‘One Nation’ March Shows the Tough Fight
Ahead for the Emerging Progressive Majority
By Carl Davidson
If you wanted to know what a dynamic and emerging progressive majority of Americans looked like, the place to be was the National Mall at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on the beautiful and sunny Saturday afternoon of Oct. 2, 2010.
It was a sight to behold. Pulled together by the ‘One Nation Working Together’ coalition of some 400 groups, an estimated 175,000 people filled the area. They were the country’s trade unions, civil rights, women’s rights, and community organizations, peace and justice groups, and many more. The focus was jobs, justice and education, with sizable contingents against the wars as well.
“I hope they look at the mall today,” stated the Rev. Al Sharpton from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, referring to the GOP and the Tea Party right, “because this is what America looks like, not just one color or one gender.”
A rainbow of nationalities, men and women, young and old, and with a solid core from all sectors of the working class filled the area. The crowd’s mood was upbeat and militant, and they let it be known with a range of voices, from old-fashioned liberals to the socialist left, that they were fed up with the right wing assaults from Tea Party, the GOP neoliberals and the Blue Dog Democrats going along with them.
“This gathering is a wakeup call for the American people,” declared Harry Belafonte, in one of the strongest and most critical speeches of the day. “”Do we really believe that sending 100,000 troops to kill innocent men and women in Afghanistan and Pakistan makes any sense?” he continued, clearly and sharply criticizing Obama’s concession to the war machine. The actor-singer went on to attack the “crippling poison of racism” and “the undermining of the Constitution and the systematic attack on our most inalienable rights….At the heart of this danger is the Tea Party which is coming close to achieving its villainous ends. On November 2, in the millions, we must overburden our voting booths, and vote against those who would have us become a totalitarian state.”