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Doctors to Supreme Court: Single Payer, Not Individual Mandate

In addition to arguments from the Right against President Obama’s health care plan, more than 50 medical doctors submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, contending the so-called “individual mandate” is unnecessary. “We could achieve the goal of guaranteed, universal, affordable health care by doing a single-payer program,” said Dr. Margaret Flowers, of Physicians for a National Health Program. Flowers warned that 20 million Americans stand to lose their job-related health care coverage, forcing them “into the individual market where the plans have less coverage and are more expensive.”

Occupy EPA: Lisa Jackson Must Go

Lisa Jackson should be fired as a “symbol of corruption” and an “ineffective and reactionary” administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, an organizer of March 30 demonstrations against the agency. Other Occupy EPA demands include “cessation of the war against whistleblowers” at EPA, an end to polluting of low income communities, and “justice for Trayvon Martin.”

Occupy the Justice Department on Mumia’s Birthday

On April 24, protesters will gather at the U.S. Justice Department to “link the Mumia Abu Jamal case to the broader crisis of criminalization of Black and Latino men, the criminalization of immigrants, the criminalization of protesters and occupiers, and the crisis of mass incarceration,” said Johanna Fernandez, professor of history at New York City’s Baruch College. The date is also Abu Jamal’s 58th birthday, his first outside of Pennsylvania’s death row in 30 years.

Occupy Wall Street’s Race and Gender Problem

Many whites in the Occupy movement believe, “If we just stop talking about race, then it won’t be a problem,” said journalist and activist Jordan Flaherty, co-author of the recent article, “Race, Gender and Occupy.” Flaherty, a producer of the Fault Lines series on Al-Jazeera English TV, has been “surprised and impressed that so many activists of color have continued to engage the movement despite all these problems.

POP Prepares for April 4 MLK Rally and March in Newark

The People’s Organization for Progress “has brought a consciousness to critical issues for Black and poor people who are stuck in the Bantustans” of urban New Jersey, said James Harris, president of the state NAACP and an endorser of POP’s daily demonstrations for jobs, housing, education and justice. Perry notes that “most young people have not participated in any demonstration of consequence since the execution of Troy Davis,” in Georgia.

Louisiana Balks at Building New Housing

The state is using most of its $750 million in Katrina housing money to elevate or repair homes, instead of “helping people to rebuild their homes on the vacant lots” that cover large sections of New Orleans. James Perry, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, said Louisiana is even “sending money to people who got no damage at all” in the hurricane.

Reparations Movement in 23rd Year

NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, holds its 23rd annual conference in Philadelphia, June 22-24, at the Church of the Advocate. Ari Merretazon, male co-chair of the conference, said oppression of Black people has moved “from chattel slavery to public policy enslavement, like mass incarceration.”

High Gas Prices Won’t Go Away

“There’s no more easy oil,” said Michael T. Klare, author of The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources. Fossil fuels are “much more expensive to produce, and environmentally hazardous to develop.” Klare said “speculation is also playing a role, because of the risk of conflict breaking out in the Middle East, especially over Iran.” However, the central problem is that “each barrel will cost more to produce than the one before it.”

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