- Associated Press - Thursday, September 30, 2010

A coalition of liberal groups will gather in the nation’s capital this weekend for a march aimed at challenging a resurgent conservative movement and mobilizing supporters before the midterm elections.

The “One Nation Working Together” rally at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday comes one month before the Nov. 2 vote and one month after conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally. Organizers say more than 400 organizations - ranging from labor unions to faith, environmental and gay rights groups - are coming together to advocate for jobs, quality education and justice.

Although organizers describe the rally as nonpartisan, they also hope to raise awareness of their concerns at the prospect of major losses at the polls this fall.

“It’s critical that as we stand there on Oct. 2, that people think about Nov. 2, that they own the fact that what happens on Election Day is up to them,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, president of the NAACP, one of the rally organizers.


The march comes amid a host of reports showing Republican candidates on the rise, and as President Obama himself has taken supporters to task for failing to match the energy and enthusiasm of conservatives this election cycle.

The groups are projecting that some 100,000 people will attend.

Mr. Beck and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gathered near the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech last month to urge a vast crowd to embrace traditional values.

One Nation organizers say they began planning their event before learning about Mr. Beck’s rally, and said Saturday’s march is not in reaction to that.

However, some participants said the rally will provide an opportunity to speak for what they consider a more representative swath of Americans and their concerns, which they feel have been overshadowed by more vocal groups on the right.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, a rally sponsor, said people who want to build a middle-class economy make up a majority of Americans, whose voices need to be heard.

“We’re hoping that people come together and say, ‘We’re the majority, and we can have a different kind of country,’ but we have to make our presence known,” said Mr. Trumka.