The American people will not be silenced. On Friday in Washington, D.C., 15 Democracy Spring supporters (#Dome15) tied themselves to scaffolding inside the U.S. Capitol rotunda and were arrested.

Before being taken into custody, the activists did a mic check: “We demand an end to voter suppression. We demand a democracy where every voice is counted and every voice is heard.”

Friday is Day 5 of the Democracy Spring campaign, and many others are expected to risk arrest outside of the Capitol, including Truthdig contributor Chris Hedges, Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig and Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin. Actress Rosario Dawson will be addressing the crowd on the West Lawn, and as many as 2,000 young people and students from across the nation are expected to take the stage and prepare for mass sit-ins as they demand that Congress take action to end political corruption and restore access to the ballot in all states for students, young people and others impacted by the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

The Democracy Spring movement is gaining strength after a 140-mile march from Philadelphia, four days of demonstrations and almost 800 arrests of peaceful protesters.

“American democracy is in crisis,” said Kai Newkirk, Democracy Spring’s campaign director. “When hundreds of people are being arrested day after day at the Capitol, we need our elected officials and those running for office to stand up and speak out to end legalized political corruption and voter suppression. This latest Democracy Spring action is the natural reaction to a do-nothing Congress refusing to listen to the overwhelming majority of the people.”

This week’s actions show the resolve of the movement, made up of Americans from all walks of life.

“Americans from across the political spectrum will continue to rally around these issues until Congress takes action,” Elise Whitaker, one of the Democracy Spring organizers who demonstrated inside the Capitol rotunda, said. “What we’re seeing here is truly a historic moment as the American people, no matter what their politics, are coming together to demand that Congress do its job.”

If Congress continues to refuse to act on issues central to the healthy functioning of our democracy, Americans will continue to put their boots on the ground and liberty on the line until they do—or they will find people who will when they vote this fall.

—Posted by Eric Ortiz

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