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Granite Staters Arrested in Washington Protest over Money in Politics

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At least 2,000 people participated in the Democracy Spring sit-in in Washington, D.C., this week. (Democracy Spring/Facebook)
At least 2,000 people participated in the Democracy Spring sit-in in Washington, D.C., this week. (Democracy Spring/Facebook)
 By Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH, Contact
April 13, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. - A retired New Hampshire professor and a local Vietnam War veteran are among More than Granite Staters who were arrested in Washington during a week of protest over what they say is the corrupting influence of money in politics. More than 400 people in all were arrested during the protests.

In addition to his service in the military, Joe Magruder also has been a reporter and editor for a major news service. He said he has worried for a long time about the influence big money has on politics, and decided this week to take action by getting himself arrested in Washington.

"I have never been arrested before, but I am really convinced this money in politics is really a cancer on democracy," he said, "and we better catch it and get on it fast."

Also arrested this week in Washington was retired New Hampshire professor and Open Democracy board member Rick Bourdon.

Democracy Spring is a coalition made up of more than 100 groups, including the National Organization for Women, The Young Turks, Open Democracy and The Real News Network. Brian Beihl with Open Democracy said the Democracy Spring movement is calling on Congress to take immediate action on solutions that aim to reduce the influence of money in politics, expand and protect voting rights, and ensure that all Americans have an equal voice in the U.S. government.

"The message that we are sending to Congress is that they need to take concrete steps to take away the corruption," Beihl said. "We're tired of elected representatives representing their interests and not the interests of the voters."

So far, at least 2,000 protestors have been involved in the Democracy Spring Action. Many marched for 10 days and more than 140 miles to reach the Capitol steps. Beihl said so many were arrested Monday that it took four hours for the police to round them all up and some had to be detained in a local warehouse because the Washington jails could not house all of those arrested.

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