Last Night. And the Way Forward.

A message from Kai Newkirk, 99Rise co-founder and national coordinator

Dear supporter:

For me, last night was bittersweet. I want to share with you why and ask you for your help in making possible what I believe is our only way forward now.

After 18 days of consuming nothing but water with a bitter taste almost ever-present on my tongue, drinking my first cup of fresh juice in the company of supporters was a true joy. As was celebrating the shared sacrifice and effort of so many who fasted or organized to mobilize the pro-democracy vote like never before.

But watching the results of the election come in… that was hard. There were some bright spots for those who love justice. But at the federal level, pro-democracy candidates took a beating. Now Mitch “Koch Brothers” McConnell, perhaps the most shameless defender of big money corruption in the federal government, will run the Senate chamber that voted on a 28th Amendment just two months ago.

We still don't even know exactly how much undisclosed billionaire money flooded the election in support of pro-corruption candidates in the final days. But we do know that this unprecedented deluge of dark money, combined with outrageous new voter suppression laws, rigged the contest for the worst of the 1%. No surprise. But still hard to swallow.

Yes, our movement mobilized valiantly - and gained precious strength through the effort - but we could not yet overcome the conditions of such entrenched, deepening corruption on the election battle field. This loss is real. Corruption will surely escalate now.

But this is not a time for depression. This is not a time for despair. This is a time for righteous anger. As I watched the results come in with 99Rise family, I felt a renewed determination.

You see, the battle lines… the stakes... and the path forward - they could not be more clear. Corruption rules. To overcome it, we have no choice but to build a mass nonviolent movement of civil resistance that engages millions of people and rocks the system in this country. We need a gamechanger. We must reorder the entire political weather in which every candidate everywhere operates. Mass nonviolent action can do that like nothing else. This is our hope. When we do it, the next election will be a whole new ballgame. On our homefield.

We of 99Rise are now beginning planning to confront this system of corruption in a mass, dramatic, nonviolent way. Mass civil disobedience on a historic scale can wake the sleeping giant of a passive pro-democracy majority and shake up the status quo. And we aim to do it in 2015.

But we truly cannot do it without your help, without much greater resources. We need you to dig deep, click here, and donate now.

From coordinated sit-ins, historic disruptions, to many-hundred mile marches and occupations, we've shown what we can do with so little, as a small grassroots organization of volunteers with only one person working full-time (myself) for peanuts.

And from retired attorney Steve Bass who fasted for 15 days, to college sophomore Danielle Raskin who devoted her summer to leading the march from LA to Sacramento, 99Rise leaders have shown we are willing to sacrifice and struggle to do whatever it takes to win this fight. 

We need you to sacrifice now. I’ve fasted for 18 days to lift up the urgency of this fight. If you feel that urgency too, please click here and donate as much as you can right now to give us the resources to expand our team and organize mass civil disobedience on the scale necessary to turn the tide in the coming year.

We are counting on you.

Thank you so much for standing with us.
- Kai


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