- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Thousands of protesters are planning a massive, nonviolent civil disobedience campaign, risking arrest to overhaul Congress and “save our democracy.”

The campaign is set to begin early next month, and will involve a massive march across the East Coast intended to spark a “fire that transforms the political climate in America.” 

The operation, calling itself Democracy Spring, is threatening “civil disobedience on a historic scale” which the protesters warn will result in the arrest of thousands of its their own activists. 

“This spring, in the heart of the primary season, as the national election begins to take center stage, Americans of all ages, faiths, political perspectives, and walks of life will bring the popular cry for change to Washington in a way that’s impossible to ignore: with nonviolent civil disobedience on a historic scale,” the movement’s website states

“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 group vows to use marches, sit-ins and other forms of non-violent protests to make “this election a referendum on whether our democracy should belong to the People as a whole or to the billionaire class alone.” 

The group cites other movements that have used similar tactics: 

“From Selma to Occupy Wall Street, the Tar Sands Action to Black Lives Matter, every day people have proven the power of mass, escalating nonviolent action to rapidly shift the political weather and open the door to reforms previously considered impossible.” 

Demonstrations will begin April 2nd, with a kickoff rally set in Philadelphia for 10:00 a.m., followed by a 10-day 140-mile march to Washington D.C. where thousands will sit-in on the Capitol building “in what will be the largest civil disobedience action of the century.” 

The group is backed by numerous organizations, including the George Soros-funded groups MoveOn.org, the Institute for Policy Studies and Demos. 

MoveOn.org, a pro-Bernie Sanders group, encouraged activists to attend a rally for Donald Trump in Chicago last week. That rally was ultimately postponed due to security concerns. 

Another group supporting the Democracy Spring, the Democratic Socialists of America, also drove protesters to last weekend’s cancelled Chicago rally. 

So far, nearly 2,500 people have pledged to risk arrest and join the movement online. 

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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