Democracy Spring Activists Arrested Urging Senators to Object to Electoral College Vote

Washington, DC – Three activists with Democracy Spring disrupted Congress today, issuing a citizens’ objection to the Electoral Vote count. They were detained and arrested by Capitol Police after standing up in the House chamber protesting massive voter suppression and Russian interference in the election. The interruption of the joint session took place after members of the House objected to nine different state vote counts.

“I will do what I must to defend our democracy.” said Tania Maduro, an organizer with Democracy Spring who took part in the protest. “I object to this Electoral Vote. Hundreds of thousands of American votes, especially those cast by people of color, were suppressed. We need a One person, One vote democracy.”

Kai Newkirk, Democracy Spring’s Mission Director says, “We issued a citizens’ objection to Congress in order to protest the most undemocratic election in a generation and to shine a light on the widespread and deliberate voter suppression that handed the election to Trump, a neo-fascist who threatens the basic norms of democracy. It was disappointing to see that not one Senator was willing to stand with the courageous progressive House members who stood to object and defend our democracy. They set an example for the principled, determined resistance that all Democrats must be if we are to protect our country from Trump and his regressive agenda. As we continue the struggle to win a “One Person, One Vote” democracy free from such voter suppression, we will continue to lift up the truth that Trump’s victory is illegitimate and undemocratic that he has no mandate from the American people.”

Renaldo Pearson, a leader with Democracy Spring, issued this statement before the disruption: “As an African-American citizen, this action is about (1) honoring the legacy of my forebears who fought, bled, and died for the right to vote, (2) fighting for the future of our posterity who will look back on this day and ask what did we do, and (3) standing for the hundreds of thousands of people of color whose votes were literally purged by the racist, undemocratic, and illegal Interstate Crosscheck System created by Mr. Trump's operatives. Today, we send a clear message to Mr. Trump: Our grandparents did not sacrifice their lives for the right to vote just to see their grandchildren's votes silenced a generation later. We know that your razor thin Electoral College victory was only made possible by this racist voter purge, hence rendering your victory illegitimate, and we will not be silenced.”

Ryan Clayton, the third protestor, said, “Trump is clear and present danger to our democracy. I believe every American should take action to defend our constitution and our freedom. We will fight to make sure that next time our election is free and fair.”

The 2016 presidential election was the most undemocratic in modern American history. Massive voter suppression kept millions from the polls across the country. Recounts were canceled or obstructed in key battleground states. Trump lost the popular vote by an unprecedented 2.9 million votes. And the entire US intelligence community agrees that Russia hacked the election for his benefit while the President-elect dismisses these irregularities.

About Democracy Spring: Democracy Spring is a movement organization committed to winning fundamental reforms to end the corruption of big money in politics and guarantee the right to vote for all Americans. They organized the largest American civil disobedience action of this century last April, when over 1,300 people sat-in in the steps of the US Capitol.