The FBI targets African-owned home healthcare agencies

WASHINGTON, DC—On Wednesday March 5th, 2014, workers and patients affected by the Feb 20th FBI crackdown on home healthcare agencies rallied in front of the DC Department of Health demanding to be paid.
The FBI crackdown resulted in 20 arrests—most of whom were Africans most recently from the continent. Other agencies accused of being involved in Medicaid fraud were also penalized.
One African-owned agency, Ultra Home Health Agency, has chosen to fight back by organizing the day's protest, which began at the Department of Healthcare Finance and ended in front of the DC Department of Health.
The crackdown has negatively affected thousands of patients and hundreds of workers, shutting off the necessary Medicaid funding which paid the salaries of Personal Care Assistants (PCA) who provide home health care assistance to low income residents.
Agencies that have not been completely shut down are being told to send their Personal Care Assistants (PCA) out to work, but the PCAs have not been paid since Feb 14, 2014.
The plight of African workers in DC, as in the rest of the world, is increasingly becoming more difficult under a dying imperialism.
It is important for us to recognize the significance of this moment in history as we see more and more evidence that the old power structures are struggling to maintain control by tightening their grip on capital and further restricting the freedoms of African people.
African people are specifically targeted and alienated when we attempt to have self-determination.
The actions of the FBI, which directly penalized Africans most recently from the continent, is just a continuation of U.S. aggression toward African people, which is part and parcel of the overall history of oppressive behavior aimed toward suppressing the African working class.
The FBIs actions make a bold statement about what they say we can and cannot do; it says African people cannot start a business in healthcare, and that we are not suitable enough to provide care to our communities, and if we dare to fight back then we will be defeated.
We have a statement to make too, which is that we will not be defeated and we will win only when we stand up and unite to defeat these gangsters.
Africans on the continent come to the U.S. with hopes of a better life, only to find that life here is difficult.
The increase in salary is offset by the increase in the cost to live, which oftentimes relegates Africans to living at or below the poverty line, struggling to make ends meet.
This is a harsh reality that usually leaves some Africans embittered, and because of the colonial state of U.S. immigration policy, they often feel disempowered because of a fragile citizenship status.
In fighting against these policies, however, they will find power because they will be joining the ranks of fellow Africans and other oppressed people throughout the world who are fighting for the right to self-determination; trying to eke out a future for ourselves and our families.
This is the people’s struggle and it is just the beginning of what must be done.
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