The leaders of Democracy Spring, a coalition of far-left groups plotting a mass civil disobedience movement to begin next month, told Breitbart News they have already confirmed 2,912 protesters who pledged specifically to risk arrest.
Those protesters signed an option on the coalition’s website explicitly stating, “I pledge to be one among thousands who will risk arrest to save democracy in DC between April 11 – 16.”
Other pledge options for protests include:
- *I pledge to come to Washington DC to support the sit in through legal protest but cannot risk arrest.
- *I want to join the march from Philadelphia to Washington DC, sometime between April 2 – 11.
- *I want to volunteer to help organize this campaign.
Kai Newkirk, Democracy Spring’s campaign director, explained that his team called each of the 2,912 protesters pledging to risk arrest and spent about twenty minutes on the phone expounding on the movement’s goals as well as helping to coordinate travel and logistics.
“People are coming from Montana, Seattle, and other states around the country,” Newkirk told Breitbart News in a phone interview. “They are driving, taking buses, flying, because there are so many people from across the political spectrum that are just tired of the status quo of a democracy that works for the super rich and not for the everyday American. They want to take this stand to say enough.”
Newkirk said he is “confident” that “if Congress doesn’t respond to our demands and they would rather send people to jail, then it will be the largest civil disobedience of the century.”
“We are committed to non-violence,” he stressed. “That is the principle of our campaign.”
Newkirk’s statements were affirmed by Peter James Callahan, communications director for Democracy Spring, who joined Newkirk on the phone for the Breitbart News interview.
Next month’s Democracy Spring chaos is set to begin with a meetup on April 2 at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The group then plans to march across the East Coast and initiate a sit-in in Washington, DC, starting April 11.
Updates to the group’s website stress April 11 as the intended main escalation.
The updated logistics page now states: “We want to make the biggest impact on day one: Monday, April 11th. With massive participation on April 11th, we’ll have the momentum and energy to break through as a national media story and mobilize the support to carry us through the 16th and beyond.”
Newkirk confirmed that the plan is to start with a big splash on April 11.
‘Largest civil disobedience action of the century’
Last week, this reporter penned a widely-read article documenting that with little fanfare and almost no news media attention, some of the same radical groups involved in shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally earlier this month are plotting a mass civil disobedience movement under the banner of Democracy Spring.
They intend to march across the East Coast in order to spark a “fire that transforms the political climate in America.”
Democracy Spring is threatening “drama in Washington” with the “largest civil disobedience action of the century,” replete with the arrest of thousands of their own activists.
“We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail,” the Democracy Spring website declares, channelling rhetoric from the Occupy movement.
The group is backed by numerous organizations, including the George Soros-funded groups MoveOn.org, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Demos.
The pro-Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 16% MoveOn.org has been playing a prominent role in organizing anti-Trump activism, including in the recent shutdown of the billionaire’s rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion.Another group endorsing Democracy Spring is the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). The DSA’s Chicago branch drove protesters to the nixed Chicago Trump event, as this reporter exposed.
The AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest labor federation, announced in a press release earlier this month it is “all in behind Democracy Spring,” perhaps indicating significant mobilization.
What do the radicals claim to want?
Despite the fact that many of the main groups endorsing Democracy Spring are funded by billionaire Soros, the group complains that “American elections are dominated by billionaires and big money interests who can spend unlimited sums of money on political campaigns to protect their special interests at the general expense.”
But if the status quo goes unchallenged, the 2016 election — already set to be the most billionaire-dominated, secret money-drenched, voter suppression-marred contest in modern American history — will likely yield a President and a Congress more bound to the masters of big money than ever before.
The stage is set for a bold intervention to turn the tinder of passive public frustration into a fire that transforms the political climate in America, that sparks a popular movement that can’t be stopped.
The group continues:
We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail, along with the unmistakable message that our country needs a new Congress, one that that will end the legalized corruption of our democracy and ensure that every American has an equal voice in government.
The leaders of the group have already held training sessions, the website says. Democracy Spring states it is requiring “mandatory nonviolent civil disobedience trainings twice a day for those risking arrest from April 11th-16th.”
For those arrested, the group says it has already secured the legal aid of an unnamed lawyer “with decades of experience with civil disobedience cases.”
“He is leading a team of pro-bono lawyers who will provide legal counsel and representation for all participants who risk arrest as part of this campaign,” the website continues.
Democracy Spring is threatening “drama in Washington” that cannot be ignored: “With hundreds of patriotic Americans being sent to jail, day after day for at least a week — simply for sitting in to save our democracy — the drama in Washington will rock the business-as-usual cycle of this election and catapult this critical issue on to center stage.”
The group says that it is not plotting violence.
The website posts the following rules for those engaging in civil disobedience:
We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any person.
We will maintain an attitude of openness and respect toward all we encounter in our actions.
We will not destroy or damage any property.
We will carry no weapons or any means of physical defense, including shields.
We will not wear masks or otherwise conceal our faces or identities.
We will exercise personal and collective responsibility to ensure that all participants adhere to this agreement.
Despite the involvement of groups active in opposing Trump, Democracy Spring’s website does not mention Trump by name. In December, Newkirk interrupted Trump at a CNN-hosted GOP debate, saying, “The American people deserve free and fair elections, not billionaire auctions.”
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.