This holiday season demand jobs, benefits, voting rights

BY:Joelle Fishman| December 14, 2011
This holiday season demand jobs, benefits, voting rights

This holiday season the struggle for basic human rights takes center stage. The 99% are marching and lobbying and standing up to secure the right to vote which is jeopardized by new laws pushed through in many states.

On Human Rights Day thousands led by the NAACP, 1199-SEIU, teachers and other unions marched from the Koch Brothers office to the United Nations with the message that voting rights are human rights.

See coverage in the

Signs with pictures of Schwerner, Cheney and Goodman, “Three Martyrs” of the civil rights movement reminded everyone that young people had to sacrifice their lives to secure voting rights for African Americans in the South just four decades ago.

Growing grassroots pressure combined with blatant efforts to disenfranchise millions have prompted the U.S. Senate to schedule hearings in January. See coverage here.

Click for the report just released by the NAACP, “Defending Democracy:

Confronting Modern Barriers to Voting Rights in America.”

Blocking efforts by the extreme right to pass voter suppression laws is vital for victory for the labor-led people’s coalition in 2012.

This same determination and spirit has pushed unemployed people forward in the movement demanding creation of good jobs to meet the needs of communities and crumbling infrastructure.

Thousands protested last week in Washington DC to “take back our capital,” sitting in at congressional offices demanding action on jobs creation and extending unemployment insurance. Thousands more rallied in solidarity across the country.

Read coverage here: Occupiers message to Congress

Congressional Republicans continue to block every effort to extend benefits and a payroll tax cut for millions of American workers. Calling Congress and getting others to do so could deliver the greatest holiday gift to the millions who will otherwise be cut off at the beginning of the New Year and force to pay higher taxes. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard and ask for your senator or representative: (202)224-3121.

The Republican House passed an Unemployment Insurance Extension that contains provisions President Obama and Democrats refuse to accept. The fight will go on.

Tell them to vote “NO” on slashing benefits to the 2 million unemployed workers who rely on it. Click here to send an email to your representative and senators.

Best wishes for you and your family,

Joelle Fishman

Chair, CPUSA Political and Legislative Action Committee


Photo: (Mary Altaffer/AP)




    Joelle Fishman chairs the Connecticut Communist Party USA. She is a Commissioner on the City of New Haven Peace Commission, serves on the executive board of the Alliance of Retired Americans in Connecticut and is an active member of many economic rights and social justice organizations. She was a candidate for Congress from 1973 to 1982, maintaining minor-party ballot status for the Communist Party in Connecticut's Third Congressional District. As chair of the CPUSA Political Action Commission, she has played an active role in the broad labor and people's alliance that defeated the ultra-right in the 2008 elections and continues to mobilize for health care, worker rights and peace.



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