Unemployed To March On Washington
On Saturday May 8, at 12 Noon there will be a Rally for A Jobs Program
At the U.S. Dept. Of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW.
After the Rally, there will be a March and Strategy Summit on The Fight for Jobs
at the CWA Building 501 3rd NW.
Today is the anniversary of one of the most significant historical landmarks in the fight against massive unemployment. This anniversary has great bearing on the present jobless crisis. Seventy-five years ago today, on May 6 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the executive order establishing the Work Projects Administration, the biggest public jobs program in the history of the country. Between 1935 and 1941, more than 8 million WPA workers did every job imaginable from building bridges, schools and hospitals to teaching school and helping to make migrant worker camps livable.
Unemployed people from across the country will be in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 8 to mark the 75th anniversary of the WPA with a 12 p.m. rally at the Department of Labor. The central demand of the rally will be for a WPA-type jobs program for 2010. Most of the speakers at the Labor Department rally will be unemployed people from places like Detroit, Providence, R.I.; Baltimore and Newark, N.J.
The unemployment crisis today demands a WPA-like jobs program that is in every way as ambitious in size and scope as the WPA of the 1930s.
Back in 1935, the country was in the middle of the Depression, with an official unemployment rate of about 25%. Today, the economy is supposed to be in recovery, but the unemployment rate including all catagories is still between 18 percent and 20 percent, and is even greater than that in many parts of the country. The unemployment rate for African-American youth is upwards of 50%. More significant than the 8 million jobs that were lost because of the “Great Recession”, there are an estimated 30 million unemployed or underemployed people in the country today.
After the Labor Department rally, protesters will march to the offices of the Communication Workers Of America at 501 Third Street NW, for a Strategy Summit on fighting for a jobs program.
This event is sponsored by the Bail out the People Movement, with the active support of more than 150 organizations.