May Day Demonstrations
May Day is International Workers’ Day and in the U.S. it has been revived as a political day by the immigrant rights movement. This year saw a groundswell of protests against the Trump administration’s reactionary policies targeted by immigrants and labor. Since 2006, major urban areas have seen substantial demonstrations and work stoppages, and this year demos approached 2006 participation levels. Tens of thousands of people in the Bay Area marched and there were four arrests in Oakland. Santa Cruz has a seen a major political awakening this year, but the public turnout at a May Day rally at the post office was small by comparison with previous mobilizations. Meanwhile at UCSC, there was a day-long blockade of the entrances to campus, forcing a campus closure. The next day the Afrikan/Black Student Alliance (ABSA) built on the May Day momentum and occupied Kerr Hall, drawing national media coverage. Student demonstrators last held the main administration building for a multiday stretch in 2009 during the tuition hikes protest movement. On Thursday night, UCSC agreed to all ABSA demands around equity, diversity training, and access to affordable housing.
Republicans Vote to Repeal Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was initially repealed by a narrow house vote Thursday, May 4th. The bill itself is still being read and analyzed and will likely face major changes in the Senate. Republicans rushed the vote before a Congressional Budget Office scoring of the legislation emerged, so we don’t know what the overall costs will be. It is clear that the bill delivers a major tax cut to the wealthy, cuts women’s healthcare protections, attacks Medicaid as we know, and returns us to a system of junk plans. Numerous pre-existing conditions will no longer be covered: acne, breast cancer, lung cancer, asthma, obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, organ transplant, pacemaker, etc. In typical fashion, Trump has said that he would do none of these things in the reform of Obamacare and has promised the American public as much. The communication strategy of the Trump Presidency is clear: say one thing and do another.
CCFT President Karl Ewald is our local’s unionist of the year. Elected President last year, the engineering faculty member was honored at the Monterey Labor Council’s dinner on Friday, April 28th. He has worked diligently for faculty and made careful study of budget a priority. A force on our negotiations team, President Ewald had this to say about his award: “I really enjoy serving the faculty through CCFT. Having worked in the computer industry, I know it is rare to have a seat at the table the way we do at Cabrillo. It is humbling to receive this award now, when I still have two years left in my term. I hope I can continue to live up to this honor.”