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  Summer 2009

Detroit: Divided We Beg; United We Demand

From June 14-17 organizers held a PEOPLE’s Summit and tent City in Detroit to present alternative fightback program for economic recovery. It was four days of active resistance to foreclosures, evictions, mass layoffs, war and repression.

            The PEOPLE raised strategies for a Declaration of a State of Economic Emergency both statewide and federally, with a moratorium on foreclosures, evictions and utility shut-offs.

On Monday the PEOPLE marched to the Renaissance Center to confront the National Summit of CEOs and Bankers taking place. Activists let the corporations and banks know that they are responsible for the worst crisis since the Great Depression. And the people, not the bankers must provide a solution to the problems of foreclosures, plant closings, school closings and environmental degradation.

            Later that evening the youth held a Youth Concert and Rally to Stop the “War on Drugs” and Police Brutality.

On Tuesday morning people with disabilities led a disability rights march. Later, laid-off and retired autoworkers led a march to the GM Headquarters. CEO of American Axle, Richard Dauch, and ex-Governor John Engler addressed the business summit on the future of manufacturing.

Activists demanded that they Stop the Plant Closings by General Motors, Chrysler and American Axle and Enforce the Full Employment Act of 1978.

 Later that day the people discussed strategies for keeping plants open and stopping permanent lay-offs. They ended the day with a rally to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

       Throughout the summit, there were videotaped testimony and people’s speak-outs on how the crisis affected them.  And people submitted ideas for the People’s Stimulus Plan and Economic Bill of Rights.

The People's Summit was endorsed by over 40 organizations from around the US. People pitched tents at Grand Circus Park and set up literature tables there.


From the Summit Press Release:

The recent announcements that General Motors and Chrysler are utilizing the tens of billions of dollars in government funds they have just received to shut plants and lay-off tens of thousands of workers is outrageous and illegal.
       The Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978 states that the federal government must use all programs and policies to promote full employment. The bosses and banks caused the current economic crisis, not the workers.  They should be axed. 
       Let the workers stay on their jobs via a short workweek to spread the work. Or let them retool the plants for modern vehicles or mass transit which is so desperately needed. 
       We need international solidarity of all workers to stop the exporting of jobs by raising living standards worldwide.

Declare a State of Emergency

The new wave of plant closings and lay-offs will deepen the economic catastrophe that is already destroying Michigan.  Governor Granholm must declare a State of Economic Emergency in Michigan pursuant to MCL 10.31. She must then use her emergency powers to place a two-year Moratorium on all Foreclosures, Evictions, and Utility Shut-offs.  Such a moratorium existed for 5 years during the last depression and was declared constitutional by the Michigan and U.S. Supreme courts.


CONTACT:  Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures & Evictions

313.671.3715; moratorium@moratorium-mi.org

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