One Nation Working Together rally

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One Nation Working Together
DateOctober 2, 2010
LocationThe National Mall
Washington, D.C.
ParticipantsSponsored by over 400 progressive organizations such as unions and political advocacy groups

The One Nation Working Together rally was held on October 2, 2010 in Washington, D.C. by a coalition of liberal and progressive organizations operating under the umbrella of "One Nation Working Together". It was held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to demand better jobs, immigration and education reform[1] and as an "antidote" to the Tea Party movement.[2]


With crowds assembling as early as 6:00 AM EST,[3] the rally began with an interfaith service at 11:00 AM, followed by the beginning of musical performances by various recording artists and groups at noon. The event progressed with a series of speeches by various figures before concluding at 4:00 PM.

One of the masters of ceremonies for the event was television personality Ed Schultz. The coordinator for the event was Leah D. Daughtry.

The rally attracted criticism from the right because the Communist Party USA and International Socialist Organization were among the 400 sponsors who endorsed the rally.[4][5][6]




There is no official police or Parks Department estimate of Washington DC mass events. Most media outlets, including the Washington Post,[7] Huffington Post,[8] and New York Times[9] estimated the crowd was in the tens of thousands. Organizers said the crowd was between 175,000 and 200,000.[10] Organizers claimed the rally had more attendees than the Restoring Honor rally, but various media outlets rejected this claim. The Associated Press said "Saturday‘s crowds were less dense and didn’t reach as far to the edges as they did during Beck’s rally."[11] The New York Times said "significant areas of the National Mall that had been filled during Mr. Beck’s rally were empty."[9] ABC News,[12] Politico,[13] and NPR[14] agreed.

Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin reported that One Nation was using a photograph of MLK's famous I Have a Dream speech on their website two days after the rally took place. The image included text thanking the participants and asking for them to share their stories. The site has since updated the page with an image from October 2, 2010.[15]


"This is true democracy and good old-fashioned organizing at work," wrote the official campaign director of One Nation Working Together. She claimed that even more attended than they expected, and it was "an important moment in the progressive movement."[16] Ben Jealous of the NAACP said that "we're not an alternative to the Tea Party. We want to be an antidote... We want to make the mainstream of the country visible to itself."[17]

Communist Party USA sponsored and participated in the rally, and Sam Webb, CPUSA national chair, said, "There's never been anything quite like this march. The great thing is that it happened, who was there, who spoke, the spirit and politics."[18]

Before the event took place, it received derision from right-wing oppositional circles, with Glenn Beck criticizing the participation of Marxist and Communist groups. He also criticized it as "truly, truly Astroturf" and said labor unions paid travel expenses for many while Restoring Honor attendees paid for themselves.[19]

From the other side, many on the left offered advance criticism for it being organized as a "pep rally" for the Democrats, and limiting criticism of the War in Afghanistan and the Obama administration.[20][21]

The United Methodist Church's General Board on Church and Society withdrew its endorsement the day before the rally, saying what "began with a clean, clear message consistent with the social teachings of The United Methodist Church" devolved into nothing more than a gathering organized in opposition to the Restoring Honor rally.[22][23] It also denounced the "un-Christ-like tone" of discourse in the country, including within the church itself.[23] It was the only major endorser to withdraw.[24]


  1. ^ "Liberal coalition rallies in Washington for jobs, education". CNN. October 2, 2010.
  2. ^ "'One Nation' rally offers 'antidote' to Tea Party". 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  3. ^ Marisol Bello, Oren Dorell and Marisa Kendall report (October 2, 2010). "'One Nation' rally offers 'antidote' to Tea Party". USA Today.
  4. ^ "One Nation rally energizing liberals". 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  5. ^ Asman, David (2010-04-07). "Who's the Loony One Here?". Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  6. ^ "Endorsing Organizations". Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  7. ^ "Tens of thousands attend progressive 'One Nation Working Together' rally in Washington". 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  8. ^ Terkel, Amanda (2010-10-02). "Tens Of Thousands Of Progressives Rally At The Lincoln Memorial For Jobs, Justice And Education". Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  9. ^ a b Liberal Groups Rally, Challenging Tea Party
  10. ^ "Big crowd gathers for liberal rally in Washington" Reuters, October 2nd, 2010.
  11. ^ DC rally shows support for struggling Democrats Archived October 6, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ "Liberals Rally in D.C. One Month Before Midterm". 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  13. ^ "Liberals seek to rally base". Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  14. ^ James, Frank (2010-10-02). "Liberals Rally In D.C. To Light Fire Under Democratic Base". Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  15. ^ "‘One Nation’ Rally Greatly Resembled MLK’s ‘Dream Speech’ Crowd October 4, 2010.
  16. ^ "". 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  17. ^ "'One Nation' rally offers 'antidote' to Tea Party" USA Today, October 2, 2010.
  18. ^ Wheeler, Tim (2010-10-03). "Oct. 2 'One Nation' rally calls for jobs". Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  19. ^ Greenhouse, Steven (October 2, 2010). "Liberal Groups Rally in Washington, Offering a Challenge to the Tea Party". New York Times.
  20. ^ Keep Left blog, September 28th, 2010.
  21. ^ "Labor-NAACP march on Washington: 'One nation' is not 'working together'" Socialist Action, October 2, 2010 special edition.
  22. ^ "'One Nation Working Together' | The General Board of Church and Society". 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  23. ^ a b "United Methodist General Board of Church and Society withdraws endorsement of One Nation Working Together rally". Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  24. ^ "Thousands Gather at One Nation Working Together Rally, Including Communist Party USA". The Weekly Standard. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2010-11-13.


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