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