The planned “We Are One” demonstrations went off as scheduled on April 4th. Over 1,200 of them, according to the AFL-CIO, their principal sponsor. This is just the beginning. Working Americans are in for a long, hard struggle to maintain their rights in the face of a conservative war against them which has been going on in earnest since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Michael Moore spoke at a rally at the State Capitol in Honolulu, Hawaii. I would like to quote a couple of things from his speech.
I want to thank you for turning out today to make your voices heard — and they ARE heard, even across ocean and land. Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans are joining with you to honor Dr. King by standing up for working people all over America. It was what he was doing in Memphis when he was killed 43 years ago today, supporting sanitation workers on strike.
Today everywhere is Memphis, and it’s not just sanitation workers being attacked. It’s teachers and firefighters and social workers — yes, all those greedy public workers who caused the Great Recession we are in!
No, my friends, it wasn’t! It was the top 1% of the country who did this. THEY brought on the mortgage crisis. THEY made off with billions of dollars from our economy. THEY have systematically destroyed the middle class. And THEY have bought and sold the very people elected to represent us!
This has to stop. But it won’t stop unless we make it stop. 400 wealthy Americans now have more wealth than 150 million Americans COMBINED!
But what they don’t have is the right to vote 150 million times. They only have 400 votes! Are we going to allow 400 bullies destroy the lives and livelihoods of 150 million of our fellow Americans? The time to act is now!
For his entire speech, please visit his website and view the page They Only Have 400 Votes.
The AFL-CIO has several film clips and a very good slide presentation on their page We Are One April 4th which shows the demonstrations at various locations. The photograph below is just one from the slide show. It shows three Federal employees who are carrying signs from AFGE (American Federation of Government Employees), the largest Federal employee union. I was a proud member of AFGE when I worked for Social Security.
As you go through the slide show (which I highly recomment) you will see demonstrators carrying signs which say, simply, “I Am A Man” (or in one case, I Am A Woman.”) This is a direct reference to the Memphis sanitation worker strike. The following photo will refresh your memory.
Now it is time to continue. The conservatives who control the House of Representatives have submitted their proposed budget outline for FY 2012. Under the Constitution, the House writes the budget. I will be looking at this more closely in another post, but I know that Medicare is facing devastating cuts and ultimate elimination. Now is the time to contact your Congressman or Congresswoman.
If he or she is Democratic, urge him or her to fight the destructive Republican proposals. If he or she is a Republican, tell him or her that these proposals are highly unpopular with working Americans, with the middle class, and are unacceptable. Tell him or her that proposals such as these will be the basis for how the electorate votes next year. We won’t forget their slavish obedience to the Koch Brothers and other billionaires and their cruel and hateful budget on election day. There are a lot more voters than there are billionaires.
Unlike the President, they are subject to a direct popular vote, and, also unlike the President, their term is only two years, something I think the Teabaggers have already forgotten. If we stand together, we can get these scoundrels out of Congress next year. April 4th was the first step.