The Rapidian

We are the People, and this is our funeral: Death of the Middle Class March

We Are the People (Grand Rapids) is hosting the Death of the Middle Class March on Saturday Nov 5th 2011. Starting at 11 am at the intersection of Ottawa St and Pearl St downtown, the march will emulate a New Orleans-style funeral (also called a “second line”).
Underwriting support from:

About We Are The People

 

 

We Are the People is a diverse state-based organization forming to push back against the painful attacks on the middle- and working-classes that have been coming out of Lansing.  

 

We are the People (Grand Rapids) is hosting the Death of the Middle Class March on Saturday Nov 5th 2011. Starting at 11 a.m. at the intersection of Ottawa Street and Pearl Street in downtown Grand Rapids, the march will emulate a New Orleans-style funeral, also called a “second line."

In a New Orleans style funeral, musicians playing a wide variety of instruments march behind the funeral procession (hence the term "second line") playing somber, mournful music on the way to the cemetery. On the way back from the cemetery, the music usually takes on a more jovial tone to turn the procession into a celebration of the life of the deceased, and an active appreciation of the life those left behind still possess.

Born out of collective frustration over the current difficult economic circumstances and political atmosphere in the United States, the Death of the Middle Class March is billed as a funeral to commemorate the death of the middle class in America.

The March will end at Calder Plaza where there will be speakers, donuts, hot cocoa, ect.

Among the many reasons listed for the mock funeral/march, We are the People lists issues such as Michigan’s high unemployment, cuts to K-12 education funding, cuts to college level funding, the new 48 month low-income assistance timeline, the taxing of senior’s pensions, reduction of the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the introduction of the “Right to Work” bill.

Particular focus has been directed to the fact that America has an income-gap between the rich and the poor that has effectively killed the middle class. US income equality is now 93rd in the world, below Egypt, India, China and Iran.

To participate in the funeral march, people are encouraged to dress in black, silver and grey tones. People are encouraged to bring instruments or any type of noise making devices they feel is appropriate. Even for people that lack an instrument, bringing a jar full of dried beans or a pot and wooden spoon are encouraged.

Organizers expect local unions, recently unemployed professionals, teachers and families to attend to show support for the event. Representatives from Industrial Workers of the World and Occupy Grand Rapids are also expected to be in attendance to demonstrate solidarity.

Information on their website describes We Are the People as “a diverse state-based organization forming to push back against the painful attacks on the middle- and working-classes that have been coming out of Lansing.”

Disclosure: Scott Warren is a registered voter and community activist currently working with the Occupy Grand Rapids movement.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.

Browse