Inspired by the civil disobedience of the Baucus 13, members of SinglePayerAction.org and its allies, including several doctors in Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) took our call for single-payer to Senator John Kerry’s Boston Office last Friday afternoon. To our surprise three police cars and at least five armed, uniformed cops quickly appeared along with a few “undercover” agents to greet us. It is standard for John Kerry to call the cops whenever a protest materializes at his office – but usually it is some very unenthusiastic Boston cops. This time, however, it was the feds, armed, uniformed cops with cars and badges marked “Homeland Security: Executive Protective Service.” They demanded to read our fliers- no problem- and maintained their presence long after we left.
At the Senate hearings on Obama’s Health Care “reform,” Senator Baucus, Obama’s point man in the Senate made fun of the 13 single-payer protesters who were carried off by the cops when they dared to call for single-payer. Baucus ridiculed the demonstrators, in which he was joined by the despicable, narcissist, John Kerry. Baucus famously declared that what was needed was not egalitarian, comprehensive health care for all – but “more cops.” And it looks like Obama’s Homeland Security is doing just that.
The Boston demonstration took place from 4:30 to 5:30 on Friday afternoon, and they will take continue every Friday until Kerry signs onto the Single Payer bill, S. 704, which Bernie Sanders has put before the Senate, a companion bill to Conyers single payer bill in the House, H.R. 676. However although H.R. 676 now has 75 signatories, Sanders bill has not a single co-sponsor to date, another sign of the deep corruption of the Democrat Party. (Where are the signatures of Senators like Russell Feingold who recently identified himself to Amy Goodman as a single-payer supporter? Have they no shame in their hypocrisy?)
The Boston demonstration was not notable, simply because it frightened Kerry and Obama’s armed Feds. It was a success on many scores. In the space of an hour close to five hundred fliers were enthusiastically received. But the demonstration was significant on another score – our message, which was so well received, was uncompromising. We carried two large banners and they read as follows:
Kerry & Obama = Foes of Medicare for All.
Kerry & Obama = Tools of Insurance Cos.
John Kerry, Support Single Payer NOW!
And another which read:
Obama = Front Man for Insurance Companies.
Single Payer = Majority Choice.
To oppose Single-Payer, Medicare for all, is to oppose the principles of Medicare.
In these as in our fliers we launched a frontal assault on brand Obama. And not a single passerby in what was a very multiracial group protested. Brand Obama is quickly becoming a brand name that is no longer trusted – certainly regard for the brand does not trump the demand for health care. It is most appalling of course that two groups who voted in great numbers for Obama, Hispanics and Blacks, are number one and two among those who lack health care! Given a betrayal of such breathtaking and lifetaking magnitude, Obama has already taken his place among the most loathsome of the Uncle Toms in our history. The mistaken trust in brand Obama is one of the greatest obstacles to every decent thing we struggle for – universal health care, an end to wars and torture and a reform of a sinking economy. It is inspiring that people are abandoning the brand in droves and in so doing neutralizing a powerful obstacle to a decent society. And it may be that the Single Payer issue is the key to such a development since it affects people and their loved ones in the most undeniable and immediate way.
Kevin Zeese, one of the Baucus 13, cautioned that his arrest, and that of the other 12 in the U.S. Senate, would mean nothing unless demonstrations of the same sort sprung up elsewhere and turned into non-violent civil disobedience like that of the Baucus 13when necessary. We in Boston are committed to follow the Baucus 13, and we look for others to join us. For more information, see SinglePayerAction.org.
John V. Walsh can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com. The flier passed out at the rally along with some pictures can be found at http://rule19.org/pgallery/09-may15-sng-payer.htm