||This article appears in the April 27, 2001 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Coalition to Save D.C. Hospital
by Michele Steinberg and Dennis Speed
Announces Strategy for Victory
[PDF version of this article]
The campaign to save D.C. General Hospital, the single remaining public hospital in the United States capital, has become an international movement rooted in the principle of the General Welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution. International, because the forces that seek to shut D.C. General, do so on behalf of financial forces engaged in destroying nations through the use of planned epidemics, as well as the willfully uncontrolled spread of disease. This policy option is not new, and was spelled out in the work of both H.G. Wells and Bertrand Russell. It was exposed by Lyndon LaRouche and associates as early as 1980, in The New Dark Ages Conspiracy.
Russell, in his Impact of Science on Society, stated, "If a Black Death could spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. The state of affairs might be unpleasant, but what of it?" Wells said, in Anticipations of the Reaction to Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought, that "The men of the New Republic will not be squeamish either in facing or inflicting death...They will have ideals that will make killing worthwhile."
This "New Republic," called by George Bush, Sr. the "New World Order", and its "New Republicans" typified by Conservative Revolution ideologue Newt Gingrich, intend to end public health care globally, using "globalization" to do so. They are the made-for-TV Zarathustras, dedicated, as was President George Bush Jr.'s grandfather, Prescott Bush, to imposing Nazi financial austerity, in the name of "ending corruption", by purging society of the lives not worthy to be lived.
Many citizens throughout the world who have up to now assuumed that it was "not their place" to challenge these policies, are now beginning to fight back. That process developed in Washington, D.C., in a dialogue, via webcast, between LaRouche, and Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad, founder and director of Washington's Abundant Life Clinic. It has now caught the attention of medical professionals and others worldwide. Recently, for example, Doctors in Germany, have allied themselves with the fight for D.C. General Hospital, "in defense of the general welfare" .
Doctors at Berlin's Moabit Hospital, faced with the same shutdown process being fought in Washington, sent a statement to the Coalition To Save D.C. General Hospital, saying, "The doctors and the medical personnel of Moabit Hospital have been fighting for years to maintain their hospital in the center of Berlin, a hospital which also has a long Jewish tradition, and want to ensure that in the future medical care will be provided in the area where the hospital stands....Now we find out, that you have similar problems in Washington, D.C., with your hospital, and therefore, with this letter, want to convey our solidarity. We want to motivate you, to fight for the hospital, so that you can continue the important work for the patients who have been entrusted to your care...."
Eleventh Mass Meeting in Washington
In the United States, such support has been built through the circulation of an FDR-PAC petition which grew out of a discussion between Lyndon LaRouche and a group of elected officials, trade unionists, and constituency leaders in Washington, D.C. in February. Called "It is time to draw the line: Saving D.C. General Hospital is a matter of international importance", the statement has been signed by more than 400 current and former elected officials, religious and community leaders, and medical professionals from all over the world. In part, the petition states: "There can be no argument that the world has entered the greatest financial and economic crisis in modern history. In the context of that crisis, the United States is at a crossroads. Either we re-adopt the commitment to the General Welfare clause of the U.S. Constitution that was the basis of Franklin Roosevelt's policies and of Dr. Martin Luther King's, or we will find our nation going the way of Nazi Germany.... There is no middle ground."
On April 18, organizers held their eleventh town meeting, attended by some 400 citizens, as well as major media at the Union Temple Baptist Church of Rev. Willie Wilson. The meeting came on the heels of the April 12 City Council defying the Mayor and Control Board, voting up of the funds to keep a public D.C. General operating as "the center of the District's health care system." The City Council move was such a shock to the Washington "elite" that the vote was immediately called "disgusting" by the Washington Post, the newspaper owned by KKK-Katie Graham. Graham is queen bee of the "Invisible Empire" of financiers who plan to "whiten" Washington with a vast "Negro Removal" program centered on the shutdown of D.C. General and destruction of medical and other critical services.
Rev. Wilson, perhaps the most important constituency figure in D.C. in the election of Mayor Anthony Williams, has now led the fight against the Mayor's incompetent, and dangerous, campaign to shut D.C. General. Wilson announced that on April 28, the church would conduct an all-day "trash-burning", in which he invited citizens to collect the mayor's "letter to citizens" defending the plan to shut the hospital.
The Philosophy of Victory
Moderator Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad, Minister of Health of the Nation Of Islam, as well as a founding member of the Coalition to Save D.C. General, told the cheering crowd, "we can smell victory in the air." On Thursday, April 12, the Washington, D.C. City Council voted unanimously, 13-0, to reject the attempt of the Mayor, and the D.C. Control board, to allot $75 million (actually more) to the seedy, shady Doctors Community Healthcare Corporation (DCHC) to close D.C. General. Instead, the Council acted to keep D.C. General as a public hospital, by allocating $21 million for its functioning until September 30.
Sept. 30 is both the end of the fiscal year, and the end of the five-year dictatorial rule of D.C. by the Control Board. Any attempt to extend the Control Board's dominance over the electorate of that city past that five year deadline, will lead to a political explosion. This is especially true, since it has come to light that Williams and Alice Rivlin, head of the Control Board, are now proposing to give to DCHC $83 million for the first year of operation of D.C. General, when the Congress would allocate earlier only $45 million. Members of D.C. General's Public Benefits Corporation (PBC), who are allied with the doctors and nurses in the call to keep the hospital fully staffed and fully funded, have offered a proposal to run the hospital for only $75 million!
In essence, DCHC will be paid more, because it will ensure the deconstruction of D.C. General, and the African-American community that lives there. It is simply the "blood money" for implementing Washington Post's Katherine Graham's 50-year-old policy for "Negro Removal" for the District.
Dr. Alim recounted how the coalition meetings had triggered a citizens' quest for truth, and uncovered, with the work of the FDR-PAC, that in reality, DCHC is involved in crimes--looting the hospitals it takes over, and stripping them bare of assets and cash flows.
Two members of the D.C. City Council, Kevin Chavous and Phil Mendelson, made surprise appearances at the meeting. They joined the podium group to thank the citizens for their perseverance and determination, and to announce that they will continue the fight on behalf of the people who supported them. Chavous and Mendelson expressed their pride in the Council, that the action to fund D.C. General with $21.5 million in operating expenses, was by a very rare unanimous, 13-0, vote.
Chavous reported Mayor Williams' announcement that he will veto that vote; but Chavous predicted that not only will the Council members deliver the minimum 9 votes to override the veto, but the vote will be 13-0 once again. He told the citizens to keep on fighting, because, after the City Council overrides the veto, the DC General budget [will go back to the Control Board and then to Congress.
Congress Is Target
Chavous made it clear to the audience that, as far as he was concerned, D.C. citizens had "nothing to lose" by challenging the "Negro Removal" plan. "The media said, 'Councilman, don't you feel you're threatening home rule by doing something Congress doesn't want you to do? I said, well, what are they going to do? Take away our right to vote? What are they going to do, take away our budget autonomy? What are they going to do, take away our voting members of Congress? What are they going to do? Put in a control board to oversee what we do? [all things Congress has already done to the city.] You know, under these circumstances, I take my chances. Sometimes, when your back's against the wall, you have nowhere to go but forward. The vote was a vote to move forward."
Joining Dr. Alim at the podium were Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General of the United States, who had flown from Little Rock, Arkansas to be there; Dr. Simmon Wilcox, Past President of the Medical Staff of Aliquippa Community Hospital of Beaver County, Pa., where a victory had just been won to prevent DCHC from destroying that hospital; Dennis Speed, the Northeast coordinator of the Schiller Institute; Dr. Michal Ann Young, President of the Medical/Dental Staff, D.C. General Hospital; civil rights veteran, Rev. James L. Bevel, once Director of Non-violent Political Action for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lynne Speed from the Schiller Institute and Coalition to Save D.C. General Hospital.
Dr. Alim noted that with this kind of representation, the fight for D.C. General Hospital had turned into a "movement". He explained that now, because the Congressional fiat that governs the District of Columbia makes the Congress the seat of ultimate decisions about the District, the issue of D.C. General has become the domain of every citizen of the United States. Any and all citizens can lobby every member of the U.S. Congress to vote for saving D.C. General.
Recalling the several months of work by the Coalition, Dr. Alim said that "this is a movement of love," beginning with love of God. He said that the only way we can serve God is to serve our fellow man, especially the poor, and the least of our brethren. "D.C. General is sacred ground, it is consecrated for the poor." Alim reminded the crowd that as Jesus said that the "poor will always be among us." the doors must always be opened to those poor, "for the love of humanity." He said that the citizens must turn out in "platoons, squads, and brigades" to demonstrate outside the Mayor's office on Thursday, and march with the coalition to Capitol Hill to win this fight.
Schiller Institute leader Dennis Speed, citing a major article by Lyndon LaRouche on "The Philosophy of Victory" (see EIR, March 2, 2001), drew the participants to see the larger picture they were acting in. Speed gave a strategic briefing on the needless crises being created by the arrogant and stupid Washington elites--the economic and financial collapse, the Middle East bloodbath, the looming strategic crisis in China. LaRouche's article is sub-titled, "Can We Change the Universe," and Speed identified that, as the subject of the fight for D.C. General--to realize the human purpose for change, and to create a government of the people, by the people and for the people. He asked how elected officials can represent the "will of the people" who elected them, if the people are so indifferent that they have no "will."
Speed recounted that at Howard University, a medical student named Robert Henderson had committed suicide on April 6, and that he was the third student to die at the University in the last three weeks. Two of the three had committed suicide. How ironic, Speed said, that a medical student at this African-American university, in the city in the which the fight for D.C. General was raging, felt that his life had no purpose. This student could have been at this meeting, or last week's meeting, and seen that this movement, this fight for the General Welfare, gives purpose to every life.
Challenge From 1960s Civil Rights Leader
Rev. James Bevel is a legendary figure in the American civil rights movement, and was also the 1992 candidate for the vice-Presidency of the United States with Lyndon LaRouche, then in jail. Bevel, who had been called to Birmingham on Good Friday of 1963 by Dr. Martin Luther King, as King entered the Birmingham jail, and immediately devised the bold 1963 Birmingham "Children's March" that broke the back of segregation in Alabama, inspired and challenged D.C. citizens to spread the General Welfare movement further than anything seen in their lifetime.
Bevel pointed out that while the U.S. government provides a means for true personal sovereignty, people who refuse to exercise it act like animals, instead of citizens. Bevel said that no citizen can ever truly be "oppressed" by another--neither the "powerless" by the "powerful", nor the "black" by the "white". He spoke of the "government", not as bureaucracy, but as the Consitution and Declaration of Independence of 1776, in the which, the Founding Fathers of America wrote of "inalienable rights," and "self-evident truths", such that "all men are created equal." Bevel blasted the belief that the American founding documents were designed to exclude black Americans, or anyone else, and located the success of this battle for D.C. General in the real fight that is necessary: "You must bring out your neighbors, students, children--make them all act like citizens by taking their inalienable rights". Organizing takes work, he stressed--meetings every night, planning each next step until victory.
Dr. Simmon Wilcox from Aliquippa Community Hospital received a standing ovation for his, and his fellow doctors', defeat of the very Doctors Community Health Care Corp. which was tapped by the Control Board to ruin D.C. General. Dr. Wilcox, who has traveled throughout the world, practicing medicine in Jamaica, South Africa, and other nations, told the audience that the excellence of American public health was once a "crowning jewel" that set this nation apart. He said he had never thought he would see those hospitals closed and looted as was now being done in the name of profit-making.
Dr. Wilcox recalled how DCHC had come in with a "better bid" than a proposal to incorporate Aliquippa into a university network that would have brought in the finest doctors and research facitilies in the area. The hospital "accountants" praised DCHC for the "very high rating it had gotten from Wall Street," and for its "great website." The doctors at Aliquippa, however, "being more interested in knowing the medical performance after these people take over a hospital," did their own "due diligence" check. They found that DCHC's takeovers of other financially limited hospitals had destroyed those facilities completely, resulting in lawsuits that showed extensive fraud. Dr. Wilcox especially thanked the LaRouche movement for coming out to Aliquippa "within 24 hours" of speaking to him on the phone about DCHC, and providing the crucial information that led the hospital board to cancel the deal with DCHC completely.
Dr. Joycelyn Elders, possibly the most controversial U.S. Surgeon General in recent times, because of her well-known outspokenness, raised the issue beyond the fate of the one hospital: "You are not fighting about a hospital and that alone." She told the assembled citizens that the budget-cutters and "control boards" of the world will never lack money to build a new jail, but they never have funds to build the schools that America's young black men should be going to instead of prison. Children are graduating high school with diplomas that they cannot read., she went on. "We believe in having health care for the haves, and sick care for the have-nots. We always go out and vote up taxes to build a jail. But when we start talking about schools, hospitals, about health care for the poor, where are we? 'We don't have the money.' "
'Why Did You Come Here?'
Attacking the continual media reports in the Washington area for months, that the takeover and closure of the city's public hospital was "a done deal," Dr. Elders reported that the first question the media asked her when she arrived today for the mass meeting was " 'Why did you come here?' I was asked two or three times, since I arrived, why have you come in now? It's all over. It's all done. Well, you see, I'm a doctor. And I am saying that nobody is ever dead until there is not another heartbeat, that I can't make come about. You just have to keep fighting. You have to keep on working. You set a goal to save D.C. General. Don't let that be an end in itself--keep fighting. Don't let the fear of failure stop you....If you disappear, the hospital will disappear."
Elders, a veteran of political and civil rights battles, told the crowd she has been falsely called an atheist--and then humorously quoted her church's bishop on the big, important battles like that going on in Washington: "When you are dancing with a bear, don't sit down to rest; keep dancing until the bear gets tired."
The Coalition to Save D.C. General stands now within sight of a victory for the principle of the general welfare--if it can now mobilize citizens all over the United States to make every member of Congress answer to the issue of that principle.