Future historians may look back at the October 2 One Nation Working Together march on Washington as the turning point in strengthening and uniting the progressive movement. The main labor, civil rights, and peace activists joined together for the first time ever. At least 400 other national organizations joined in. The first question afterward is, now what?
North Texas had a good participation in the historical October 2nd events. We formed a progressive coalition around the jobs rally at City Hall on September 15. For the big march, the Texas NAACP sent a bus and other people by air. Their total was 100 people. A farmer named Gordie Twerberg in Cleburne attempted to organize a bus and received a lot of applications from around the state. The bus never materialized, but two carloads made it to DC. Jobs with Justice activists Jim Rivers and Brad Walker went to Washington. By October 2, our local coalition included most of the active progressive groups in the Dallas area. Kelli Obazee, Director of the Dallas Peace Center, coordinated it masterfully.
Rebecca Martinez of UAW 218 was interviewed at the October 1 press conference
Obazee put together a press conference on October 1 inside City Hall. Dallas NAACP President Dr. Juanita Wallace made the point that the NAACP had originated the One Nation coalition to begin with. From the labor side, UAW Local 218 President Steve Andrews spoke and distributed strong pro-coalition information from his International Union. Jim Rivers and I spoke from the point of view of Jobs with Justice, the Alliance for Retired Americans, and our respective union locals. The preponderance of the speakers came from the peace movement, including Ms Obazee herself.
Obazee reports a good turnout at the rally held at St. Luke's United Methodist Church the following day. They did more than share information -- they also filled out postcards and performed other ongoing activities.
That same spirit of going forward together is carrying over to the October 18th Rally for Early Voting and more activities. Ms Obazee is planning another big coalition planning session for after the election, probably on November 13. Volunteers are calling 214-826-4808 to sign up for Dallas AFL-CIO get-out-the-vote activities, which include door-knocking and phone banking.