by Alice Woldt
I joined hundreds of others who had been arrested in mass civil disobedience the previous week as participants in Democracy Spring. The march from Philadelphia and civil disobedience, led by the NAACP, focused on the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act, which has given rise to voter disenfranchise- ment in states across the country. The personal stories were heart wrenching. Jonathan Tong, Marty Talarico, Larry Sukut, Inga Carmack and others from Washington State were arrested in the first week of protests.
Democracy Awakening followed with thousands protesting and hundreds more arrested, culminating an historic week of pro-democracy protests in Washington D.C.
I was proud to be a part of calling attention to our broken democracy and how to begin fixing it. In addition to urging Congress to fix the Voting Rights Act, I protested the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision and other bad decisions that have unleashed a torrent of money into elections. I find it morally reprehensible that a few hundred super-rich people and corporations exert so much influence on our elections and public policy.
I was proud to tell anyone who would listen about Seattle and Washington State’s progress in reforms like Honest Election Seattle’s Initiative 122, Integrity Washington’s Initiative 1464 and about our work to get Initiative 735 on the November ballot urging our Congressional delegation to stand up to big money and get an amendment out to the people that will limit the power of money and corporations in our democracy.We urged Congress to do their job. Hold hearings on the Supreme Court nominee and vote.
I stood on the Capital Steps with many other Americans looking out over the thousands of protesters and the Supreme Court. I was arrested for standing on the steps by courteous police who took my identification, detained me with 2 dozen others in the sun while they wrote our tickets, returned my ID with my ticket and released me with advice.
I believe that our democracy is worth the exercising of my civil rights even if it means arrest. I hope the civil disobedience of almost 1,000 pricked the conscience of Congress to begin fixing our broken democracy.
You can watch a video of Democracy Awakening here, since the mainstream media slept through it.