Familiar faces, familiar chants, and we keep marching in circles, listening to way too many speakers, and ritually invoking the same demands: Stop racism. End police brutality. Living wages. No retaliation against workers.
The focus changes. Michael Brown and #Ferguson. Walmart and workers. The Washington football team and in-your-face racism.
The Vietnam war has ended, but children who know it only as a lesson in a history book (if their classes ever get that far), still chant “Hell, no, we won’t go!” I join them and wonder where it is that we won’t go today.
The civil rights movement has morphed and splintered and succeeded and failed. Labor has organized and disorganized and organized again.
Back in the day, Operation Breadbasket targeted filthy groceries and chains that wouldn’t hire Black people. Now — food deserts and urban farming and sustainability.
We march up and down the sidewalk, in a circle/oval/parade that turns around the two marshals stationed at either end. With a strung-out line of march, it’s hard to keep chants going. Or maybe people are tired of chanting.
Hey, hey, ho, ho / Poverty wages got to go
El pueblo, unido, jamas sera vencido
The people, united, will never be defeated
Se ven, se siente, el pueblo esta presente
Se ven, se escucha, el pueblo esta en la lucha
What do we want? Justice
When do we want it? Now
Walmart. McDonalds. And the feet go on.