The Nation: “The Most Important Protest of the 2016 Election”

On Monday morning, thousands marched from Washington D.C.’s Union Station to the Capitol in culmination of the Democracy Awakening, “a weekend of workshops, rallies, speeches, and demonstrations of civil disobedience that brought thousands of activists from across the country together in DC.”

Supporters from more than 300 organizations gathered to demand new protections for voting rights, to end the corrupting influence of big money on our political system, and for Republicans to confirm Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Ari Berman and Zoë Carpenter recap Monday’s rally to The Nation, calling it “the most important protest of the 2016 election.”

The 2016 election will be the most expensive in American history. It is the first in fifty years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, with new voting restrictions in effect for the first presidential cycle in seventeen. And Republicans refuse to even hold hearings on a nomination that would shift the balance of power on the Supreme Court away from the right for the first time in five decades.

So much of the media continues to treat the erosion of American democracy as a fringe issue rather than as one of the most fundamental issues in the election, which makes gatherings like Democracy Awakening and Democracy Spring so important. Not surprisingly, the same media that ignores these fundamental issues barely covered the protests that addressed them.

What’s next?

Movement leaders agreed that what’s critical now is for people to take the energy from Capitol steps and convert it to power back in their home districts. Many of the Democracy Awakening activists held meetings with members of Congress after the protest today to push for bills like the Voting Rights Advancement Act and Fair Election Now Act that would restore the Voting Rights Act and provide public financing for elections.

To read this article from The Nation in full, click here.

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