San Francisco: 1000 Nurses Rally For ‘Medicare for All

San Francisco: 1000 Nurses Rally For ‘Medicare for All

Photo: Carl Finamore

San Francisco, Ca. 09/15/0011 Today I went to a rally “To Tax Wall Street & Heal America”, itwas called by the California Nurses Association(CNA)/National Nurses Organizing Committee/AFL-CIO.

National Nurses United, who “sponsored the rally, says a tax on major Wall Street trades of stocks, bonds, derivatives, currencies and other transactions would raise hundreds of billions of needed revenue for jobs at living wages, healthcare for all, quality education, and freedom from hunger and homelessness.” — 1,000 Nurses to Rally in San Francisco  Thursday, Sept. 15 Call for Tax on Wall Street.

Some 1,000 registered nurses, from across the U.S. rallied “in San Francisco Thursday, waving “Medicare For All!” and Heal America Tax Wall Street” placards  across from the Federal Reserve Bank. “The rally was to step up the campaign to tax Wall Street financial speculation to fund a recovery program for the economic crisis slamming Main Street communities.” — 1,000 Nurses to Rally in San Francisco  Thursday, Sept. 15 Call for Tax on Wall Street.

At first glance, the demonstration seemed like an old time labor rally, with a live band and street theater with Lady Liberty in distress, by the action of corporate/wall street big wigs profiting from main street.. And then Lady Liberty gets inspired by the demands of the nurses. A fighting mood was expressed by the nurses and the CNA is one of the few unions who encourage their member to participate in such rallies.

The response in the streets seemed to echo this mood as Muni Bus drivers rode by honking their horns and showing clenched fists in solidaitry with the demand to tax wall street. Many other drivers and other pedestrians displayed similar acts of solidarity.

These nurses are in San Francisco for the national convention of NNU, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses representing 170,000 RNs.

The CNA’s Vice President, Zenei Cortez, gave a moving talk about the plight of workers in the current economic depression.

I had to leave the rally early. But subsequently I read from the National Nurses United website that “At the convention’s opening Wednesday night, delegates heard from California Gov. Jerry Brown who praised the nurses as ‘a very powerful force to communicate the truth to the people.’

“Brown said the ‘big problems we face are the direct result of the mortgage banks meltdown. It was not created by nurses, or teachers or firefighters or police. It was created by the bankers and mortgage lenders,’ adding, ‘the problem is not too much regulation, but too little. Canadian banks did better because they had more regulation.’ — 1,000 Nurses to Rally in San Francisco  Thursday, Sept. 15 Call for Tax on Wall Street

This saddened me, for the “biggest problem” facing the working class, at the present time, are the nationwide political attacks upon the our standard of living through the bipartisan deregulation and austerity programs by every local government, every state government, and the federal government. Both the Republican and Democratic Parties are now openly ‘bought and paid for’ by corporate lazier fair america.

Our biggest problem is that the working class and the oppressed have no political power or political organization that is based on our need to fight the political fight to tax Wall Street etc, to pay for the creation of jobs to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, to provide universal healthcare  etc.

Support to Jerry Brown or any other ‘lesser evil’ democrat is not the way to win a political fight. The way to win is to demonstrate our power in the streets and the formation of our own political power!

As Frederick Douglass, said in 1857:

“If there is no struggle there is no progress.

“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation — want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. . . . Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”