Mass arrest taking place on Capitol steps pic.twitter.com/ldvzLJ3fLY
— 99Rise (@99rise) June 23, 2014
Last week we reported that a coalition of progressive organizations lead by 99Rise calling themselves March for Democracy were walking from Los Angeles to Sacramento to bring attention to the urgent need to get money out of politics. We received word yesterday that the coalition, many of whom had walked 480 miles, arrived in Sacramento. Their goal was to submit a letter to the legislators demanding that the state’s leaders publicly acknowledge the crisis of big money corruption and take immediate action to end it. Members of the coalition then planned to conduct a nonviolent sit-in and occupation of the capitol until their demands were met.
The rally and sit-in was held outside the capital in Sacramento with hundreds of supporters, including Dolores Huerta of United Farmworkers, former candidate for California Secretary of State Derek Cressman and Democratic Assembly Representative Roger Dickinson. Kai Newkirk, co-founder and organizer of 99Rise, spoke with the LA Progressive as the group was preparing to leave Los Angeles. Explaining why this march was so important, Kai told us that he was motivated by the principle of one person, one vote. He said he was pouring all of his energies into this effort because it was just that important. Kai told us that if we don’t address this issue then all the work done by generations of Americans who fought, from the abolitionists to women’s suffragists, to supporters of The Civil Rights Movement will be for nothing because the corruptive influence of money is systematically undermining all of their achievements.
Then the LA Progressive received word from a couple of activists who were in Sacramento participating in the rally that the California Highway Patrol was in the process of making arrests.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the CHP arrested 14 people who were outside the State Capitol Sunday night. But the tweets that were coming out of 99Rise indicate that 15 were arrested. Several images were captured by the protestors as the arrests were being conducted. Including among those arrested was Derek Cressman, former candidate for California Secretary of State. The SacBee also reported that all protesters were released from jail Monday morning.
The group is pushing lawmakers to vote on bills calling for stronger federal campaign finance laws. On Monday, the Senate voted 33-11 in favor of AJR1, a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment saying campaign money is not speech.
Publisher, LA Progressive