WASHINGTON — Despite the struggle to haul his two children across the vast National Mall, D.C. resident Fred Mills was determined to imbue a political warrior spirit into his young offspring by taking them to the Rev. Al Sharpton Jobs and Justice rally and march under the towering Washington Monument.
“For the people who are chronically unemployed, this Monday here in the nation’s capitol, they had the audacity to turn down a jobs bill. So if you won’t get the jobs bill done in the suite, we will get the jobs bill done in the streets,” Rev. Al Sharpton roared as the throng thundered underneath the Washington Monument stretching towards the clouds. “We cannot sit here while you get ready for an election. We cannot sit here while one percent control 30 to 40 percent of the nation’s wealth and you tell us that our problems are each other.
“It’s time for us to occupy Wall Street, occupy Washington, occupy Alabama. We came to take our country back to the people,” Sharpton continued. “They shot down the dreamer. But they didn’t shoot down the dream. They want to talk about honoring Dr. King and revoke the Voting Rights Act at the same time. We will not let you make a mockery of Dr. King. He did not stand for the high and mighty. He stood for those who were cast out and cast back. Just like Martin Luther King put the winds behind the back of President Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy, we are here to put the wind behind the back of President Obama to get the Jobs bill passed.”
Fred Mills, with his oldest son Noah, left and younger son Nehamiah: I’m here for Jobs and Justice. I’m here to fight for my people. Even though I have a job, I’m here for the people because it’s a crazy world here today, so that’s why I’m here. I’m here for my kids, so they can see this.
Ray Joseph, a long-time D.C. resident: I’m here to support equality and jobs and to rid the propaganda that’s coming from the ride side and the blue-blood Democrats. The Republicans just shot down the jobs bill. That ought to be a message to the American people that that party does not have a plan to produce jobs. But that bail out money, that stimulus money, they are just sitting on it, those trillions of dollars could be used to put Americans back to work.
Denise Rolard Barnes, publisher of the Washington Informer who made the trip downtown to first cover and be a part of the D.C. Statehood march, which eventually spilled into the Rev. Sharpton Jobs and Justice March. “Our marches merged, our issues merge in terms of justice. And we hope that this sends a message to the Congress [and] to the President, that we’re not going to take this sitting down.”