We Are One

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I went to my first rally/march on Monday. They happened all across the US. Part of the reason for it being on Monday was to commemorate the death of Martin Luther King Jr. The struggle for civil rights was such a hard-fought battle and strangely enough, we now find ourselves in a similar state.

I happened to walk with my local union. But it wasn’t just teachers there. Probably every major union in the state was represented. I must say, the Teamsters have quite a presence with their semi-truck. All in all, there were about 2000 people. It was very organized. The keynote speaker was one of my friends from our last bargaining team. So that was pretty cool to hear her speak. Plus, she did an awesome job!

The thing that I find interesting is that this is not just a problem here. When I was in Lisbon, there was a very large demonstration one evening. People were marching through the streets to drums, wearing t-shirts about their cause, and carrying signs.

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When I was in London, there was a massive protest taking place near the Houses of Parliament (which is by Westminster Abbey), 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. For this one there were something like 250,000 people. It was a pretty darn big deal!

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So what is everybody protesting? To me, you can sum it up pretty easily for all of our cases. The governments of each country are trying to deal with their poor economies by making cuts to public programs and services. These cuts affect a huge amount of people because they are either getting those services or providing the services as their employment.

All the while… the rich get richer, the middle class shrinks and the poor get poorer.

Something is wrong with this picture.

I know it is probably an oversimplification. But really, is it?

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