Statement by Moratorium NOW! Coalition
The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe has exposed for the whole world to see the inhumanity and inadequacy of the U.S. healthcare system and the many injustices suffered by working and oppressed people living in this capitalist system. The current pandemic highlights the need for universal health care such as an enhanced Medicare for All. As the economy slows down, it is the marginalized communities, low-paid workers, immigrants, the incarcerated, schoolchildren and the elderly, who are impacted especially hard. It is a time for the U.S. government to launch a massive aid and stimulus program directed, first and foremost, towards working people and the poor.
To this end, we demand:
- Every person, regardless of immigration status, must receive all of the health care they need without cost, including no-cost COVID-19 testing and vaccine, when it becomes available. Free quarantine facilities must be established to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Paid family and sick leave for all workers, as needed.
- Emergency shelters for those without housing. Suspension of all laws targeting those without housing, including prohibitions against sleeping in cars and in public spaces.
- Moratorium on foreclosures, evictions, and utility shutoffs.
- Immediate restoration of electric, heating and water service for those without such services.
- Moratorium on rent, mortgage payments, student loans, credit cards, and other consumer debt payments with no interest charges, late fees or penalties.
- Potable water and public handwashing stations and bathrooms throughout the country.
- With schools shutdown:
- Free school breakfasts and lunches.
- Free high speed internet service and technology, including computers, so all students can access online learning materials from home.
- Workers lost income be supplemented by
- Emergency unemployment assistance.
- Providing each adult with $750 /week plus $300 for each dependent child, beginning March 8, 2020.
- Increasing balances on EBT cards.
- Expanded food assistance programs.
- Significantly reduce the jail and prison population by
- Ending cash bail and releasing those detained for not posting bond.
- Releasing all people in prisons and jails for non-violent allegations and convictions, older and sick prisoners, as well as all political prisoners.
- Granting all petitions for compassionate release.
- Providing to all persons released from prisons and jails all necessary social services for smooth reintegration into society.
- Phone calls and video visitation in jails and prisons free of charge immediately.
- Release all detainees from ICE detention centers, and reunite parents with their children
- Immediate halt to ICE raids, immigration court proceedings and ICE check-ins.
While Senator Bernie Sanders has also released a program for dealing with some aspects of the current pandemic and calls for solidarity, his solidarity stops at the border. We call for international solidarity and demand further that:
- All sanctions against other countries be lifted. This includes sanctions against Iran, where a major outbreak of COVID-19 is occurring, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Zimbabwe, Syria, Myanmar, Russia, and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
- All U.S. military attacks against other countries cease immediately.
- Patents and royalty payments on medical technologies and any other technologies needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic be suspended.
These emergency measures are to remain in place until 6 months after the end of the State of Emergency.
We urge all people to join in community efforts to offer aid to those most impacted by this current crisis.
Issued by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shut Offs.
Find us on Facebook: @MoratoriumNowCoalition
Weekly in-person organizing meetings are suspended during this global emergency. Instead, weekly conference call meetings will take place.
Endorsed by Peoples Alliance – Bay Area