Monday, October 4, 2010

One Nation Working Together for Peace and Justice

On Saturday October 2 several bus loads of folks from Rhode Island attended the rally in Washington DC.  What began as primarily a labor rally focused on a call for good jobs morphed into a more complex message as well over a hundred other groups endorsed the rally and added their messaging.

Over 150,000 people attended, packing the space on either side of the long reflecting pool all the way to the end opposite the Lincoln Memorial.  It is pretty annoying to have the Washington Post under-represent the turn out, saying it "petered out" as you moved away from the Lincoln Memorial.   I guess they must not have actually walked through the crowd or seen the view from the far end (shown above).

There were LOTS of different and creative signs.  I was impressed at how common the theme of "end the wars/fund jobs" was.  I think it resonated with a lot of people - not all of whom came planning to carry a sign but chose to pick that one up. 
 I wasn't able to hear most of the speeches - I was helping staff the AFSC table at the far end of the Reflecting Pool.  I have a sense that a lot of the "dots" were there but that they weren't necessarily connected - war/military spending, militarization, immigration, funding for services, anger at corporate greed and congressional failure to bail out workers.  So that is our work as we come home - to build on the relationships and connections that came from bringing so many people together and connecting to dots so that we can tackle corporate power, massive wealth concentrated among just a few, the profiteering of the military industrial complex, immigration and more. 

We would love to hear what you thought of the rally.  Respond if you'd like and start the conversation of next steps.  

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