Nonviolent Civil Disobedience at the DNC

The Democratic National Convention has been in full swing all week in Philadelphia, featuring several notable speeches and speakers, and ripe with storylines. Earlier this week, the DNC officially announced Hillary Clinton’s nomination for the office of President, a victory that she proclaimed to be the “biggest crack” in the glass ceiling that the United States has seen so far. Her nomination marks the culmination of a hotly contested primary process between Hillary and friendly rival Bernie Sanders, who certainly left an impression on liberal voters with his platforms, such as breaking up large banks, tuition-free public college, and taking money out of politics.

 

The primary process, however, was also filled with inconsistencies and faults. Several Bernie supporters felt that they received the worst of it. For example, Bernie Sanders won the state of Wyoming by 12 percentage points, but only managed to split the delegates with Hillary, and actually lost out when it came to superdelegates. Bernie’s key issue of money in politics reared its head, as usual, with substantial donations from PACs and superPACs going to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, while Bernie refused to accept money from such organizations. Voter suppression has also manifested itself in billionaires and elites pouring money and resources into “rigging” elections in favor of a certain candidate; much recent evidence has come to light substantiating the narrative that Democratic officials and party leaders had favored Hillary Clinton, and took steps to actively undermine Bernie’s campaign. These very consequential flaws in the primary process have caused a great deal of frustration for Bernie supporters, liberals in general, and really a large part of the American voting population.

 

Democracy Spring, a movement-based organization committed to reforming American politics against big money interests, and in favor of all American voters, has come up with a method to use this frustration productively — through nonviolent civil obedience. If the Democratic National Convention does not commit to reforming the democratic process “in the first 100 days of a new administration,” Democracy Spring plans to hold mass civil disobedience at the DNC.

 

According to the Democracy Spring website, the protests have already begun. On Wednesday night in Philadelphia, 39 protesters were arrested for demanding 4 key democratic reforms.

 

Democracy Spring has organized mass civil disobedience in national politics in the past as well. Last April 1,300 Americans joined together on the Capitol steps, led by Democracy Spring, to demand that Congress pass laws against the presence of money in politics. Several were arrested. At the DNC, the organization is demanding that the Democratic party commit to certain specific platforms. Among these are overturning Citizens United, public funding for elections, and the abolition of superdelegates in the primary system.

To learn more about Democracy Spring and get involved, please visit their website here:

http://www.democracyspring.org/?recruiter_id=911

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