Next Spring, Can Mass Civil Disobedience help Democracy Spring Up Anew?

Selma March for Voting Rights, 1965: MLK, Heschel, Lewis, et al

With your help,  another Selma is just around the corner. The Selma moment of nonviolent civil disobedence gave birth to a giant step forward toward full American democracy. It gave birth to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the empowerment of an African-American electorate that had never before been allowed to vote. But today we face not only the evisceration of that act, and an epidemic of anti-democratic voter suppression, but the pouring of unheard-of billions of dollars into buying our elections. This poisons not only our own country, but the Earth herself. Over and over, we have faced the deadly truth that behind the Climate Crisis are the Carbon Pharaohs -- Big Coal, Big Oil, Big Banking -- that are making huge profits by scorching the earth, and are using some of their profits to buy elections. They suffocate Democracy with money as they are suffocating Earth herself with CO2 and methane. What if I told you that if we get this moment right, we could create a fundamental shift in this country, that we could win a government that actually works for the People? Amd works to heal the endangered eco-systems -- human and other-than-human -- that  make up the web of life that we call Mother Earth? That is exactly what we’re planning for next spring. If at least 1,000 people pledge to risk arrest by December 15th, The Shalom Center, working as part of a growing coalition, will help organize Democracy Spring — the largest American civil disobedience action in a generation — next April in Washington D.C. The photo above is what Selma looked like 50 years ago:  Dr. King, Rabbi Heschel, the young John Lewis --  now a deeply respected Congressman. That’s the March where Rabbi Heschel said, “I felt as if my legs were praying." In the NEXT "Selma" photo, YOU can be in that line of brave and peaceful seeds of change. Click to  <>, take the pledge and let us know you’re ready to make history.   Our democracy is in a state of emergency. The 2016 election will be the most big money-dominated, secret money-drenched, voter suppression-marred contest in modern history, with an estimated price tag of 10 billion dollars.And the Carbon Pharaohs make up  a major chunk of that democracy-choking money. They have bought enough Members of Congress to prevent our country from taking necessary action to save ourselves and all of Earth from climate chaos. If the status quo is left unchallenged, this election is almost certain to produce a president and a Congress more bound to the masters of big money than ever before, halting progress on the urgent problems facing our nation: not only the climate crisis, but also wealth and income inequality, mass incarceration, .racial injustice, the backlash against women's rights and gay rights.  Our people and our planet simply cannot afford for that to happen. But there is another way. We can intervene in the business-as-usual of this election cycle and make it a turning point toward reform by coming together in mass nonviolent action to demand true political equality for all Americans. So, please join with me at  <> in pledging to be one of at least 1,000 who will sit-in and risk arrest to save democracy.   Here’s the plan. On April 2nd, a pioneering group of Americans will embark on a 10-day march from the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia to the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., at which time Congress will be faced with a simple choice: Take immediate action to make the 2016 elections free and fair for all people as equal citizens, or be prepared to send thousands of patriotic Americans to jail simply for demanding an equal voice.    When the marchers arrive, they will be greeted by the thousands who have gathered in Washington from all across the country to be a part of this historic moment. At that point, either Congress will have miraculously come to its senses and passed the perfectly viable reform bills now pending before it, or those who protect corruption will leave us no choice but to reclaim the People’s House in mass nonviolent sit-ins.    Beneath the Dome of the Capitol Rotunda, on the steps outside the Capitol, and in the offices of our elected officials, we will engage in peaceful civil disobedience for at least five consecutive days. Millions of people will watch as Congress puts thousands of disciplined, dignified democracy defenders in handcuffs instead of simply doing its job to protect the bedrock American principle of "one person, one vote" and to ensure equal representation for all people.   The time has come to take back our democracy. With public figures like Lawrence Lessig, Zephyr Teachout, Cenk Uygur, and Mark Ruffalo leading the way, we can create a watershed moment in this country that rapidly shifts the political climate toward healing the planetary climate, catapulting this issue onto center stage, and impacting the election to lift up the candidates who will fight for fundamental reform and leave behind those who fail to heed the people’s call. A historic Democracy Spring can create a powerful mandate — enforced by a supercharged grassroots movement — for the sweeping changes we need to win, finally, the democracy for all which we were promised. It’s time for a Selma moment. It’s time to launch the Democracy Movement towards victory. Tomorrow we will share a meal of Thanksgiving for an abundant Harvest. At harvest-time is when we sow the seeds for sprouting in the Spring. Let your pledge be the seed that will sprout for new democracy next spring. Join the historic sit-in to save American democracy. Even if you can’t risk arrest, we need you with us. We need your support. Click to  <>  to sign on.


Jewish and Interfaith Topics: