Amazing rally! Last push this week.


What a day! Amazing May 1st march and rally. [photo by Eesha Williams, www.valleypost.org]

In this message:
1) May 1st Rally Recap
2) Final push in Legislature this week.
3) Ways to Get Involved, Internships and Coming Events

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1) May 1st Rally Recap

Over fifteen hundred Vermonters participated in the May Day Healthcare Is A Human Right march and rally in Montpelier to show that Vermont can and should be the first state in the nation to recognize healthcare as a human right and provide it as a public good for all. 

The march on the Statehouse included drummers, dancers, puppets, balloons and a thousand Vermonters carrying signs supporting the human right to healthcare while chanting "Hey hey, what do we say? Vermont is ready to lead the way!" The marchers then joined hundreds of participants already waiting at the Statehouse lawn and swarmed up the capitol steps for a festive rally. They were joined by US Senator Bernie Sanders and campaign leaders from across the state who gave a broad range of testimonials and performances, including a great skit based on the Wizard of Oz by the Southern Vermont crew and crowd favorite "A Warm Fuzzies" presentation to Vermont Legislators by Rutland kids.

Sen. Sanders, a longtime advocate of universal care, called it a "moral disgrace" that the U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't guarantee health care for all of its people. "I want you to pass a single-payer health care program in Vermont," he said. "And when you do that, I will go to the president of the United States and say, 'Mr. President, this is what Vermont has done. Let 'em go forward!'"

To thunderous applaud from the crowd, Sanders added, "I'm going to go to my conservative friends in the Congress and say, 'You believe in states' rights. Well, here's a state that has passed single-payer. Let 'em go forward!'"

The day was a huge success, and there are so many people we need to recognize for their efforts. In the little space we have, all we can say is thank you for helping prove to our legislators and the entire country that Vermont is ready to lead the way!

More on May 1st Rally:
– Check out lots of pics at our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/vermontworkerscenter
– Burlington Free Press/AP story: "Universal health care advocates rally" (w/photo): http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20100502/NEWS02/100501004/Universal-health-care-advocates-rally
– Times Argus: "Health Care Rally Aims To Keep Pressure On" (w/photo): http://www.timesargus.com/article/20100502/NEWS/100509987/1002/NEWS01
– Channel 3: "Health care rally draws hundreds to Montpelier" http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=12410276
– Channel 5: "Universal Health Care Advocates Rally" http://www.wptz.com/news/23337670/detail.html

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2) Final push in Legislature this week.

VT Senate bill S. 88 was passed in the Senate April 7, amended in the House and passed April 23. It was returned to the Senate last week, and Sen. Doug Racine and Rep. Steve Maier, Chair of the House Health Committee, are discussing the changes that the Senate Health and Welfare Committee wants. Sen. Racine hopes to have his committee finish its work on the bill by Tuesday, May 4. We need your help to ensure that these final legislative hurdles are passed. Please contact your legislators to tell them to move this forward by going here: http://workerscenter.org/takeaction

Analysis of what would make S. 88 the strongest bill possible for achieving health care for all Vermonters as a human right, and which features might add waste or distraction, can be found at http://www.workerscenter.org/node/521

For more information, call 861-4892

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3) Ways to Get Involved, Internships and Coming Events

WAYS TO PLUG IN TO HELP BUILD A MOVEMENT: We are just about to launch the next phase of the Healthcare Is A Human Right campaign to continue building our statewide grassroots network. We are looking for people interested in getting involved in Organizing, Media, Art and Fundraising/Base-building committees.  Go to www.workerscenter.org/getinvolved or email james@workerscenter.org

INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: Are you interested in getting experience working for social justice and doing community organizing?  Do you know someone who might be?  There are opportunities around the state, possibility for academic credit. Learn more here: http://workerscenter.org/internships

MAY 8: SOLIDARITY SUPPORT FOR SHAW'S WORKERS ON STRIKE: 10am, Saturday, Shaw's in Wilmington, Vermont. Info: eeshawilliams@gmail.com. See http://www.massjwj.net/content/shaws-workers-strike-1. Almost two months ago, 300 Shaw's workers were forced on strike to protect their affordable healthcare. Talks to settle the strike broke down Sunday. The company presented a complete union busting package. Plan to turn up the heat!

US SOCIAL FORUM: On June 22-26, 2010 social movements from across the United States and globally will converge in Detroit for the second US Social Forum. The VWC hopes to bring dozen of members, learn more here: http://www.workerscenter.org/ussf


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