Health Care Workers Call On Labor Movement To Take Action

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A group of socialist health care workers put forward a statement in solidarity with actions against police and racist violence, demanding justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and Sean Reed, and call on unions and healthcare organizations to take up this struggle.

We Condemn the Racist Police Murder of George Floyd and Believe Police Violence is a Public Health Crisis

As health care workers, we condemn the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers as an act of racist violence. We condemn the murder of Breonna Taylor by Louisville police officers as an act of racist violence. We condemn the murder of Tony McDade by Tallahassee police officers as an act of racist violence. Their killings are just a handful of countless examples of police brutality responsible for the early deaths of many Black people in the United States. Black people are three times more likely than white people to die by police violence. As health care workers, we witness first-hand how widespread racist police brutality harms Black and brown people. We understand the anti-Black, racist origins of the institution of policing, initially created to patrol and entrap people who had escaped enslavement. Thus, we recognize police violence as a critical public health threat, and racism as a public health crisis.


We Condemn Racist Enforcing of Social Distance Measures in Black and Brown Communities

In New York City, the NYPD arrested 40 individuals for ‘breaking’ social distancing measures during the Covid-19 pandemic, 35 of whom were Black. Meanwhile, multiple photographic and video evidence showed white groups congregating in parks and public venues without disruption. This invasive and selective enforcement of policing, surveillance, and punishment of Black and Brown communities reflects racist practices in the name of public health.

We Believe Health Care Workers Are Working Class and Should Stand in Solidarity with Black-and-Indigenous-Led Movements, Especially During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Health care workers are part of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic working class that is repeatedly subjected to racist bigotry and violence. Inside the U.S.corporatized healthcare system, we are reduced to conduits of profit-generation for large hospital and clinic systems that prioritize their capital interests over patient health and worker safety. The labor of health care workers is exploited similarly to non-health care workers, but in the age of COVID-19, health care workers are the sole recipients of “thanks” and “praise” for being on the “frontlines” of a global pandemic. In stark contrast, the underpaid, underprotected, and underprotected members of the Black and brown working class keep our cities moving, but are most frequently subjected to the systemic racism of frantic 911 calls, escalated police violence, and ultimately, early demise.

As health care workers, we oppose the racism that permeates our institutions and we oppose the economic structure that elevates profits over people. We commit to uplifting the narratives of Black and Indigenous people, and intentionally supporting their leadership in the movement.

We Denounce Professionalism and Dual Loyalty

We denounce practices and expectations of professionalism and dual loyalty. As healthcare workers we are often told to maintain “professionalism” while interacting with representatives of institutions that harm our patients. This maintenance of professionalism can lead us to accept and be cordial with institutions harming the health of the public. It reinforces the status quo of white supremacy. It legitimizes institutions like racist policing and helps protect such destructive institutions from being challenged, while keeping us silent around issues that matter. Black, Indigenous, and other healthcare workers of color perhaps understand best the terrifying nature of dual loyalties. We will no longer stand by, normalizing and maintaining white supremacist and class power, as the patients we serve are killed on the street.

We Denounce Worker Expendability Under Racial Capitalism, Especially Under COVID-19

We denounce capitalism’s subjugation of workers and its dependence on structural racism and racist policing. We see the effects of this dynamic in everyday interactions with our patients. The division and control of workers under racial capitalism forces us all to work in unsafe conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe it is no coincidence that in our systemically racist society, the bulk of “essential workers” are the same Black and brown people who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

We Stand in Solidarity with Actions Against Racist Violence

We recognize that racist, white nationalist violent acts are increasing with President Trump’s continued racist and xenophobic rhetoric. The people of Minnesota, along with others around the country, are rising up against racist and capitalist oppression through the use of a variety of strategic and direct methods. We recognize these mixed methods as legitimate and necessary expressions of righteous anger felt by people pushed to the edge by a social order meant to disenfranchise them, and believe in their revolutionary potential.

As healthcare workers we stand in solidarity with those resisting the racism that exists in the United States, a country founded on genocide and enslavement and conceived on stolen indigenous land. We condemn racist police terrorizing the communities we serve and we will no longer remain silent while this continues. We believe in eliminating the disease of policing, the white supremacist capitalist structure that underlies it, and all other systems that benefit from terrorizing communities in this country and around the world.

We demand that our unions and respective healthcare organizations take up and support this fight immediately. We demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Sean Reed and all the victims of police violence. Firing these officers is not enough. Instead there must be detention and prosecution of the police involved in these killings. In the words of Minneapolis protestors, “Prosecute the police! No Justice, No Peace!”

We will join this fight.




Tre Kwon – Registered Nurse, NYC.
Jillian Primiano – Registered Nurse, NYC
Mike Pappas – Physician, NYC
Shreya Mahajan – Nurse, DC
Jocelyn Camacho – Nurse, NYC
Musaub Khan – Medical Doctor, NYC
Vanessa Ferrel – Medical Doctor, NYC
Nicole Denuccio – Registered Nurse, NYC
Derrick Smith – Registered Nurse, NYC
Sarah Baden – Medical Doctor, New York
Timothy Munier – Registered Nurse, New York
Ashley Guadalupe-Padgett -Physician, New York
Mara Phelan – Resident Doctor, New York
Mark Bornstein – Physician, New Yorknyc
Kavya Minama Reddy – Physician, NYC
Mallika Govindan – Physician, NYC
Peter Marcus – Physician, NY
Tonie McKenzie – Resident physician, Brooklyn, NY
Lakshmi Babu – Physician, Unionville
Natasha Marks – Registered Nurse, NYC
Anuj Rao – Medical Doctor, NYC
Tasha Smith – Nurse Practitioner, New York
Arielle Gerard – Physician, Brooklyn, NY
Lara Weiss – Medical Doctor, NYC
Mark Edouard – Resident Physician, NYC
Jordano Sanchez – Resident Physician, New York
Vanessa Van Doren – Physician, Atlanta
Lukmanafis Babajide – Physician, Newark
Alexander Jordan – Medical Doctor, NYC
Alex Ewenczyk – Medical Doctor, psychiatry pgy3, NYC
Cori Hompesch – Registered Nurse, NYC
Erica Anunwah – Medical Student, San Diego
Jenna Schmitz – MPH, Midwife, Bronx
Katherine Mullins – Medical Doctor, NYC
Hugo Ortega – Medical Doctor, NYC
Leopoldine Matialeu – Medical Doctor, San Diego, CA
Libby Brubaker – Resident Physician – New York
Anita Sreedhar – Incoming medicine resident – New York City
Kimberly Jocelyn – Supervisor, Public Health Advisor & Public Health Analyst , New York
Payal Desai – Resident Physician, Oakland, CA
Anne Chmilewski – Physician, AZ
Antoinette mason – Physician, Santa Rosa, CA
Jennifer Fish – Medical Doctor, Santa Rosa, CA
Cecilia Divin – MD Family medicine physician, Sacramento,CA
Ramsey Salem – Resident, Los Angeles
Daniel Woolridge – Medical Doctor, San Francisco
Jennifer Tsoi Keihner – Physician, Long Beach, CA
Kristin Brownell – Physician, San Diego
Jennifer devries – Resident physician, Martinez, california
Martha Muna – Medical Doctor, San Francisco
Karla Panameño – Resident , Santa Rosa
Conner Paez – Medical student, San Diego
Christine Fitzsimmons – Registered Nurse, New York
Karla Panameño – Resident, Santa Rosa
Mariah Hansen – Psychologist, Santa Rosa
Darshan Patel – Physician, Albuquerque, NM
Tahereh Naderi – Medical Doctor, Santa Rosa, CA
Vanessa Cobian – Medical Doctor, San Diego
Safi Ahmed – Physician, Santa Rosa CA
Jackie Zewe – Medical Student, San Diego
Lisa Damberger – New Grad RN, Santa Rosa
Musaub Khan – MD, New York
Jennifer Menjivar-Lopez – Doctor, San Francisco
Jamille Rancourt – Physician Assistant, New Haven CT
Jennifer McArthur – Physician, Memphis
Kathleen Mayor-Lynn – Medical Doctor, Nashville
Yen Truong – Physician, Castro Valley, CA
Michelle Mc Abee – Public Health Professional, NY
Nilima Singh – Medical Doctor, Kendall Park
Cassidy Mellin – Medical Doctor, San Francisco
Padade Vue – Medical Doctor, Seattle
Aaron Shapiro – Medical Resident, Bronx, NY
Ekatherina Osman – Physician, Brooklyn
Rachel Clark – Medical doctor, NYC
Kelsey Wilson-Henjum – Physician, New York City
Nasir Malim – DO , NYC
Stasha O’Callaghan – Medical Doctor, New York
Sara Bazan – Physician, Columbus, Ohio
Yuliana Noah – Resident Physician, NYC
Cindy Prettypaul – Resident, New York
Amelia Bueche – Physician, Ashland, Oregon
York Chen – MD, New York City
Sonia Abuzakhm – Medical Doctor, Columbus Ohio
Tess Fraad-Wolff – Mental Health Care, New York
Robert Rock – Medical Doctor, New York City
Darcy Cassidy – Health Educator, NYC
Mary Paul – Medical Doctor, Long Island, NY
Beatrice Whitaker – Ophthalmologist, Brooklyn, NY
Anita Somani – Medical Doctor, Columbus
Mari Janowsky – Physician, San Diego
Judit Andrea Staneata – Physician, Fayetteville, NC
Kareem.Royes – Doctor, NYC
Natalie Moulton-Levy – Physician, New York, NY
Theresa Meotti – Physician, New York

  • didactic1

    I wonder if their approaching the AMA, The College of Physicians-internist, pediatrics academies etc to form United Medical Front to confront police depts for restraint of force would be useful?

  • didactic1

    List too weighted to NYC AND CA.