After hibernating over the winter, a new force in the vein of the Occupy movement is emerging. It's called the 99% Spring and this week kicks off their 99% Spring Action Training, with over 900 training events already scheduled and ready to go.
The 99% Spring is a loosely based coalition of over 40 organizations who have a long, shared history of supporting the progressive struggle for economic and social justice.
The 99% Spring Action Training week will bring together people from all walks of life to learn about income and equality, how to spread the word about shifting the imbalance between the elite 1% and the other 99% via non-violent protest and then send them out to spread the word and to take action.
George Goehl, executive director of National People's Action (one of the founding organizers of the 99% Spring movement) recently told Bill Moyers:
... We need a movement of truth tellers willing to say we think this is possible and then actually going out and putting our bodies on the line in the name a of new economy.
Set to a Bruce Springsteen song, you can watch the 99% Spring's "quick refresher course" on what they are all about here.
Just as the butterfly emerges from it's cocoon and spreads it's wings, the 99% Spring movement hopes to mobilize 100,000 Americans across the United States to spread it's message of income and equality.
Saying they were inspired to action by the Occupy Wall Street protectors and the workers in Madison, Wisconsin, the 99% Spring Action Training aim to, over the course of one week from April 9 to 15, teach 100,000 people how to reclaim their country through various actions.
Those actions include educating those gathered on the history of how the economic collapse came to pass, to further educate those gathered about the history of non-violent direct action, following in the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi for example, and the final steps will be to teach those gathered how to take the knowledge they've gathered and use it to effect change via actions on their own.
The 99% Spring movement believe that America is at a crossroads. They believe that Americans "have a choice to make, greater wealth for a few or opportunity for many."
Goehl also told Moyers that he believes that individuals must "make politicians who side with the big banks and the larger corporations pay a price for the choices they've made..." and that
...what we need is a leader that's willing to put direct pressure on the big banks ... They can write down principal on mortgages to fair market value ... push the big banks to pay their fair share of taxes. And the biggest corporations in this country, particularly ones that crashed our economy, are not paying into the system.
There is another organization called Confront Corporate Power who are planning on doing just that. What they plan to do is take on those companies who they believe are most responsible for "undermining our democracy, poisoning our environment and widening the gap between rich and poor." They plan to directly engage the CEO's of these companies by attending their annual shareholder meetings and presenting a list of demands, which they say are precise and simple:
...corporations must pay their fair share of taxes, treat workers fairly, provide principal reduction to protect homeowners, pledge to keep money out of the election, and shift investments away from abusive private prisons and fossil fuels and into job creation and renewable energy.
Over the coming week there will be thousands gathering in homes, places of worship, on campuses, in local schools or community centers, all learning how to work together and effect change. You can follow them on Twitter @The99Spring or look for the hashtags #99Spring or #99Power. Finally, the 99% Spring asks all Americans:
"Will you rise with us and join a 99% Spring action training?"