Sunday, 03 October 2010 16:00

One Nation Rally: Weak Display of Leftism

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One Nation rallyIn an effort to rival Glenn Beck's 8/28 “Restoring Honor” rally, progressive and left-wing groups held the “One Nation Working Together” rally on Saturday, October 2 at the National Mall in Washington. Much to the chagrin of the organizers, however, which were comprised of 400 organizations ranging from labor unions to environmental groups, they could not muster up the crowd of up to 500,000 that Beck drew, even after union leaders forced their members to attend Saturday's event. Low numbers were not the sole disappointment of the rally either. Despite the alleged unifying goal of the rally, the liberal organizations could not help but use the platform to promote liberalism, socialism, and progressivism.

According to the Washington Post, One Nation Working Together “was the left wing's first large gathering designed to counter the conservative tea party phenomenon, and many speakers warned that a Republican-controlled Congress would block or roll back changes. Organizers said they also wanted to show that their supporters represent the majority of the nation.”

Upon approaching the rally, attendees were greeted by members of the Socialist Party who handed out newspapers with the heading “Tax the Rich, End the Wars.” In fact, the groups present at the rally were seemingly disinterested in hiding their Marxist and Socialist agendas, as they proudly swayed flags bearing the word “Socialist,” “Socialist Party USA,” and “Communist Party USA,” as well as signs bearing the images of Che Guevara and even the hammer and sickle, the infamous communist emblem.

In addition to the American Socialist and Communist Parties, the event was sponsored by the NAACP, Van Jones' Green For All, the National Council of La Raza, AFL-CIO, SEIU, George Soros' Campus Progress, International Socialist Organization, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the Gray Panthers, the Institute for Policy Studies, and many more notoriously radical organizations.

The Blaze adds, “President Barack Obama's own 'Organizing for America has praised the effort, calling it the 'biggest progressive demonstration in decades.”

Beck described the list of the event's organizers as a “who's who of the far-left in America.”

Entrepreneurs sold books which gave evidence of their Marxist ideologies, such as The Communist Manifesto, The Road to Socialism, Bolshevism, The American Menace, and many more.

Many of the attendees were attired in shirts that read, “Obama/Biden 2008.”

The event boasted a variety of speakers who talked about nearly everything, from education, to human rights, to jobs.

The Washington Independent writes, “Indeed, the main focus of yesterday's gathering was jobs, and how the government should do more to promote them. This was evidenced by the thousands of signs and t-shirts that promoted the event's main theme — 'Jobs, Justice, and Education' — as well as its heavily unionized supporters.”

Unemployed legal secretary Edrie Irvine spoke against the recession, claiming it was caused by “banks, greed, and deregulation.”

Articulating similar sentiments was Mary Henry, president of SEIU, who said, “Corporations are preying on our fears and using this moment to expand their profit margins. This is the first recession where corporate margins are growing while wages are going down.”

In addition to jobs, attacking the Tea Party movement appeared to be a central focus at the event as well.

Liberal host of MSNBC's “The Ed Show'” Ed Schultz, one of the event's masters of ceremonies, took the opportunity to criticize the Tea Party movement and conservatives in general.

“They talk about the Constitution, but they don't want to live by it. They talk about the forefathers, but they practice discrimination. They want to change this country.”

Cab driver James Keane, an attendee at the rally, told reporters, “We've stood by and watched the Tea Party people go crazy every couple of months. It's time for Democrats to stand up and fight for what they believe in. Obama has been a great leader, but so many in the Democratic leadership have been playing the fence.”

Yet, despite the clear attempts to mirror the enthusiasm of the Tea Parties and Beck's rally, One Nation Working Together fell short in both enthusiasm and attendance.

While some of the organizers claim they drew the same crowds as Beck's rally, The Daily Beast asserts, “For all the chanting about how 'the people, united, will never be divided,' this turnout was small and suffering from an enthusiasm gap compared to the conservative populists who crowded the mall a month ago for Glenn Beck's 'Restoring Honor' rally.”

Similarly, the Associated Press reports, “Organizers claimed they had as many participants as Beck's rally. But Saturday's crowds were less dense and didn't reach as far to the edges as they did during Beck's rally.”

Other organizers more realistically claim a crowd of 175,000, though the figures have not been confirmed.

What's most surprising about the relatively low attendance is that many union members were forced to attend the rally by their union presidents. Teamsters Local 237 president Gregory Floyd told Ed Schulz on his show that his members were attending the rally because they “have to go.”

Worse than that, CSPAN aired the One Nation rally in DC on Saturday, but seemingly used a photo from Glenn Beck's rally to promote the event, made clear by the presence of the Gadsden flags, something that would likely not appear at a leftist rally.

Overall, those in attendance at the rally hoped to generate continued support for President Obama and a “unionized America.”

Erin Geiger, a teacher from Long Island, N.Y., said “I hope the nation stays behind Obama.”

“Seeing so many different union groups coming together and seeing that unionized America is still strong and still does have hope,” was the best part of the rally for Paula Klonfas of New Paltz, N.Y.

Photo: AP Images

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