Springtime for Democracy

Over the past week, activists have demonstrated outside the U.S. Capitol, demanding that Congress get big money out of the political system. More than 1,000 demonstrators have been arrested during acts of civil disobedience. The protests began as about 100 people marched from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness for Democracy Spring, the series of sit-ins that took place last week outside the Capitol. This past weekend was the second act of the demonstrations, Democracy Awakening, which featured several organizations coming together to highlight the myriad problems that big money poses for progressive policies. As public outrage at the specter of big money in the presidential elections reaches a boiling point, organizers see an opportunity. Activists argue that the broad-based coalition of more than 250 environmental, civil rights, labor, and good-government groups involved in the recent protests signals the potential for a sustained democracy-reform movement. 

(Greenpeace)

Sunday's protests included several colorful props, including a giant dummy of a corporate lobbyist carrying bags of cash. 

 
(CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

A Democracy Spring protestor, wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, yells into a megaphone on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday. 

 
(CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

U.S. Capitol Police officers push back Democracy Spring protesters from the Capitol steps. More than 1,000 activists were reportedly arrested over the past week in collective acts of civil disobedience. 

 
(Greenpeace)

NAACP President Cornell William Brooks speaks at the Democracy Awakening rally on Sunday. More than 250 groups, including civil rights, environmental, labor, and good-goverment advocates, were involved in the protests. 

 
(Greenpeace)

Reverend William Barber II, who leads North Carolina's "Moral Monday" movement against the impacts of the state's Republican legislature, speaks to a reporter as onlookers listen. 

 
(Democracy Awakening)

Rally-goers watch as NAACP's Brooks delivers his speech. Organizers estimate that more than 1,000 people showed up to the rally outside the U.S. Capitol on Sunday. 

 
(Democracy Awakening)

Protesters carry a sign demanding that Congress restore the Voting Rights Amendment. After the Democracy Awakening rally Sunday, activists marched around the U.S. Capitol. 

 
(Tammi Fuller)

Demonstrators at Sunday's Democracy Awakening rally. 

 
(Greenpeace)

A woman who said she was descended from the Washington family with a banner based on the dollar bill at the Democracy Awakening Rally.

 
(Tammi Fuller)
 
(Tammi Fuller)

Demonstrators call on the Senate to hold a hearing on President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee. 

 
(Photo: CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

On the East Plaza of Capitol Hill Tuesday, a Democracy Spring protestor raises her fist amidst a crowd of demonstrators calling for the end of big money in politics. 

 
 

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