Together we Stood as the American Labor Movement to Move the State of Maryland Forward

March 14, 2011 will definitely go on record as being a historically organized labor day in the State of Maryland. The Rally to "Keep the Promise" was the theme. Fifteen thousand people showed, over seventy-five busses packed the Naval Academy, and the AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka was the main speaker. When stepping in Lawyer's Mall, the central location of the rally, and seeing two-hundred people there two hours before schedule, you knew this was going to be a special day. As the rally grew closer, more and more people began to come. The opposition, the Tea Party had 50 people there, but even they had no clue of the energy that was coming from the Naval Academy. That's when you heard it, massive commotion coming from Rowe Boulevard, the sound of the American Labor Movement marching for Maryland legislators to "Keep the Promise". As the massive amounts of people entered Lawyers Mall, even the tea party was stunned because it never stopped, the people kept coming. The streets were blocked, the bells were ringing, and the signs were waving. That's when you knew the real American Labor Movement was here to stay.

The speakers were even different from the regular rallies. These were not everyday labor leaders that you see at every rally. The speakers were everyday "working men and women" who were public employees that would be affected by the tier system, deduction in paychecks to cover retirement options, and the decrease in prescription drugs. As we listened to the speakers, one tune that sounded familiar from the crowd that night was, "Keep the Promise". Every five minutes the crowd would chant "Keep the Promise" because even though public employees have taken a decrease in their paychecks for the last three years, the State of Maryland is asking them to take another one this year to subsidize the 2% for their pensions. They are also mandating retirees pay more for their prescription drugs. They are instituting a tier system for the young workers. This is when you have to ask the question, "When is enough, enough?"

The night ended with the AFL-CIO President letting the crowd know that this cannot happen anymore. The battles will be fought and the American Labor Movement will persevere. I must say that this was a truly inspirational night from the moderator Anthony McCarthy, the fifteen thousand people, the seventy-five busses, the workers telling their stories, the silencing of the Tea Party, to hearing our fearless leader President Trumka. I must say that it was a proud day to be a part of the American Labor Movement. As the Howard County teacher stated "We are in a story of David and Goliath. You better believe that labor is "David" and today is the day that we strike back with our rock."

The Pragmatic Progressive Forum, Wed Mar 16 2011

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