The still-accelerating coronavirus pandemic has already killed thousands in the U.S. as hospitals overflow and health care workers describe “being at war with no bullets.” One in three people have lost all or part of their income, and many of those still working are doing so in unsafe conditions.
Instead of listening to health care experts, the government at every level has catered to corporations in its response to the dual public health and economic crises, and working people are paying the price.
We urgently need to close all non-essential workplaces, tax big business to provide economic protection for those who can’t work and safety gear for those still working, cancel rent and mortgage payments, and take the health care system into public ownership so healthcare workers have the supplies they need to do their jobs and treatment isn’t entangled in for-profit bureaucracy. In order to win these life-saving demands, working people need to get organized.
Socialist ideas are needed now more than ever. The coronavirus pandemic is exposing the complete inability of a profit-driven system to meet the needs of workers who are in many instances being left to die. Rather than backing down, Socialist Alternative is stepping up our work during this pandemic.
- We are organizing with workers across the country. From health care workers, grocery workers, to Amazon Warehouse workers and many others, we’re working to win struggles every day.
- Three million people have signed the #RentStrike2020 petition initiated by socialist truck driver Josh Collins who is running for Congress in Washington State! We are working with others to transform these millions of signatures into a network to fight.
- In Seattle we are leading the fight to Tax Amazon hundreds of millions each year for jobs and social housing. If we win, it will provide a blueprint for how to make big business pay for the economic crisis.
- We’ve launched a national blog and organizing group called Workers Speak Out to give real voice to workers on the frontlines of this crisis. We post daily the experiences of nurses, grocery workers, airport workers, pharmacists, warehouse workers, and more.
- Our We Won’t Die For Wall Street petition demands that Congress should bail out working people and the vulnerable, not billionaire hoarders. In April, we’ll use this petition to organize a national digital event to discuss next steps.
- Every day we provide coverage of the crisis and the way forward from a working-class perspective as an alternative to the corporate media of information suppression and smokescreens designed to protect the rich and powerful.
All of these bold initiatives require money and resources. In the midst of this pandemic we have to sustain our full-time organizers, our publications, as well as investing in new digital organizing tools.
Mutual aid is needed but it will never be enough. To protect workers, we need system change.
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