I decided to head into DC yesterday for the "One Nation" rally. I did get a later start than I had hoped, but I made it there around an hour into the program. I took the metro in as I have a big "Fire Pelosi" sign in my car window and thought it was best not to drive.
It was a beautiful day weather wise. I walked down 17th street and once I made it out of the metro station I was saw a sea of purple. SEIU was very well represented. Volunteers from the SEIU were Marshall's and giving people directions on how to get to the Lincoln Memorial. There is no really close metro station so it is a walk of about six to eight blocks.
The closer I got to the memorial I was thinking it was a very large crowd. But once I got to the World War II memorial I realized that that the crowd was no where near the size of the Beck rally. At the Beck rally people were very densely packed and this crowd was mainly just around the reflecting pool.
The vast majority of the people were wearing their union colors. I would say that I saw more teacher unions than anything else. They had jumbo tron screens about halfway down the mall and a good sound system, so I could hear when Trumpka told the crowd that they had aerial photos showing that they had a larger crowd than Beck. Since I was at both I knew that not to be true.
One of the first group of the "radical" left that I came upon was a man that looked remarkably like Che. He had long hair and the same type of facial hair and was wearing a beret. He was talking to some other people in the crowd about socialism. I didn't hang around that for too long as I was intent on being invisible. I was not there to cause any problems or be rude to anyone; just to see what was going on.
They had tables set up all along the sides with all kinds of handouts. The handouts were almost all about socialism.
The People's World
In their effort to win the Congress this year and the White House in 2012, the Republican Party and their tea party attack dogs are unashamedly promoting fear, racism, bigotry and red baiting. This has been the subtext of all their rallies.
President Obama is one of the most capable and responsible leaders to occupy the White House. His policies have turned the resources of the federal government more towards the benefit of working people then any president since FDR.
We need to put millions back to work doing socially useful labor; rebuilding roads, bridges, hospitals, schools, homes for the poor and needy, updating and upgrading public transportation, and developing clean, renewable sources of energy production. It needs to be a long-term public-works program paid for by taxing the super-rich and corporations, by nationalizing and merging the banks under workers' control without paying anything out in terms of compensation to either owner or investor, and by ending and closing the U.S. military occupations abroad and the hundreds of military bases around the world respectively. Such a program needs to be under direct workers and community control, not politicians or government bureaucrats. They pay for every worker should be the prevailing wage or the going union rate - whichever is higher.
US To Gaza
Soon, a U.S. boat, The Audacity of Hope, will join an international Freedom Flotilla from Europe and the Middle East to directly and nonviolently challenge U.S. foreign policy and break the blockade.
There was a group that wants to put a moratorium on all foreclosures for two years.
The socialist party has offices in 19 states.
Apparently the newest thing with some unions is that they want their hours reduced to 30 hours yet still be paid for 40. They call it the 30 for 40, catchy huh?
I went and sat in the same basic location that I did for the Beck rally. I had virtually no one else around me and no one came up to me. I listened to Jesse Jackson speak and he mainly talked about Michelle Obama's contributions about "food deserts". He also talked about the need to increase mass transit. I believe that he was mainly talking about Detroit, but as for increasing the transit system in DC is a huge waste of money, as our transit system here loses money hand over fist. While I use the system occasionally and find it to be an easier way to get around considering all the traffic we have here, but it is a big suck on resources in DC, Northern Virginia, and Southern Maryland. So if that is true in other major metropolitan areas it is not an effective use of our tax dollars.
The other thing that I noticed was how many people left early. There was virtually no one left when it ended. On my train ride home I was sitting next to a woman who was from Baltimore. She told me that she drove to a metro station in Virginia to meet up with friends who came in from Chicago. I said to her that must have been an expensive bus trip; "oh, no it only cost $15, the union subsidized the rest." Again, I didn't say anything but I was thinking to myself that the pensions are in trouble and they are looking for federal bailouts, but they can subsidize bus trips. These are the people who want to talk to me about financial responsibility? I don't think I need any financial advice from these people.
One other note on my day yesterday that I noticed. The people were not nearly as friendly as the crowds at Tea Party rallies. While I will concede that I did feel like a fish out of water, I did smile at people and say hello and rarely got a response. Just an observation.
Some of the hypocritical things that I saw were two people wearing shirts about "green jobs" were driving an SUV. I saw a man wearing a shirt that said Capitalism Sucks selling T shirts with the logo of the rally on it.
I also find it very hypocritical that they had all these sponsors that are out of the mainstream, such as the socialists and the communists, but did not give them any speaking time. The vast majority of the speakers were talking about mainstream democratic policies. If you wanted to include the commies and the socialists than they should have been allowed to speak. It is like they wanted to increase the crowd size yet didn't want the TV viewing audience to see how fringe the democratic party has become.