Friday, July 15, 2016

JULY 14TH - FROM TEAR GAS TO CHEMO -- FROM PEOPLES' PARK TO NICE, FRANCE AND ECHO PARK TOO.


 

   Today over 70 people so far have been counted as killed by a "suicide vehicle weapons attack" in Nice, France-- on BASTILLE DAY - which has actually been superseded on Google by reports of the attacks and murders of people in Nice.  Now up to 75 as I write this.  On Bastille Day it says:  
"The French National Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789,[1][2] an important event in Paris in The French Revolution, which had begun two days earlier,[3] as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.[4][5]"  Most important was :    "The French Revolution (French: Révolution française [ʁevɔlysjɔ̃ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France that lasted from 1789 until 1799, and was partially carried forward by Napoleon during the later expansion of the French Empire. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, experienced violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon that rapidly brought many of its principles to Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies.[1]Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history."

   And tonight a helicopter has been circling over my house for 3 hours and we don't know why. Can't ever find out from the news. And there were many cop cars coming into the street. I don't go out to find out -- don't trust the infra-red technology used to find warm bodies.  Is this being influenced by the attack in Nice, France?  Here's an NPR story about LAPD helicopter policing.






On July 14, 1969 I was working at Yenan Books in Berkeley, selling books from China. It was run by a collective and no one made any money off it. Right next door to us was "Peoples' Park" where folks had gardens, hung out to smoke dope, and just have fun.  An empty lot with trees and grass, how could you lose.  And it was in the busiest part of Berkeley not far from the university.  Meanwhile on campus there was a demonstration against the university turning the park into a huge parking lot.  I of course agreed with this sentiment so I went over to the campus to check it out.  Or perhaps I was still in my summer school class and went outside to join the demonstration, I hoped.  I was met with such ferocious tear gas that I had to retreat to the closest bathroom and try to wash it out. I wasn't prepared with a wet cloth to hold over my face and my body just couldn't withstand the attack.  I felt like such a wimp.   Physically I was weak, emotionally I wanted to be there to support the demo. But it wasn't to be.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Park_(Berkeley)   which explains the mess in Berkeley, including the death of a worker [student] by buckshot and gassing 30,000 Berkeley citizens indiscriminately.  Governor Reagan was in charge, though I doubt many other governors would have done differently.

"1969 July 14 (Bastille day) Protestors march from Ho Chi Minh (Willard) Park to People’s Park. Organizers have wire clippers, baked into loaves of bread, and lo and behold - the fence was down. Police attack and a riot ensued."  Apparently this was not a big deal compared with other demonstrations against the University.  Seemed so at the time to me.  [See blog about UC Berkeley for a history -  https://barringtoncollective.org/files/Disorientation/Disorientation%20Zine%202004.pdf    ]
We were living in a police state with national guardsmen at every corner. At the time I lived in south Berkeley close in a Black neighborhood. We felt the guardsmen were provocative since African Americans were not involved in Peoples Park. Here are two photos that seem indicative of the times. I did have a boyfriend then who picked up a tear gas canister thrown at us by the police who then threw it back at them. Don't think this is him. He was working at a university office at the time and was fired.  The police picked him up bodily and threw him against a wall.  Months later we had Moses Hall demonstration to protest the University's refusal to hire Eldridge Cleaver because he lacked university education. Funnily they hired true believer Eric Hoffer and gave him an office. He'd never finished high school.  My boyfriend was the first the police came for to arrest at Moses Hall - a shock to me since he was new to Berkeley. But he had a long active history that followed him around the country.  Like so many young people then, he now works for the World Bank and doesn't think our views were right.  I had told him at the time I knew he didn't care about the struggle -- he was fighting his own demons.


    Being gassed by tear gas or pepper spray - not sure which -- was linked in my mind to my chemotherapy session today.  Bastille Day 1969 was painful but not as bad as Bastille Day 2016.  And then I came home and turned on the television to the attack in Nice, France by a suicide driver of a truck who killed 75 people (84 count July 15).  So what more could go wrong on Bastille Day?  And what role do chemicals playon this historic day?   Here's a photo of me at Kaiser on the Obgyn Oncology unit, specially set up for patients with gynecological cancer issues. We have private rooms or shared ones with TVs.  The nurses are fabulous and the setting is quite lovely. Up until April of this year the head of the unit had advocated for this special place. He retired, and Kaiser is now breaking up the unit.  Why? to save money? To force the nurses who are already under another management to be spread thin so they don't have to hire more?  These are nurses who have settled with Kaiser unlike the ones in the hospital, who demonstrate periodically. Kaiser has successfully divided and conquered these strong nurses.



   All of this makes me wonder about health care. France has the best health care in the world - or they did at the time Michael Moore made the excellent movie SICKO.  One can get amazing health care in Cuba despite the fact that Cuba is a very poor country.  So meanwhile, Kaiser, which originally was the closest my parents could find in 1954 when we moved to L.A. to socialized medicine, is now being run by USC MBAs who give the CEO his highest profits.  Apparently he is competing with other CEOs of "nonprofits".  Such garbage. The entire country is being privatized by the greedy 1%.   Oh excuse me - I misspoke. Here is a quote about the compensation  earned by the CEO of Kaiser back a few years:  "Other top CEO earners for 2012 included George Halvorson, then in his last year as CEO of Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente, who received $9.9 million in total compensation in 2011, up 24.6 percent from the prior year."   Why was such a low figure as $800,000 bandied about last year when the nurses were striking? Clearly to show that the CEO was just a modest earner.
   And more -- Kaiser Los Angeles now makes us pay exorbitant fees for parking in lots that were built years ago, and whose parking attendants have long ago been fired. No over head. This is pure profit. And as my nurse today told us -- many of the poorer members can't afford to park and wouldn't come for treatment if they nurses hadn't fought headquarters to give them the power to cover the parking. So we are lucky, for 5 hours we can get our parking validated. But not for much else.



   So Kaiser is now run by a USC MBA who is cutting corners everywhere.  He/she is sending all patients to be put in a huge room with only curtains to divide them to go through chemotherapy. No privacy, no special care.   He also has understaffed the Family Practice doctors -- mine is excellent but he now has twice the patients he had.  He is a tough guy and keeps up with it. But I know he doesn't like it.  He has always listened to me and supported me. Even commented when a surgeon told me that my acid reflux was all in my head.  He never says no to a procedure. Or rarely. He only says no to meds.  But most all of the doctors are told not to give painkillers or effective sleep meds. Ridiculous!

It's 9:45 on Bastille Day eve. The helicopters stopped finally around 8:20. I have no idea if they found who they were looking for, but I doubt it.   None of this will be in the newspapers since they like to let us think this gentrified neighborhood doesn't have crime.  Of course it does.  Nothing changes that  quickly and gentrification just brings more hatred and more crime.

I hope one day the people of the United States wake up and take to the streets as they have been in France. Something that is never covered by the mainstream media owned by the 1%.  Only the World Socialist Web Site  covers these magnificent strikes.


   HERE IS MY FAVORITE IMAGE FROM THE 60S - Hippies they say putting flowers in the ends of the bayonets of the National Guard occupying our city and our university.  Make love not war essentially was what they told them. And that we understood that most of these Guards were just poor people who enlisted so they could get a job or pay for college education.  Essentially true.  [And still true.]




It's 10:05 pm and the final count in Nice was 80 people killed.  Probably more tomorrow.
Yes - July 15 - 84 people killed.  [See below.]


Additionally some images of my bookstore Yenan Books - no real information exists about it.  I have a photograph of it that I found amongst my old stuff.  It was a great experience. Other members told me they sold books to famous people. One I remember was Jane Fonda married at the time to Tom Hayden.  The first photo is of Judi and Tim - two of my favorite people who worked at Yenan standing at the front of the store.







This is another story I have - Dr. Ma Haide who was Mao's physician in Yenan, who marched with them during the long march, who wiped out leprosy and certain venereal diseases and who married Su Fe, a beautiful actress he met in Yenan.  I had the honor of meeting them at my parents' home when he finally came back to visit the United States after 50 years gone.

[Latest count in Nice -- 202 hit, 52 seriously injured.  84 dead so far 10 were teens or children. ]




LINKS:
Bastille Day as defined by Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille_Day
LAPD helicopter policing - http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2015/03/10/41901/criminologists-debate-lapd-s-predictive-policing-b/  
History of Peoples' Park - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Park_(Berkeley) 
History of Berkeley Protests in Pictures -- https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2014/nov/15/berkeley-a-history-of-disobedience-in-pictures
Sicko - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicko  
Pay Hikes for non profits -- http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20140811/NEWS/140819983/another-year-of-pay-hikes-for-nonprofit-hospital-ceos
National Nurses strike for adequate coverage of patients - http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/entry/rns-at-kaisers-flagship-los-angeles-hospital-to-begin-one-week-strike/ 
Strikes in France happening now - we never hear about them  --- https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/05/26/fran-m26.html 

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