Civil rights, labor groups to hold jobs march Oct. 15

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Energized by President Obama's bold call for passage of the American Jobs Act, civil rights and labor groups are calling for a national march in Washington, D.C., on October 15 to support it. The following day Obama will deliver remarks at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial.

Both events were rescheduled after Hurricane Irene forced postponement of the previous August dates.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the event, Rev. Al Sharpton said, "We will bring forth the masses who have not been heard in the midst of the jobs debate. As the president fights for a jobs act, as supercommittees meet, they need to hear marching feet. This is to send a message to Congress."

The National Action Network along with the NAACP and several labor unions including the National Education Association and the Communications Workers of America are key organizers of the event.

The march will begin at the Lincoln Memorial.

At a recent meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, President Obama called on supporters to put on their marching shoes to press for passage of jobs legislation and increased revenue to pay for it.

Republicans in Congress are staunchly opposing the new legislation and demands that the rich pay their fair share in taxes.

Economists, however, have recently said that the Obama proposal could help boost the economy next year. Bloomberg News writes, "The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said."

The plan would prevent "a contraction of the economy in the first quarter" of next year, said John Herrmann, a senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston, who participated in the survey. "It leads to more retention of workers than net new hires."

While the official unemployment rate hovers at just over 9 percent, more realistic estimates put it at 16 percent of the workforce, with rates double that in African American and Latino communities.

The AFL-CIO has called for a week of action for jobs from October 11 to October 15.

Speaking in Minneapolis at the Next Up summit of young workers, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis urged initiatives to help pass the American Jobs Act: "Labor Secretary Hilda Solis described how she learned the importance of collective bargaining from her father, a steward for the Teamsters and talked about her dedication to create good jobs and help pass President Obama's American Jobs Act. By the time Barack Obama got to office, Solis said, the nation had lost 4 million jobs. But instead, Republicans in Congress want to gut the budget and kill even more jobs."

Photo: Wisconsin AFL-CIO // CC 2.0

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  • The rabid tea party and reactionary Republicans are counter-revolutionary in two main ways when it comes to job creation:

    As Solis said, "...Republicans in Congress want to gut the budget and kill even more jobs." This is almost a death blow to a gravely wounded economy. The American Jobs Act is not a revolutionary action, but a step in the correct direction and should be strongly supported and monitored to see its positive effects and what it suggests for future government sponsored job creation. To oppose this moderate and by some measures conservative action, in a dying U. S. economy, to abandon the poor, the underemployed, the unemployed, the homeless, the growing numbers of poor people in these United States, the great number of people in the U. S. and the American dream and promise-to move counter to our revolutionary heritage.
    Secondly, it is a marked support for oppressors, which is clearly counter-revolutionary. These oppressors, in their present day form of modern usurers and monopoly finance capitalist billionaires, who absolutely refuse to reform themselves, but seek to subvert democracy to "save" our economy, as the Kochs and the reactionary political representatives and governors like Christie and Walker have demonstrated, raising the ire of the modern heroic working class, are destined to complete capitalism's self destruction that the sage W. E. B. Du Bois foretold.
    The Obama administration, the faith, labor, human and civil rights organizations, have earned the support of the poor, and working people-and even the rich- in the U. S. ,and around the world for this bill's passage.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 10/03/2011 11:50am (3 years ago)

  • If Obama wanted to pass a jobs bill, he could have done during the first two years of his presidency when the Democrats controlled the House, the Senate and the Presidency. But he didn't. He escalated wars, he bailed out the banks, he bailed out corporations, he bailed out Wall St. He gave more tax cuts to the rich.
    Now when he is running to get re-elected, he proposes a jobs bill which he knows won't get passed, and is only doing so as an election ploy.

    Posted by Stan Smith, 10/03/2011 10:53am (3 years ago)

  • Working people union and non, are in this together... we have to fight the right together and get this American Jobs Act pass as a first step to a jobs bill which is permanent. That is to say, keep the money flowing so everyone who can and wants work will find it at a living wage!

    Wage peace
    peace will help bring prosperity
    Green jobs not military jobs!

    Posted by Gabe Falsetta, 10/01/2011 9:10pm (3 years ago)

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