#DemocracySpring #DemocracyAwake These hashtags have been floating around social media but few know what they mean. Even fewer know what they represent. They’re a part of a growing movement, Democracy Awakening, which launched in April of 2016 and consists of 200 organizations and counting. According to their website, Democracy Awakening is “a broad coalition of organizations representing the labor, peace, environmental, student, racial justice, civil rights and money in politics reform movements. [They] share a firm belief that [they] will not win on the full range of policy issues [they] all care about until we combat attacks on voting rights and the integrity of the vote by big money.”
In the past week, their notoriety has skyrocketed due to their protests on Capitol Hill this past week. At one, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s, Rosario Dawson, and numerous others were arrested. A video of protesters who zip tied themselves to construction pipes in the Rotunda of the Capitol went viral. Their message is part of a greater movement, a greater division, one which is taking the political world by storm.
They represent the growing divide present in the Democratic Party. They represent the division between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Democracy Awakening exemplifies the message that Sanders has brought to the forefront of the Democratic primaries. They call for transparency, political and social reform, and voting rights. They call for an end to the influence of big money in politics. While all of these issues are part of the Democratic core message, Sanders has called for a radical reform of the American political system, one which Democracy Awakening supports fully and actively works to implement.
Like Sanders, they believe that in order to achieve full justice they must combat attacks on voting rights and the integrity of the vote by big money. Sanders has been a vocal advocate of combating these issues and has made it core to his messaging this campaign season. He called for voting reforms during the Ohio primary. He’s challenged Hillary Clinton to release her transcripts from speeches given to businesses such as Goldman Sachs. Sanders, like Democracy Awakening, believes that politics is riddled with corruption because of the influence of big money and injustice.
With an organization that is continuously growing, one which gains more notability each day, it is only a matter of time before the mainstream media addresses their concerns. With organizations such as the NAACP, Occupy Wall Street, and the National LGBT Task Force supporting their message, the movement is increasingly growing its network. There are Americans who believe America’s political system needs serious reform, Sanders and Democracy Awakening bring their concerns to the forefront of American political discourse.
To understand the full demands and scope of Democracy Awakening visit their website, http://democracyawakening.org.