Last week, Wisconsin nurses held a vigil to honor the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. They stressed their deep concern about the call to re-open Wisconsin and warned against the rally scheduled for the following day.
Nevertheless, over 1300 people gathered at the State Capitol calling to “Liberate” Wisconsin. None of us are truly free if we are not safe and healthy. At the rally, people spoke about how they lost their jobs or small businesses, their health insurance and their ability to pay their bills. That part is true. This *is* the case for millions of people all over the country.
However, the answer is not reopen the economy because it’s just not safe. Social-distancing, as painful as it has been, is working and we must continue it until we’re on the other side of this deadly pandemic.
Instead of increasing risk of contracting and spreading this virus, we must stand together and call on our leaders to take action.
May Day is International Workers’ Day and it’s the perfect day to stand in solidarity with all workers and demand they be taken care of. This Friday, May 1st at noon, a caravan will gather and travel around the Capitol to make sure our leaders hear our demands. We will not gather in a large crowd but rather stay in our cars and unite in a responsible way. Bikes are also welcome, as long as everyone respects the social distancing protocols of staying at least 6 feet away from each other.
The caravan will start at the parking lot of the Madison Labor Temple to honor all workers – especially our medical, restaurant, grocery, postal and delivery workers. They should *all* receive the hazard pay and equipment they need to stay safe.
For all who’ve lost their jobs or are underemployed, emergency relief funds and BadgerCare should be given directly. This must include our undocumented sisters and brothers, whom we also honor on May 1st – A Day Without Immigrants. We are also calling to #CancelRent.
Please sign our petition, especially if you’re unable to travel to Madison this Friday. This is our chance to safely stand in solidarity with one another during this crisis. We must work together as if our lives depend on it, because they do. Please join us. Thank you.