Organized labor leaders expect more than 200,000 supporters on the Mall today for a rally in support of a legislative agenda that includes national health insurance, civil rights and a ban on the hiring of workers to replace strikers.
The rally reassembles groups that gathered 28 years ago this weekend to demand enactment of civil rights legislation. Representatives from 184 organizations are expected to gather on the Mall for a march along Constitution Avenue from the White House to the Capitol.
John Perkins, who is coordinating the rally for the AFL-CIO, said its purpose is for protesters “to show their unhappiness with the legislative agenda at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.”
A similar rally 10 years ago drew 260,000 people to the Mall, according to U.S. Park Service estimates. At the time it was one of the largest political protests in modern Washington history.
In a rare split with Washington tradition, elected officials have been invited to march but have been banned from making speeches. “This is our effort to let them know what’s on our mind,” one AFL-CIO official said.