Discover more from People's CDC
One person is killed in Gaza every 2 minutes: Call your reps now to demand a ceasefire.
When demonstrating, use our new Guide to More Accessible Protests
Over 7000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, and more than a hundred in the West Bank in the last two weeks. Gaza’s Health Ministry has announced their healthcare system is collapsing and water shortages have become life-threatening for enormous numbers of people. We urge you to take action now, and to see and share our new guide on more accessible protests.
Please see our statement on Palestine, and call your elected officials every day and the White House Comment Line at 202 456 1414, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11-3 ET. You can also write the White House here. Tell them to call for an immediate ceasefire, to end the siege of Gaza and to end US military aid to Israel. The $3.8 billion the US sends to Israel each year should be better spend on universal healthcare, free and accessible vaccines and COVID testing, paid leave, housing, food stamps and a comprehensive public health system.
As communities world wide organize and fight for an end to the siege of Gaza and justice in Palestine, it is crucial we proactively integrate disability justice and public health protections into our movement. It keeps our fight safer, more accessible and more sustainable. Centering access in our organizing helps us build the care-focused world we all need.
Palestinian Liberation is a disability justice issue
Gaza has had a healthcare system near the breaking point for decades.
Israel controls Palestinians’ mobility, uses disablement as a weapon of occupation and has refused to distribute vaccines to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank*. The current genocide will worsen the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable disease.
There can be no disability justice under settler colonialism.
Share our Guide to More Accessible Protests on Instagram as well.
GUIDE TO MORE ACCESSIBLE PROTESTS
Require and Distribute High-Filtration Masks
COVID and many other harmful viruses are spread through infectious particles that move in the air like smoke. COVID does spread outdoors especially in large crowds and wearing well-fitting N95 or KN95 masks reduces transmission. Please stay safe as you demonstrate, as repeat infections can lead to adverse impacts like Long COVID and death, including among fully vaccinated people.
If you are organizing, requiring and supplying N95 or KN95/KF94 masks helps ensure compliance.
Plan for sign language interpretation, translation and audio descriptions
As you are organizing the action, find individuals who can serve as sign language interpreters for hearing impaired participants, translators to support non-English speakers and Audio Describers for visually impaired attendees.
Encourage pre-event testing
Before the event, designate medics to support your protest route. Ensure they have the tools to provide first aid in the event of injuries from police crowd control tactics, general care for fainting, seizures, cardiac events or other trauma injuries.
Ensure routes are wheelchair and mobility aid accessible
Routes should have curb cuts, even pavement and wide sidewalks with minimal obstructions such as construction, mailboxes, planters, etc.
Move at the pace of the people in your action who need to move the most slowly. Don't leave anyone behind.
Keeping your distance, especially as folks are chanting/yelling, keeps you safer from COVID and other diseases and makes moving around easier. It also makes the demonstration visually bigger.
Poor air flow increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Outdoor spaces are safer than indoor spaces.
Hold planning meetings outdoors. If indoors, open as many windows as possible, bring HEPA air filter units or bring a homemade Corsi-Rosenthal box. HEPA air filters units may be heavy so have a plan to take yours with you if needing to evacuate a space quickly.
Mobilize online power
Provide direction for how people who cannot join actions in person can provide virtual support.
For those who cannot participate in person, create synchronous and asynchronous ways to take action to address decision-makers. Use Zoom to gather online to phone-bank elected officials, write letters to local papers, and more.
Biden and the media are manipulating the narrative on the pandemic – much like Palestine
Biden and the CDC have been downplaying the pandemic since early 2021. They dismantled pandemic data gathering and reporting, got rid of free testing and social safety net protections, sowed doubt about the efficacy of masks, and let hospitals take masks out of healthcare to preserve hospital profit margins. They are prioritizing short-term business interests over our health. As a result, many now think incorrectly that the pandemic is over.
But the science shows each COVID reinfection increases everyone’s risk of Long COVID, hospitalization and death - even if you’re fully vaccinated.
If it seems unlikely the US would hide a harmful pandemic, look at how they handle Palestine.
For more on vaccine apartheid and disability justice in Palestine. See Howard and Schneider. 2022. “COVID-19 Vaccination in Palestine/Israel Citizenship Capitalism, and the Logic of Elimination.” Health Hum Rights and Puar, Jasbir K. “Spatial Debilities.” The South Atlantic quarterly 120.2 (2021): 393–414.