Above Photo: Leon Kunstenaar / Pro Bono Photo
Many groups in march and rally for Medicare for All in San Francisco
The coffin they carried was fake, but the “68000” painted on it, the number of deaths suffered in the U.S. this year because of lack of health care, is all too real.
In a Day of the Dead protest, protesters gathered in a slight drizzle at San Francisco’s Alta Plaza Park and marched to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s house, a few blocks away. The signs they carried declared health care to be a human right and demanded Medicare for All. One, carried by “Red Berets” was an American flag with the year other countries had instituted national health care written on the stripes. “WHAT ABOUT US???” was on the bottom line.
One demonstrator wore a black mourning veil over her face. Many carried little heart shaped pins of a black rose, a Victorian symbol of tragic love, danger and death.
In front of Speaker Pelosi’s elegant house in one of the City’s most elegant neighborhoods, speakers blasted Pelosi’s refusal to work for Medicare for All.
Doctor Ana Malinow noted that Pelosi had indeed been trick or treating this Halloween season, the trick being the lack of health care for all and the treat being the massive giveaways to her supporters in corporate America.
Vara Ramakrishnan told of how Fascists always start by attacking the women because of their power, as is happening in Texas. Pointing an accusing finger at the speaker’s house, she said that Pelosi had had the necessary votes for Medicare during the Obama years, but buckled to her supporters in the healthcare and insurance industries.
A speaker told the story of how he could not pay the $238 for his son’s medication that costs $37 in Canada and that when the insurance cancelled his son’s health care policy for an unpaid $20 bill, his son committed suicide.
- Ana Malinow (SF physician, lifelong organizer for Medicare for All, former president of Physicians for a National Health Program)
- Eric Curry (SF activist, currently running for congress in CA-12)
- Dr. Joe Jarvis (Author of “The Purple World, Healing the Harm in American Healthcare” https://josephqjarvis.com/)
- Kristina Lee (Reproductive Justice Activist and Writer, Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women)
- Laura Fielding (Executive Director, Red Berets Medicare for All & Board Member of Whole Washington)
- Patrick Cote (a.k.a. Pat the Berner, Host of Punch Up Pod)
- Scott Desnoyers (Healthcare justice activist, https://heal-ca.org/grieving-dad-wont-stop-fighting-for-medicare-for-all/)
- Shahid Buttar (SF activist, congressional candidate in CA-12)
From the event announcement:
In front of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s residence, which is arguably the most haunted place in SF, for her refusal and neglect to take action in the face of so many deaths in the United States of America, we will have a speaker lineup of local activists, representing medical professionals, communities of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ communities and leaders in SF neighborhoods which have been most affected by COVID-19 deaths.
We demand Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
- Co-sponsor H.R. 1976 immediately
- Support to bring the bill onto the floor of the seven committees of jurisdiction for hearing (No More Sabotage!)
- Proactively build support for H.R.1976 among her democratic colleagues
- Proactively work to build support for H.R 1976 among her republican friends
- Hold hearings on CMMI and DCEs, which are handing traditional Medicare to Wall Street
- Take a public pledge not to accept money from health-related industry
This event is co-sponsored by:
- CodePink/Golden Gate
- Extinction Rebellion
- Freedom Socialist Party/Radical Women
- Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)
- Santa Clara County Single Payer Health Care Coalition
- National Nurses United
- Shahia Buttar’s Campaign and Shahia Buttar