With the One Nation Working Together rally looming on the horizon, Politic365 had the opportunity to sit down with Garlin Gilchrist, II, Director of New Media for the Center for Community Change, to get an insider’s view about what this movement is all about.
On October 2, 2010, more than 500 progressive organizations, including human and civil rights groups like the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the National Action Network, various unions and trade associations, non-profit associations, religious groups, environmental organizations, and tens of thousands of Americans are expected to converge on the lawn of the Lincoln Memorial in this rally for change.
Garlin took the time to demistify what this movement was all about, and to explain how important it is at this point in our nation’s history.
“On Saturday, October 2nd, the One Nation Working Together march is really about showing how broad, how diverse, and yet how united the progressive movement is,” he said.
“We’re bringing people from all areas of the progressive movement – everyone from civil rights, immigrant rights, environmental justice, people working on jobs and the economy, people working on green jobs and communities – we’re bringing all these different subsets of the progressive left together to say that we can all work together for one united nation that’s really here to serve the best interests of all people, not just the special interests.”
According to Gilchrist, “there are three real pillars [of the movement]- jobs, education and justice.”
“Regarding jobs, we want to make sure that everyone who wants to work and is able to work has a job that pays them at least a living wage, that pays them good benefits, so that they can take care of themselves and their families,” he explained.
“Education, because we all know how important education is to the future of our country, to the future of our economy. We want to make sure that our education system is sound, strong and is improving, because there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in education,” he noted.
“And, finally, justice is where we bring everything together,” said Gilchrist. “So, justice means meaking sure that all people are treated fairly, that all people have equal opportunities to do whatever it is their dreams desire. So that means making sure that people not only have access to jobs and education, but also that immigrants are treated fairly and are really able to be a full part of this country and have a pathway to citizenship.”
“It means that we treat our environment fairly, that we no longer destroy our environment irresponsibly for corporate reasons. But we actually think about how we can work together with our environment, with this thing that God gave us, to make sure that it can treat us well, and we can treat it well back.”
“Then also, everything from equality – tlaking about LGBT issues, making sure that they’re treated fairly, making sure that people with disabilities are really treated fairly, making sure that they’re whole members of society. So, this justice angle is really about inclusion, making sure that all of us can really come together and work together so that we can be one nation.”
When asked what he thought about media attempts to classify this rally as an anti-Tea Party movement, Garlin said that he thinks “that’s an over simplification. Media tends to do that.”
“This is really not about the Tea Party,” he said. “This is about America. This is about bringing people together who have a positive vision for what America can be, not the Tea Party, which is all about negativity, about hatred, about discrimination, about racism. And we’re not about that, we’re about bringing America together with positive energy and a positive agenda for a positive future.”
The One Nation Working Together rally starts at 12:00 pm on Saturday, October 2, 2010 at the Lincoln Memorial, and is expected to last until 4:00 pm.