Protestors against big money in politics

  • 16/04/2016
Protestors against big money in politics
Protestors against big money in politics

(Democracy Spring/Facebook)

By Valerie Vande Panne and Richard Cowan

Conservative and independent protesters channelling themes from the presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have dumped faux contributions into Boston Harbour, one of some 30 nationwide demonstrations planned against big money in politics.

In Washington police arrested 142 members of a more liberal group called Democracy Spring including 12 who cuffed themselves inside the Capitol Rotunda to protest the influence of special interests and to denounce laws making it more difficult to vote.

Nearly 1000 Democracy Spring demonstrators have been arrested in Washington this week.

Both the week-long protests in Washington and Friday's nationwide demonstrations led by the activist group Represent.Us have tapped into some of the voter frustration seen on the presidential campaign trail.

"From super PACs (political action committees) to lucrative job offers and campaign contributions, there are tons of perfectly legal ways to bribe a politician," said Charlotte Hill, communications director for Represent.Us.

"It doesn't matter if you're conservative or progressive. Two hundred and forty-three years after the original Boston Tea Party, Americans of all political stripes are still facing taxation without political representation," said Dan Krassner, political director of Represent.Us.

About 40 activists attended the symbolic restaging of the Boston Tea Party near the spot where American colonists dumped tea into the harbour to protest taxes levied by the British.

Represent.Us activists tossed a stack of wooden crates into the water, representing campaign contributions.

In Washington on Friday, Democracy Spring activists cuffed themselves to scaffolding in the Capitol Rotunda.

Another 130 were arrested for unlawful demonstrations, Capitol Police said. A few hundred chanting demonstrators marched up Capitol Hill with signs saying "Sweep Big Money out of Politics" and "Corporations are not people." They also protested the high cost of college loans, economic inequality and fracking.