FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Group Covers Over 400 Miles on Historic March for Democracy from LA to Sacramento

Marchers demand "one person, one vote" political equality, an end to big money corruption in politics

Contact: Curt Ries
media@99rise.org
(415) 847-5351

Photos and videos: marchfordemocracy.org & flickr.com/marchfordemocracy

California, USA – On May 17th, dozens of activists led by the grassroots organization 99Rise departed Los Angeles to embark on a 480-mile “March for Democracy” across the state of California to raise awareness and mobilize the public around the issue of big money in politics. They plan to complete their march at the state capitol building in Sacramento on June 22nd, where they will demand that the state legislature publicly acknowledge what they are calling “the crisis of corruption” and take immediate action to end it.

“This nation was founded on the principle of one person, one vote,” said Kai Newkirk, co-founder and organizer of 99Rise. “Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, and tears to make that principle a reality, from the abolitionists to women’s suffragists, to supporters of The Civil Rights Movement. But now their hard work and sacrifice is being systematically undermined by the out-of-control political spending of a small wealthy elite. It’s time for our generation to step up and do whatever it takes to reclaim democracy for the people of this country. That’s why we’re marching to Sacramento,” Newkirk explained.

The statewide march comes on the heels of two Supreme Court decisions—Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC—that have further enabled wealthy donors to contribute even larger sums to candidates running for political office. 2012 was the most expensive election in the country’s history, with a price tag exceeding 6 billion dollars, but with only 0.4% of Americans contributing more than $200 to political candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Newkirk recently made headlines for his interruption of Supreme Court proceedings and his subsequent arrest, the first time such an act of civil disobedience has been caught on video.

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Californians March For Democracy Across Nation's Largest State: Marchers trek 480 miles from L.A. to Sacramento to demand an end to big money corruption

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
05/05/2014

Californians March For Democracy Across Nation's Largest State

Marchers trek 480 miles from L.A. to Sacramento to demand an end to big money corruption

Contact: Curt Ries
(415) 847-5351
Photos and videos: marchfordemocracy.org & 99rise.org

Los Angeles, CA – On May 17th, a group of activists led by the grassroots organization 99Rise will depart Los Angeles to embark on a 480-mile “March for Democracy” across the state of California to raise awareness about the influence of big money in politics. They plan to complete their march at the state capitol building in Sacramento on June 22nd, where they will demand that the state legislature publicly acknowledge what they are calling “the crisis of corruption” and take immediate action to end it.

“This nation was founded on the principle of one person, one vote,” said Kai Newkirk, co-founder and organizer of 99Rise. “Generations of Americans have shed blood, sweat, and tears to make that principle a reality, from the abolitionists to women’s suffragists, to supporters of The Civil Rights Movement. But now their hard work and sacrifice is being systematically undermined by the out-of-control political spending of a small wealthy elite. It’s time for our generation to step up and do whatever it takes to reclaim democracy for the people of this country. That’s why we’re marching to Sacramento,” Newkirk explained.

The statewide march comes on the heels of two Supreme Court decisions—Citizens United vs. FEC and McCutcheon vs. FEC—that have further enabled wealthy donors to contribute even larger sums to candidates running for political office. 2012 was the most expensive election in the country’s history, with a price tag exceeding 6 billion dollars, but with only 0.4% of Americans contributing more than $200 to political candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Newkirk recently made headlines for his interruption of Supreme Court proceedings and his subsequent arrest, the first time such an act of civil disobedience has been caught on video.

The 480-mile march dubbed the “California March for Democracy” is endorsed by a number of citizen groups and political organizations including Money Out Voters In, WolfPAC, and Rootstrikers. Lawrence Lessig, a leading public intellectual, political activist and founder of Rootstikers.org will be walking a section of the march, as will Dolores Huerta, a long time labor and civil rights leader.

“The fight against political corruption is one that must be taken up by a movement of citizens,” remarked Lessig. “It will take an army of ordinary people, from both the left and the right, doing the hard work that is needed to fundamentally reform our government and restore our democracy. No matter how difficult, how impossible it may appear, we must have hope. We have to fight.”

For more information about 99Rise and the California March for Democracy, including how to participate in the march, visit marchfordemocracy.org or contact Curt Ries at media@99rise.org or call (415) 847-5351.

#m4d #99rise

 

About 99Rise & The California March for Democracy

99Rise is calling for a mass movement of escalating direct nonviolent action to get big money out of politics and reclaim democracy for the 99%. The California March for Democracy will begin May 17th at Los Angeles City Hall with a rally and commencement ceremony. Marchers will be attending local events along the march route, which will traverse California’s central valley, passing through Bakersfield, Fresno, and Stockton on its way to the state capitol.

99Rise is demanding that the California state legislature call for an Article V convention to amend the US constitution to get big money out of politics and guarantee political equality. If the state legislature fails to call for the convention by the time marchers reach Sacramento on June 22nd, activists plan on nonviolently occupying the capitol until the campaign’s demands are met.

For a preliminary itinerary of the march, go to http://www.marchfordemocracy.org/march_route

To find out how to support the march, go to http://www.marchfordemocracy.org/volunteer

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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."

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Five Young People Arrested in Sit-In at Los Angeles Citigroup Building, Demanding Full Disclosure of All Secret Political Spending This Election Cycle

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Sit-In is Third in Wave of Protests against Corporate “Dark Money” in Run Up
to Most Expensive Election in History
 

(Los Angeles, CA, October 25)—Alarmed by the billions of dollars of secret money flooding into the political system to influence voters this election cycle, five young people sat-in at Citigroup on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles today, demanding full disclosure of the financial giant’s anonymous political expenditures.  When the five activsts and a group of about thirty supporters delivered the petition articulating their demand, the bank locked down the building's main enterance. The activists peacefully sat down in front of the doors and refused to leave until the requested information was disclosed. The bank instead chose to have them arrested. The charge was "Failure to Disperse from an Unlawful Assembly" and the five are currently in custody with bail set at $5,000.

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Three High School Students Arrested in Sit-In at JPMorgan Chase, Banking Skyscraper Completely Shut Down to Public

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Students Demand Full Disclosure of All Secret Political Spending in Run Up to Most Expensive Election In History

(New York, NY, October 24)—Alarmed by the billions of dollars of secret money flooding into the political system to influence voters this election cycle, three high school students sat in at JPMorgan Chase in lower Manhattan today, demanding 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.

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Members of 99Rise, a New Movement to Get Big Money Out of American Politics, Speak Out Against Corruption at Second Presidential Debate at Hofstra University

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(Hempstead, New York, October 16) – Among the throngs of students excitedly holding signs and cheering in support of Obama and Romney at Hofstra University for the second presidential debate, a group of 5 students stood out from the crowd.  They wore dollar bills over their mouths and brandished a home-made sign that read “Obama and Romney: Take a Stand!  Get $$$ Out.”  The students, members of the new national anti-corruption movement 99Rise, sought to make a statement against the increasingly corrupting influence of Big Money in American politics.

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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

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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. 

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VIDEO: Want To Free Democracy From Super PACs, Billionaire Mega-Donors, And Wall Street Bribery?

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We're Ready: Training Report Back

Photo2.jpgThis summer, 99Rise recruited and trained over 100 new movement leaders who are ready to take on big money in politics. Labor union organizers, Occupy activists, LGBTQ advocates, DREAMers, and many other fired-up deep patriots from endless walks of life have come together under 99Rise to take back democracy. 

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