In response to the success of the Tea Party rallies in April 2009, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) accused the nascent movement of being “astroturf”–a political term of art for a faux movement funded by traditional powers to give a cause the appearance of independent grassroots support.
Pelosi repeated the “astroturf” slur in August 2009 as Tea Party activists showed up in large numbers at healthcare townhall meetings.
Five national tea party-related rallies have been held in our nation’s capitol in the past year and half. If there was evidence that thousands of tea party activists were getting free bus rides to these rallies, surely the media would have made certain the whole world knew about it.
On October 2nd, the NAACP and national labor unions will give tens of thousands of people free bus rides, free lunches, free T-shirts and free Metro farecards as inducements to attend the One Nation Working Together rally being organized by a coalition of radical leftist organizations at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has promised to give free bus rides from major metropolitan areas within twelve hours of D.C. The United Steelworkers are also busing in demonstrators from across the Northeast. Even the Screen Actors Guild is ‘getting on the bus.’
Local NAACP chapters on the East coast are also offering free buses, as are the Communication Workers of America.
Rally co-sponsor the AFL-CIO states, “Unions are sponsoring some 1,400 buses from around the country to come to the march.”
At an average of an estimated 50 passengers per bus, that comes to about 70,000 attendees getting free rides to the rally.
To be sure, not everyone is getting a free ride, as other groups are charging for bus transportations. But the vast number of free rides being offered bespeaks a financial giveway by the unions and the NAACP in the millions of dollars.
On September 21st, the SEIU website published this statement about the free bus rides:
On Oct. 2nd, 2010, thousands of Americans are gathering on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to march for jobs, justice, and education. SEIU is a major co-sponsor of this movement and your participation is key to making the event a success. We’ll provide the buses to and from the event in most metropolitan areas within 12 hours of Washington, D.C. All you have to do is join us and make your voice heard for the kind of change we voted for in 2008.
The Pittsburgh NAACP is providing two free buses and lunch for rally participants:
The Pittsburgh Branch NAACP will host two buses to take us to the march. The buses are “FREE”!!! All you need to do is call the NAACP office at 412-XXX-XXXX and sign up. Because it is free, seats are on a first come/first serve basis. We are also providing a “free” lunch. Now what else do we need to do to get you on the bus??? The Tea Party called a march, expected 60,000 people, and got 200,000.
According to a post at the Daily Kos, the New Brunswick Area Branch NAACP will also give flags to demonstrators:
March with us in Washington D.C. on October 2, 2010. Event start time 12 PM. We will mobilize tens of thousands of people to march in solidarity in the Nation’s Capitol in order to protect our jobs, our education and our economy.
Buses, T-Shirts, lunch and flags will be provided from designated locations.
The Morris County Democrat Party is promoting free buses by the NAACP’s Morris County NJ chapter:
The Lincoln Memorial * National Mall
GET ON THE BUS
FREE BUS FREE TEE SHIRT FREE LUNCH
OCTOBER 2, 2010
“One Nation Working Together is about reordering our nation’s Priorities To invest in our most valuable resource- our people”
Sponsored By The Morris County NAACP
The United Steelworkers are offering free buses, lunches and T-shirts for rally attendees:
Reserve your spot on the “One Nation” March!
Thank you for reserving a bus seat to the historic “One Nation” March on Washington for jobs on Oct. 2, 2010. Reservations are free and include a boxed lunch, t-shirt and a ride to and from Washington, D.C. Please fill out the form below and hit submit. Someone will be in touch with you with more information.
Please note that an online reservation is required for each reserved seat. If you want to reserve seats for multiple people, you must fill out and submit a complete form for each person. Please call USW International Vice President Fred Redmond’s office at 412-XXX-XXXX if you have any questions about the march or USW buses.
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1923 which claims to represent over 30,000 federal government workers is offering free buses and lunches from Baltimore:
Free transportation to and from the rally will be provided. Buses will be daprting (sic) sharply at 9:00 a.m., Social Security Administrative Building, 6401 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21235. Parking lot “B”
BOX LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED!
This web page which was posted by the Progressive Democrats of America-NJ offers free rides from New Jersey:
To Sign up To Ride One of the Buses:
•Be sure to fill out form completely, include name, phone number and email, and any other means we can contact you, in case there is a change of bus schedule or location.
•Included with Free Bus Fare :
FREE BOX LUNCH – FREE T-SHIRT – FREE METRO TRAIN CARD
•Be sure to mark what size T-shirt you will need.
The page lists over one hundred names of those registering for the free rides, as well as their T-shirt sizes.
The Communications Workers of America are busing in thousands free of charge from New Jersey:
As the date grows closer, thousands of New Jerseyans from all over the state are getting on the bus! Click here to sign up for free bus transportation to go to Washington on October 2 to demand the change we voted for in 2008!
According to the Tompkins County Workers Center in Ithaca, NY, the United Auto Workers Local 2300 is sending two free bus loads of demonstrators:
Thanks to the beneficence of the UAW local 2300, the two buses will be FREE and a BOX LUNCH will be thrown in as well! It will be a grueling day, starting at 2 am on Saturday morning when we board the bus, and ending around midnight when we return to Ithaca, but I’m sure the energy, enthusiasm and inspiration we will receive from being in DC with thousands of like-minded activists and organizers will be well worth it.
Apparently some SEIU buses are not free, but are steeply discounted. In Massachusetts, SEIU 1199 is offering $20 round trip bus rides, plus they are charging $5 for the Metro fare cards that others are giving away:
Please note, that we have “raised the price” for tickets. We recently were informed that there will be a $5 metro card required and the organization (1199) that is sponsoring the buses and JwJ (Mass. Jobs with Justice) cannot afford to absorb that cost. We are purchasing them in advance and will give them to you on the bus. Thanks for you patience! Also, there is very limited seats and time left so you must pay online to reserve your seats. We will stop offering seats soon, waiting list will start. If you are low income and cannot afford the $25 bus fare, email (JwJ) and we will talk about a reduced rate.
The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) is not hurting for money, though. The union is providing free buses to the rally to PFT members, their families and their friends:
It’s time to put America back to work and pull America together.
That’s why the PFT is sponsoring free buses to Washington , D.C., on Saturday, October 2, where we will join tens of thousands of Americans for a massive rally at the Lincoln Memorial.
Reserve your seat below to ride with your friends, family and colleagues to the One Nation March. (It just takes a minute to register, and you can register yourself, as well as family members and friends at the same time.) Choose one of three locations
The Tea Parties are funded strictly through voluntary contributions, compared to unions which are funded by mandatory union dues.
Participation in Tea Party rallies is a matter of free will. With a history of union intimidation, can the same be said for the Oct. 2nd One Nation Rally participants? Even if they are given a free bus ride, T-shirt, lunch and Metro card?