The Socialist Equality Party calls on workers and young people in the Detroit area to mobilize opposition against the newly appointed emergency manager and the plans to carry out a new round of devastating attacks on the working class.
Kevyn Orr has not been installed to “save” Detroit, but to destroy it. For an indefinite period of time, he can enact laws, replace all elected officials, deploy the police, rip up contracts and assume all the powers of government. He will use these dictatorial powers to destroy the wages and benefits of city workers, shut down essential services and sell off public assets like the water system, the zoo and art museum.
Everything can be torn up. All contracts are worthless, except for one thing: Orr is mandated to make sure the city’s debts are paid in full and the banks and wealthy bondholders get all their money. This requirement is written into the emergency manager law. It is no accident that his former law firm—Jones Day—represents Bank of America, UBS and JP Morgan Chase, the very same Wall Street firms that have milked the city for $474 million in debt-servicing payments since 2005.
What is happening to Detroit is a social crime, which will be used as a model throughout the United States. The closing of public schools, cuts to fire and ambulance service and the shutoff of electricity and gas have already produced tragedy. A new round of cuts will eliminate whatever social protections remain and condemn thousands more to an early grave.
But this is of no concern to the big banks or their political front men. From Republican Governor Rick Snyder and Democratic state treasurer Andy Dillon to Mayor Bing and the City Council, they all agree that the working class must pay for the economic crisis we did not create. The City Council and the trade unions, while posturing as opponents of the emergency manager, insist they will do a better job of attacking workers and dismantling the city.
The installation of the unelected EFM makes a mockery of democracy. In November, Michigan voters overturned Public Act 4, which gave emergency managers vast powers. “The wishes of the people be damned!” declared the political representatives of the banks and corporations. The state government promptly passed a new law, almost exactly the same as the one that had just been rejected.
The one section of the population which has had no say in determining the future of Detroit is the vast majority of the population: the working class—employed and unemployed, black and white, young and old, in the city and throughout the Metropolitan area. It is time for working people to stand up and advance our own solution.
Join the fight!
This call to action will be distributed at factories, workplaces and schools throughout the area. Sign up now to become involved and take up the fight!
No to the bankers’ dictatorship! For working class unity in struggle!
Contact the Socialist Equality Party to join this fight.
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