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Ady Barkan (right), pictured with social justice activist Linda Sarsour, confronted Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) about the future of medicare disability benefits last week as the GOP sped to push through their widely disliked tax overhaul plan. Now, after Republicans unveiled the final version of their bill for both the House and Senate on Friday, Barkan is leading the call for people nationwide to come out for a day of massive protest on Monday. (Photo: Courtesy of Ady Barkan)

Man With ALS Who Confronted Flake on Plane Has Just One Birthday Wish: 'A Massive Day of Action to Kill the #GOPTaxScam'

"Some days I feel like giving up. But I can't. Instead, I’ve been crisscrossing the country fighting the Republican tax bill—and fighting for my life."

Common Dreams staff

Ady Barkan—the 33-year-old political activist who last week seized a chance enounter on an airplane to confront Republican Senator Jeff Flake from his home state of Arizona over the pending tax overhaul legislation—is having a birthday on Monday, but this year he only has one wish: For people nationwide to rise up and raise hell in opposition to what has become known as the "GOP tax scam."

"Monday is my 34th birthday. I probably won't have many more," he wrote in a Saturday email sent by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC). He continued:

As I said in my email earlier this week when I shared the viral video of my conversation with Senator Jeff Flake on a plane from DC, a year ago I was healthy. Then, I was diagnosed with ALS— also called Lou Gehrig's disease—which is a rapidly progressing deadly ailment with no cure.

Now, I walk with a cane, I have trouble breathing, and I don’t even have the strength to lift my 18 month old son into my lap.

Some days I feel like giving up. But I can't. Instead, I’ve been crisscrossing the country fighting the Republican tax bill—and fighting for my life.

The Republican tax plan would mean serious cuts to disability funding that I’ll need before too long to pay for a ventilator to keep me alive and other crucial medical care. What will these Republicans in Congress say to my son if I can’t get one?

My birthday is Monday and I have one wish. I want us to make it into a massive day of action to kill the Republican tax scam.

Along with the PCCC, Barkan encouraged people to sign up for and then attend a rally or event in their local district on Monday, December 18th.

Other groups, including MoveOn.org and others, are also organizing:

Since the video of him calling on Flake to buck his party and become a "hero" to the nation by voting against the GOP's plan, Barkan has made several media appearances, including this recent interview on CNN:

And in this video, posted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) on Friday after he and his family spent time together in her DC office, Barkan explained why it remains so vital that people rise up to stop Trump and the Republicans in the days ahead:


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