More than most mass movements Occupy was and is divided by the question of whether to participate in electoral politics. Some of the opponents of voting offer arguments that seem to say that voting is a kind of contagion, as if questions of strategy come down to what makes you feel or not feel dirty. Sounds silly, unless you believe in the Gaia principle, but sticking with standard political reasoning for a minute:
Questions of electoral political strategy are less acute here in Massachusetts, the belly of the health insurance beast (Sorry, Connecticut) where a solid Democratic base makes the specter of spoiler candidates less scary. This is probably why the Green Party has had some success. Here are their candidates:…. http://www.green-rainbow.org/
Nonetheless, what voting does do is take the attention away from the real problem, which is, as usual, the system itself. It is not voting per se that is the problem rather it is the winner take all electoral system which like for profit healthcare doesn’t belong in a civilized world. We should follow older wiser Europe and institute proportional representation, instant runoff voting and nationalize the health insurance industry.
Short of succeeding from the union and creating bioregion states this is not a problem that can be solved by DIY, disintermediation, or goat farms. So if you want to change the system volunteer with these folks: http://www.fairvote.org/
But Who Should I Vote For?
In this the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary season, the get out the vote calls have begun. The state employee labor unions are shilling for the candidate they assume will be their new boss. They get out the vote, he or she guarantees their contracts, the health insurance companies are assured of fat & excellent union health insurance fees. The other candidate has made a simple declaration in favor of single payer healthcare.
Don Berwick: It is time to find a way to get to yes on a single payer system in Massachusetts.
The other two are offer:
Martha Coakly: Continue to bring down the cost of healthcare and energy.
Steve Grossman: “If earned sick time is not law by 2015, it will be the first bill I file as governor.
Like the financial sector and the cheat on your taxes industry, the health care industry plays a key role in keeping the 1% in power. The fact that does so by sucking the life blood out of those it purports to help while making a mockery of Christ the Healer, well, such is life in America.
We could all follow Walter White’s example and when the health insurance companies have us in their death grip, go over to the dark side, create more death, more sickness. But we have chemical companies for that—wouldn’t it make more sense to nationalize the drug trade and use the profits to fund a healthcare system? If drugs, like cannabis, really are only being used for medicinal purposes (LMAO), don’t they belong under the purview of a nationalized healthcare system? Wouldn’t we all feel a little safer if some entity under at least nominal democratic control were in charge of the drugs, as opposed to Gus, Walt, Mike and Jesse? Or we could just wait until countries like Uruguay have us by our drug addict short hairs.
But I digress. The moment has come. This editorialist is with brother Malcolm, “By any means necessary.”
The struggle for universal healthcare coverage has been waged incrementally and electorally. Generations of liberals have slowly increased the health insurance companies’ market share by creating a system of fee-based rationing the complexity of which is rivaled only by Title 26, the 17 volume federal tax code. Nobody understands either one and yet participation in both is mandatory.
Stop the Bleeding.
If Don Berwick even hints that he can stop funding the health insurance companies he deserves a chance Vote for Don Berwick and the Green party candidates. If you feel kind of sick afterwards, wash your hands. It’s the right thing to do.
Thursday, September 4, 2014 – 11:15am
Fast-food workers in Boston are escalating their fight for better pay and better conditions at the workplace.
In July, Boston-area fast-food workers attended a convention where they vowed to do whatever it takes to win $15 and the right to form a union. Please join us for a fast-food worker rally on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 11:15 am. (facebook link is external) https://www.facebook.com/events/573002842822852 We will be meeting downtown at the Irish Famine Memorial located at the intersection of Washington and Milk Streets.
Thursday, September 4, 2014 – 10:00am
Across Massachusetts and the nation, more homecare workers like you are joining the Fight for $15 everyday! That means we want $15 per hour so we can survive and support our families while providing quality care!
Are you ready to speakout for $15/hr for homecare workers? How would $15/hr improve your life? To RSVP or share your story, email Natacha.Perez(AT)SEIU.org.
FACT: Did you know the state recently boosted homecare funding for private agencies by $6 million dollars? We want to make sure that money is used to help improve homecare wages and access for seniors and people with disabilities! If you agree, join us at the speakout!
Homecare workers: We are uniting for higher wages to recognize the important care we provide! Seniors and people with disabilities count on us to live independently, but we can’t live on low wages that don’t pay the bills. If you are a homecare worker… JOIN US!
Together, we will speak out about the importance of homecare — and the workers who make homecare possible.
This event is supported by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Jobs with Justice, the #WageAction Coalition, MassUniting, Chinese Progressive Association, and more!
Major mobilizations are an important tool in political movements, a chance to stand together and demand the attention of those in power. However, convergences can also be hectic and stressful environments and protesters may be exposed to physical hazards such as poor weather conditions and militarized police crowd control tactics. In order to sustain our movements in the face of these obstacles, it is important to know how to keep yourself and other safe an healthy.
In preparation for the Peoples Climate March, the Boston Street Medics will hold a Protester Health and Safety training on Sunday, September 7th from 2-4pm at the Bikes Not Bombs Hub, 284 Amory St. in the Brewery Complex in Jamaica Plain. The space is mobility accessible, near Stony Brook Station on the orange line, and there is on- and off-street parking.
This session will cover the basics of buddy and affinity group safety, weather-related illness, police/arrest safety and advocacy, special needs and chronic illness awareness, and post-action emotional self-care. The focus of this training is on injury and illness prevention, staying safe in the streets, and knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do. There is no cost to attend the session, but please RSVP by Thursday, September 4th at http://tinyurl.com/PCMBosHS. Please email bostonstreetmedics(AT)riseup.net with any questions.
The 30th Annual Bread and Roses Heritage Festival will be held, as always, on Labor Day. This year on Monday, September 1st, 2014!
It is a FREE, open air, labor and social justice event, on the Lawrence Common, from noon to 5:00 PM
Enjoy an electric day of musical, dance, and theatrical performances from a diverse range of cultures from American Folk, Salsa, Blues, Celtic, Hip Hop, and more!
Hungry? Stroll down the walkway of food vendors to choose BBQ, Dominican, Turkish, Vietnamese, Mexican, and other international treats!
Have Children? The Kidz Zone will surely put a smile on children young and old! With pony rides, face painting, hula hooping, a juggler, and even story telling!
Social justice? Our row of information vendors brings together community groups and non-profits from around the area to have discussions with visitors on the many issues we face, provide resources for those who need help, and opportunities for those wanting to get involved further.
Like to learn? Lawrence History Live and the workshop tents are the spot for you. Not only will you get historical mentions and reenactments on the main stage, but these tents provide a deeper look into past events, such as the Bread & Roses Strike of 1912, immigration history of the area, present day labor and social efforts, as well as introductory classes on traditional and new organizing models.
Make a donation:
Bread & Roses Heritage
P.O. Box 1137
Lawrence, MA 01842