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Democracy Awakening: At Mass Convergence on Washington, D.C., People Demand Government of, by and for the People

April 7, 2016


Democracy Awakening: At Mass Convergence on Washington, D.C., People Demand Government of, by and for the People

April 16-18 Mobilization Features Teach-ins, Rally, March, Civil Disobedience; Speeches by the Rev. William Barber II, Dolores Huerta, Sandra Steingraber, Others

Contact: Angela Bradbery, Public Citizen, abradbery@citizen.org, w. (202) 588-7741, c. (202) 503-6768
Laura Epstein, People For the American Way, lepstein@pfaw.org, w. (202) 467-2386, c. (301) 325-4538

WHAT: Thousands of activists from around the nation will stream into the nation’s capital April 16-18 for Democracy Awakening, a three-day event featuring a rally, march, teach-ins, lobbying and civil disobedience. Democracy Awakening plans to fight back against business as usual in Washington, D.C., and demand a democracy that works for everyone, not just corporations and the wealthy. The message: On voting rights, money in politics and the vacancy on U.S. Supreme Court, Congress is failing to do its job and ignoring the will of the people.

More than 260 organizations have signed up to support or attend the landmark mobilization. It is a broad coalition of organizations representing the labor, peace, environmental, student, racial justice, civil rights and money in politics reform movements. Lead organizations include the American Postal Workers Union, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, Democracy Initiative, Every Voice Center, Food & Water Watch, Franciscan Action Network, Greenpeace, NAACP, National Nurses United, People For the American Way, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Student Debt Crisis and U.S. PIRG.

Democracy Awakening is part of a broad movement aimed at gaining democracy reforms. The action started April 2, with Democracy Spring, an event that features a march from Philadelphia to Washington D.C., followed by five days of sit-ins at the Capitol starting Monday, April 11. The Democracy Spring marchers set out in the rain this morning to travel 16 miles to Baltimore. A day after Democracy Spring ends, Democracy Awakening will begin.

Media should RSVP by emailing or calling one of the people listed above. Please also contact the people listed above to schedule an interview with one of the local or national leaders participating.


Saturday, April 16 – Teach, Learn, Transform

Saturday will feature teach-ins, workshops and non-violent direct action trainings by leaders from around the country.

Where: All Souls Church Unitarian, 2835 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C.

When: 1-1:50 p.m.: Kickoff Panel: Voting Rights, Money In Politics United in Struggle
Panelists include Marge Baker (People For the American Way); Ari Berman (The Nation)
2-2:50 p.m.: 1st Workshop Block
Workshops will be held on the environment and democracy; attacks on unions, voting rights and campaign finance laws; the role of money in politics as it relates to the military, and D.C.’s struggle for voting rights.
3-3:50 p.m.: 2nd Workshop Block
Workshops will be held on criminal justice reform; building youth power; boosting small donor involvement in elections; digital tools used in grassroots activism; and bringing this national movement to district elections.
4-4:50 p.m.: Solutions
Activists will learn about key campaigns for protecting and expanding voting rights, curbing money in politics and assuring a Supreme Court nominee is confirmed.
5-5:50 p.m.: State/Local Breakout Sessions
Facilitators will outline winnable efforts for voting rights and money in politics reforms in various states.
7-9 p.m.: Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films presents Making a Killing: Guns, Greed and the NRA

Sunday, April 17 – Rally for Democracy

On Sunday, thousands of people will participate in a rally and march at the U.S. Capitol.

Where: The events will take place in front of the U.S. Capitol, at Third St. NW in front of the Capitol reflecting pool between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive NW.

When: 12:30-1 p.m.: Music and Gathering (Funk band Aztec Sun will perform)
1-3 p.m.: Rally for Democracy
Featured rally speakers include: The Rev. William Barber II, leader of the N.C. Moral Monday Movement; Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers; radio commentator Jim Hightower; environmental activist Sandra Steingraber; and civil rights activist David Goodman. See a complete list of speakers, presenters and panelists.
3-4 p.m.: March around the Capitol
4:30-5:30 p.m.: Faith Rally in Columbus Circle

Monday, April 18 – Congress of Conscience Day of Action

Activists will be on Capitol Hill for a day of non-violent direct action and advocacy.

Direct Action: 9-9:30 a.m.: Rally in Columbus Circle in front of Union Station
9:30 a.m.: Walk to the Capitol for civil disobedience

Advocacy: Local and national leaders will join Democracy Awakening participants to lobby members of Congress to protect and expand voting rights, enact money in politics reforms and fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
Where: The Capitol
When: 12:30-4:30 p.m.