The Jobs with Justice meeting on February 13 will take up the possibility of organizing a major march for justice in Dallas. Join us at 7 PM at 2218 E Main in Grand Prairie.
If it were organized right, a major march would boost the progressive causes in North Texas. If organizations could come together in a mutually respectful way, everybody could be helped. We need separate contingents based on people's various causes. The overall march committee could agree on some fundamental rules, then leave it to the various organizations to build their own sections of and march behind their own banners. There is no need for all progressives to agree on everything if they have separate contingents.
The mobilizations we've had in the past were too narrow in that everybody was expected to join together on one fundamental cause. The Palestinians might march one day, the Iranians, the next; but they might not march together. Not everybody agrees on all the "hot button" issues at any given time, but they respect the rights of other organizations and would march together as long as their contingents were kept separate. Our inability to merge together behind one single thought should not prevent us from marching.
Past mobilizations tended to be mobs. Lack of discipline left us open to problems with the police. Worse, the point that we were trying to make was not necessarily the one that was featured in the news. Separate contingents would go a long way toward remedying this problem.
I know that some die-hards will say that we ought to agree on everything. Or at least they would say that everybody should agree with them on their particular issue. To a large extent, everybody feels that way, but the truth is that such total agreement only occurs in a perfect world. Most of us mobilize around one or two issues that are dearest to us, and we may or may not think that other people's dearest causes are as dear as they think they are.
Separate contingents solve that problem.
In 2006, the long chain of tiny marches throughout Dallas history was broken. The immigration reform march of that year broght 500,000 people into the street! What were the reasons?
The main motivation for marching that fine day was hope for immigration reform. The "go ahead" from city government and the cooperation of DART transportation services also helped reassure people that the march would be safe.
Both of those elements are available today. It is possible to have a very big march. With the political challenges we face, it is also necessary to have a very big march.
Nothing should be decided until a responsible march committee is formed. Here are some of the things they might take up:
1. Basic rules such as making sure that the entire event is peaceful and legal
2. March routes such as going from Ferris Plaza to City Hall & back
3. The nature of contingents such as "Organizing," "Civil Rights," "Immigration Reform," "Peace in the Middle East," "Women's Rights," "Gay Rights," and "Economic Justice."
4. Mobilizatin dates such as March 16 or March 23
5. An overall title for the march such as "March for Justice."
If this idea interests you, let me know. Much better, attend the Jobs with Justice meeting 7 PM Wednesday, February 13, at 2218 E Main in Grand Prairie.
--Gene Lantz for Jobs with Justice