Over 35,000 working people attended Saturday's Workers Stand For America rally in Philadelphia -- the birthplace of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- to demand an economy that works for all of us. This rally was called to support America's Second Bill of Rights, inspired by President Franklin Roosevelt's 1944 proposed economic Bill of Rights.
The rally took place at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia. More than 35,000, and possibly as many as 40,000 people attended.
Speakers and entertainment included AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, singer Lucinda Williams, former Philips worker Bo McCurry, Education activist Helen Gym, PA Senator Bob Casey, IBEW President Ed Hill, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Secretary Treasurer of the Philadelphia AFL CIO Liz McElroy. President Barack Obama addressed the crowd on video.
At the rally the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka said that workers are the "job creators," and "Those who say we have to downsize the American dream don't know what they are talking about." He said...
"We built this country! We wake it up every day, we make it run and we put it to sleep every night -- and it's time that we took it back for the American worker. Anyone who says America can't afford retirement security, or health care, or decent pay for honest work, or great schools, or a postal service, or cops or firefighters and teachers and nurses, well they don't know what they're talking about and we won't accept their defeatism!"
Liz McElroy, secretary treasurer of the Philadelphia AFL CIO said,
"We want to advance an agenda where it's okay to have a middle class again and workers who speak up for their rights are not vilified and people who have a decent pension and maybe a little healthcare when they retire aren't the enemy."
Clifford Glass, a veteran denied his right to vote, addressed the rally and said he had voted in every election since 1960, but now is denied the right to vote because he uses his veteran's ID, which is not sufficient under new voter-ID laws.
FDR'S Proposed Economic Bill of Rights
Here is what President Roosevelt had to say to the country back in his 1944 State of the Union message, as the country fought WWII:
"We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. 'Necessitous men are not free men.' People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.
"In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all -- regardless of station, race, or creed.
"Among these are: