Van Jones Calls for Massive Day of Action to Restore Worker’s Rights

On Saturday, February 26, the 'spirit of Madison' may go national.

By Jamilah King Feb 23, 2011

Over at the Huffington Post, Van Jones has issued a call for the country to spread the "spirit of Madison" to all 50 states in a massive day of action scheduled for Saturday, February 26. "The truth is that we don’t live Bangladesh or Malawi. America is not a poor country," Jones writes. "The public has just been hypnotized into believing that the richest and most creative nation on Earth has only two choices in this crisis: massive austerity (as championed by the Tea Party/Republicans) or SEMI-massive austerity (as meekly offered by too many DC Democrats). It is ridiculous."

To that end, Jones maps out seven simple steps to return the country to what he calls its "moral center."

  • Increase revenue for America’s government sensibly by making Wall Street and the super-rich pay their fair share.

  • Reduce spending responsibly by cutting the real fat – like corporate welfare for military contractors, big agriculture and big oil.

  • Simultaneously protect the heart and soul of America – our teachers, nurses and first responders.

  • Guarantee the health, safety and success of our children and communities by leaving the muscle and bone of America’s communities intact.

  • Maintain the American Way by treating employees with dignity and respecting their right to a seat at the bargaining table.

  • Rebuild the middle class – and pathways into it – by fighting for a "made in America" innovation and manufacturing agenda, including trade and currency policies that honor American workers and entrepreneurs.

  • Stand for the idea that, in a crisis, Americans turn TO each other – and not ON each other.

And just in case you missed it, MLK historian Michael Honey outlined the historical legacy of black workers’ struggle to win labor rights. It’s great historical context for the battle that’s brewing in in the midwest.