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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tapping into anger as the tea party movement has done, a coalition of progressive and civil rights groups marched by the thousands Saturday on the Lincoln Memorial and pledged to support Democrats struggling to keep power on Capitol Hill.
"We are together. This march is about the power to the people," said Ed Schultz, host of "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. "It is about the people standing up to the corporations. Are you ready to fight back?"
In a fiery speech that opened the "One Nation Working Together" rally on the National Mall, Schultz blamed Republicans for shipping jobs overseas and curtailing freedoms. He borrowed some of conservative commentator Glenn Beck's rhetoric and vowed to "take back our country."
"This is a defining moment in America. Are you American?" Schultz told the raucous crowd. "This is no time to back down. This is time to fight for America."
With a month of campaigning to go and voter unhappiness high, the Democratic-leaning organizers hope the four-hour program of speeches and entertainment energizes activists who are crucial if Democrats are to retain their majorities in the House and Senate. The national mood suggests gains for the GOP, and Republicans are hoping to ride voter anger to gain control of the House and possibly the Senate.
More than 400 organizations -- ranging from labor unions to faith, environmental and gay rights groups -- partnered for the event, which comes one month after Beck packed the same space with conservatives and tea party-style activists.
Photos by Nico Pitney