On Tuesday evening, an extraordinarily generous gesture was made on the Daily Show, although it was probably not the surprise announcement that some made out. Guesting for what seemed a promotion of her book Third World America was HuffPo founder Arianna Huffington, and she’s supporting Jon Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity on October 30.
In fact, Arianna is not just showing her support, she’s offered to put on buses, to take anyone from New York who shows up at the HuffPo office in SoHo, to the rally in Washington, DC. That could involve a lot of buses: at fifty people per bus, a thousand turning up would need twenty buses. Ten thousand – not outside the bounds of possibility – would need 200 buses.
But there’s method in what might look like madness: people from outside NYC are taking this as a cue to do their own organising. Groups from as far away as Chicago are mobilising, and that’s a long way to go. And endorsement of the gathering has come from the highest elected office in the USA: Barack Obama has indicated his backing.
Elsewhere, there have been 170,000 committing to attending on October 30. That’s twice the number that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin’s shameless hijacking of Martin Luther King Jr’s memory garnered.
It’s a powerful message: never mind those that shout loudest – let the 70 to 80 per cent who don’t have their say.