Category Archives: unemployment

Huge Attendance at Rally in DC for Jobs, Justice, Education and Peace

‘One Nation’ March Shows the Tough Fight

Ahead for the Emerging Progressive Majority

By Carl Davidson

Beaver County Blue

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.”

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The Unemployed Are Beginning to Get Organized

Can The Jobless Become A Political Force?

 

From Huffington Post

Sept 22, 2010

Labor activists are hoping the nation’s nearly 15 million unemployed can be a political force in the upcoming midterm elections.

“We’re convinced that the jobless, the unemployed, are the swing vote of the 2010 midterms and if they know who their tormentors are, they will swing really hard left,” said Rick Sloan in an interview with HuffPost. To that end, Sloan, who is a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists, started a “Union of Unemployed” with a website that he says gets 35,000 visitors a month. He created a web ad and is organizing a pre-rally for unemployed folks before the One Nation Working Together rally on Oct. 2.

“These folks are registered and, for a great number of them they were the surge voters of 2008,” he said. “They were younger, they were black, they were Latino, they were blue-collar without high school, and they were college educated. That’s what the demographics of the Obama surge vote looked like. And they have suffered disproportionately in this recession.”

Continue reading The Unemployed Are Beginning to Get Organized

Beaver County’s Big Knob Fair Meets the Peace and Jobs Movement

Lessons Learned at the

Big Knob Grange Fair

 

By Randy Shannon and Carl Davidson

Beaver County Blue

The Big Knob Grange Fair, held Aug. 30 through Sept. 4 up in the lovely rolling hills above Rochester, PA, a distressed mill town at the confluence of the Beaver and Ohio rivers, is a “big doin’s’ in Beaver County, and has been for 70 years or so.

It features blue grass and country rock bands, tractor and truck ‘pulls,’ a demolition derby, dozens of rides for kids, booths for local politicians, hunting clubs, garden clubs, home improvement vendors, and local artisans. The Grange members serve delicious home-cooked food, display prize-winning livestock, fowl, and garden produce. The oldest and the latest in farm equipment are also on display. In recent years, the Fair draws from 30,000 to 40,000 semi-rural farmers and blue-collar workers with their families, and a horde of young people, and this year, with glorious weather, was no different.

This year the Fair had a new feature co-sponsored by Beaver County Peace Links and the 4th CD Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America. Near the middle of the big striped circus tent was a table with a large banner hanging behind it: ‘War Is Making You Poor!’ Many of the hundreds of passersby on any one of the five days stopped and did a double take. Some ambled on, but a good number stayed to chat and see what it was all about.

“We were there every day from 4pm until 10pm,” said Randy Shannon, treasurer of the 4th CD Progressive Democrats of America. “People start flowing in after work. In addition to our banner, there was a giant 4ft x 5ft poster showing that Beaver County taxpayers have shelled out $54 million per year for the last ten years for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is almost the same amount as the county’s annual general fund tax collections.”

Carl Davidson explained his contribution: “We set up an internet connection with a cell phone. With a monitor and a laptop I showed some antiwar videos picked by Beaver County Peace Links, including a looping video of an apple pie being divided like the US budget. The military got half the pie.”

Todd and Emily Davis made a unique contribution to the table. Todd, a Methodist pastor, is the chairperson of Peace Links. They labeled 10 jars with the main categories of the federal budget. They were arrayed in front of a small backdrop that read: ‘Take the penny poll: how would YOU spend your tax dollars.’

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