Jesse Jackson Shows Glenn Beck How It’s Done

With the 24/7 cable channels and national dailies (seriously, WaPo?) uniformly transfixed by Beckapalooza (ZOMG THOUSANDS OF ANGRY WHITE PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON!!1), one wonders if anybody will bother giving this timely, infinitely more relevant event any serious optics:

The chants of thousands of people demanding jobs filled the air downtown as UAW President Bob King and the Rev. Jesse Jackson led the crowd to Grand Circus Park.

The UAW and Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition announced the Rebuild America: Jobs Justice Peace kickoff today at the downtown park.

Jackson said the focus of the initiative is to ensure policy makers put people first when making decisions. The initiative calls for a moratorium on home foreclosures, a push for job creation and for ending armed conflicts overseas.

“Detroit and Michigan are ground zero of the urban crisis,” Jackson said. “It’s time to enact real change for working families and all America.”

About 30 percent of Detroit is unemployed, Jackson said. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., also said Detroit was chosen as the kickoff site for the campaign because it is at the heart of the nation’s economic fight.

“This is the epicenter for the struggle for jobs, justice and peace,” she said. “We have come here because we have no choice.”


Today’s march was held as a way of celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s delivering his “I have a dream” speech in Detroit on Aug. 28, 1963 before reciting it in Washington D.C.

Memo to Glenn Beck (and corporate media): This is what a REAL Civil Rights march/rally looks like.

Related: David Neiwert with a great comparison chart of Martin Luther King Jr and Glenn Beck. Also be sure to check out the Rebuild America: Jobs Justice Peace site — especially ‘Why We March’:

No group has suffered more from America’s economic meltdown than working men and women. The auto industry was decimated and workers paid the price. Urban America is in crisis and teachers, transportation workers, and all who do the hands-on work that make our cities run are the first to feel the effects of budget cuts. Unemployment continues at around 9.8%. Detroit is ground zero of this national crisis with an unemployment rate that is far higher. From December 2007 to June 2009, auto assembly and parts production accounted for 325,000 lost jobs. The auto industry has gone from a high of 1.5 million workers to 400,000 today.In Appalachia and the Gulf, years of unenforced regulation, driven by corporate greed and government complicity, have led to needless deaths and destruction in the coal and oil fields. Our national infrastructure is crumbling–industry, education, transportation, environment–while millions of talented workers stand by, ready to stem the tide.

Poverty is on the rise. Home and church foreclosures continue to mount and student loan defaults are increasing. Our cities are under siege. Public transportation services are cut, workers laid off, but fares go up. Teachers are laid off and programs are cut as education budgets are slashed. Public housing faces cuts and we experience reverse redlining in our neighborhoods. We bailed out the predators–banks got money at 0%–while we made loans to the auto industry.

We need a plan for recovery. We need economic reconstruction. We need urban policy geared toward reindustrialization. We need fair trade policies that will even the playing field for American companies and workers and, as more and more people face greater economic need, it’s time to revive the War on Poverty.


It’s time to enact real change for working families and all America. It’s time to reverse the policies that have resulted in jobs and investment flowing out of the country, creating economic hardship for millions of Americans. It’s time to Rebuild America with Jobs, Justice and Peace.

In solidarity.

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