In an effort to “overshadow” Glenn Beck’s rally in D.C. last month, about 300 liberal organizations are planning to congregate in Washington on Saturday, predicting a crowd of hundreds of thousands of supporters. The groups, including the NAACP the AFL-CIO, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, are sponsoring a march as part of the demonstration, and they’re hoping to take the national spotlight off of the tea party.
“The Tea Party has been getting much more media attention than it deserves, and it’s been saying it represents the voice of middle-class America,” said George Gresham, president of 1199 S.E.I.U., a New York health care union local, who says his union has chartered 500 buses to carry 25,000 union members to the rally. “A lot of us feel we have to get a different voice out there speaking for working people, one respecting the diversity of this country, which the Tea Party does not.”
The rally is not specifically aiming to support Obama or the Democrats but “rather to hold all of Washington, Democrats and Republicans, accountable for not doing more to fix the nation’s problems.” As for that other upcoming rally dominating headlines as of late, sponsors said their demonstration “complements, rather than competes with” Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity, and Gresham issued an invitation for Stewart to speak at this Saturday’s event. Sponsors are slightly more competitive when it comes to Beckapalooza, however: “We believe that our satellite photos will stack up nicely to his satellite photos,” NAACP president Benjamin Jealous said.