March 24, 2023
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—In between the historic storms directly hitting this area of California, members of the Communist Party’s San Joaquin Valley Club drove long distances to attend a March 17 rally for Social Security at Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s local congressional office.
Their message of what to do with Social Security: “Preserve – Improve – Expand.” That was the slogan on a banner welcoming protesters to Yokuts Park in Bakersfield.
With fortuitous weather, demonstrators arrived by carpool and on chartered buses from up and down the state for the event, which was led by the California Alliance for Retired Americans (CARA). The alliance convened the Day of Action to save and expand Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security from Republican schemes to privatize and hamper the beloved social programs.
McCarthy wasn’t happy with the protest, Jodi Reed of the Alliance reported.
“Over 700 people from as far away as Eureka to the North and San Diego to the South and everywhere in between showed up,” she said. “Was Speaker McCarthy there? No. But he knew we were there, and he knew what our message is: Hands Off Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
“From the very start, McCarthy’s office called out the private security guards, Bakersfield Police, and even the Secret Service to try and stop our peaceful protest. We moved our program to the park after we all marched to McCarthy’s office and posted our handwritten messages to him on his office door. And we texted, called, tweeted, and emailed his office in Bakersfield and in Washington, D.C. We were heard,” Reed told those gathered.
Early on in the day, union members from United Domestic Workers/AFSCME, the Service Employees (SEIU), National Nurses United, and other workers arrived from across California. All received lunch in an open air tent, staffed by generous union volunteers.
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