NAACP, labor unions, liberal activists rally on Mall

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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The NAACP and several labor unions, including the AFL-CIO and SEIU, are convening at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., Saturday for their “One Nation Working Together” rally which is, according to the event’s website, aimed at elevating concern about jobs, justice and public education.

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, the Rev. Al Sharpton and United Auto Workers President Bob King are some of the listed speakers for the rally, which the NAACP has said it expects “hundreds of thousands of people” from all over the country to attend.

Rally spokesperson Flo McAfee said the event isn’t a counter-Tea Party rally and isn’t meant to be an attack on the several conservative rallies in Washington over the past couple months, adding that planning for the rally started in June.

A spokesperson for the AFL-CIO told The Daily Caller the “One Nation Working Together” rally was planned “long before the Glenn Beck” rally. But McAfee’s contention is only partially true. While Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally was held in late August, it was in the works and received lots of public attention as far back as November 2009.

“Number one, we wanted to focus and amplify the progressive views on jobs, justice and public education,” McAfee told TheDC in a phone interview about the purpose of the rally. “We also want to mobilize and energize voters to get out and vote, not so much politically, but to promote civic engagement.”

AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka, who will be speaking on Saturday, said the rally is aimed at giving the working class a platform for to show their frustrations with big business.

“We are fed up with people and corporations who are stoking anger and trying to distract from the truth that the corporate agenda actually brought about our economic devastation and will deepen economic inequality,” Trumka said in an e-mail to TheDC. “On October 2, working Americans who care about moving our country toward an economy that works for everyone will gather in Washington to show the power of working people when we work together.”

McAfee said the NAACP and the organizations it’s working with on the rally have a plan to keep the enthusiasm they expect to generate through the rally rolling all the way through the midterm elections. In the spirit of the date of the rally — 10/2/10 — McAfee told TheDC organizers will ask those at the rally to make 10 phone calls, recruit two friends and commit 10 hours to “getting out the vote.”