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Swikar Patel for The Journal Gazette
Members of UAW Local 2209 from Fort Wayne take a group photograph during the 50th anniversary rally of the March on Washington Saturday morning at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.

UAW Local 2209 joins, applauds March on Washington

– About 100 members of United Auto Workers Local 2209 set up 200 yards east of the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday morning for the 50th Anniversary March on Washington.

The day started with a series of politically tinged prayers from the stage of the civil rights demonstration. Local 2209 members were jovial, posing with one another for photos while swatting at gnats with their round UAW logo posters.

"We in the house, making history, girl," union member Pamela Ross called to another member of Local 2209, the bargaining unit at the General Motors pickup assembly plant southwest of Fort Wayne.

"Beautiful occasion, beautiful," Ross said. "Loving it. Isn't it awesome?"

A video screen and towers of speakers broadcast from the west end of the Reflecting Pool. Progressive advocacy groups handed out placards, and vendors hawked T-shirts along the National Mall.

Event speakers evoked historical and contemporary names - Jim Crow and Trayvon Martin - when pounding on march themes: legal, economic and election equality, or the alleged lack of the same for minorities.

Local 2209 sent two buses to the march. Tens of thousands of people were expected to attend.

For more on the march, see Sunday's print edition of The Journal Gazette.