Monday, October 19, 2009

Update on sit-ins at insurers; one protester still in custody

From Mobilization for Health Care for All; next set of sit-ins will be held Wednesday, October 28. Register at their website if you would like to be involved.

We knew October 15th was going to be a special day. But we never imagined we would see Americans stand up to the insurance company death panels with such amazing courage in as many cities as we saw on Thursday. From Boston to Palm Beach, Washington DC to Portland everyday people risked arrest and went to jail in nine cities across the country. 54 people were arrested, those in New York endured a difficult night in jail, and one arrestee--Sam Pullen--is still in jail in Los Angeles today.

Sam has decided to remain in police custody until Blue Cross agrees to immediately approve all doctor-requested care for its members with life-threatening conditions. His mother was denied critical care for cancer until she staged a sit-in at a Blue Cross office years ago, and Sam is carrying on her struggle to make sure no one else in our country suffers the same injustice ever again. Bail for Sam has been set at $5000 dollars. Please donate today to support Sam when he decides to seek release.

The courageous people who risked arrest and went to jail on Thursday were simply trying to save the lives of those who are being denied life-saving treatment by these profit-obsessed insurance companies. And for that they were shut out, dismissed, and arrested. In Phoenix and Reno the companies locked their offices down to avoid any possibility of talking with us. In Washington and Cleveland police refused to arrest anyone as we sat outside the offices. But in every city, across our country, we showed how far the real death panels will go to protect their obscene profits - and put a spotlight on the real problem in our health care system. The national media is starting to take notice and more and more people are learning that we don't have to take the abuse of the insurance companies any more. See below for links to examples of media coverage of Thursday's sit-ins.

Thursday was just the beginning. The 78 people who have gone to jail in this campaign in the last 18 days set an example of leadership for us all to follow. Now we have to take all the energy and inspiration their sacrifice created and channel it into even stronger action in even more cities. October 28th can be a day of national nonviolent action that will make it impossible for our country to ignore how fed up the American people are with the insurance companies and how determined we are to free our country from their deadly grip once and for all. New organizers are joining our team this weekend to get to work supporting local leaders who want to organize sit-ins in dozens of cities. If you haven't stepped up yet, now is the time to let us know that you're ready to make it happen in your city. Email with "10/28 Leader" in the subject line and an organizer will contact you.

For too long, the insurance companies have stood between us and the health care that is our right. No longer. We want Medicare for All and we're going to sit in until they can't stop us from getting it.

We're so proud of everything you've done so far - and incredibly excited to see what we all can do now. Thanks so much.

- Katie, Kevin, Kai, Julia, and the Mobilization team

Press Coverage links:

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