings for democracy, justice, and equality at Occupy encampments across the nation, a group of Los Angeles organizers active in Occupy came together to launch a vehicle to propel the 99% movement to a new stage.
This diverse team of activists combined experience in the student, labor, immigrant rights, anti-war, racial & economic justice, LGBTQ, women’s, and global justice movements. They sought to bring together lessons from all those struggles as well as the long history and recent explosion of innovation in strategic nonviolent conflict.... and 99Rise was born.
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Praxis Makes Perfect
I support the the March for Democracy because without winning in the fight again corporate control of our democracy, we may keep winning some small battles, but we are doomed to loose the war.