July 7, 2020
Coalition Marching to Members of Congress’ Homes to Demand that Final Coronavirus Bailout be a People’s Stimulus
- Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s Humanity Forward, members of the Yang Gang, and basic income advocates join the coalition
- U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern agrees to meet with protesters who will host an outdoor town hall on the People’s Stimulus in Worcester, Massachusetts
- Thirty-eight rallies are planned at the homes of Democrats and Republicans including Cory Booker, Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer, Warren Davidson, Marcia Fudge, Raúl Grijalva, Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi, where her progressive challenger Shahid Buttar will join with a sound truck and honking car parade
Washington D.C. — With the government having lost control over the pandemic and no end in sight to the ensuing economic depression, a coalition of organizations is coming together to demand that the final coronavirus stimulus bill bail out the people and not Wall Street. The final stimulus is being negotiated in Congress and is expected late this month.
Hosted by the Movement for a People’s Party, the organizations include Humanity Forward, Humanity First Movement, Income Movement, Move to Amend, Our Revolution Los Angeles, Our Revolution Central Connecticut, United Left, and We Want Bernie Worcester.
Appalled by the Democrats’ and Republicans’ management of coronavirus and the enormous human toll, the organizations will lead marches and honking car parades to the homes of their members of Congress and senators across the country on July 11 and demand that they commit to a People’s Stimulus. Constituents will rally outside their homes and deliver the demands directly to their members of Congress.
They will ask members of Congress to join them as they share stories of the deep anguish and pain of loved ones who died before saying goodbye, memorial services that were never possible, lost jobs and health insurance, mounting bills and desperation, rising alcohol and drug abuse, the indignity of standing in breadlines to feed one’s kids, and fear of missing housing payments and facing eviction into a pandemic.
The organizations are demanding the following in the People’s Stimulus:
1. Defund ballooning police budgets and divert funds back to schools and social services
2. Medicare for all
3. Monthly $2,000 cash payments for all
4. Cover payroll to protect small business jobs
5. Suspend rent and mortgage payments
6. Suspend debt payments including student loans and credit card loans
Medicare for all, a basic income, a paycheck guarantee, and suspending rent and mortgage payments have already been introduced in Congress. Suspending debt payments until the pandemic and economic crisis are brought to an end has been proposed.
Because both have failed to stand with working people in their time of greatest need, organizers will march on Democrats and Republicans alike. In Massachusetts, U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern has agreed to meet with protesters, who will host an outdoor and televised town hall with him to discuss the People’s Stimulus. In San Francisco, Nancy Pelosi’s progressive challenger Shahid Buttar will join with a sound truck and honking car parade. Thirty-eight marches and rallies are on the action events map with more being planned. The rallies will be nonviolent, masks are required, and we will observe social distancing while calling for emergency relief.
The Disastrous U.S. Response to Coronavirus
The U.S. has four percent of the world’s population but more than a quarter of the coronavirus cases and deaths. Last week, Dr. Fauci told Congress “clearly we are not in control right now,” and that new cases could reach 100,000 per day, nearly doubling the current rate of about 55,000. Cases are rising in about 40 states and breaking records daily. Thousands more are dying from a lack of diagnosis and treatment of other diseases.
“It’s impossible to overstate what a corrupt catastrophe our government’s response to coronavirus has been,” said Nick Brana, national coordinator with the Movement for a People’s Party. “Instead of bracing the country, members of Congress who received advanced briefings on the impending severity of the pandemic took that information to the stock market and personally invested themselves in the economic meltdown.”
Moreover, he said, “Having failed to increase the production of masks and facing shortages at hospitals, the government lied about their effectiveness and told people not to wear or make masks in the critical early period of the pandemic. It took them weeks to reverse their instructions. After that, members of Congress gave Wall Street a multi-trillion dollar bailout and took undisclosed sums of money for their own businesses from the Paycheck Protection Program.”
The economic wreckage is unprecedented. About half of the country is without a job in the worst crisis since the Great Depression. A U.S. Chamber of Commerce poll showed that 40 percent of small businesses could close permanently in the next six months, threatening the largest wave of corporate consolidation in modern history. An analysis out of Stanford University estimates that 42 percent of layoffs will result in permanent job loss.
The communities rising up against police brutality and systemic racism after George Floyd’s killing are the same communities that are being hit the hardest by this pandemic and economic depression. Black, Latino, and indigenous peoples have the highest coronavirus infection and death rates, the highest unemployment rates, and the least wealth. That’s why the People’s Stimulus demands have the highest support among communities of color.
Other countries have shown that the economic upheaval was entirely avoidable. While American workers lose their jobs and spend weeks fighting for unemployment benefits, many European Governments simply subsidized payroll for businesses hit by the pandemic and have not experienced mass layoffs and bankruptcies. The European response was designed to protect workers, jobs and businesses while the U.S. response was designed to enrich billionaires and wipe out millions of small business competitors to large Wall Street corporations. Rampant unemployment and poverty was a deliberate policy choice by the Democrats and Republicans.
Things are about to get even worse. More than 45 million people have filed for unemployment during the pandemic, but the expanded benefits are expiring on July 31. State and federal moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures are also expiring this month threatening an “avalanche of evictions” that could throw up to 23 million people out of their homes.
“Cases are exploding. The curve is spiking. A second wave is building on top of the first. The government has lost control of the virus and the people of this country need to know: ‘Will you reverse the disaster you’ve created or are we on our own?’” asked Brana.
“Eighty years ago, social movements and independent parties forced the government to respond to the Great Depression with the New Deal. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression demands an emergency response of at least that scale.”