08:46 GMT18 April 2021
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    Thousands of demonstrators have gathered at the US Capitol to stage a mass sit-in to call for election reform.

    “Almost every American agrees our democracy is seriously out of whack – that our elections and government are dominated by wealthy interests,” Kai Newkirk, lead organizer of Democracy Spring, said in a statement.

    “And yet Congress is doing nothing. So today we say no more.”

    Sputnik's correspondent on the ground says hundreds of arrests have been made. Officials say the number of arrests at the Capitol is unprecedented.

    "Over 1,000 people have confirmed over the phone with our organizers that they are going to be risking arrest this week," Democracy Spring's deputy campaign director Curt Ries told Sputnik. Demonstrators hope to "send a clear message to Americans across the country that their government is not only corrupt, but is refusing these solutions."

    The group is calling for four specific reform measures. In addition to overturning the Citizens United ruling that legalized unlimited corporate campaign contributions, Democracy Spring is also calling for a modernization of voter registration, the creation of a public campaign financing system, and a restoration of a scrapped provision of the Voting Rights Act that allowed southern states to approve their own voting procedures.

    Demonstrators plan to remain in protest throughout the week.


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