The Professional Protester Episode 38 : Electoral Politics


A Tangent about Medicare for All

On March 21, 2018 at approximately 9:30pm I was in a terrible car wreck that broke my leg. I also ended up losing my job because I couldn’t walk and lost my car in the wreck.

As of May 3, six weeks and a day since the accident, I have moved on to phase two of my recovery and can slowly start putting weight on my foot. Fun fact about my accident though is that it was the same day I got approved for Medi-Cal.

For those who do not know Medi-Cal is the state of California’s program for Medicare, or state funded healthcare. Since my accident I have only been mobile because of a four wheeled scooter to prop up my leg, but staircases and even just an inch of concrete ledge have not been my friend for the last month and a half.

As a socialist I believe in fighting ablism both in policy and society, I also firmly believe in universal healthcare. Since my accident I feel that I must take the fight for Medicare for All more seriously. I have always supported this idea, but with the accident and the almost miraculous fact I received Medicare the morning before my car spun out I see now the importance of making this change. Anything can happen at any moment which could debilitate you and total change the direction of your life and health, no one should live in fear of what might happen in an episode of bad health.

But Medicare for All is more than that to me now. It is also about making sure that our healthcare for all rhetoric is not just making it so that people can see a doctor whenever they need to. We need to make sure that our elderly and disabled comrades are provided with caregivers and that those who may have physical disabilities can still contribute there mental abilities. We need to see to it that everything from the smallest coffee shop to the busiest sidewalk is safe for wheelchairs, walkers, and the blind mans cane. Don’t get me started on the problems with getting Ubers or public transport either. There is much more we need to do to fight for accessibility, what may seem trivial to some could be the thing that makes someone feel humanized for the first time, even something as simple as starting to put subtitles in movie theaters for the deaf or installing better cross walks for the blind.

Healthcare for all, is not just about medicare but an end to ableism as well. That is what the Medicare for All fight means to me. I know this is not some eloquent editorial about organizing theory or Leninism, it is just the ramblings of a comrade who is lucky to be alive.

Yes, I have other priorities to, ones personal and ones related to the DSA, but my Dear Reader I must say that losing my ability to walk for so long and the three screws I now carry in my ankle have shown me that we can’t be all talk about supporting Medicare for All, we need to be organizing to win. That is why I am going to go all in on the Democratic Socialists of America’s campaign for Medicare-For-All, because the DSA organizes to win. Yet we cannot just win the ability to see doctors, we need to win for the right of some of our comrades to exists and have the means to exist.

Sacramento Law Enforcement is Run By Morons

Alright, plenty has been written and analyzed about Black Lives Matter, racial justice, and cases like Stephon Clark. They have been written more stringently and better than anything I am capable of writing.

However there is one thing I do have to point out about the aftermath of the Stephon Clark shooting or rather I have a question to ask; how fucking stupid are the people running Sacramento’s law enforcement, and how stupid do they think we are?

Black Lives Matter has organized over five weeks of protests outside of Sacramento District Attorney Anne Schubert’s office demanding charges be brought against officers Terence Mercedal and Jared Robinet who were caught on video murdering Stephon Clark. During those five weeks BLM Sacramento has had a series of non violent protests and community picnics, mostly outside her office while other groups have been arranging vigils for Stephon.

Now, how has Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones, D.A. Schubert, and Sacramento Police Chief Hahn reacted to the public’s demands for justice?

1. At one of the vigils for Stephon a disabled woman in her 60s was hit by a sheriff’s department SUV and taken to the hospital. Sheriff Scott Jones suggested that the deputies in the car were scared of “paid protesters” who Jones said broke the car window. This was proven to be a lie when video evidence proved no one at the protest broke the window before the SUV sped off.

2. Weeks later, two black women were arrested at one of the protests for Stephon Clark at the D.A.’s office after Sac PD officers were hitting protesters with batons and bikes and verbally abusing them. One of the two women is trans and was intentionally put into holding with male prisoners.

3. At the end of week 4 of the protests outside her office D.A. Schubert responded to the protests saying the justice protest “would not be swayed” by the public outrage and erected a metal fence around her office, a piece of public property.

4. Meanwhile, not only have Officers Mercadal and Robinet not been charged they are still on duty. Chief Hahn does not even have the courage to suspend these officers for more than a few weeks despite them being caught on camera committing murder. When asked why the two officers would mute their cameras before the shooting, Hahn replied there are “several reasons” why an officer might mute his camera on duty, he then failed to actually list any.

Now let’s review, after 5 straight weeks of protests, instead of just listening to public demands for justice, Chief Hahn let two men who are on camera committing murder keep their jobs. Sacramento’s D.A. put up fences to ignore protesters, and Sacramento’s sheriff spread conspiracy theories. Meanwhile a woman was run over and two other women were arrested and harassed.

So after over a months of protests, getting caught running over protesters, arresting and discriminating against trans protesters, and god knows how many hours of blocked traffic, you would think that maybe just maybe it would be a little easier to just listen to the public, to fire and arrest Terrence Mercadal and Jared Robinet instead of making excuses for why you won’t do it.

But, you know, fuck me right? 🤷🏼‍♂️

It might just be easier for the public to replace the D.A. and Sheriff, both up for reelection this year. Primary voting starts on June 5th.