July 10th Democracy Brigade... [DC]
- From: ArtBrigade@...
Date: Sat, 1 Jul 2000 01:45:38 EDT
Subject: Re: An update from DAMN
FROM: Jim Ace, Alliance for Democracy
RE: Granny D to join July 10th Democracy Brigade...
How about you?!
DATE: June 29, 2000
LAST CALL!!! for people willing to risk arrest in the next Democracy Brigade
on July 10th. The Brigade is a part of the "launch event" for the Free
Democracy Network (FDN) and Democracy In Motion Roadshow (DIM). We've got a
handful of volunteers and we're looking for a few more. So if you're in the
greater Washington, D.C. area and you'd like to plug into a great action with
Brigade-veteran Doris "Granny D" Haddock, please contact me as soon as
possible. There will be a nonviolence training and action preparation meeting
on July 9th followed by the action on July 10th. The issue is campaign
finance corruption and its links to corporate domination of the political
system and public policy. All are welcome, especially those risking arrest
for the first time! Tell a friend! We need YOUR help recruiting!
Thanks, Jim Ace 510-548-1256
PLEASE FORWARD FAR AND WIDE!!!
TO: Ruckus alumni
FROM: Jim Ace, Democracy Brigade Coordinator
RE: Please RECRUIT for the Democracy Brigade
DATE: June 26, 2000
Next Democracy Brigade: July 10th
Historic Rotunda, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
On April 16, 1963, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote a letter from
inside the Birmingham City Jail, in which he asked his critics to, "see the
need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that
will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the
majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood." So must we inspire our
fellow Americans to rise up, to act as nonviolent gadflies and take
responsibility for putting into practice the principles of democracy that we
Americans hold dear. Our Democracy Brigade actions constitute a bold new
initiative toward that end.
This memo is to let you know that our next Democracy Brigade action is set
for July 10th, just two weeks away. As with previous Brigade
actions, this one will be a dignified, non-confrontational act of nonviolent
civil disobedience, involving the unfurling of large banners, leafletting,
and speaking aloud about the Crimes Against Democracy committed by Congress
(not to mention the presidential candidates) under the guise of "campaign
By "Crimes Against Democracy," we are referring to, and will be protesting,
Congress' solicitation and acceptance of campaign contributions from the
same wealthy individuals and giant corporations whose economic interests
Congress is supposed to be regulating on the public's behalf. In short, we
will be protesting a system of privately financed elections that is rife
with legalized bribery, extortion, and gross conflict of interest -- a
system that necessarily results in criminal neglect and malfeasance with
respect to the welfare of people and the environment. These are indeed
crimes against democracy.
As before, this upcoming July 10 action will take place in the Capitol
Rotunda in Washington, D.C. -- sometimes referred to as "the people's
hall," which is situated between the U.S. Senate and House chambers. While
we regard this action as an exercise of our First Amendment rights to free
speech, free assembly, and the right to petition our government for a
redress of grievances, such activity is prohibited in the Rotunda.
Please consider taking part! And please ask your family, friends,
neighbors, colleagues, roommates, partners, spouses, bosses, etc. if they
would like to participate as well. And, if your are able, please do what you
can to publicize the event locally.
There will be three ways to participate in the July 10th Democracy Brigade:
1) Risking arrest
2) Providing direct support
3) Bearing witness as a citizen observer
If you would like to participate in any way, please contact me immediately.
And I hope you will give any interested individuals my name and number, and
I will contact them with further information. There will be more
information and updates to follow.
Finally, I've attached below the press advisory we sent out after our last
(the 4th) action, involving the John Muir Democracy Brigade, to go give you
an idea as to what these actions are like.
Liberty and justice for all,
Temporary e-mail: jimaceman@...
April 24, 2000
"GRANNY D" AND AUTHOR BILL MCKIBBEN ARRESTED IN CAPITOL ACTION AGAINST
CAMPAIGN CORRUPTION AND GLOBAL WARMING
For more information contact Ronnie Dugger at the Alliance for Democracy,
781-894-9726 or rdugger123@....
Led by Doris Haddock ("Granny D") and the revered environmental writer Bill
McKibben, the 32-member John Muir Democracy Brigade, a merger of
campaign-finance and environmental activists, sallied forth in the Rotunda
of the national Capitol on Friday, April 21 -- the day before Earth Day and
the birthday of Sierra Club founder John Muir -- with banners and speeches
for an end to the endangerment of the earth by oil, coal, and nuclear
industries. All 32, including Granny D, McKibben, and leaders of various
organizations, were arrested by the Capitol police for "demonstrating" in
the Capitol contrary to a federal law which carries a maximum six- month
"We no longer have proper representation," Ms. Haddock, the 90-year-old
woman who walked across the continent for campaign finance reform, told a
press conference on the Senate lawn before she led the group into the
Rotunda. "Our elected leaders are consumed by the need to raise election
funds from special interests, and they no longer are able to represent the
needs of the people or of our ravaged earth.
"We must declare our independence from the corrupting bonds of big money,"
she continued. "Our right to alter our government must be used to sweep
these halls clean of greedy interests so that people may use this
government in service to each other's needs and the protect the condition
of our earth."
This was the fourth Democracy Brigade action, and the largest, since last
Oct. 26th. Their enormous banners proclaimed that "Campaign Finance
Corruption Leads to Environmental Destruction," "When Democracy is for Sale
So Is the Environment," "Stop Global Warming--Ban Campaign Contributions
from Global Warmers," and "Clean Elections Equal Clean Environment." The
Brigades, a project of the Alliance for Democracy, are demonstrating on
behalf of full public funding for public elections. They aim to obtain
official congressional hearings on that proposal by the spring of next
McKibben, the author of THE END OF NATURE, said that there is now a "strong
consensus" in the scientific community that global warming is dangerous and
that even some large companies, such as British Petroleum and Shell, have
joined in the concern. "The only people that seem not to get it work in
that building behind us," which "may have something to do with the millions
and millions of dollars that flow in to that building from the interests
that do not want to change the status quo," McKibben said.
Referring to Granny D's walk, McKibben said, "When I'm 90 I plan to walk
across the country, and hopefully it will still be as sweet and lovely a
country as it is now."
John Passacantando, executive director of Ozone Action, declared that "this
type of peaceful civil disobedience is the new face of democracy. It's not
just about voting any more because in some way that has been stolen from us
by what's going on in this building behind us....It has ceased to be the
At some point, said Randy Hayes, president of the Rainforest Action
Network, democracy "becomes a democracy theme park," in which the two major
parties represent "a distinction without a difference" and jeopardize "the
earth itself." Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen's Critical Mass
Energy Project, told the press conference: "The Democracy Brigade is here
today to demonstrate that people will not stand for this type of legalized
bribery any longer."
Representing the principal sponsor of the event, the Alliance for
Democracy, Ronnie Dugger said, "We are a part of a general nonviolent
uprising of the people against the sale of our government to the highest
bidder." Congress and the White House, by "risking the killing of this
green and pleasant earth and all that lives on it" to rake in campaign
contributions, are committing "a crime so vast it has no name," Dugger also
The speakers and allied activists then followed Granny D into the Capitol
Rotunda and spoke out in six separate groups, which the Capitol police
arrested one at a time. McKibben was arrested with the first group and Ms.
Haddock with the third. Ms. Haddock was reading a passage from the
Declaration of Independence when she was arrested and handcuffed. The
demonstrators, including all the speakers at the press conference, were
photographed and their thumbprints taken, and they were ordered to appear
in District of Columbia court on May 24th to answer the charges against
The press conference and Rotunda speak-out were carried at length on C-Span
and were featured news on NPR's "All Things Considered." Ms. Haddock's
arrest was the subject of an AP story and a feature article in Roll Call,
the Capitol Hill newspaper.
The Rotunda actions will continue throughout the year 2000. Those who wish to
participate in the next action may contact Randy Kehler at telephone
413-624-3836, or by email at randyk@.... Further information may be
obtained from the Alliance national office at 781-894-1179.
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