Vox Populi

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Chris Hedges: Revolution is in the Air

WASHINGTON, D.C—The sustained, daily civil disobedience at the Capitol by demonstrators denouncing the capture of our political system by corporate money is part of one of the largest and most important movements for social justice since the Occupy uprising. Join it.

Six hundred of the protesters have been arrested, and I was among 100 arrested Friday.

The protesters, organized by Democracy Spring, have converged on Washington from across the country. Young. Old. Black. White. Brown. Native American. Asian. Christian. Jew. Muslim. Buddhist. Atheist. From the left. From the right. Some marched for 10 days along a 160-mile route from Philadelphia to Washington.

On Friday, about a dozen protesters who had slipped into a tour group to get into the Capitol used zip ties to bind themselves to each other and to scaffolding inside the rotunda. They remained until they were arrested. In addition, scores of other protesters were taken away by police during the day.

“We the people demand a democracy free from the corrupting influence of big money and voter suppression,” they shouted. “We demand a democracy where every vote is counted and every voice is heard. Democracy Spring!”

The hundreds of arrests this past week have been largely ignored by a corporate media whose lobbyists, along with those of other corporations, are a familiar presence on Capitol Hill. The mass media’s blackout of the largest number of arrests at the Capitol in decades is one of innumerable examples of our corporate coup d’état. And until corporate power is overthrown—and it will be overthrown only from the streets in sustained acts of civil disobedience—the nation will continue to devolve into an authoritarian police state. Corporations will continue to strip us of our remaining rights, carry out the deadly assault on the ecosystem, impoverish workers, make a mockery of our democracy and cannibalize what is left of the country. The system of corporate power is incapable of reform. It must be destroyed.

We will have to do this together. No one will do it for us. And as the numbers in the streets swell—and I will be with the protesters in Washington again on Monday—the corruption of our political system becomes ever more apparent.

It is imperative to protest in Cleveland and Philadelphia during the Republican and Democratic conventions later this year. The building of movements and sustained civil disobedience is far more important than voting. Voting without powerful and organized movements is futile. Voting without profound electoral reform, including banishing corporate money from politics, is useless.

The hope of Democracy Spring organizers is that growing waves of people will be arrested at the Capitol. Monday is expected to draw hundreds of people to a sit-in. While the protests center specifically on four bills before Congress that would expand public financing for federal campaigns, pass a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, end gerrymandering and restore the Voting Rights Act, they also have challenged corporate domination of all aspects of society. The daily marches have focused on themes: labor, racial justice, student debt and (on Saturday) climate justice.

Democracy cannot be sustained if it cannot be seen. Those in power must be made to fear movements that are willing to disrupt the machinery of state. The elites must be kept in check. [read complete article]

Copyright 2016 Chris Hedges. First published in TruthDig.

Actress Rosario Dawson, center, takes part in a demonstration on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 15, 2016. The demonstration, called Democracy Spring, is advocating a set of reforms the organizers have dubbed the 'democracy movement' demanding Congress amend campaign finance laws and restore the Voting Rights Act, among other actions. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Actress Rosario Dawson, center, takes part in a demonstration on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 15, 2016. The demonstration, called Democracy Spring, is advocating a set of reforms the organizers have dubbed the ‘democracy movement’ demanding Congress amend campaign finance laws and restore the Voting Rights Act, among other actions. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

4 comments on “Chris Hedges: Revolution is in the Air

  1. mlord102014
    April 19, 2016

    I watch CNN and I knew about the protests it seems to me that the media has not blocked the protests.
    There was a report last night on the huge demonstrations following Bernie Sanders, we may may be infer a shock in the New York primaries.
    Many extremly wealthy people especially those who inherit it are isolated in there mansions, they are afraid to travel in conventional aeroplanes. They float on their yachts and only socialise with each other. In a way it is pathetic,they are a breed apart- indeed almost a segregated species, like lepers used to be.

    Like

  2. mlord102014
    April 18, 2016

    Democracy must be fought for, it must be valued and it must never be taken for granted.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Arlene Weiner
    April 18, 2016

    I don’t agree that there is a mainstream media “blackout.” CNN.com is mainstream, isn’t it? http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/11/politics/democracy-spring-arrests-protests-washington/

    Like

    • Vox Populi
      April 18, 2016

      I think that Hedges’ claim that the demonstrations have been “largely ignored” is true. The article in CNN you cite is the most coverage that that mainstream media has given the demonstrations. Fox News was next in line with 17 seconds, MSN 12 seconds, etc. Compare the coverage of these demonstrations to the coverage of Ferguson or of the Occupy Movement, and you can see that the major media has decided to largely ignore Democracy Spring. This gap is the reason why alternative news sources such as TruthDig are essential.

      Like

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This entry was posted on April 18, 2016 by in Environmentalism, Opinion Leaders, Social Justice and tagged , , .
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