Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The National Mall: Ours or Theirs?

When you set foot on the National Mall, the Founding Fathers speak to you. From their marble monuments, and across the centuries, they tell of the ideals that gave birth to our government “of the people, by the people, for the people…”

This morning, I read a story from AlterNet, National Mall Redesign Could Seriously Restrict Free Speech. The story is about how the National Park Service is considering redesigning the National Mall. I think it's imperative the people take a long hard look at this proposal and at our democratic history which is woven into the marble and the soil of the National Mall. Don't let them keep taking, taking, and taking...put a stop to our loss! Do a little research, and see how many of our important social justice initiatives began at this memorable place! Don't let them take our history and allow them to place us into more little free speech corrals!

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was the first memorable demonstration that I can remember during my lifetime. That march and demonstration that took place on the National Mall grounds back in 1963, is the one that brought us the historical I Have a Dream speech delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. There were an estimated 250,000 people in attendance that day. Even the folk singer icon Bob Dylan sang during the demonstration.

In 1969, the National Mall again was one of the demonstration sites for the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. Although the numbers in attendance vary according to the source, some say there were an estimated 250,000-500,000 in attendance at the National Mall and another 500,000 attending demonstrations across the United States, including 50 members of Congress!

In 2004 the National Mall was once again the location for a huge demonstration. In April of that year, somewhere between 800,000 to 1,500,000 people converged on Washington for the March for Women's Lives.

And just last year, on January 27, 2007, the march against the Iraq War, sponsored by United for Peace and Justice, ralleyed at the National Mall to let their voices be heard against the U.S. involvement in the Mid-East. There were an estimated 500,000 people in attendance at the National Mall.

Just take a look at the National Coalition who is determined to save the National Mall as a symbol of our country's founding ideals and a stage for our evolving democracy.. Take a look at their publication and perhaps pass it around to those who you think may understand the message.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.