Yesterday Tina and I joined 250-300 demonstrators in South Dallas in support of the brave workers who are standing up to the ultra right wing Union busting Koch Brothers owned Governor of Wisconsin.
The Demonstration was chaired by a member of the El Centro College Students For a Democratic Society.
I was so proud and elated to see someone from SDS standing up and leading the renewed struggle, so glad to see a radical organization that was so instrumental in shaping me arise from oblivion. The Socialist Workers were there too and lent their voice in support of the workers in Wisconsin.
It was wonderful to see all the groups that came together in support of the workers in their struggles.
Teachers fighting to be able to continue teaching the children of Texas when Governor Good Hair Perry is trying to bust the Teachers Union and cut funding for Education while continuing to give corporations huge tax breaks.
Code Pink was there. The Teamsters were there, the Communication Workers, Postal Workers, Nurses.
While People of Color seemed under represented, they were nonetheless more represented than I see at many LGBT/T events.
There were many older people there.
With good reason. During the Reagan and post-Reagan years we have been sold this scam of private pension plans, which the Wall Street scumbags and corporate pieces of shit immediately turned into free gambling chips to use at the High Finance Casino run by the fucking Masters of the Universe.
Now older people have something like 20% real unemployment. Many are members of the 99 Club and no longer counted among the unemployed. They have no health insurance if they are too young for Medicare (my situation) and are either dependent upon Social Security or will soon be dependent upon Social Security.
The situation is particularly grim for Teachers who were not part of Social Security but rather are dependent upon State Pension programs that the “Pro-Business Governors” used as gambling chips at that High Finance Casino while totally ignoring what happened to Orange County California when they played that game and lost.
Oddly enough I was surprised by the total absence of any representatives of the Transgender Community carrying signs demanding a Trans-inclusive ENDA.
There were gay and lesbian people at the rally supporting both the workers in Wisconsin and the workers here in Texas, because lesbian and gay people face the same uncertainty in the labor market straight people do.
Yesterday women also held a rally in Austin in support of Planned Parenthood which is facing voracious attacks from the well financed Taliban Christian Right as well as ultra right wing neo-Nazi Republicans who want to get government out of the lives of the corporation and back into the lives of people.
Getting the Government out of people’s lives is exposed as a huge lie when the government wants to regulate the most intimate portion of women’s lives, the when and if of bearing children. Make no mistake about that one, the Reich Wing Republicans are so interested in regulating that aspect of our lives, I’m surprised they haven’t required women to submit their sanitary napkins and tampons for testing to assure they haven’t deliberately or accidentally prevented the implantation of a fertilized egg .
Many people who were at the rally were sick and tired of the rich waging class war upon the working people of America. Why should we be the ones subjected to austerity measures to pay for the Republican version of Robin Hood in Reverse. For the last thirty years the right wing has stripped working people and the unemployed poor of every single program aimed at our survival.
The rich have been waging class war on the working people since the McCarthy Era and the passage of the Taft Hartley Act which drove the Reds who were the most honest and dedicated of all the union leaders and workers from the union leadership and replaced them with business friendly collaborators with big business.
Since I was a child there has been an anti-union war of propaganda in this nation, one that is particularly apparent in the right wing dominated red states where businesses have the right to hire and fire at will and workers are basically denied the right to organize.
“Right to Work Laws”, one of those devious post-modern, Orwellian constucts of phrase were enacted as not only a means of destroying unions, but also as an end run around all anti-discrimination laws. The workers have no one to represent them as the corporate financed right wing Republicans did away with Legal Aid and there are no unions. This makes anti-discrimination measures meaningless, as businesses can afford legal teams well versed in defeating these law suits in courts packed with corporation friendly right wing judges appointed by Republi-Nazis.
Some folks fault me for not putting more personal energy behind the passage of a trans-inclusive ENDA than I put behind marriage equality. The personal is the political and my concerns as an aging lesbian woman in a committed relationship that is not recognized by the state is about as personal as politics can become. We have to worry about all sorts of things including not being able to care for or even visit each other should one of us require long term care. In the case of either of our deaths we have to be concerned about blood relatives who would have little or nothing to do with us in our lives suddenly swooping in at the hour of the surviving partners grief and snatching the deceased partner’s body, as well as laying claim to all shared assets including home, car(s) and personal possessions.
The way benefits are taxed for same-sex couples and Social Security Survivor’s Benefits are determined even in states with full marriage equality helps make marriage equality a worker’s rights issue.
For too long LGBT/T folks have separated themselves from straights who are part of the working class and share common issues.
For too long LGBT/T folks have treated discrimination against them as something peculiar to the LGBT/T communities rather than discrimination placing them together with all sorts of other groups and communities who are subject to discrimination, including people of color, women, the poor, and differently abled, or older.
How does discrimination based on gender appearance really differ from any other discrimination based on appearance or ableism?
Fighting the right wing and winning will not be based on a movement that Balkanizes itself based on identity politics. Winning the struggle against the alliances of the right, that include racist, anti-lgbt/t bigots, misogynists, free marketeers, big money, big pharm., big oil/coal etc. cannot be accomplished as long as we spend so much time and energy fighting among ourselves while carving out bigger and bigger fiefdoms of personal power based on identity politics.
The reality is middle class or poor, lower/middle management or hourly, person of color or white, straight or lgbt/t, we share a common oppressor, one who is using our divisiveness to keep all of us oppressed.
Sadly I have friends who rail on about how undocumented workers are destroying America, yet not one of those friends would climb up on the roofs of houses to replace the shingles in the hot Texas summer heat, or pick the lettuce from the pesticide filled fields, butcher the thousands of animals who grace our table or bus the tables and wash the dishes in the restaurants where we dine.
The four hundred wealthiest individuals in this nation control more wealth than the poorest hundred million of us. Fifty million of us are in poverty and as many are without health insurance. Millions of us have lost our homes we worked so hard to have due to the scams of the fucking masters of the universe.
But if we suggest that the corporations and the rich should pay more, the right wing noise machine cries like baby stuck with a safety pin. “Class war!” “Class war!” “Those left wing Commies are calling for ‘Class War”. As though there hasn’t always been a class war waged in this country, by the rich and corporations against the working people.
As though those who live lives of insecurity and who can have their lives destroyed on a whim by the rich who own the corporations are really free.
Time to turn off Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity and the rest of the right wing lie machine. These pieces of shit don’t want workers to belong to unions and tell you how bad unions are and yet they belong to a union.
Maybe we should turn them off, boycott their stations and sponsors.
Maybe we should realize that government and corporations are two different things and have two different purposes, that it is bad for the American people to run the government like a business and that the purpose of the government should be to protect the people not the corporations.
I suggested to the guy running the rally that maybe we should start realizing class war wasn’t just for the rich anymore.
He announced my slogan, “Class war, not just for the rich anymore!”
The rally ended with people chanting, “No War but Class War!”