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One Nation Working Together Rally Draws Tens of Thousands

Last Saturday, over 175,000 people gathered in Washington, DC, for the “One Nation Working Together” rally, a progressive event endorsed by over 400 groups. The rally was organized with the intention of displaying the diversity of its supporters, who organizers claim are representative of the majority of Americans, and energizing voters for the midterm elections, according to the Washington Post. Organizers estimate that over 175,000 people attended the event, which featured more than four hours of speeches, poetry, music, and historical readings. Speakers emphasized the importance of creating jobs, improving education, and increasing attention on human rights issues. Activists, veterans, immigrants, Americans who have lost their jobs, and Native Americans spoke at the event. “This march was inclusive,” NAACP President Benjamin Jealous told the Washington Post. “We have seen cabdrivers come down from New York, truck drivers from Oklahoma. This is about moving the country with the spirit of unity and hope, and getting the country beyond the divisiveness.” Across the country, smaller events took place in support of the Washington rally. One Nation California held a “Day of Action” on Saturday in Los Angeles, which focused on increasing participation in the coming elections and also featured a number of speeches by local and national activists, according to a One Nation press release. The Washington Post reports that the march took place about a month after television commentator Glenn Beck’s Washington, DC rally, which featured speaker Sarah Palin and espoused a vision of returning the United States to more traditional and conservative values. However, critics say that the One Nation rally did not attract the attention and buzz that is directed at the “Tea Party” movement. “Although the One Nation Working Together rally was endorsed by over 400 major civil rights, women’s rights, labor, and environmental organizations and some 200,000 people attended, it did not receive the media coverage of the Beck rally,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal.

Sources:

Washington Post 10/2/10; One Nation Working Together Press Release 10/3/10; Interview with Eleanor Smeal 10/4/10

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