Guest Blogger: Joan Ruaiz
On the day of the historic unveiling of the Martin Luther King National Memorial on the Mall next Saturday, October 15, there will also be a march on Washington beforehand to reiterate some of the ideals supported by the Occupy Wall Street movement currently sweeping the country– the ideal that Congress needs to start doing its damn job of putting Americans back to work.
With unemployment hovering at 9.1%, Americans continue to suffer at the hand of an economy weakened by the Great Financial Meltdown of 2008, largely caused by the deregulation of financial markets. To add insult to injury, the prior administration giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy while plunging our nation into two unpaid wars has almost bankrupted the county. The Great Recession was nearly staved off via President Obama’s 2009 stimulus, until relentless Republicans and corporate obstruction, supported by media propaganda, brought economic growth to a screeching halt after the Republicans took back the House in January of 2011.
Although GOP candidates of the 2010 election ran on the platform of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” the only action on jobs that we have witnessed the Republican winners of that election act upon thus far is the cutting of over 500,000 public jobs, while engaging in a continuous national campaign of maintaining those massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich.
It is important to note that there are two rarely cited laws on the books regarding congressional responsibility to ensure that our nation is as fully employed as possible. These appear to be rules of law that the Republicans have chosen to ignore. The first is the Employment Act of 1946, which encouraged the federal government to “promote maximum employment, production, and purchasing power.” The follow-up 1978 Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act (15 USC § 3101) gave more explicit instructions to lawmakers that the nation should strive towards full employment, as well as growth in production, price stability, and balance of trade and budget. These laws need to be mentioned as often as possible, and lawmakers need to enforce these laws NOW in the spirit that they were intended. The President is doing just that, while the GOP-led House is doing nothing.
There are many in the media who want us to believe that no one has any idea why Occupy Wall Street is even happening. In addition, there has been little media publicity about the upcoming Jobs March on Washington, unlike the generous coverage that the media gifted the April 15th Tea Party’s rally a couple of years back. However, it can be said with certainty that regardless of how consistently the corporate media continues to misinform us, the people who have been hit the hardest by our weak economy and those participating in these two separate events, know doggone well why they are protesting a Do-Not-a-Damn-Thing Congress. It is not by accident that this particular Congress’s approval rating is at an historical low; they have yet to do a damn thing about jobs, jobs, jobs, and unless we put their feet to some hot coals, they will continue doing their business as usual, supporting the top 1% while ignoring the other 99% of us.
And so it is at this time that I proudly announce that the people have finally woken up and are letting the world know that they are tired of waiting for Congress to act, and are taking matters into their own hands, including those occupying Wall Street, and now this planned October 15th Jobs and Justice march in Washington DC.
The October 15 rally begins at 11 a.m. at the National Sylvan Theater, 15th & Independence Ave, Washington D.C. 20002. The march will begin afterwards, to the King Memorial site on Ohio Drive, SW and West Basin Drive, SW.
You can check out the Facebook page of the National Action Network for information and updates, and find a list of the the various organizations who will be participating at the National Urban League’s website.
The more Americans participating, the clearer the message sent to our Do-Not-a-Damn-Thing Congress will be. Those who have taken this country hostage for their own politically selfish, partisan reasons cannot be allowed to continue their war against jobs! So put on your best marching boots or your sneakers, and join the march to demonstrate that WE NEED JOBS AND JUSTICE and WE NEED THEM RIGHT NOW!