In November, millions of union members and their families marched to the polls and dumped the anti-worker, pro-war Congress, the first step toward stomping out the Bush regime.

In addition to their union cards, many have VFW or gun club or Knights of Columbus membership cards in their wallets.

Now, just as the holiday decorations were stacked away, they have pulled out their long johns, packed up their blankets and pillows and boarded buses, trains, vans and cars and headed to Washington to bring their sons and daughters, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandchildren, moms and dads, co-worker’s kids or neighbor’s kids home from Iraq.

It is this determination to make their ballots cast stick — a defense of democracy — that’s under siege by the most vicious administration to date. Working class people are marching for peace, many for the first time, because the human carnage and destruction of a country violates decency. They know firsthand that no corporation — oil, coal, paper, auto or steel — values people over profit. War is not an abstraction or flat images on a TV screen.

Riding to Washington is not new for unionists. They have marched on the nation’s capital before, demanding fair trade policies, the defense of pensions and health care benefits, and the protection of their communities from massive job elimination. Working families were the shock troops that saved Social Security from privatization.

This weekend, working-class families have put on their “friggin’ long johns” and gotten on their union bus, protesting Bush’s Iraq war. They know it’s a long ride. From some places, they will leave in the dark and come home in the dark. But, the attitude is, “Hey, whatever it takes.”

The administration is way off track, and we have to take the country back. Not ask for it back, but take it back in the streets, in the halls of Congress and at the ballot box.