It’s 1942. I am ten years old, living in New York. The Vichy government has ordered the French Navy to scuttle its ships so they won’t fall into German hands. I’m old enough to know my French godmother feels devastated by the news. She goes out to buy the most stylish hat she can find. She was a quand meme kind of dame. Which roughly translated means “So what?” It’s a toughster’s way of expressing grief.
When I read that Bernie had conceded, I ought to have gone out to buy a fancy hat last week except I was “sheltering in place” and wearing a mask and gloves when I went out because I don’t want to overwhelm or to help overwhelm the Bay Area health system (that’s an oxymoron, we have a pay-to-play system, like all good capitalists). But even so, nurses, and even doctors are dedicated people serving on the front lines. They deserve the best treatment our prudence can offer.
The irony is that in 2016 a well wisher advised Bernie to run on an Independent ticket. No, said Bernie, (an odd fish, someone who’s so backward he actually loves his country) no, I don’t want to ‘Ralph Nader’ the election. He imagined the DNC and all its toads and lizards and bottom feeders, including the New York Times, would countenance a Bernie candidacy. What the hell was he smoking?
The powers that will always be, the two branches of the one-party slavery upholding system, the duopoly of the business party, stopped representing ordinary mortals long ago. It hues to the pantheon of its immortally stupid and greedy gods, the lying media out for profit, the people who hustle in the august halls of government. Those folks have a mansion to upkeep in Pacific Heights, a third yacht to buy, they’re not interested in you or me. They’re not interested (not like the mushy gushy Iranians) in releasing prisoners crammed into their factory-jails body to body, why should they: they’re mostly black and making “product,” or the ICE detention centers, why should they, they’re mostly brown, all folks who’ll vote Democratic (when there was the vote) or the ghetto-dwellers, or the homeless, or the working stiffs who deliver your food in boxes and bushels, or the home caregivers, or the Mexicans and other browns who get chained to truck beds at night in Florida, or who get to sleep, some of them in ditches, who stoop over the baking furrows by day growing food to keep the system churning.
In 2005 Katrina changed my life. I had no way of knowing at the time I helped the terrified and traumatized people of New Orleans I found sheltering on Oakland’s streets that I’d entered a new level of making America grate. I still remember the story one of them told me about the folks trying to leave Jefferson Parish across the city connection, how the national guard had their guns drawn. “They wouldn’t let nobody through. And then a convoy of white folks actually came speeding at 90 mph down that causeway, waving at all of us niggers camped out there, ‘So long suckers.’ They just left us there to die.”
All the establishment is speeding down that causeway now, doing us, our future and our planet incalculable harm the faster they go. And that’s why we have no other choice: We are our own best hope for the things we deeply care about: Medicare for all, reducing the wealth divide, student debt forgiveness, free education, abolish ICE, a guaranteed living wage for all (and that’s lots more than $15 bucks an hour), a sane foreign policy, and a Green New Deal with teeth. These are our banners now. We’ve gotta wave them as we come. Because we’re gonna come marchin’ now, make no mistake. Because We Are All Bernie Sanders now.
Too many actions this week to provide URLs for each. Here are the actions. Take your pick:
Insist Congress release all incarcerated to end C-19 spread in jail, prisons and detention centers and guarantee healthcare.
Who knew: UN ceasefire defines war as a non-essential activity.
RIP: Bolsonaro is out, replaced by General Netto.
Five million Nigerians oppose Monsanto plan to introduce GMO crops.
Prioritizing health & welfare of citizens, E. Nigeria researching 5G safety before deployment.
Cambodian garment workers strike over unpaid wages during pandemic.
Navajo (Diné) and Hopi families fund builds movement in response to C-19.
Australian MPs call for Assange release to home detention as C-19 spreads in UK prisons (where Boris Johnson must have sneezed.).
Cuban medical aid in Italy shows positive results.
As reported April 6, ordinary New Mexicans flatten curve with collaboration and solidarity.
With public health and democracy at stake (remember that?) Wisc. governor postpones in-person primary voting until June, but…
Democracy in “gravest danger” warns fired intel IG Michael Atkinson.
In demand for better treatment during outbreak, Target delivery workers walk off job.
Amazon workers walk off job to demand safer conditions during pandemic.
In California, fast foods workers at 30 restaurants go on strike.
Striking McDonald’s workers say their lives are more essential than fast food.
As strikes proliferate, the wave moves to general strike.
Rock star Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea, of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation wash dishes to feed the hungry.
In effort to reform California’s property tax, activists file new ballot measure.
California Democrats pass resolution supporting local control over 5G and wireless facilities deployment.
California governor Newsom toys with idea state might assist undocumented residents shut out of C-19 relief.
Leading Democrats in both Houses craft bill ensuring immigrant communities are no loner shut out of critical C-19 relief.
Jeopardized LA renters form rolling protest for rent forgiveness.
Wave of rent strikes originally started by Rent Strike 2020, sweeps across country from Crown Heights to Chicago following 10 million new unemployment claims.
Residents at Alexandria VA, prepare to rent strike.
San Francisco leases 945 rooms in eight hotels to receive people quarantined or isolated or those moved from within the shelter population or moved from the street.
City of Berkeley opens test site for vulnerable community members at LifeLong Medical Care, 510 981-4100.
US Customs to seize mask and glove exports amid C-19 pandemic.
Epidemiologists praise aggressive stay-at-home orders in CA, OR, and Washington States for helping limit spread of C-19.
Sanders and Jayapal advance bill providing no-cost health care for all during pandemic.
Federal Judge Chesney orders ICE to release four immigrants at risk of C—19.
While S.F. Mayor London Breed Disease prepares Moscone megashelter housing homeless in close proximity, Oakland’s mayor Libby Schaaf announces slow streets, designating 74 miles of neighborhood streets for walking, running and cycling.