by Nate Jackson
You can’t stop a movement whose time has come.
More than a 1000 of us gathered across from Husky Stadium to stand up for jobs, not cuts. We stood in the rain and sleet and cheered as speakers from the community took the microphone to tell why they were there to march with us to the University Bridge to fight against the fundamental problems in our economy: the continuing lack of good jobs, cuts to education, health care, and other service programs. We can’t afford to sit around any longer.
Larry Gossett-King County Council-member, Dusty Hoerler a member of the Plumbers and Pipefitters union, Grace Yang a Registered Nurse from UW Medical Center, Jamel Moxey-a Bellevue College student, Sunni Wissmer-a UW student and Reverend Doctor Leslie Braxton of Mt. Zion Baptist Church all spoke about the importance of fighting together to make lasting change.
The speakers also pointed out that we need good jobs, a vibrant education system, quality health care and services that can get our economy moving again for the rest of us.
The 1% are doing just fine, but the rest of us are still struggling.
Three years after the big banks and Wall Street crashed our economy; we are still hurting for good jobs, education and services that will enable us to take care of our families.
We’ve had enough and that’s why such a diverse group of folks came together. Our diversity is our strength. We can do great things when we are united and take collective action.
We took our message to the streets peacefully, but with a presence that could not be stopped. We stomped down Pacific Street and onto the University of Washington campus where students spontaneously joined us as we headed for University Bridge. Chants and music lead the way as the rain continued to fall, but our spirits were high.
News choppers flew overhead as we arrived at the University Bridge. Reporters and bloggers interviewed us as we continued to chant, dance and celebrate. We were live on TV and radio and we all were saying the same thing. We need good jobs, not more cuts.
We can put people to work right now doing the work that needs doing and those good jobs would feed other industries in our local communities. It’s a win/win situation.
We marched to the University Bridge because it is one of the over 300 functionally obsolete or structurally insufficient bridges in King County alone. We need the good jobs that repairing, replacing and updating those bridges can bring to the community.
It’s not just about the bridges. It’s about the underlying problem with our infrastructure as a whole. Schools are raising tuitions, millions cannot afford good health care and we are worried about our families’ future as bills pile up and our paychecks break down.
We’ve shown what the 99% can do when they work together and today we are going to be giving out posters, flyers and signs to show that you are part of the 99% with us. On Friday, November 18th we will be on King County college campuses, UW, Bellevue, Seattle Central and Green River. This weekend you can find us across King County in libraries, parks and transit centers.
Special thanks to the many supporters who helped make this event such a success! Martin Luther King County Labor Council, OneAmerica, SEIU, Somali Community Services, Teamsters 117,Washington Community Action Network, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), CURB (Communities Uniting Rainier Beach), Martin Luther King Celebration Committee, NAACP Seattle/King County Chapter, PINW (Peoples Institute Northwest), POCAAN (People of Color Against AIDS Network), Rainier Community Empowerment Coalition, Tyree Scott Freedom School, YUIR (Youth Undoing Institutional Racism), and many more.