I went to the pro-labor demonstration at L.A. City Hall on Saturday. As I have reported on so many teabag rallies, I'd like to make a couple of comments on this one.
First of all, I counted the attendance at 2000-2100. That corresponds with the L.A. Times estimate of 2000. This isn't a huge crowd, but I want to point out that it is well over twice the size of any of the L.A. area tea parties I attended. Here's a picture taken from the best vantage point I could get:
I want to make another point about this demonstration, which is very hard to sense from photos or news reports. I was at dozens of protests, from small ones to huge marches with hundreds of thousands, during the Vietnam war period. That movement has been, for me, the standard of a successful popular uprising. At the tea parties I went to, I was always struck by the lack of affect and real emotion that I sensed. As I say, this is very hard to convey if you weren't there. However, this demonstration was filled with emotion like much of what I remember from the sixties. This is very important to me, because without that emotion and commitment, nothing is going to happen. I guess that having your job destroyed and being turned into little more than a serf brings out more in people than getting indignant at having to pay your share of taxes.
Anyway, I found this afternoon to be far more promising than I had expected. It isn't that hard to figure out that the number of working people in this country who want to be reduced to poverty so the Koch brothers can have their way is pretty limited. We are still up against a massive corporate lie campaign, made possible by corrupt Republicans on the Supreme Court, and the only weapon we have is the truth. But, if we can find a way to get it out, the truth is all we need.