December 19 Coalition Gathers at State Capitols Across America for Protests

By Common Dreams. Published 12-17-2016

From December 17-19th, over 10,000 Americans are gathering at state capitals across the country for candlelight vigils and rallies at their state capitals, asking Electors to vote their conscience and reject Donald Trump when the Electoral College officially elects the President on December 19.

Unite for America launched the effort in response to news of Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election, concerns about foreign bribery and conflicts of interest for Trump, and news of the Trump’s team’s felonious intimidation of Electors have left many questioning whether he is fit to be President.

A bipartisan group of Electors, in response, is demanding President Obama to instruct the CIA to brief them on Russia hacking our democracy before Monday’s vote. Several Electors, including Texas Republican Elector Christopher Suprun, have already vowed not to vote for Trump, instead opting to vote for a “responsible Republican alternative,” such as Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.

PSA was released this week, including Martin Sheen, Debra Messing, Richard Schiff, Bob Odenkirk, BD Wong, and Moby (among others), which rapidly spread over the internet, at one point claiming the #5 spot on YouTube’s “Trending” page.

“Republican members of the Electoral College, this message is for you,” Sheen, who played a fictional President Bartlett on the political drama The West Wing, says. “As you know, our Founding Fathers built the Electoral College to safeguard the American people from the dangers of a demagogue, and to ensure that the presidency only goes to someone who is to an ’eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.’”

“By voting your conscience, you and other brave Republican electors can give the House of Representatives the option to select a qualified candidate for the presidency,” adds Schiff, who played White House communications director Toby Ziegler alongside Sheen on The West Wing.

Connected to the PSA are links to a website where all Americans are invited to join candlelight vigils on the night of December 18th at their statehouses, and rallies when the Electoral College officially meets the next day (12/19/2016). Support for the candlelight vigils, as can be seen on Facebook event pages in each state, increased dramatically as the PSA video went viral on the internet, garnering over 600,000+ views in less than 24 hours.

Across multiple grassroots efforts, over ten thousand Americans have committed to the first ever national protest of the Electoral College to take place in every state capitol and Washington, D.C. as the electors walk in to vote — making this the largest, nationwide democracy movement in a generation.

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