Asheville, North Carolina,
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FEBRUARY 28, 2011 10:44AM

It’s all connected

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I'm here with Doug Wingier, a longtime social activist.

Jobs, Planed Parenthood,living wages,  health reform — it’s all the same issue, really.

Big business wants to get rid of the unions so they don’t have to pay benefits or decent wages.  Planned Parenthood provides basic health care to millions of women across the country. It prevents many more infant deaths than it causes by keeping women healthy. I got my care there before I had insurance; I couldn’t have afforded it otherwise.

Big corporations have sent jobs overseas because they don’t have to pay a living wage and no one in a developing country is going to make them.
And as long as the wealthiest Americans — the top 2 percent – can gain access to the best health care system in the world, it doesn’t matter to them how many of the rest of us are kept away.
Since these issues are so interconnected, our responses should be too.
With one hand, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is trying to take away union rights; with the other; he’s getting ready to yank Medicaid for another 65,000.
In North Carolina, Blue Cross Blue Shield is trying to take control of the Health Benefits Exchange so it can minimize protections for the 1 million

Not a bad idea -- because it's pretty much the same thing mine said.

consumers who will have to buy from the exchange.

At the same time, the state legislature has promised to leave classrooms alone.

Bridgett McCurry was at the Planned Parenthood support rally Saturday in Asheville. I was at both that one and the Solidarity rally

The plan is to divide and conquer, as though human rights wasn’t running through all of this mess. We can’t let that happen. We all need to be at every rally hollering about all these issues.

If they divide us into separate issues, we lose.
On Saturday there were two rallies in Asheville, one to support the workers in Wisconsin, which drew 400-500 people, and one to support Planned Parenthood, which drew over 100. A number of us went from the Solidarity rally to the other one, carrying our same signs and trying not to wave union signs at people honking in support of women’s health care. 
But the best idea I’ve seen yet is the Together NC rally. Together NC is a group of people affiliated with a wide variety of nonprofits and other agencies that tries to bring people together on all the issues that are being attacked by the right.
Last week, nearly 100 of us gathered in front of City Hall and the County Building and stood up for various causes. We stood together to support health care, education, disability rights, child abuse protection, racial justice and more.
We need to let them know we’re here to fight every kind of injustice and we’re not backing down.
Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, Life o' Mike Inc., named in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at For more information about Life o' Mike or to read Boyd's blog, visit

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