Rise Up for Medicare for All

November 10, 3:45pm, Pioneer Courthouse Square

On November 10th, the Supreme Court will decide whether to strip health insurance from millions of Americans in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic – the same pandemic that has already claimed approximately a quarter of a million American lives, and left millions with long-term health effects. It’s clear that the American healthcare system is at a tipping point.

At this moment of change, we must fight to defend protections for pre-existing conditions and the Medicaid expansion. However, we must also seize this moment to demand a system that leaves no one behind. We can’t go back. We must move forward to Medicare for All.

Join us at this socially distanced rally and press conference in support of Medicare for All. Bring a mask, bring a sign (if you have one), and bring a friend. Together, we can win this fight.

This event is co-sponsored by Health Care for All Oregon – Action, Portland Democratic Socialists of America & Portland Jobs with Justice.

Defend Democracy Uprising

No one should be disenfranchised because of where they live, the color of their skin or their income. But we have witnessed a strategic and sustained effort by the President and his political allies to suppress the vote and undermine our electoral process – all with the intention of illegally maintaining power and subverting the will of the people. But we won’t let him divide us. Already we are joining together across our differences to vote in record numbers, and, if necessary, we are prepared to take to the streets to defend our democracy.

This action was organized the the Defend Democracy Coalition. We are joining together across our differences to vote in record numbers, and, if necessary, we are prepared to take to the streets to defend our democracy.

The Portland Raging Grannies attended to support the marches through dance.

No Military Drone Testing in Portland

Verizon wants to bring a drone testing facility to North Portland, near Cathedral Park. They don’t think there is any problem with testing drones up and down the Willamette because, as they told neighbors, “no one uses the river anyway.”

After a summer when racial justice protesters were surveilled by military drones, a coalition of community groups has come together to resist this plan—which would include testing of technology that could be used by the Department of Defense in their surveillance drone program. We showed up to tell Verizon, the Port of Portland, and Verizon’s lobbyists at Strategies360 that this misuse of land, threat to wildlife, and impact on North Portland neighborhoods is absolutely unacceptable. The potential for this drone technology to negatively impact human rights both at home and internationally is another major reason to oppose this facility.

On Sunday, November 1 at 12 pm we gathered for a rally and kayak flotilla at the Cathedral Park Boat Launch to show that we use the river, and Verizon’s creepy drones aren’t welcome in Portland!

No Halloween on a Dead Planet

Extinction Rebellion (XR) PDX held a Halloween protest march, and the Raging Grannies were there.

After the march, the group engaged in disruptive civil disobedience, blocking SE Hawthorne Street. The Grannies supported from the sidewalk.

Video of the event by XR America

The Black Existence March

The Portland Raging Grannies attended this Unite Oregon march as support for the Black participants. We provided a few signs for marchers and went along, on the sidelines, to be a shield for them.

We support Black Lives Matter and are willing to help the movement the best way we can.

“Don’t Let Democracy Die” March

The Portland Raging Grannies, in mourning black and carrying a mock coffin, marched from Lownsdale Park to Pioneer Courthouse Square at 2:00 P.M. on Sunday, September 27, 2020 to encourage voting by all.

Democracy means the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Who people are, and how authority is shared among them, are core issues for democratic theory, development and constitution. Cornerstones include freedom of assembly and speech, inclusiveness and equality, membership, consent, voting, right to life and minority rights.

The Raging Grannies are deeply concerned that the right to vote and access to voting this year especially is threatened. Democracy is in danger as is our constitution. It is crucial that all who are able register their vote this November.

REMARKS

Good Sunday Afternoon, Everybody & Thank you all for joining us, The Portland Raging Grannies, as we conclude our “Don’t Let Democracy Die” March here in “Portland’s Living Room”, the place designed to welcome us all regardless of who we are or where we came from; the place where we all belong regardless of our age, our abilities, the color of our skin, or whom we love.  This is OUR Pioneer Courthouse Square, a place where we come to celebrate, to protest, to sing and dance and listen to music and make speeches; a place where, even during these strange times of uncertainty and social distancing, we come to be together in community.  Take just a moment to look around and let our eyes smile at each other over our masks.  

We are here today to remind ourselves what that great experiment called Democracy looks like .….  to remember the words Government Of the People, By the People, and For the People; essentially a system in which it is We The People who have absolute rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, who are meant to have both equal opportunity and equal protection under the Law, and who have the authority to not only choose our leaders but to remove those leaders should they fail in their sworn commitment to uphold the Constitution.

Today we are at a crisis point and we are concerned, not just for ourselves, but for our children and our children’s children. We live in the eye of a Pandemic, with our planet’s clock ticking away the hours to irreversible climate change.  We are in the midst of a year of enormous challenges …. from a virus that has already caused the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans to Police Brutality and wanton indifference to Black Lives; from devastating hurricanes to Climate Wildfires burning out of control…

And from an out-of-control Would-Be Dictator, a White Supremist worshiper of nothing but personal and corporate greed, who talks openly about “getting rid of the ballots”, who with his handpicked posse has been quietly setting the stage not for a peaceful transfer of power, but for a coup.

On the 100-year anniversary of finally acquiring the vote,  WE THE WOMEN PEOPLE especially cannot let that happen. WE THE PEOPLE, ALL THE PEOPLE must not let our democracy die. WE THE PEOPLE must Show Up, Step up and Stand up NOW. RIGHT NOW! At the very least, WE MUST VOTE!  The deadline for Voter Registration in Oregon is October 13th.   If you’ve never voted before, NOW is the time to start.   THIS YEAR, WE MUST VOTE AS IF OUR VERY LIVES, OUR VERY DEMOCRACY, AND OUR VERY PLANET depend on it. Because they do. 

Can we close our time together this afternoon by speaking in one voice:   DON’T LET DEMOCRACY DIE.  VOTE!  

Thank You.
Sulima Malzin
for the Portland Raging Grannies

Memorial Vigil to Honor Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Portland Raging Grannies held a vigil for the Notorious RBG on Thursday, September 24. 

After a brief memoriam and readings, we marched across Tilikum Crossing, the Bridge of the People. Words and photos of the event follow.

WELCOMING WORDS FOR RBG MEMORIAL

Hello and thank you so much for joining us, the Portland Raging Grannies, here tonight on The People’s Bridge, as we take time to honor, perhaps the greatest of America’s Great Ladies.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a woman who loved life and lived it large in every sense of the word. The brilliant light of her indomitable spirit has shone far and wide, and though the tiny body in which that spirit was housed for 87 and a half years has left us, there is no doubt that light will continue to shine as a beacon for generations of women to come.  As admired and “notorious” as she was, Ruth Bader Ginsburg never lost her humility. She was always ready to recognize and honor those who paved the way for her, even as she was breaking new ground for us and for our daughters and our granddaughters and for all Americans, regardless of their race or disability or gender expression. And not the least of those she credited was her mother, Celia, who according to Ruth, had proudly marched in the Suffragette Parade to Get the VOTE for women, and had advised her daughter from a very early age, to “Be Independent.”  

In an interview at Columbia a few years ago, when the conversation turned to opportunities her mother didn’t have, Ruth answered in her typical hint-of-a-smile fashion: “When I talk about my mother I sometimes like to ask the question, What’s the difference between a bookkeeper in the garment district and a Supreme Court Justice? – one generation.”  …. One Generation.

Ruth was both a fighter and a lover. She was as funny as she was serious. She was open and honest and said things about herself like: “I struck out on three grounds. I was Jewish. I was a woman, and I was a mother. The first raised an eyebrow, the second raised two, and the third made me indubitably inadmissible.”  But Ruth was never one to take ‘no’ for an answer, and never one, as she put it, “to sit in a corner and cry.”  She was not afraid to dissent and we know how beautifully she could do that. In the case of Shelby County vs Holder when  the court gutted the Voting Rights Act,  her dissent included these words:  Throwing out pre-clearance when it has worked and continues to work is  like throwing away your umbrella in the middle of a rainstorm, just because you’re not getting wet  ….   Wouldn’t she have made a great Raging Granny?  

Once upon a time, so the story goes, Ruth wanted to be an operatic diva. Instead, she became a pop culture icon and a Rock Star of the Supreme Court.  But her love for opera and theater never went away and over time she became so loved by the opera community that last Friday night upon receiving word of her death, every opera house across the country dimmed their lights.  “Art is what makes life beautiful” she said, and what was she, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, if not a magnificent piece of timeless art?  

While it is true that our country has lost a hero, it is the World and the Human Race that has lost one of our finest Beings.  May she rest in Peace and Power as we walk together in her memory across “The People’s Bridge” carrying her light and her courage and her wisdom.   And let us not forget what she said about not sitting in a corner and crying.  Tonight we grieve. Tomorrow we fight!   

Thank You.
Sulima Malzin,
for The Portland Raging Grannies