Speech given by a Fellow Worker in Wheeling, WV, in response to the closing of an important regional healthcare provider.

This speech, given on September 8th, 2019, marks the closing of an important health care provider in the region. The closing will disproportionately affect low-income communities in the Wheeling and Ohio Valley area. This speech is inspired by a Eugene Debs speech, given when he visited Wheeling in 1897 during a coal mine strike.

Capitalism locks corporations in an unceasing quest for higher profits. In the United States, the center of global capitalism, corporations see everything as an opportunity for profit – our shelter, our food, our lives, and our health. To them, we aren’t humans, we’re dollar signs. Today, capitalism has twisted our economy into an absurdity. Manufacturing is gone, now we provide services, we’re service going.

The capitalist profit motive has so twisted our economy and our morals that now a so-called health care provider, Alecto, doesn’t profit through service, it doesn’t profit through health care, it profits through the liquidation of essential community services, our community services. Our community, our health.

Make no mistake, friends, this is nothing new. The capitalists have profited off of our backs the same way that they have forever. The same way that the capitalists have profited off of the backs of our ancestors, in the coal mines, in the steel mills, and the foundries. They profit off of us here now, and when our lives are no longer profitable to them, when our communities are no longer profitable to them, they will make their money off of our community’s lives and our destruction and our death.

It’s a tale as old as time. As long as capitalism survives, so will our suffering under this economy of exploitation. How do we face it?

We fight capitalism with socialism.

We fight exploitation with revolution.

Our struggles are intertwined.

We take our struggle, we organize, we take it to the bosses, we take it to the landlords, we take it to the bankers, and we take it to the racists and the bigots. And we don’t go away until they give us what we need – our lives and our freedoms.

Thank you.

For more information on the West Virginia IWW and upcoming actions, check out their website westvirginiaiww.org or find them on Facebook and Twitter @westvirginiaiww

Photo credit: Nathan Wright on Unsplash

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