Marching in Washington


Editor’s Note: The following story was written by a student in the Urban Youth International Journalism Program in partnership with Imagine Englewood If, a youth services organization based in that South Side neighborhood:

When I first got to Washington DC after a 14-hour bus ride for the One Nation Working Together rally Oct. 2, I saw thousands of people walking toward the Washington Memorial.

Many organizations were there including SEIU and the group Action Now.

I have been working with Action Now for five years now. It is a group that helps people with taxes, protests against violence, cleans up neighborhoods and other community issues.

The march was sponsored by One Nation Working Together, a national group that pushes for “true hope and change,” including calling for immigration reform, lowering taxes and fighting violence in America.

The protest also was targeting Glenn Beck, since on his television and radio shows a few days before the rally, Beck was trying to stir up divisions and cause problems to sabotage the One Nation rally.

Luckily, he did not succeed. There were people of all ages and colors. We were all there for one thing – to protest against Glenn Beck. I think Beck is stirring up a lot of trouble. I personally think he’s separating the people. He needs to stop or someone will get hurt in the process, or worse.

At the protest, many people were cursing and screaming. At first I was a little confused. It took me a minute to understand what was happening. I was discombobulated after such a long drive.

Then, in an instant, I understood that Glenn Beck was totally out of line. I started chanting like everyone else: “Heck with Beck” and “The people united will never be defeated.”

Then Rev. Jesse Jackson came on the stage in front of the Lincoln Memorial and said, “People of Washington, we are here today to fight for our money, our jobs and our president.”

Even though Glenn Beck is entitled to his opinion, I think when he starts trying to take taxpayers’ money and give it all to the rich, that is just injustice.

Beck and the Tea Party are beating up on President Obama. But it took eight years to mess up the country. It’s going to take some time to fix it. We should give Obama a chance.

I think once Beck saw all the people protesting, it struck some fear in him. I think he is getting an unsettling feeling. I say his tea has finally turned bitter.

Earlier, I had gone to a march protesting Beck and the Tea Party movement. It was on Sept. 18 at the Sears Center in Chicago at the same time as a Tea Party rally in Washington DC. It was an outstanding experience. There were more people going into the building than attending the Tea Party.

I overheard one of the Tea Party people saying, “These protesters are low-lifes.” I could not believe he said that. As I was walking along the protest line, an officer got in my face and kept asking me if I was with the protesters.

I didn’t know why he was asking that, but I felt proud to be part of the protest.

The struggle doesn’t stop with Glenn Beck. I am going to stay involved with Action Now and the different issues they work on. Next we are going to Springfield, and I have to be a part of that.

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