Capitol Thoughts
Capitol Thoughts Archive

A Movement More Powerful than Irene

Sep 01, 2011

By Janaye Ingram

Two weeks ago, I would have predicted a very different weekend than the one that we experienced. I would have never thought that Irene was going to make her way up the eastern seaboard. I thought that the March for Jobs and Justice was going to exceed even our own internal expectations. I could feel the energy from people calling the DC office asking to volunteer, partner, speak, or just requesting more information. But sometimes, what you think will happen is far from reality. The march and the official dedication were postponed due to Irene making an unexpected and unwelcomed visit. It was a harsh blow to go from what we envisioned to what we actually experienced.I am sure that there are those who are feeling relief that the march did not happen.

They did not want to hear what people had to say about jobs, workers rights and justice issues. They were hoping that the day would come and go without much fanfare so that they could continue to try to unravel all of the things that Dr. King fought and died for. And ultimately, they were hoping that the march did not inspire a movement that would create change. But, they should be reminded, sometimes what you think will happen is far from reality. Just because the march has yet to happen does not mean the movement will cease to exist. In fact, I would argue that the movement inspired the march and not the other way around. The people united on the issues of jobs and justice were willing to come together in a display that they will fight standing shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm.

The march was a way to take the voices heard in states like Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, New Jersey and bring them together in Washington to create an undeniable roar.With or without the march, the movement is here and it’s more powerful than Irene, an earthquake or any tornado. The movement can be felt by people who are in the communities; its electric pulse is transferred from one person to the next. I am making my own prediction about the movement – it will bring winds of change and rain down on those who try to stand in the way of justice, it will shift the ground that they stand on and will change the landscape that we now see.Postponing the march was a temporary setback and no movement has gone without its fair share of those.

We have a lot of work to do to live up to the ideals that this country was founded on and that we pledge our allegiance to. The movement cannot and should not be shaken by an earthquake, swayed by a hurricane, twisted by a tornado or even swept away in a typhoon. We stand together in the fight towards better lives for ourselves, our children and for generations to come. There will always be struggles toward equality, but we cannot stand idle as the world becomes more unjust and more unequal. Even when we can’t stand together, the movement stands for us, and as with generations before, it will withstand whatever comes against it.