They came, they danced, they marched, 2,000 people spirited and strong, Robin Hood’s merry band of men and women, through the streets of Washington April 20.
Ending up astride a prominent government building, christened with a new name and a naming ceremony. No more U.S. Treasury, now, the banner declared, “The U.S. Treasury. A Citigroup Subsidiary. Jack Lew, Inc., CEO.”We could end AIDS, reverse climate change, fund jobs and health care. Who do you work for Secretary Lew?” asked Jennifer Flynn, managing director of Health GAP (Global Action Project). “You work for the people, not Wall Street.”
Building on a successful world tour of many of the world’s biggest markets, Robin Hood finally arrived in Washington the last week of February.
That’s the same Robin Hood, disguised as European Union Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta (cape well hidden) who offered a message of hope and action for nations still struggling with a global economic source.
Need revenue? Go to the source. That would be the banksters and the casino gamblers whose reckless adventurism plunged nations into economic gloom. Semesta used more delicate language, he is, after all, a tax commissioner: “The financial sector is under taxed compared to other sectors,” said Semesta in a Washington speech February 25.
For those not accustomed to the spectacle of the Las Vegas Strip, it was a surely a surreal sight. Amidst the Grinch, Sponge Bob, and other holiday season revelers, union members–some 500 nurses, joined by culinary and building trades workers– were marching, in red scrubs and shirts, and green Robin Hood hats, December 12 down Las Vegas Boulevard to The Venetian Resort and Casino.
With a pointed message, and a flash mob to boot.
With the November election rapidly fading into memory and the basic building blocks of a civil society once again under grave threat from Wall Street and their acolytes in Washington, nurses and other activists have, once again, had to step up the fight to protect basic programs and make the case for real revenue needed to build a sustainable future.
Charles Idelson is Communications Director of the 180,000 member National Nurses United, the largest U.S. union and professional association of registered nurses. He holds a B.A. in Sociology from Sonoma State University and M.A. in History from San Francisco State University.