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Thousands rally in diverse counterpoint to Beck, tea-party activists

Published: Sun, October 3, 2010 @ 12:04 a.m.

Thousands rally in Washington

Valley residents attend the event

Staff/wire report


Thousands of liberal and labor activists rallied in the nation’s capital Saturday and in other U.S. cities, calling for young or disillusioned Democrats to vote in the November elections.

If conservative Fox commentator Glenn Beck’s late-August rally invigorated tea-party enthusiasts to vote for Republicans, many of those who turned out for the “One Nation Working Together” event saw it as their chance to shout back.

The Mahoning Valley had several people attend Saturday’s event in Washington, D.C., including 94 members of United Auto Workers Local 1112 at the Lordstown General Motors complex.

“The message was to continue to assist President [Barack] Obama and give him the help he needs,” said Glen Johnson, Local 1112’s vice president. “People forget easy. We need to remind people that he’s been in office for only [21] months. The person he replaced [George W. Bush] was there for eight years.”

Jim Stanton, Local 1112’s financial secretary, said those at the rally were committed to focusing on increasing the number of good-paying jobs in the country.

“I’m optimistic and believe that things will get better,” he said. “The only way to do that is to invest in people, and the economy will grow. But it doesn’t seem realistic to change problems in just 21 months. These problems didn’t happen overnight, and they won’t be solved overnight.”

Participants at Saturday’s rally were determined but appeared fewer in number than at Beck’s “Restoring Honor” event. Enrique Alvarado, 29, a student from Boston College, charged that tea-party activists are “intolerant and racist,” and said, “This crowd is a much more diverse and representative crowd of people.”

MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz whipped up the midday crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

“The conservative voices of America, they’re holding you down!” Schultz shouted, calling them “forces of evil.” He said conservatives “talk about the Constitution, but they don’t want to live by it. They talk about our forefathers, but they want discrimination. They want to change this country.”

Schultz said progressive activists haven’t gotten all the policies they wanted in the first two years of the Obama administration; they were obliged to stand by the Democratic leadership. “This is no time to back down! We cannot give up on Nov. 2!”

“We can maintain the momentum; that is our challenge,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a longtime civil-rights activist.

More than 400 organizations endorsed Saturday’s event, from gay-rights groups to a D.C. voting-rights coalition to the AFL-CIO and the SEIU. They promoted a grab-bag of causes from job creation and higher pay to universal health care, more public-school funding, ending the war in Afghanistan, supporting Palestinians, giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, promoting civil-rights protections for gays and Muslim-Americans and vegetarianism.

Soraya Gardner of Yardley, Pa., a union member, said she’s sick of “the racism, the tea-party stuff.” She, her husband and her daughters stood with signs reading: “The Coffee Party: Wake up America!” and “Hey Glenn, We’re here. You’re not. Honor restored. You’re welcome.”

Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


1Mikef(1 comment)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm a union member that's not voting anything Democrat, no way no how! The health care reform by President Obama was hastily shoved onto us, our national debt TRIPLED from President Bush to President Obama, and our economy is going to crash any day now. Great Depression 2 brought on by both Republicans AND Democrats, with the Democrats worsening the situation by adding more to our national debt BY THE DAY!!!

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

At Glenn Beck's restoring honor rally nobody called anyone else a force of evil. It was a positive, uplifting event, unlike what happened yesterday.

The tea parties are not about racism. I don't know where this comes from, but its a blatant lie and unfortunately there are a lot of useful idiots retelling the lie. Tea party members are not some evil enemy, they are the people that you associate with every day. They are people who see their opportunities vanish, their taxes go up and then watch that money wasted. Tea partiers want some sanity returned to government, and a recognition that govt. exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Why is that so hard to understand?

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3lee(544 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Glenn had close to half a million this had a few thousand. Enough said.

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4AXLE69(181 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I've watched the interviews of those 'patriots' at Becks shindig. I heard many of them speak of evil,so it's false to claim it was all about peace,love and understanding.The teabaggers are the ones who want to frame this into enemy terms.I have witnessed it with the ones I have tangled with personally.So be it.Unionists have been fighting in the trenches for decades.As far as the teabaggers who are union members,the same people that caused the problems Obama inherited are using you to regain power and continue doing it.Unions helped create the middle class, the conservatives that are using the teabagger cabal are systematically dismantling it.Why is THAT so hard to understand?

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5musicman77(14 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Face it everyone. anything these days that has white peoples voices tied to it has been deemed evil, bigoted, and racist. I for one am tired of that bull. what ever happened to common sense being common sense regardless of the color of skin of the person whose mouth the words come from? reverse racisim is just as bad as any other form.

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6Iwannamove(61 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Go ahead and vote the republicans in ... and see what mess we will be in then.... No one can clean up Bush's mess in 21 months. If you think its bad now vote those tea party people in. No they are not regular people they are republicans like crazy Palin . See what mess you will be in then. Then cry about it.. You must all be rich and wanting to get richer because that is all the republicans are about.

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7Photoman(1246 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

I don't recall seeing any of the leaders of this gathering calling it a counter point to the Beck rally so where did The Vindicator come up with this headline? Does anyone recall any president who has been so polarizing of the populace while doing so little to protect the citizens of this nation?

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8cambridge(4066 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

lee....You claim "close to half million " for Beck's rally. CBS News says 78,000. You can read about it in the link below.


Photoman....To answer your question, Bush had to be the most polarizing president in modern history and he definitely failed to protect the citizens of this nation from an attack he was warned of.

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9cambridge(4066 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

lee....Sorry, CBS says 87,000. My bad.

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10Nunya(1356 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

The rally was an immense success and I loved every minute of it.

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Yep, this was truly an earth shattering event that left everyone with a warm tingling glow . The highlight of the event was the hypnotic speech by Ed Schultz that left everyone ready to divest themselves of all their earnings for the common good . The Rev. Al Sharpton had his supporters swaying with each word that he spoke . This is indeed a new liberal era for America and those who were there will cherish that very moment . The downside was the racism that evolved when the Tea Party members were demonized for their unwillingness to forfeit more of their meager paychecks in escalated taxation .

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12seminole(476 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Funny how all the events always transgress into what was said by the left. Look at what has HAPPENED since the O regime came into play, and let's look at it just in this area: highest unemployment in history, crime is rampant and increasing every week to escalated levels, home prices have dropped to where people can't even get out of this outhouse because, aside from previous allowance of homebuyers being "qualified" to buy that weren't and now they are "housebroke" and their current homes look like Detroit, the current move-ins have killed the house prices. And all these wonderful "new businesses" that the Dems claim have opened in the area? Look who they are catering to: the same folks that rolled in the crime and ruined the housing market! You want to turn everything into race? Look around and tell me who is to blame. The idiot screaming into the mic at this wonderful event? What a goof. Go ahead and hook your wagon to another raging idiot that wants to turn everything racial. Please do, then look around and answer the question yourselves. What the right wants is for this idiocy to stop. Ask McDonalds how they feel about getting scrutinized now regarding their health care costs: they spoke out now the O regime is on them, questioning their costs, etc, just because they had the nerve to question the lunacy of O's healthcare plan. Sound something like socialism/communism? Hmmm...

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13Stormieangel(136 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

Hey everybody....Bush was a lousy president and Obama is maybe worse for he has put this country so far into debt that our great grandchildren will still be paying out the wazoo. And bull on the racial issues; I am tired of the whites being blamed because some black kids are not made to go to school and take advantage of their educational needs. As for the healthcare plan...yes, we need one but who even knows what Obama's plan is all about. We haven't been given all the information and granted, most of the common folks; that is the lower middle class folks will get screwed and moved into the poverty level. Politicians are politicians, be they democrat or republican. They have shown that they follow their own agenda and don't give a damn about someone like me who obeys the laws and lives on $700 social security a month!!! I dislike all of those lying pieces of crap.

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14Attis(1129 comments)posted 5 years, 9 months ago

This was, unfortunately, a thinly disguised Obama love fest, another tragic reminder of just how terribly weak truly progressive voices and forces are these dark days.

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