The Mississippi Liberation Program
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Mississippians are facing the triple threat of COVID-19, racial oppression, and worker exploitation. All these problems connect. During the pandemic, black, immigrant, and indigenous communities in Mississippi are getting infected at higher rates than white people. Our teachers and other school workers are forced to go back to work during a pandemic due to our school system valuing getting the economy back to normal over the safety of workers and children of all colors. This is why we need a united, working-class movement united with these demands.
1. Turn the essentials of life into human rights.
· Institute a moratorium on all evictions and rent increases during the epidemic, ban on all foreclosures, including for small businesses.
· Use the power of eminent domain to house homeless people and overcrowded households in existing vacant housing units in good condition.
· Open all decision making around utilities to the public. No utility shut offs regardless of weather, including water, electricity, gas, telephones, and wifi. Deliver heating fuel to those in need.
· Free testing for every county in Mississippi.
· Expand current COVID restrictions to the whole state. Require people to wear masks when in public and limit social gatherings to no more than 10 indoors and 20 outdoors. Restrictions must continue to September 1st at the earliest.
· Open all clinics and hospitals, treat all regardless of ability to pay. Massive funding for the hospitals, clinics, to improve facilities, open up closed hospitals.
· Full funding for inspectors of nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and senior centers to assure healthy and safe conditions for residents. Hire massive workforce to survey seniors, door-to-door, to assure they are safe and getting proper care. PPE and other necessary protections for employees.
· Paid sick leave at 100 percent for companies larger than 50 workers; for smaller companies, federal funding to help finance sick leave. National sick leave and vacation must be guaranteed.
· Expand unemployment to include the self-employed. For caregivers, lack of childcare/school must be a valid reason to receive unemployment benefits.
· Expand food stamps to families and individuals, including those who currently don’t receive, double the monthly amount. No cuts, no work requirement attached.
· Create a workforce of social workers and caregivers to survey all homes where seniors live, to assure they are getting food and care.
2. Stop the war on black and indigenous communities in Mississippi. End police brutality and mass incarceration.
· Increase funding for under-served communities, particularly in rural areas, on Native reservations, in African American, Latino, Asian and white low-income communities.
· Give community review boards firing power over officers.
· end to the qualified immunity for police officers, which allows so many to kill with impunity.
· Arrest and jail cops guilty of murder all over Mississippi
· Defund the police and put funding towards programs of community uplift. Divert funds to:
o Community-led restorative justice programs.
o Affordable housing.
o Public education (fully fund MAEP).
o Rent subsidies and eviction diversion.
· Vastly increase medical staff and care in all prisons and jails. Compassionate release for elder prisoners, seniors being the most vulnerable to COVID-19 virus.
o Overturn the veto of SB2123.
o Increase medical staff and care in prisons.
o Compassionate release of elder and immune-compromised people in jails and prisons.
· Remove all white supremacist monuments.
3. Stop the war on immigrant communities.
· No ICE or immigration deportations or raids, close the ICE jails, free the children and parents, unite the families. Make Mississippi a sanctuary state.
· Guarantee multilingual staff in as many languages as exist in the communities, to serve the people in health services and social services. Multilingual textbooks and worksheets in schools.
4. Protect Mississippi’s children and educational workers
· Mississippi schools must not reopen in the fall.
· MDE must postpone reopening to at least September 1st .
· MDE must verify that schools can meet up-to-date CDC guidelines.
· Fully fund the Mississippi Adequate Education Program.
· If universities and other schools empty the dorms, the school must provide students alternate housing and health care.
· Remove law enforcement from our schools and universities. Invest in nurses, counselors, and mental health resources.
· Call Center Workers United - Maximus Hattiesburg
· Mississippi for a Safe Return to Campus
· Refuse to Return
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