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NEA President urges members to stand in solidarity at ‘We are One’ events

WASHINGTON - April 01, 2011 -

NEA members will stand in solidarity with America’s workers this weekend by joining in protests against recent attacks on the middle-class workforce. Religious leaders, civil rights groups, labor organizations and citizens will hold thousands of “We are One” local community events to celebrate American workers and commemorate the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“NEA members will be standing in unity this weekend across the country demanding the same rights and dignity that Dr. King advocated for the Memphis sanitation workers 43 years ago,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel.  “Working together, we can make this a better country for our families and for our students. We must continue to stand up and stand together for what is right, what is fair and for what students and working families all deserve.”

Van Roekel is urging NEA’s 3.2 million members to join in ‘We are One’ activities the week of April 4.

“The labor movement and working Americans are under attack,” he said. “It’s time to fight back against the coordinated and well-orchestrated effort to destroy collective bargaining and silence the voices of working men and women who fight fires, teach students, clean our schools, care for the elderly and infirm, and keep our streets safe.

“Politicians need to stop the corporate tax breaks and give the middle class a break,” Van Roekel said, noting that Dr. King stood with working people throughout his life. “As Dr. King said in 1961, ‘In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans such as ‘right to work’… Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone.’”


Find out more about the “We are One” call to action:

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing 3.2  million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.


CONTACT: Samantha Kappalman
(202) 822-7823,