NEW YORK — An estimated 5,000 demonstrators formed a three-mile (five-kilometer) line in downtown New York Tuesday to protest unemployment in the United States, an event aimed at drawing notice during the “Super Tuesday” primaries.
The marchers carried pink slips, the traditional symbol of job layoffs, as they formed a procession from Wall Street to Union Square along Broadway, a distance of some three miles, or five kilometers, in a 14-minute protest.
“We are forming a single line to represent the 14 million unemployed in America. It’s a representation of an unemployment line, the longest unemployment line in the world,” said Yana Landowne, one of the organizers.
Known as “The Line,” the protest is a repeat of a 2004 event and was organized by artists and activists from unions, theatrical groups, and a variety of other citizen groups including Occupy Wall Street.
Some demonstrators said it was aimed at drawing attention to the plight of the unemployed as millions were voting in 10 states in presidential primaries and caucuses.
“Creating jobs is a very key issue in the election,” said Joel Sosinsky, 62.
Sosinsky said the administration of President Barack Obama has modestly improved the jobs picture but that it’s not clear if voters want to bring Republicans back into office.
“Are we going back four years to the Republican administration who essentially allowed all this unemployment to happen by the fiscal policies which allowed Wall Street to run wild?” he said.
“This is a crucial election and we need to continue to move forward. As the 99 percent we are not trusting of either party but maybe there is a best choice and a worst choice.”
“If all 14 million jobless Americans formed a single unemployment line, it would stretch unbroken around the borders of our entire country from Portland, Maine to Seattle, Washington, to San Lucas, California, to Miami, Florida, and back to Portland, said Kristin Marting, an organizer.
“‘The Line’ will remind Congress and corporations about their responsibility to put America back to work. Creating jobs is the key to a productive America.”