More than 400 protesters participating in a sit-in on Capitol Hill against the influence of big money in politics were arrested Monday, in the first day of what could be a week-long series of massive demonstrations.
More than 400 individuals have been arrested for unlawful demonstration activity, and are being processed using mass arrest procedures,” the U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement early Monday evening, CNN reported. Those taken into custody will be charged with “crowding, obstructing and incommoding.”
Participants began their movement, dubbed ‘Democracy Spring’ with a march from Philadelphia. Protesters set out on the 10-day journey from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. on April 2, walking nearly 150 miles.
The group announced the campaign in March, threatening “civil disobedience on a historic scale.” Protesters pledged to risk being arrested for the cause.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) said Monday that rallies and events have been scheduled through the weekend in an effort to “draw attention to our corrupt campaign finance system and rigged voting laws.”
PCCC co-founder Adam Green, one of the liberal leaders of the ‘Democracy Spring’ was among those arrested on Monday, CNN reported.
“Today, I join others in non-violent civil disobedience in order to help focus the nation’s conversation on these key democracy issues — and the public needs politicians to start acting now,” he said in a statement.
Cenk Uygur, host and founder of The Yound Turks, live tweeted from the sit-in on Monday and said police were overwhelmed by the number of arrests.
“Police just told us that they are running out of space. Most people ever arrested at the Capitol! #DemocracySpring,” he tweeted.
Mr. Uyger tweeted that he was “finally going to get arrested” later Monday evening.
He tweeted that he was out of “jail” early Tuesday morning.
According to the group’s website, 3,500 people from 33 states have pledged to join the protests this week.
Activists plan to continue their protests on Tuesday with an 11:30 a.m. rally at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station and a 12:30 p.m. march back to the Capitol for a second day of sit-ins.
The group is pushing for legislative actions to overhaul the election system, including the passage of four bills aimed at reducing the influence of money in politics.
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