(VOD ed.: AFSCME Council 25 is also calling public workers and the community to participate at 4:30 p.m. in a march outside CAYMC vs. takeover of Water Department, Bing’s cuts –see next two posts.)
From the Direct Action Committee, Occupy Detroit
In response to a nationwide call from Occupy Wall St. to protest austerity cuts: A teach-in and rally at Grand Circus Park at 3pm followed by a march to the Coleman A. Young Center at 4pm.
Dear Friends of Occupy Detroit,
Thursday, November 17 is a National Day of Action to Resist Austerity.
Austerity means more sacrifices from the 99% so that the 1% can impose its political and economic agenda. Here in Detroit we would like to focus on opposing the cuts to public services and the recently passed Emergency Manager bill. That law hijacks the democratic rights of voters, public sector workers and the entire community. This is done in the name of erasing a deficit. But why is there a deficit?
While speculation continues, the economy is drowning us in debt, foreclosing on our homes, eliminating our jobs and closing our schools and hospitals. The war machine demands to be fed. This is the logic of austerity — squeezing money from the meager services that remain and funneling it into armies and prisons and more tax breaks for the wealthy.
As we can see in the case of the takeover of the Detroit Public Schools, Emergency Managers collect large salaries while cutting the wages and benefits of public school workers. Teachers have been moved around as if they are cards in a deck. With little data to back up the claims, charter schools are extolled while public schools are closed. The resulting chaos has forced many parents to take their children out of the public schools. And, not surprisingly, the Detroit public school debt has risen and the banks demand payment. We see something wrong with this picture.
Emergency Managers are put in place by the governor, not the people. By taking away any semblance of a democratic process, the law undermines our ability act in our own best interests. Emergency Managers act in the interests of the wealthy, bleeding the public sector to cover debts we’re not responsible for. The fact that Emergency Managers have thus far only been appointed to predominantly African-American cities and school districts highlights the structural racism of these power grabs. We have the capacity to make our own decisions; we have the strength to stand together. An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
Politicians and the media demonize teachers, office workers and those who need social services. We all need public services—libraries, schools, youth and senior centers, parks and a myriad infrastructural services. We will not stand by while children go hungry, while families are refused access to water and heat, while already inadequate transportation undergoes another round of cuts. We say no to cuts that destroy the social fabric of our community! We are for jobs and the welfare of the entire community!
We ask you to join Occupy Detroit in a rally and march against austerity on Thursday, November 17. We will march against cutbacks demanded of city, county and state workers. We march against the Emergency Manager legislation. We demand that our society prioritize human rights–not the maximization of corporate profit.
Join us on November 17 for a 3PM rally in Grand Circus Park. At 4PM we will march to the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center at the foot of Woodward. Our route will pass the Rosa Parks Bus Center (Bagley & Cass) and then march by the Wayne County offices in the Guardian Building on Griswold before reaching the municipal center at 4:30PM. We will rally there from 4:30-5:30PM.
No to Cuts! No to Austerity! No to Emergency Managers!