No Rest for the Vests while we're hungry for change.
We are a people in distress. Forty years of rising wealth inequality, stagnant wages, increased healthcare costs, brutal and authoritarian policing and criminal justice, climate crisis denial, and corrupt elections have all but destroyed the American Working Class. One in three households in this rich and powerful nation struggle to make ends meet. Our children face an uncertain future that we can't possibly prepare them for.
This election season we saw the powerful elite in our country whip our population into a frenzy while ignoring our desperate pleas for help. No more.
If they will not hear us on the campaign trails, if they will not hear us at the ballot boxes, if they will not hear us in their legislative halls, then they will hear us on the street.
Put on your yellow vest and join us as we take to the streets to demand real, substantial, and lasting change that benefits the American Working Class.
Healthcare costs have risen steadily for decades. President Obama's ACA was a half measure. Over two-thirds of the American public support universal healthcare coverage. We can not be productive if we are not healthy. Now, during a global pandemic, the need for M4A is paramount. We demand Medicare for All!
The minimum wage was last increased in 2009. The value of that wage has decreased 17% since 2009. The cost of housing, food, utilities, and education have increased while wages have remained stagnant or declined. We are struggling to support our families. We demand a wage we can live on! We demand a minimum $15/hr!
The death of George Floyd brought national attention and protests to a long standing problem with law enforcement in our communities. Protesters were met with violence by the officers sworn to protect them. Police departments are frequently offer staffed, over armed, and have a culture of racism and bigotry that leads to aggressive and brutal policing. We advocate for defunding the police and reallocating funds to address community needs for mental healthcare, family support services, poverty reduction, and education. We demand Police Reform!
The poor and minorities have suffered tremendously at the hands of our criminal justice system. For profit prison schemes, "tough on crime" legislation, and a failed war on drugs, has conspired to create a disparity in convictions and sentences. Penalties for crimes are not uniformly enforced. Minorities are convicted more often and their penalties are more severe than their non-minority peers. The current system of bail, fines, and penalties are more harmful to the poor than the wealthy. We demand equal justice for all under the law! We demand Justice Reform!
The American public has watched corporate and dark money infiltrate our elections for the past twenty years. Working people's candidates, candidates not backed by corporate and dark money interests, are not equally promoted by main stream media. Their grassroots efforts are squashed by the oligarchs of a two-party system that use corporations to amplify their voice. When a popular candidate does manage to rise into the public consciousness, the monied interests of the political sphere sabotage their campaigns. This election year we saw, yet again, that our politicians are not listening to us. Corporations do not speak for us. We demand campaign finance reform and return to the Fairness Doctrine. We demand Election Integrity Reform!
Our government fails to acknowledge the scale and emergency of the problems created by climate change. Companies still drill pipelines through Native lands. Companies still flood our shelves with single use plastic that clog our waterways and congeal into islands of trash in our oceans. Our government still provides incentives to invest in industries that rely on a finite supply of non-renewable resources. Meanwhile, wild fires scourge across our country's western edges and hurricane events destroy our coastal communities. Poor communities across the world absorb the brunt of the excessive waste and and pollution. We demand action on the problems created by climate change and our reliance on non-renewable resources. We demand the adoption of a Green New Deal.
Our current incarnation of capitalism prioritizes profit over people, planet, peace, AND productivity. The Amazons and Walmarts of the world have monopolized our resource and supply chains. But, this is not the only fault capitalism creates. An abundance of work that must be done in society (in care-taking, food production, etc), is not easily exploited by wealthy capitalists and therefore remains low or non paid. MMT shows us we can fund a plethora of programs and a Job Guarantee without concern of dollars needed for investment or turning a profit, creating limitless opportunities.
Congress continuously authorizes ever greater military spending even though people in our country struggle to meet their basic needs. Wartime profiteering, fraud, waste, and ethical violations arise from the military's use of private contractors to support war efforts. Many members of Congress own investments in military contracting companies such as Lockhead Martin Corp., Boeing, and Raytheon. With each increase in defense budget spending they earn more on their investments. We demand a drastic reduction in the bloated national defense budget. We demand those funds be redirected to securing the health, wealth, and education of the American people. We demand members of Congress with investments in military contracting company's divest themselves. No representative of our United States government should make a profit off the lives of American service members.
The "War on Drugs" and it's accompanying "Tough on Crime" policies have been a documented failure for forty years. Families have been ripped apart by incarceration, people have been denied opportunities in employment and education, and individuals have filled government coffers with fines over minor drug offenses. This must stop. We know that addiction is a mental health issue. Punitive and retaliatory drug laws hurt the sick, the wounded, the poor, and those with limited power in society. Only mental health and community based care will treat the societal problems caused by drug use. We demand and end to the War on Drugs.
Sam Ronan sporting the Vest.
Yellow Vest Action at the DNC Convention.
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