'America Has a Koch Problem!' Activists Rally Outside David Koch's NY Apartment
Photo Credit: Jodie Gummow | AlterNet
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“America Has a Koch Problem!” That was the hard-hitting theme of a block party protest hosted by New York activists and concerned citizens outside David Koch’s Park Avenue apartment on Thursday night, aimed at exposing the Koch brothers' extremist right-wing political agenda.
A Facebook campaign launched prior to the protest called upon those who were “tired of our democracy being sold to the highest bidder” to stage an intervention to address America’s growing Koch problem undermining democracy in America.
At the demonstration which was crawling with police, handouts of 2014 political candidates who have taken money from the Koch brothers were distributed along with pamphlets revealing how the Koch-funded group, Americans for Prosperity, plan to spend $125 million on this election to benefit conservative candidates and have flooded the airwaves with misleading campaigns in states with key Senate races.
Darius Gordon, organizer of Citizen Action of New York explained to AlterNet that the more people who became aware of the Koch brothers' extremist right-wing agenda, including running campaigns to raise taxes on clean energy and do away with the minimum wage, the greater the opportunity to rise up and challenge it.
“We’re here today to protest against the Koch brothers and let them know democracy is not for sale. They cannot buy our elections, they cannot buy our elected officials and we’re here to protest against that. This is a democracy! We want to educate and inform the people of New York about exactly what is going on for those who are not aware and ensure that our leaders are doing things democratically by stressing the message that our elections cannot be bought," he said.
Likewise, Victoria Kaplan, lead campaign director for MoveOn.org explained to AlterNet that it was important to expose the Koch brothers as “purchasers of our democracy” by sending a clear message not only to them, but also to their neighbors, New Yorkers and every American.
“We won’t stand for our elections being rigged in favor of people who deny climate change, who deny healthcare to millions of people and who would deny our social safety net to millions of people in this country that rely on that. Those are exactly the kinds of policies that the Koch brothers are shoving down the throats of Americans who don't have the kind of money they do, to buy our elections,” Kaplan said.
Following the protest, MoveOn.org members are now getting ready to kick off a summer of action all across the country where they will be screening the newly released Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition in hundreds of homes and community centers around the country. The film is aimed at overturning the Citizens United decision and ending the influx of money into politics
“We want to get active and organized so that this election season we can show the Koch brothers that they aren’t going to have that kind of influence over our country. We want to send a message to every American that we do have a voice in our democracy and when we organize and work together we can actually win and fight back,” Kaplan explained to AlterNet.