Capitol Hill arrests in pro-democracy protest hit 1,240

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Capitol Police said Monday that it has arrested more than 1,000 people demonstrating for reforms to how Americans vote and campaign in elections.

Police say 1,240 people have been arrested in the last seven days. That includes approximately 300 people on Monday alone on the Capitol’s east front steps that lead to the Rotunda.

Protest organizers pegged a higher estimate of at least 1,300 arrests.

Most of the arrested protesters have been charged with unlawful crowding and obstruction.

{mosads}People arrested during the protests include actress Rosario Dawson, multiple top staffers for the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Lawrence Lessig, a campaign finance reform advocate and Harvard professor who briefly ran for president in this cycle. 

Also among those arrested on Monday were the two founders of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, as well as top officials with the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the AFL-CIO and NAACP.

Democracy Spring, the group organizing the protests, is calling on Congress to vote on bills to reform campaign finance laws, modernize voter registration and consider President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has expressed solidarity with the protests, writing on Twitter last week that “Americans understand that our gov’t is dominated by big money. Glad to see people taking action to restore democracy.”

More than 400 people were arrested during the first sit-in on the Capitol’s east front plaza last Monday. Multiple protesters also made their way into the Capitol through an official tour last Friday and tied themselves to scaffolding in the Rotunda; 12 were subsequently arrested. 

—Updated at 3:44 p.m.



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