National Nurses United also attempted to deliver a letter calling on Senator Mitch McConnell to not privatize Medicare and instead implement a single-payer system
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JAISAL NOOR, TRNN: I’m Jaisal Noor for the Real News Network. We’re here in Washington. Earlier today, the National Nurses held a rally with Bernie Sanders and other progressive unions. BERNIE SANDERS: Donald Trump won the election for a number of reasons. But one of the reasons that he won is in my view, a failure of the democratic party that must be rectified. And that is why I’m supporting Keith Ellison [inaud.] NOOR: They tried to enter the senate building and meet with republican leader Mitch McConnell and told him to keep his hands off privatizing Medicare. DEBORAH BURGER: My name is Deborah Burger. I’m president of National Nurses United and we had over 50 registered nurses from all over the United States visiting Senator McConnell’s office to tell him hands off Medicare, do not privatize it. Don’t even think about it because registered nurses will be willing to camp out in his office. And we also wanted to make sure that he understood that if he wants to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, we have the perfect opportunity to protect, improve, and expand Medicare for all because we believe it’s as American as apple pie. So, the nurses fully understand that this is going to be a fight but it’s a fight that we can win. NOOR: Here’s some of the voices from the protest. SANDERS: On every important issue facing the American people, whether it is raising the minimum wage to a living wage, whether it is pay equity for women, whether it is rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and creating millions of good paying jobs, whether it is making public colleges and universal tuition free, whether it is demanding that billionaires like Donald Trump and his friends start paying their fair share of taxes, whether it is transforming our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy, whether it is joining the rest of the industrialized world and guaranteeing healthcare to every man, woman, and child in the US, whether it is guaranteeing 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; on all of those issues the American people are behind us. PROTESTOR: Well I’m a longtime activist. I started in this whole issue with social justice in 1968 following Dr. King’s assassination. NOOR: A lot of those issues fundamentally have not been addressed in this country. PROTESTOR: That’s right and those that have been addressed in terms of the voting rights act which came up out in 1965 with President Johnson which gave many African Americans particularly in the south part of this country, the right to vote since the whole period of reconstruction. But what I believe has happened is that we haven’t stayed vigilant. Those of us who have had so much at stake in these issues didn’t stay vigilant. When we needed to go out and vote, many of us didn’t vote. Part of that is why we’re dealing with Trump now. PROTESTOR: I think the democrats really need to embrace what they had embraced in the past which his labor, which was the working class. The democratic party has been really bought out by corporate America and it’s similar across the isle as well. The democrats really need to embrace the working class like they once had and I think a Trump presidency may have been reversed.
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