Cobb Hill Member Coleen O'Connell took part in the Democracy Awakening protests in Washington D.C. last month. Here are some of her reflections:
I went to DC this past weekend to take part in the Democracy Awakening rallies including civil disobedience direct actions. Democracy Arising was a coalition of many, many different organizations – from Sierra Club to the NAACP – all of whom are concerned about getting dark money out of politics, overturning Citizens United, passing a strong immigration bill, reinstating and updating the Voting Rights Act, ending gerrymandering etc. A small group of 100 marchers walked from Philadelphia where the constitution was signed to the Capitol building the week prior to last’s weeks rallies. Each day last week highlighted one of the issues and people marched and then did sit ins on the Capitol steps. The culmination of the week was a big march around the Capitol on Sunday followed by a Monday morning sit-in; I was involved in both of these events. I was arrested, but because I went willingly off the steps, I was not handcuffed or put in jail. 300 of us (Ben and Jerry included) were held on the Capitol lawn while they processed each one of us separately. On Tuesday we had to report to the police station to be fingerprinted and pay a $50 fine. Here I am waiting in line with Ben Cohen. Over the years I have participated in many marches and nonviolent civil disobedience actions. I have never chosen to be arrested. As I turn 65 this year, I have determined that it is my time to step up for Democracy and the planet we all love. I cannot sit quiet and allow all I love to go up in flames. Expect more of this from me.