Chicago rally: Hands off Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

CHICAGO - It was 101 degrees in the shade July 21, and the humidity made it feel much worse. But that did not stop 200 white-haired retirees, disabled people in wheelchairs and younger supporters from rallying against cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Standing in front of the Social Security Offices in downtown Chicago, their shouts could be heard across the street in the offices of Republican Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. Protesters pledged to call the senators with the message.

A message from Eleanor Roosevelt was read to the crowd by a look-alike dressed to fit the part. She scolded the heartless Congressmembers and Senators who want to cut the deficit on the backs of seniors, disabled and children. Without Social Security, she said, they would be plunged into deep poverty.

"Tax corporations and the rich" was the rally's answer to the phony budget crisis. "It's not a budget crisis," a speaker pointed out. "It's a revenue crisis." Make Wall Street and the banks pay," the protestors added.

The rally flyer stated that 43 percent of Americans use Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The average Social Security benefit is only $1,158, but the CEO of Morgan Chase was paid $21 million last year.

The coalition that organized the rally is planning their next event. Members include the Jane Adams Senior Caucus; Illinois Association for Retired Americans; Access Illinois; SEIU health care workers; Citizen Action of Illinois; Lakeview Action Coalition; Northside People Organized to Work, Educate and Restore; and Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation.

If you're in Illinois, organizers ask that you call your senators and tell them not to allow cuts to programs that benefit working people. For Sen. Kirk, dial 312-886-3506, and for Sen. Durbin, dial 312-353-4952.

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  • Thanks for that inspirational article Bea. Got to Love Us Seniors. We are having a similar rally this upcoming August 10th in front of the social security office. Some of our youth made a great informational brochure to hand out to people in the social security office. We encourage everyone to get involved. Looking forward to this event. Let our voices be heard across this continent!!! All Power to The Working Class.

    Posted by mama cassie, 07/28/2011 2:04am (3 years ago)

  • Similar coalitions need to be set up in all 50 states.
    We need to save these programs-this is a travesty and murderous atrocity.
    All in Illinois need to call Mr. Durbin.
    We need concrete action in each state.
    Thank you for this aritcle Bea Lumpkin.

    Posted by E.E.W. Clay, 07/25/2011 2:43pm (3 years ago)

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