A couple of thousand people rallied in Civic Center Plaza yesterday in opposition to the GOP plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare.
Led by House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, this was a politician heavy crowd. It seemed as if Pelosi had drawn in most all the Northern California Democratic Congresspeople, as well local San Francisco regulars. Note one interesting attendee: way over at the far right of this picture, that's Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison who is seeking backing for election as the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison has been endorsed by Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, as well as the AFL-CIO and some mass-based Democratic advocacy groups. He is in a contest with Tom Perez, outgoing Labor Secretary in the Obama administration, who is broadly considered the candidate of Clinton/Obama regulars. Hard to know what Ellison was doing on Pelosi's stage in San Francisco yesterday. (For what it is worth, which ain't much, I think either Ellison or Perez would bring an organizing focus to the Dems as much as local organizations can be cajoled into that difficult work. They are both smart guys who understand that people want feel more connection to a political party if they are to trust it is representing them.)
Aside from the pooh-bahs, the speakers were individuals telling stories of what having access to health insurance has meant for lives and families. It is completely obvious that the Republicans now in power don't give a damn about who they hurt. They just want tax breaks for their fat cats. Killing Obamacare will deliver a windfall to their sponsors. The losers in repeal can just go die.
This San Francisco purveyor of graffiti has it right. When times are bleak -- when country and planet sink under the barely restrained sway of greed, raw power, and fear -- it's time to restate what matters.
I write here to preserve and kindle hope for a national and global turn toward multi-racial, economically egalitarian, gender non-constricting, woman affirming, and peace choosing democracy that preserves the habitability of earth for all. There's a big order -- but what else is there to do but struggle for this? Not much.
Topics range from the minuscule to the transcendent to the global, from dire to delightful. I am not an optimist, but I refuse to allow myself to wallow within the easy bias that everything is going to always be awful. Good also happens; love lives too.
I've been yammering here about activism, politics, history, racism and other occasional horrors and pleasures since 2005. I intend to continue as long as the opportunity exists. In this time, that means activism and chronicling resistance. Perhaps it always has, one way and another.
I'm a progressive political activist who runs trails and climbs mountains whenever any are available. I've had the privilege to work for justice in Central America (Nicaragua and El Salvador), in South Africa, in the fields of California with the United Farmworkers Union, and in the cities and schools of my own country. I'm a Christian of the Episcopalian flavor; we think and argue a lot. For work, I've done a bit of it all: run an old fashioned switch-board; remodeled buildings and poured concrete; edited and published periodicals, reports and books; and organized for electoral campaigns. Will work for justice.