Media Advisory for September 30

Esmeralda Aguilar, 202-230-4726(cell), (for AFL-CIO)
Suzanne Ffolkes, 202-637-5018, (for AFL-CIO)
Peter Montgomery, 202-744-0941, (for People For the American Way)



Hundreds of Unemployed Workers, Students and Activists to Wave Pink Slips in Symbolic Unemployment Line Outside Debate Site,

University of Miami Campus

Miami, September 24 A symbolic unemployment line of hundreds of people waving pink slips will form outside the University of Miami on Thursday, September 30, day of the first presidential debate. The line, which will run along the east side of U.S. 1 opposite the University of Miami Convocation Center, site of the debate, will draw national attention to the more than eight million Americans who are looking for work and cannot find it.

Organized by People For the American Way, the AFL-CIO, and the Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues and Ideas, The Unemployment Line will consist of hundreds of participants holding pink slips and standing in a single file line for exactly 18 minutes, from 12:27pm to 12:45pm EDT.

The line will be made up of both employed and unemployed people; students, faculty and staff of the University of Miami; and members of labor, social service and faith-based organizations. Their action will put a human face on the worst jobs economy since the Great Depression, an economy that has suffered a net loss of one million jobs since 2001.


Unemployment is an especially critical issue in the Miami area, where the unemployment rate of 6.3 percent is 16 percent higher than the national average. Unemployment is also an important issue for students: 18-24 year olds have an unemployment rate of 12 percent - more than double the rate of the general population.

A press center will be established on the east side of U.S. 1 at the intersection of Stanford Drive. Several unemployed workers, as well as spokespeople from the AFL-CIO and People For the American Way will be there, available for interviews starting at 11:30 AM.

The Miami Unemployment Line of September 30 is similar to the one organized in New York City on September 1 during the Republican National Convention in which nearly 8,000 participants formed a 3-mile long line from Wall Street up Broadway to Madison Square Garden.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way mobilizes Americans to act for policies that reflect the values of freedom, fairness and opportunity. The organization works to strengthen democratic institutions like public education and an independent judiciary, and challenges the divisive agenda of the Religious Right and their far-right political allies. For more information, please go to

About the AFL-CIO

The AFL-CIO represents more than 13 million working men and women. The AFL-CIOs mission is to bring social and economic justice to our nation by enabling working people to have a voice on the job, in government, in a changing global economy and in their communities. For more information, visit

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