Coverage of Million Worker MarchSan Francisco Bay Area 19 Oct 2004 22:08 GMT
10/18/04: Union members from across the country gathered at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday for a rally dubbed the Million Worker March, assembling in smaller-than-expected numbers but making a passionate plea for workers' rights.
Linking their struggle with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. by standing on the same spot where the slain civil rights leader made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in August 1963, workers from a variety of trades and causes said King's vision of social and economic equality remains more dream than reality.
"The majority of working people in America are not doing well," said Clarence Thomas, 57, a crane operator on the Oakland, Calif., docks and a leader of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 in San Francisco, a key organizer of yesterday's rally. "With jobs being offshored, outsourced, privatized, our young people are looking at a much more dismal future."