Time to March

With inspiration and spirits high, attendees of the Take Back the American Dream conference piled into buses at noon on Wednesday to flood Capitol Hill and make their voices heard. The crowd was a sea of "A's" - people of all ages, colors, and walks of life proudly held the banner of the American Dream Movement. Check out footage from the rally here:   Van Jones kicked off a list of fourteen speakers, who included everyday Americans that were hit hard by the economic recession and who came to tell the country their story. Congressman Keith Ellison (D- MN) made an appearance with words of encouragement for the progressive movement. "Let me tell you the good news," he said. "The progressive movement is on the upsring. All over America the movement is on the move. Everybody - do you remember how we fought for labor rights in Wisconsin? This thing is going to move. We're going to get the justice we deserve." Both the highlight and heartbreak of the rally were the economic casualties, ordinary Americans who told their moving experiences of loss and struggle. Here are some of their stories: Linda Evans from Washington DC, a home healthcare provider who has been unemployed for three years. Her story brought her, and many of us, to tears.

"I'm asking members of Congress - give us a chance. Fight for us. We're the ones that put you in office. Fight for us. How can you sleep at night," she cried, "knowing that youth are selling drugs just to make money? Save our babies!"

Shawn Wygant of Pennsylvania, also unemployed, came to the rally to demand jobs and tell Congress to represent the other 99%. He has seen the need to improve infrastructure in his community, specifically a bridge in disrepair.

"I could take a job fixing that bridge right now. If they called me right now, I'd leave this stage and fix that bridge."

Tiffany Mellers, an army reservist and mother, now unemployed for a year.

"When I came back in July 2010 from my deployment, I thought things would be different. I thought if I sacrificed for my country, my country would be available, accessible, and accountable to help me. Unfortunately that is not the case. I'm still an unemployed army reservist, actively looking for a job with three mouths to feed," said Mellers. "Americans like me are in every corner around the country, and we're finally saying enough is ENOUGH."

Tiffany Loftin, vice-president of the United States Student Association (USSA), riled up the crowd and represented youth everywhere who are ready for change.

"This is our country. This is your country. Take advantage of it. Be out here and make a lot of noise, because they have to respond to US. We're in charge. It's OUR agenda. Make sure you go back to your states, organize in your communities. Gather the young people. Educate them. Uplift them."

And the rally wrapped up with fiery words from Van Jones -

"As of today, as of right now, the American Dream Movement is here to say NO MORE. The real people are here, the real patriots have reported for duty, and we are going to take back the American Dream from the people who want to kill it. We are the patriots."

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