'One Nation' rally draws thousands to Mall to counter conservatives

StarrGazerr 2010/10/02 17:23:27
'One Nation' rally draws thousands to Mall to counter conservatives
By Krissah Thompson and Spencer S. Hsu
Saturday, October 2, 2010; 1:17 PM

A rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial kicked off Saturday with tens of thousands of progressive activists hoping to energize supporters worried about the conservative tea party movement and the possibility that Democrats could lose control of Congress.

The "One Nation Working Together" march is the culmination of months of planning begun by civil rights organizations and labor unions. In recent weeks, more than 400 supporting groups signed on to the rally set to span four hours beginning at noon and featuring speeches, poetry and musical entertainment.

The groups backing the march - including the National Council of La Raza, the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, USAction and the U.S. Student Association - are looking to make a political statement in response to conservative commentator Glenn Beck's rally in August. That gathering partly filled the Mall with tens of thousands of his supporters, and tea party groups across the country have held anti-tax rallies.

By mid-morning Saturday, "One Nation" supporters were already heading to the Mall. On the city's Metro system, which opened an hour early to accommodate the crowds, rally attendees carried signs like "We March for Hope Not Hate" and "Standing Up for All the Change We Voted For." Others wore blue "One Nation Working Together" T-shirts handed out by the American Federation of Teachers union.

The march promises to bring together people with diverse political interests and causes.

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, a lead organizer of the event, has said it will be the most "diverse march in the nation's history."

"What unites our coalition is a common goal to pull America back together and put America back to work," Jealous said. "We are unified through a deep concern over a lack of civility in the political discourse. We are unified around our common vision of an America where we acknowledge our differences and work together to solve problems."

On the grassy lawn in front of the U.S. Capitol, supporters of a plan to overhaul immigration reform listened to bachata music blasting from speakers as they prepared to march to the Lincoln Memorial.

The march is "the beginning of all the different sectors of our country coming together to say we want the change we voted for," said Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of SEIU. "Jobs, immigration reform, the environment. We know the president is doing everything he can, but we voted him president not king. We're here ready to fight. We're no longer going to be silos. We're going to be one nation. We've all got to turn out to vote in November."

Erika Andiola, a 23-year-old college graduate and undocumented immigrant who grew up in Arizona, said she came to the rally to impress on Congress the importance of overhauling immigration law so that illegal immigrants can have a shot a citizenship.

"I can't get a job. I can't get a driver's license," she said. "I've been here since I'm little. I want to push the people in power to do something about the issue. We have to fight for a lot of things, but we all have to fight together."

Over at RFK Stadium, thousands of union-mobilized marchers streamed off buses and were greeted by a bracing message from UCubed, an Internet-driven effort to turn out the vote.

"The recession was caused by the banks, greed and deregulation," said Edrie Irvine, 58, a laid-off legal secretary from Silver Spring and an activist who roused the crowd. "It didn't have anything to do with me, but I lost my job."

The morning rally by UCubed - a project of Rick Sloan, head of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - was one of several labor-driven pre-march events aimed at constituencies such as the unemployed, young workers and others. The events sought to stoke anger and mobilize voters hard-hit by the recession to turn out for Democrats, countering tea party activists.

Speaker after speaker blasted politicians for what they called feckless and passionless response to the poor economy and the real-life misery of jobless Americans.

"The unemployed aren't lazy. They're not on drugs. They're our progeny. They're good neighbors and best friends," said Sloan. "This fight is about survival, and the red meat you hear here should be part of every Democrats' message."

Many of the groups involved in Saturday's event are stepping outside their usual parameters. Socially conservative African American church groups have signed on to a march that supports equality for gays and lesbians. A miners union has endorsed the rally along with environmental groups.

The "One Nation Working Together" groups are focusing on three issues: jobs, justice and education. They define those in a set of principles that also lays out a list of causes largely supported by liberals, such as ending discrimination in the criminal justice system, protecting Social Security, spending federal money to create jobs and improving public education.

"This really will look like the America of the 21st century, and we have a shared set of concerns that revolves around the economy," said Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

March organizers hope to motivate constituencies that have traditionally supported Democrats to turn out to vote in the midterm elections a month away. Polls have indicated that supporters of Republicans are more enthusiastic about going to the polls.

James Keane, who was carrying a sign that read "Jesus Christ is a Liberal," drove from New York City after he heard about the rally on MSNBC's liberal "Ed Show."

"It's about time the Democrats marched. We've stood by and watched the tea party people go crazy every couple of months," said Keane, who is unemployed. "It's time for Democrats to stand up and fight for what they believe in. Obama has been a great leader but so many in the Democratic leadership have been playing the fence."

Paul Wilber, who wore an tie-dyed shirt and anti-war button, said he "came out to support the president and to counter what I found is a backward agenda being pushed by the tea party. I thought Beck's rally was self-centered, regressive and just the total wrong direction for the country. I hope [this rally] will bring all the voters who voted for Obama back to the polls. His message is still right for the times."

Kimberly Hall took a bus from the Detroit area with 45 other people representing the local NAACP chapter and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Hall said frustration brought her to the rally. "I don't like the direction the country is going in. The auto industry built this country and we are giving it away. We need to take care of home before we start to support other nations."

The rally has stirred a rivalry between Beck's supporters and "One Nation." In recent days, both sides have been slinging mud. Beck spent a segment of his Fox News show decrying the march.

"All of these groups, and the president of the United States, want nothing short of fundamental transformation of America," Beck said on a recent show. "Do not allow them to get away with the lies. Do not allow them to say that we are just 'one nation, working together.' 'We're just trying to put America back to work and putting America back together.' These people, a lot of them, have fought their entire life to destroy America."

Jealous, who has criticized Beck and the tea party movement as divisive, said the "One Nation" rally is the antidote to the tea party. The NAACP has launched a Web site called Tea Party Tracker, which collects photos of racist signs that have been displayed at some tea party functions. Tea party supporters have condemned the site, suggesting that the signs may have been planted by tea party detractors.

The rivalry between the two groups even surfaced in a last-minute lawsuit. The Chantilly-based event-staging company that helped produce the Beck rally sued unsuccessfully Wednesday to stop the "One Nation" event. The company, National Events, alleged that the groups organizing the Saturday's rally solicited a bid sheet from the company to help stage the event and then used its proprietary information to secure lower prices from other vendors.

The Tides Center, a nonprofit organization doing business as One Nation Working Together and also known as USAction, said that it never contracted with National Events and that it never agreed to keep National Events' bid information private.

A judge said Friday that the "One Nation" event could go on as planned.

Read More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...

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Top Opinion

  • KCurtis 2010/10/02 19:24:05 (edited)
    Not anywhere near the crowd at 9-12 or Restoring Honor, but you go ahead and Hi-Five each other about celebrating your collectivism with some Communist and Socialist organizations. crowd 9-12 restoring honor hi-five celebrating collectivism communist socialist organizations
    crowd 9-12 restoring honor hi-five celebrating collectivism communist socialist organizations

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  • Prairie Wind 2010/10/05 06:24:29
  • MkB 2010/10/05 01:57:59
    Whatever happened to the Coffee Party?
  • No nonsense NanC...don't BS... 2010/10/04 19:05:51 (edited)
    No nonsense NanC...don't BS me!

    'One Nation' my arse.............that rally was all about class warfare and people feelilng victimized and wanting a bigger piece of the pie and income redistibution.

    It seems there are 'Two Americas', not 'One Nation'...one that respects our national monuments and values,
    another only interested in themselves and their share of the pie.

  • Thor American EXPAT n New G... 2010/10/04 14:14:17
    Thor American EXPAT n New Guinea

    hahahahahahahahaha beck kicked ass
  • Phillip 2010/10/04 04:02:35
    Anti-American hate rally for the Communist Left.
  • Phillip 2010/10/04 04:02:17
    Anti-American hate rally for the Communist Left.
  • Phillip 2010/10/04 04:01:16
    Anti-American hate rally for the Communist Left.
  • Artistry 2010/10/03 18:39:46
    ...Ahhhh....so Glenn "nutty as a fruitcake" Beck can spew his ludicrous crap all over and be loved. These people want jobs for the people who are hurting and less diviseness. Which is a good thing. You all sound like you are from a communist bloc or something. WTF?? And for once would somebody, anybody tell me where socialism enters into all this? This country has been semi-socialist ever since SS and Medicare were put into place. Ask your moms and dads to return their Social Security checks if you are so against socialism. Blind as a freaking bat and can't see for looking they used to say and it fits the bill. Stop polluting the air with your virulent and crass rhetoric. Please get a grip! Okay, done with the riffraff. "o) StarGazer you did one heck of a job reporting on this. From some of the feedback you received from the article it is clear that the country certainly needs saving. Wow! Cheers.
  • Annie~P... Artistry 2010/10/04 03:50:44
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    So, in other words, Beck scares the pants off of you because he knows the truth.
  • Artistry Annie~P... 2010/10/04 04:11:42
    ...Ahhh...a televison guy who rants and raves while telling lies and untruths and spouts bigoted rhetoric, so much so that he has lost gosh knows how many sponsors, that his network is evaluating whether they will keep him or not??.....yeahhhh he is so scary. Shake, shake shake "o) Keep believing in his "truth". Cheers.
  • Annie~P... Artistry 2010/10/04 04:22:46
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    Yeah and every time you guys on the political left are asked to specifically identify these so called lies, you always come up empty handed.
  • Artistry Annie~P... 2010/10/04 07:08:23
    ...Let's see if his tv network will be able to identify his lies before he brings the whole network down with his garbage. Bye, bye birdie "o). Cheers.
  • Annie~P... Artistry 2010/10/04 07:10:34
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    Art, See i asked you for specifics on Glenn Beck and instead of answer you continue to rant about the guy. How is this helping or adding to the post?
  • Artistry Annie~P... 2010/10/04 14:34:01
    ...hey, for one thing and I have to confess I don't really listen to the man. But he did say that President Obama has a deep down hatred of white people and with Obama being paritally white, I think it quite impossible that he would hate himself. Something else was said that was too crazy to believe at that same time. He also said that he held a copy a document at the Archives that was flatly denied by the curator there, he would not have even gotten close to holding the docunment. So he lies about stuff that can be disproven immediately. Other things have been said by this man as well that are untruths and reported on. If you want to have him as a hero go right ahead, but spewing hatred and diviseness is not a quality I can admire. Cheers.
  • Annie~P... Artistry 2010/10/04 04:23:21
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    BTW, where were all of you this weekend? Your rally looks empty!!
  • Artistry Annie~P... 2010/10/04 07:11:39
    ...Haven't you heard, "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog?" Don't worry, David still slew Goliath. Cheerio.
  • Annie~P... Artistry 2010/10/04 07:20:49
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    Nice try Art. Only problem is you had to go back 2000 years to even come up with a reply!!!
  • Artistry Annie~P... 2010/10/04 14:38:07
    ...You are a card. "o). You keep trucking now. Don't lose your stride.
  • Artistry Annie~P... 2010/10/04 14:39:57
    ...Oh yes, it still stands today and will 2000 years from now. Always will.
  • Artistry Annie~P... 2010/10/04 14:36:20
    ...to this.?.....there was also an Aids march or something taking plsace at the same time as I understand it. So there were divided alliances. No matter, it was a great gathering for a great cause. Cheers.
  • Thor Am... Artistry 2010/10/04 14:16:55
  • belle 2010/10/03 18:11:19
    What a joke of the Libs trying to beat Beck and true Americans at a game the libs are clueless about.
  • doofiegirl BTO-t- BCRA-F ~... 2010/10/03 17:39:01
    doofiegirl  BTO-t- BCRA-F ~PWCM~
    I only watched a few minutes of the "rally"The "entertainment" of the high school choir was about all I could handle!I did notice that when the cameras panned the "crowd" it was Always the same faces and clothes as the alst time they swung around! I guess the lsm didn't think the viewing audience was smart enough to catch that.
  • Kino 2010/10/03 15:19:28
    Sounds like a pretty diverse crowd attended. Good.
  • Thor Am... Kino 2010/10/04 14:18:36
    Thor American EXPAT n New Guinea
    Yep all three people had something different to bitch about
  • Kino Thor Am... 2010/10/04 14:26:19 (edited)
    You attended? Good for you.
  • Thor Am... Kino 2010/10/04 14:39:40
    Thor American EXPAT n New Guinea
    Not a chance. The only time I'll deal with commies is through the 'Cross hairs' of my Remington model 700 BDL in .308.
  • Kino Thor Am... 2010/10/04 14:50:47
    Uh huh. Sure.
  • RachelLord 2010/10/03 14:47:07
    So, lackluster attendance, a garbage strewn mess at the end. Guess that political activism isn't working so well for you is it?

    In order for grassroots to work, you have to have a message that people can support. Diversity? Unions? Socialism? Don't think so.

    Nice try!
  • keeper 2010/10/03 14:43:11
    I just wish that they would have cleaned up after their debacle...
  • Gina keeper 2010/10/03 17:26:16
    it was not in their contract, and apparently they did not invite the sanitation union:)
  • keeper Gina 2010/10/03 23:56:19
    LOLOL....silly unions!!!
  • Annie~P... keeper 2010/10/04 03:52:22
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    Nope, that bunch feels entitled to make the other guy pick up after them.
  • keeper Annie~P... 2010/10/04 14:01:49
    Time to fire them all...or ship them to Venezuela...
  • JuJu~Proud to be Infidel 2010/10/03 14:34:53
    JuJu~Proud to be Infidel
    'The groups backing the march - including the National Council of La Raza, the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, USAction and the U.S. Student Association - are looking to make a political statement in response to conservative commentator Glenn Beck's rally in August.'

    Won't these groups be upset at the non mention of their support?
    NY City Democratic Socialists of American
    Communist Party USA
    The International Socialist Orgnaization
    Democratic Socialist of America

    The list goes on and those are only the websites that boast of socialism and communism in their titles.

    This rally may have been the biggest mistake the left has made. There are still Americans around who remember what socialism and communism means, and that these views and agendas are NOT okay.

    In fact, the right may owe a big thanks to this rally for exposing anti American ties and agendas so well.

    communism views agendas owe rally exposing anti american ties agendas
  • Ms. Mom - profits employ, t... 2010/10/03 13:18:39 (edited)
    Ms. Mom - profits employ, taxes destroy


    A view of the Glenn Beck ‘Restoring Honor’ rally taken from atop the Washington Monument. This shot clearly shows the throngs of people who attended the event. (PHOTO CREDIT: Doug Schantz /CNN)
    shot throngs people attended event photo credit doug schantz cnn

    NOW LOOK This is a screenshot of the live Ustream video just as clearly showing that the crowd attending the ‘One Nation’ rally does not extend very far down the reflecting pool at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial. AT THE "NONMILLION MARXIST MARCH"!!!

    rally extend reflecting pool foot lincoln memorial nonmillion marxist march
  • Annie~P... Ms. Mom... 2010/10/04 03:54:55
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    Man, thats not much of a turn out is it? Thats gotta be a huge disappointment for the political left especially since most of these people were made to participate.
  • Ms. Mom... Annie~P... 2010/10/04 04:22:41
    Ms. Mom - profits employ, taxes destroy
    They were PAID to participate ... lol.... even old Charlie Rangel.... the commie.
  • Annie~P... Ms. Mom... 2010/10/04 04:24:59
    Annie~Pro American~Pro Israel
    They get paid with once again our money funneled into unions, then they cannot even clean up after themselves!!
  • Ms. Mom... Annie~P... 2010/10/04 04:29:34
    Ms. Mom - profits employ, taxes destroy
    That's because they lack self-discipline and a sense of responsibility .... goes hand-in-hand with their political agenda.
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