Today, there was press conference at the Strike Sanctuary and a rally that started at Freedom Village and marched down Ponce to the Convocation Center. We were treated to a line-up of incredibly inspiring speakers. Among them were Eliseo Medina, the Vice-President of the SEIU, now hunger striking at Freedom Village.
"[President Shalala] has the power [to end the strike], all that is lacking is the will... All that is needed... is more communication. To solve this conflict requires leaders, not neutrals" (Eliseo Medina)
James Hoffa, Jr., leader of the Teamsters, was also there (pictured with SEIU's Hiram Ruiz).
"Today I bring you greetings and support from 1.5 million Teamsters. We are with you... We hear your voices. But does Donna Shalala hear your voices?" (James Hoffa).
"We are ready for everything. What more is there to lose? Do they think we are going to lose our dignity?" (Striking worker Maritza Paz).
Two visitors were coming to the campus for the second time. One was Charles Steele, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
"If [the students] get arrested, I'm ready to go to jail too... I'm going to take my tie off and I'm ready to go to jail... We represent Dr. Martin Luther King. This [the Southern Christian Leadership Conference] is his organization. If Dr. King were here today, and I'm in his position, he'd say 'Keep marching, keep demonstrating and keep the faith alive'" (Charles Steele).
The other returning visitor was Senator John Edwards.
"None of you, no American, should be working full time and be living in poverty. That's what this struggle is about... Your struggle is my struggle... If a Republican can join the Republican Party by signing their name to a card, then any worker in America should be able to join a union by signing their name to a card" (John Edwards).