Apr 102016
 

Special Moratorium NOW! Coalition organizing meeting – focus on fighting tax foreclosures

Monday, April 11, 7 pm
5920 Second Ave., Detroit

Michael Steinberg, Director of the ACLU of Michigan, will speak on the efforts that the ACLU is pursuing to fight tax foreclosures in Detroit and Wayne County.

In May, 2015, Moratorium NOW! Coalition along with a number of community groups, joined the ACLU of Michigan in calling for a moratorium on mass tax foreclosures in Wayne County. (See Community groups send letter to the Wayne County Treasurer calling for a moratorium on tax foreclosures.) Michael Steinberg will update us on the legal aspects of the ongoing struggle.

 April 10, 2016  Posted by at 9:30 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Mar 282016
 

Nidia Quintero, General Secretary of FENSUAGRO, Colombia’s largest federation of agricultural workers unions, will be a special guest at the weekly Moratorium NOW! Coalition meeting.

Monday, April 4, 7:00 PM

5920 Second Ave., Detroit 48202

Columbia-permanent-vigilance

Colombia and all the world is hopeful about new peace accords that will end more than 50 years of civil war. But despite the progress that has been made, Colombia still is the most dangerous place in the world to be a unionist and assaults against human rights defenders have spiked in recent years. Colombia has also had peace agreements before that have been sabotaged by extreme right wing violence. Popular movements in Colombia have said international awareness is key if this peace is going to be just and durable.

Rural workers and their families are especially vulnerable and no labor organization is more targeted than FENSUAGRO. They represent the population most affected by forced displacement; many of their leaders have been jailed for political reasons; and since FENSUAGRO’s founding in 1976, more than 1,500 of their members have been murdered. Agricultural workers and peasant farmers are encouraged by agreements that when implemented will return many to their homes along with development of the infrastructure for new crops and markets for those crops. The peace could provide a level of security for labor organizers that has been absent for far too long. Nidia will discuss both the aspirations and fears of rural workers and all workers in Colombia.

Nidia comes from a farming family that was displaced by the armed conflict in the department of Cauca. She relocated to Putumayo, where she and her family became community and labor organizers. Fifteen of her fellow organizers were assassinated for their activities between 2000 and 2004. These included both her husband, a union leader who was killed on May 20, 2002 and her 19 year old son killed ten days later, who was also active in the union. In 2008 Nidia was chosen to be FENSUAGRO’s Secretary for Rural Women, and in 2010 she was elected to FENSUAGRO’s executive committee. She serves today as the federation’s Secretary General.

112 assassinations

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 March 28, 2016  Posted by at 12:14 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Mar 152016
 

STOPdestroydetroit

Keep Wayne County residents in their homes!

Stop foreclosures of all occupied homes!

Demonstrate at the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office
400 Monroe Ave. (in Greektown)
Wednesday – March 23, 2016 – Noon

More than 30,000 occupied homes are facing tax foreclosure in 2016, about the same high number we faced last year. Why?

  • An 18% yearly interest is added to the property tax—People had their homes auctioned off even when they paid their taxes because they did not realize a fee had been tacked on to their bill! End usurious interest
  • Detroit property taxes are over assessed and have been over assessed for years. The city’s present efforts at reassessment are “too little, too late” for the thousands who have lost their homes in recent auctions or now face foreclosure. The city was obligated to properly assess these properties but didn’t! The right to request reassessment has been limited to a ridiculous two-week period in February. Other cities have reassessed residential properties. We demand proper reassessment, and debt incurred by failure to properly assess be wiped clean! Stop Foreclosures and auctioning of homes based on “fraudulent” assessments!
  • Water bills are added to the property tax. Remove all water bill debt from property tax bills!
  • In a city where 43% live in poverty, the tax department does not notify people that they may be eligible for “poverty” or principle residence exemptions. Eligibility for “poverty” exemptions should be retroactive, and everyone needs to be informed of these exemptions!
  • There are few or no counselors to help people, particularly those with a limited ability to read or whose first language is not English. Persons should be directly contacted, “occupied” homeowners identified, informed of their rights and worked with in the first year of forfeiture. Make independent counseling available!
  • The State of Michigan has just received a new grant of $74 million in Federal Helping Hardest Hit Homeowner assistance, with millions more on the way. These funds, intended to keep families in their homes, must be used to pay delinquent property tax bills for occupied homes, not be diverted for “blight removal” as was done last year. Place an immediate moratorium on tax foreclosures to allow families the opportunity to access these new Step Forward Funds. Make the Banks and Gilbert pay for the blight they caused through their predatory lending policies.

We demand an immediate moratorium (Halt) on all owner occupied home foreclosures, until the above and other glaring inequities are addressed!

Demo at Treasurer2 3-31-15 650px

Issued by: Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs
facebook.com/MoratoriumNowCoalition/      Moratorium-MI.org       moratorium@moritorium-mi.org      313-680-5508

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 March 15, 2016  Posted by at 6:38 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Feb 172016
 

Friday, February 19

11 am

Assemble at the Metropolitan Baptist Church at 10am

930 E. Myrtle Avenue, Flint, MI

Carpooling from Detroit:

Gather at 9am at 5920 Second Ave., Detroit (2 blocks north of WSU). Cars will depart for Flint at 9:30am. There is no guarantee of a ride.

Also, the Detroit Light Brigade and the Social Bustice are going back to Flint to stand with the residents to demand justice! They will be leaving Detroit at 8:15 am. The march starts at 11am! There is space for 9 people. Please call 313-704-5150 if you want to go.

 

Rebuild Flint demo -02-19-2016

 

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 February 17, 2016  Posted by at 8:38 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Feb 072016
 

General Motors is Guilty in Flint!

Demand GM, which made $9.7 billion in 2015, immediately contribute $4 billion to rebuild Flint’s water infrastructure, housing and schools, and provide quality, lifetime healthcare and services for Flint’s youth!

GM-demo-pic-021016

Working people across the U.S. and even many celebrities have made significant contributions to aid the people of Flint, who are experiencing the devastating effects of the Water Lead Poisoning Scandal. One entity, however, has been notably silent: General Motors Corporation. This is despite the fact that it was the actions of GM that are responsible for the financial destruction of Flint, which led to the city being placed under racist Emergency Management with the disastrous consequences that followed.

  • GM eliminated 72,000 union auto worker jobs in the Flint from 1970 to the present, driving out half of the population, and turning Flint from one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. to the poorest. GM moved operations all over the globe seeking low wages and replaced workers with robots in its drive for super-profits.
  • When GM became aware of the toxic nature of Flint’s water supply in October 2014, it didn’t alert the public or call for the end of its use in family water taps. No, it negotiated an exemption for itself to get water from Lake Huron so its parts would not be corroded, the people be damned.
  • GM is the single greatest polluter of the toxic Flint River, using it to dump industrial waste for years.
  • GM promoted lead-based gasoline for 60 years to make its engines more efficient at the least cost, knowing full well the poisonous effects of lead.
  • GM got a bailout from the federal government in 2009 which cost taxpayers $11 billion. The State of Michigan, under governors Granholm and Snyder, gave GM $4 billion in tax credits through 2030, meaning every year GM is profitable it pays ZERO state taxes.
  • GM pocketed $9.7 billion in profits in 2015. It’s time for GM to pay its debt to the people of Flint.

For more info: 313-680-5508

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 February 7, 2016  Posted by at 11:23 am Uncategorized No Responses »
Jan 032016
 

13th Detroit Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rally & March

2016 Detroit MLK Day event page-850px

Central United Methodist Church

Mon. Jan. 18, 2016

Noon to 5:30 pm

Sponsored by the Detroit MLK Day Committee
mlkdetroit.org

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 January 3, 2016  Posted by at 1:21 am Uncategorized No Responses »
Dec 072015
 

Protest Gov. Snyder,  Mayor Duggan and retired U.S. Judge Rhodes

Return stolen Detroit municipal pensions to city workers!

Stop the water shutoffs!

Reverse the layoffs in the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department!

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 5pm

Wayne State University
Community Arts Auditorium
450 Reuther Mall
Detroit , MI 48202

Gov. Rick Snyder, Mayor Mike Duggan and retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will be featured on a panel discussing the the recently concluded bankruptcy of the City of Detroit. The event begins at 6pm.  After the protest, you are encouraged to go into the auditorium for the panel discussion.  You will need to obtain free tickets  at

 December 7, 2015  Posted by at 9:58 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Nov 292015
 
Re. Edward Pinkney speaking in Detroit in October 2014

Re. Edward Pinkney speaking in Detroit in October 2014

Emergency Conference to Save Rev. Edward Pinkney

Saturday – December 12, 2015 – Noon to 5 pm

St. Matthew-St. Joseph Episcopal Church
8850 Woodward Ave. (at King St.)
Detroit, Michigan

Michigan political prisoner, the Reverend Edward Pinkney, fears for his life. With phone access denied, he is isolated in the far north Marquette Branch Prison, 500 miles from his wife, attorney and supporters. He recently wrote:

“I was transferred to Marquette Prison, shackled, mistreated, and intimidated. I was forced to strip on five different occasions. I am forced into overcrowding, inadequate exercise, lack of clean clothing, and inadequate medical care.

“I believe that [they] have put a hit on me, inside the prison system. I believe they are trying to force me to die in prison. If I do not survive this, you will know the reason why.

“The blatantly unconstitutional conduct by Judge Sterling Schrock, Prosecutor Mike Sepic, Sheriff Bailey, and the all-white jury have placed my life in danger.
“I need you to stand with me against the corrupt, broken system, a criminal enterprise operating in Berrien County and across the country–a lynch mob in black robes and three-piece suits.”

Rev. Pinkney’s family and supporters agree that his life is in danger. Racist guards are whipping up hostility among the 80% white prisoners against Rev. Pinkney. He lacks clean clothes, decent food, adequate medical care and exercise. Rev. Pinkney turned 67 at the end of October. We need to come together to put this critical situation before the whole nation and the entire world.

For more information and to endorse, please call 313-680-5508 or email mecawi@mecawi.org.

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Initial Endorsers: Mrs. Dorothy Pinkney; Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (mecawi.org); Observers in the Court; Pan African News Wire (panafricannews.blogspot.com); Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA); Detroit Green Party; Detroit School Board (in exile); Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures (moratorium-mi.org); Workers World Party

For more information regarding Rev. Edward Pinkney, please visit bhbanco.org

Pinkney Conference-650x

 November 29, 2015  Posted by at 9:22 am Uncategorized No Responses »
Nov 052015
 

million student march-650px

A National Day of Action on November 12th

We Demand:

Tuition-Free Public College
Cancellation of All Student Debt
A $15 Minimum Wage for All Campus Workers

The United States is the richest country in the world, yet students have to take on crippling debt in order to get a college education. We need change, and change starts in the streets when the people demand it. With students, college graduates, and workers united we can build a movement capable of winning debt-free college for all and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers!

At University of Michigan – Dearborn campus:

On Thursday, November 12th at 12pm, students, professors, and community members at UMD will be joining the national movement to demand free public higher education, an alleviation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all university employees! The action is a march on UM-Dearborn’s campus, 4901 Evergreen Rd Dearborn, MI and we’ll be meeting at the University Center building!

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National website: #MillionStudentMarch (studentmarch.org)

 November 5, 2015  Posted by at 8:04 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Oct 282015
 

Protest and Press Conference Against Mistreatment of Political Prisoner, the Rev. Edward Pinkney

Michigan Department of Corrections, 206 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI

Monday, November 2, 2015, at 12 Noon

Pinkney-Detroit2-3-10-20-14

Activists from across Michigan will be protesting outside the Michigan Department of Corrections offices to demand that Director Heidi Washington immediately restore phone privileges to political prisoner, the Reverend Edward Pinkney. The demonstrators will also be demanding that Director Washington reverse the punitive transfer of Rev. Pinkney to Marquette Branch Prison (483 miles away from his wife and attorney) and return him to the Lower Peninsula while his appeal proceeds.

Rev. Pinkney was targeted for his political activism in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Leading an effort to recall Mayor Hightower brought a SWAT team to his door in 2014 with charges that five dates on the recall petitions had been altered. Rev. Pinkney was charged with five counts of felony forgery, brought to trial before an all-white jury and convicted with absolutely NO EVIDENCE of his altering anything on the petitions. The prosecutor and judge collaborated in this frame-up, telling the jury that “you don’t need evidence to convict Pinkney.” The fact that Rev. Pinkney chaired protest meetings and spoke at press conferences was introduced to “prove” that he must be guilty! Rev. Pinkney was sentenced to 2.5 to 10 years.

This outrageous frame up is being appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals by his attorney as well as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Lawyers Guild, who have filed amicus briefs in the case.

Rev. Pinkney has been targeted since his imprisonment on Dec. 14, 2014, most recently by his politically motivated transfer to Marquette Branch Prison from the Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Michigan. For several weeks he was housed in a moldy cell, causing him dizziness and difficulty breathing. On October 23 Marquette Prison officials revoked Rev. Pinkney’s telephone privileges, effectively silencing and isolating this political prisoner.

Friends and supporters of Rev. Pinkney fear for his health and his life in the racist atmosphere of Marquette Prison, cut off from any contact with the outside world. On October 27th Rev. Pinkney turned 67 years old.

Supporters of Rev. Pinkney have been flooding the MDOC Directors office with protest phone calls since his transfer and his denial of phone access.

Sponsored by:

Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
5920 Second Avenue, Detroit MI 48202
313-680-5508

 October 28, 2015  Posted by at 10:23 pm Uncategorized No Responses »