Citizens plan to occupy California’s Capitol if their demands to get money out of politics are not met by June 22.
Disempowerment is a far cry from apathy, as Kai Newkirk of 99 Rise is discovering on the 480-mile California March for Democracy. Citizens aren’t apathetic about the corruptive influence of money in politics – they’re steaming mad! The problem, Kai said on Occupy Radio, is that citizens feel disempowered and discouraged about their options in changing the situation.
The 99 Rise California March for Democracy is out to demonstrate that money can be kicked out of politics and ordinary people can make it happen. The march departed Los Angeles on May 17, 2014 and will arrive in the state capital, Sacramento, on June 22 with plans to occupy the Capitol building if their demands are not met. As they march through central California, they combat disempowerment by speaking practically about what can be done to get money out of politics.
As a first step, they demand that the California legislature take three urgent actions:
1. Issue a formal call for a federal Constitutional Convention to propose an amendment outlawing big money corruption by passing Assembly Joint Resolution 1 (AJR1).
2. Give California’s voters the chance to formally instruct the US Congress to propose such an amendment and the California legislature to ratify it by passing Senate Bill 1272 (SB1272).
3. Start reining in unlimited, anonymous big money in elections by passing the DISCLOSE Act to require the top donors to be prominently revealed in every political ad they fund.
99 Rise is working with over 30 different organizations, including Move On, Dream Defenders, Wolf PAC, San Francisco Green Party and several Occupy groups, and has been endorsed by Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Lessig, Dolores Huerta and several other individuals. Close to a thousand citizens have pledged to risk arrest by engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience for democracy. The march and occupation add tangible nonviolent direct action to a broad campaign to get money out of politics.
Will they be successful? The ambitious plan holds strategic merit. The 480-mile march is nearing successful completion. An occupation of the Capitol building will raise awareness not only of the issue of money in politics, but of the determination of citizens to get money out. In demonstrating tangible forms of nonviolent struggle, the California March for Democracy, regardless of whether the demands are met in this wave of the struggle or not, is breaking through the illusion of powerlessness that plagues the American people. From that standpoint, the California March for Democracy is already a success. On Sunday, the next chapter of the struggle will unfold.
Nonviolent struggle is a field of conflict in which numbers matter. To find out how you can participate and support the 99 Rise California March for Democracy, please visit: https://www.marchfordemocracy.org