Corporate Crime Reporter
Common Cause. Public Citizen. Center for Responsive Politics. United Republic. Root Strikers. Move to Amend.
There must be close to twenty non profits currently working on the question of big money in politics.
But only one is practicing the non violent civil disobedience of the 1960s – 99Rise.
Last week, three high school students from 99Rise were arrested at JPMorgan Chase in lower Manhattan protesting the billions of dollars of secret money flooding into the political system to influence voters this election cycle.
The three said they wanted the full disclosure of the bank’s anonymous political expenditures.
The students, who delivered a petition to the bank over three weeks ago articulating their demand, refused to leave the bank’s premises until the requested information was handed over to the public.
The bank instead chose to shut down the entire 60 floor building and have them arrested.
Also last week, five people from 99Rise were arrested at a similar protest outside a Citibank office in Los Angeles.
“The difference between 99Rise and many of those other organizations is that 99Rise is committed to using the tactics of escalating non violent civil disobedience,” Devon Whitham of 99Rise told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week.
“We see ourselves in the tradition of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the anti-apartheid movement and many others throughout history that have used more radical tactics – strictly non violent tactics.”
“We seek to speak to people who agree with us on the issues, but who are not necessarily actively involved yet by making sacrifices, risking arrest, and other forms of sacrifices.”
“There is room for us. We are not necessarily policy experts.”
“We are not working the inside game in terms of counting votes in Congress, we are not going to be the ones necessarily meeting with politicians, or drafting the amendment.”
“We are hoping we are experts at organizing people, mobilizing them, and getting them into the streets, and getting them invested in creating a lasting movement that will ultimately be the wind at the back of other groups that are doing more of the inside game.”