Mission Director, Democracy Spring
Kai Newkirk is a progressive organizer, co-founded 99Rise, and was the architect and director of the Democracy Spring campaign, which culminated in the largest American civil disobedience action of this century. In 2014, Kai disrupted the US Supreme Court to protest it’s role in political corruption in an action that was captured in the first-ever video recording from inside the Court’s chamber. Later that year, he led 99Rise’s 480-mile, 37 day California March for Democracy and the subsequent 12 days of sit-ins at the state capitol that helped pass two democracy reform bills. Before deciding to devote himself to the nonviolent struggle to save our democracy in the wake of the 2011 Occupy encampments, Kai worked as a field deputy for a member of the Los Angeles City Council and as a worker organizer in the health care and hotel industries. Over the last 17 years, he has helped organize nonviolent direct actions or campaigns in the universal health care, immigrant rights, anti-war, and global justice movements. He is a founding member of the Momentum organizing tradition and an experimenter in the emerging field of integral movement ecology.