Socialist Alternative

Virtual Town Hall: We Won’t Die for Wall Street

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Featuring:Sara Nelson, International President of the AFA*
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Seattle Councilmember
Summer Lee, Socialist elected to PA House of Representatives
Matt Smith, Amazon Cargo Handler in Seattle
Ryan Hartsen, Instacart worker on strike
Lamees, ICU nurse at largest hospital in Michigan
Jordan, NYC Amazon walkout organizer
Derrick, NYC Amazon walkout organizer
*Speaking in a personal capacity

Join us for a virtual town hall with frontline workers and Sara Nelson, Socialist Alternative Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant and socialist PA Representative Summer Lee to discuss how we can continue organizing to contain the global coronavirus pandemic, tax billionaires, bailout workers, and build the socialist movement to guarantee that the greed of Wall Street and the billionaire class won’t be prioritized over millions of working class lives ever again.

Our Demands:

  1. #WeWontDieForWallSt : Non-essential work must remain closed, in accordance with scientific guidelines. Workers deemed essential have the right to strike and refuse work until safety policies are in place. We call for the creation of elected worker committees to protect the needs of workers on the job.
  2. All working-class, poor and vulnerable people without paid work should be eligible for monthly federal payments equivalent to a living wage. All workers to be paid full wages if they lose their job due to the pandemic or the recession, including gig economy workers falsely classified as “independent contractors” as well as part-time workers.
  3. Tax big business and billionaires to fund free mass testing and treatment, hazard pay, and free protective equipment, accommodation, and childcare for all essential and front-line workers. Fund the expansion of medical training and vaccine research.
  4. Rapidly re-tool industry to manufacture increased medical supplies such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and lifesaving equipment including ventilator and respirator valves. Any corporations looking to exploit this crisis for profiteering should be brought into public ownership under democratic control of workers and the wider community.
  5. Government subsidies for rent and mortgage payments, or we will launch a rent strike! No evictions! No foreclosures!

In the richest nation in the history of the world, the resources are there to address the COVID-19 crisis, but the billionaire class and the politicians that serve them care about their corporate profits, not our lives. Trump has criminally downplayed the crisis, saying that we’ll reopen the country at the end of April contrary to all scientific guidance, and members of Congress who were warned about the impending crisis in January sold billions of dollars of their own stocks.

The $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed last week includes important provisions for workers, including expansion of unemployment benefits that Bernie Sanders fought for, but it also set aside billions of dollars to bailout corporations and Wall Street. Meanwhile, the economy continues to slide towards an even deeper recession and likely a global depression, which will hit working class people the hardest. A mere $1,200 check and 4 month guarantee of unemployment benefits is not enough.

While Democrats and Republicans alike are failing to take necessary action and hold corporations to account, across the country workers are staging social distance protests, work slow downs, and strikes to demand closures of nonessential workplaces while guaranteeing wages and housing for those not working, and hazard pay and protective gear for those working in frontline industries like healthcare, grocery, logistics, and transportation.

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