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Local demonstrators gear up for 10.2.10 march in D.C.

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 5:28 p.m.

Excitement is brewing as tens of thousand of people across the country head to Washington, D.C., this Saturday for the One Nation Working Together Rally. The event, also dubbed the "10.2.10 march," aims to bring together human and civil rights leaders, labor leaders, environmental and peace activists, faith leaders, celebrities and sports figures for jobs, education and justice.

In the five boroughs, busloads of people are planning to descend upon the National Mall for the march and a program from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lincoln Memorial. Several organizations are providing busses for people to participate in what organizers are calling the "most diverse march in history."

This week, One Nation announced that actor Danny Glover joined the cause and will be participating in activities in Los Angeles. Glover said this week that in the midst of the economic crisis, many Americans feel left out.

"At a time when many Americans may feel disconnected and even frustrated due to the economy, it's important that we remind ourselves what can be accomplished when we stand united and work together," Glover said.

Locally, hundreds of people warmed up for the One Nation Rally in Lower Manhattan earlier this month. Nearly 45 groups called on the federal government to get people back to work. Unions including 1199 SEIU, 32BJ, DC 37 and the United Federation of Teachers are heading to Washington, along with civil rights groups the NAACP and the National Urban League.

At the rally, New York State NAACP President Hazel Dukes said the march is an example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy.

"When you are in unity, you have strength," Dukes said. " I'm just so excited that America will hear from Americans, Black and white and Jew and gentile. It's for some of the same allies that Dr. King marched for."

In a statement this week, NUL President Marc Morial said the organization is partnering with 500 other organizations for the march. He also said NUL is leading the fight to get more jobs and even submitting a plan to President Barack Obama

As the country recovers from economic collapse, the National Urban League has been at the forefront in finding solutions to the jobs crisis," he said. "We've been called upon time and again to provide Congress with our unique perspective on the employment challenges facing America's urban communities. The One Nation Rally is a significant opportunity for us to make our voices heard."

Thousands of members of the 1199, the largest local union, plan to arrive on 500 buses, with members coming from New Jersey, Florida, Maryland and Massachusetts.

Brooklyn registered nurse and 1199 member Janet Bowen said she's going to the rally for jobs as well as for immigrant rights, as she's originally from Trinidad

"I tell people never to give up, even if you've been here for years without your papers. But they really need to do something, like an amnesty program," she said. "If people have been here for years and paying taxes and achieving, people should be encouraged to come forward. They should know they can have opportunities to do even bigger and greater things."

Several organizations, groups and churches are providing low-cost and free roundtrip bus rides to Washington for the One Nation Rally. For more information, log onto www.onenationworkingtogether.org.