What does my generation have to look forward to?

Peace Advocate May 2021

Steve Downey talks about the future of America for coming generations at a Tax Day event on May 17th in Boston. (Photo by Hannah Cruz-Fratus)

by Steve Downey

Remarks delivered at the People & Planet, not Profits Tax Day rally in Boston, MA on May 17th 2021.

What does my generation have to look forward to in the future? A future of rationed health care where we and our loved ones have to fight for our medical care. Where we have to demand to talk to a nurse when we are sick. Where our insurance refuses to pay for most of the cost for necessary procedures. Where we are forced to delay or even refrain from seeking medical attention. Where healthcare is increasingly profit driven. It’s about time we had free universal healthcare!

What can I look forward to when it comes to justice? The usual! When driving my car, if I am stopped by police, they may unload their pistol into my body with impunity. Black lives should matter, but they don’t. Isn’t it about time that all the killer cops be jailed? When will there be justice for those lives lost or brutalized by police abusing their power and hiding behind their badge? Look at all the people in jail for nonviolent marijuana charges. I am calling for justice for Tajeauna Alize! We need to hold the police and NEMA Boston apartments accountable for the sexual assault, harassment, racial profiling, and complete abuse of power by Boston police!

Speaking about justice, Isn’t it about time that we start actually caring about the people of this country? Look at the thousands and thousands of homeless people we see in the streets every day. This has been the case my entire life. How about yours? Housing is a human right! The lack of care for these people even during a deadly pandemic and long before is completely unacceptable. In a country with so much wealth, labor, and technology, how is it possible that so many people can’t have a roof over their heads?

Now is the time to end US support, military and otherwise, to tyrannies in Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Israel, Myanmar, the Philippines and other murderous regimes around the world. And while we are at it, let’s oppose the blockades of Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Palestine, North Korea, and Yemen. Put the tax money into housing, healthcare and higher education! Why must our taxes go to a war budget that is used to prop up the wealthy elites worldwide and support military aggression against working people and farmers? Working people, oppressed layers, and youth have plenty of need for that money right here at home. We of the Boston May Day Coalition demand that our taxes be used for human needs, not for wars and occupations! 

The people of Colombia are currently massively mobilizing against tyranny and economic devastation. The repression and killings in Colombia are on the rise. Scores are being killed. Colombians in the Greater Boston Area will be mobilizing to oppose the repression on Saturday, May 22 at 3 PM in Government Center. Please join with us. For more info please see me after the rally. Solidarity forever!

— Steve Downey is a member of the Boston May Day Coalition