6/24/2017

Weekend Action: Educate Yourself About Disability Activism

This spring's protracted battle over healthcare--trying to save the ACA, trying to save Medicaid--has largely taken place in the public sphere as a conversation that people who are healthy (now) are having about possible future concerns. Insurance, after all, is protection against possible future calamity, not the calamity you've been living with for years. But as the ADAPT protests outside Mitch McConnell's office highlighted this week, there is another part of this conversation we need to understand, and that is the perspective of disabled people who are living with healthcare crises in an ongoing way. 

Disability activism is bigger than TrumpCare, and has been around for a long time. This weekend, read these three articles to catch yourself up on what disabled activists have been working on. 

First, from Rolling Stone: Why Disability Rights Activists Stormed Mitch McConnell's Office for an introduction to ADAPT, their goals and history

From The Guardian: Police killings: the price of being disabled and black in America complicates the narrative of disability rights. Although records are not well kept, it's possible that up to half of police killings in the US are of disabled people. There is no more mortally dangerous intersection of oppressions than to be a poor black man with mental illness--unless it's being a poor black trans woman with mental illness. Understanding the complexity of these layers of oppression is essential to effective activism.

"For those who bear the weight of oppression, our lives and bodies are inherently political, and surviving is a form of protest. Surviving can be enough." Crip the Resistance: Thoughts and Resources for Accessible Protests addresses the question of what protest means for disabled people and how able-bodied organizers can use the wisdom and insight of disabled people to improve their protesting techniques. This article includes a great list of resources at the bottom for further reading.