Jan 182014

by Martha Grevatt, January 17, 2014

Autoworkers protest outside of the North American International Auto Show

Autoworkers protest outside of the North American International Auto Show on Jan. 12, 2014

For the fifth year in a row, the rank-and-file autoworker advocacy group Autoworker Caravan protested outside the North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall, in Detroit, on Jan. 12. This protest’s theme was the demand for a “people’s recovery.” In an Occupy-style mike check and skit, the question of “whose recovery?” was asked several times.

The answers pointed out that while the auto bosses and bankers are celebrating the recovery of their profit margins, those for whom there has been no recovery include first- and second-tier U.S. autoworkers, autoworkers in low-wage countries, and Detroit’s city workers, retirees and unemployed.

The protest also emphasized global working-class unity with the chant “Colombia to Michigan, solidarity is going to win!” Autoworker Caravan has brought the struggle of General Motors workers in Bogotá, Colombia — who were fired after they were injured — to the attention of shop floor workers in Detroit and other cities. The group has raised more than $15,000 to sustain the families of fired workers, members of the Association of Injured Workers and Ex-workers of GM Colmotores, who have maintained a tent occupation across from the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá for almost 900 days. Continue reading »

 January 18, 2014  Posted by at 12:38 pm Detroit Bankruptcy  No Responses »
Jan 142014

Picket Bankruptcy Court

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

1 PM – 2 PM

231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226

On Thursday, Jan. 16 Judge Rhodes will be giving his ruling on the Barclay loan deal (to give the criminal banks $165 million instead of prosecuting the banks for fraud).  We will be picketing outside the Federal Courthouse (231 W. Lafayette St.) from 1 – 2 PM to demand “Hands Off Our Pensions! Cancel the Debt to the Crooked Banks!” At 2 PM we will be going inside the courtroom to hear the decision and show the human face to this entire outrage. Leave your cell phone, pocket knife, etc. in your car – you cannot bring them into the court.

And plan to join the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Rally and March on Monday, Jan. 20. Rally inside Central United Methodist Church (23 E. Adams – at Woodward Ave.) at 12 noon. If you are up to marching, we will step off at 1:45 PM outside the church and go through downtown, ending up back at the church for food, music and poetry.

Initiated by Stop Theft of Our Pensions Committee of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition.

Call 313-680-5508 for more information.


 January 14, 2014  Posted by at 10:27 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Jan 052014

By Diane Bukowski, Voice of Detroit, January 3, 2014

First demonstration demanding cancellation of Detroit's debt to the banks, held in downtown Detroit May 9, 2012. Significantly, the protesters also opposed an emergency manager for Detroit.


Bankruptcy protester targets EM law PA 436.

DETROIT – In a key development in the Detroit Chapter 9 bankruptcy case, the Michigan and Detroit NAACP plaintiffs succeeded Dec. 30 in moving their appeal of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes’ earlier order barring their constitutional challenge to the state’s Emergency Manager law, PA 436, into U.S. District Court.

U.S. District Court Senior Judge Bernard Friedman has been assigned to the case. No hearing date has yet been set. The appeal is key because Detroit is the only municipality in the country where a Chapter 9 bankruptcy is taking place under an unelected official, EM Kevyn Orr.

The NAACP et al appeal asks among other issues, “Whether the Bankruptcy Court had the jurisdiction to address a strictly constitutional law claim, not in any way intertwined with bankruptcy law or the Bankruptcy Code?, and . . . Whether the Bankruptcy Court abused its discretion when it used subjective reasoning and speculation as to the Petitioners’ intentions and determined what is best for the City, over and above fundamental constitutional issues, such as voting rights?”

Judge Rhodes ruled Nov. 6 that he would allow a similar complaint, Phillips et al, to proceed because it exempted Detroit’s situation from its complaint, to avoid interfering with the ongoing Detroit bankruptcy case. But he himself is hearing that complaint.

“The substance of our case is not about debtor-creditor issues, but about voter law,” Melvin “Butch” Hollowell, the Michigan NAACP’s in-house counsel, told Judge Rhodes during the Oct. 2 hearing on their motion to remove Rhodes’ stay of the case, which was then pending before U.S. District Court Judge George Caram Steeh.

Continue reading

Jan 042014

Come out to the final arguments Monday in the Bankruptcy Hearing on Orr’s Giveaway to the Banks

Monday, January 13, 2014, 9:00 am

231 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226

At the bankruptcy hearing on Friday, January 3, 2014, Emergency Manager Orr admitted that the City of Detroit could have pursued claims for fraud, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract against Bank of America and UBS to potentially recover the $300 million these banks have already netted from their interest rate swap swindle.

However, instead of going after these banks for their predatory lending practices which caused Detroit’s financial crisis by foreclosing on 100,000  homes and then putting the city in bankruptcy  through interest rate swaps which continued the banks’ fraudulent lending practices against the city itself — Orr is asking Judge Rhodes to approve a termination fee of an additional $165 payment to these banks, funded by a loan by Barclays Bank at up to 8.5% interest  with $4.2 million in “breakage fees”.

If this deal is approved,  the people of Detroit will be paying 20% of city income tax revenues, $48 million a year, to these banks for the next four years, at the expense of city pensions, jobs and services.

Pack the hearing on Monday.  Let’s send a message to Judge Rhodes to reject this gift to the banks.  Cancel the debt to the banks.  The banks owe us for the destruction they caused.  Make the banks pay to rebuild our communities and put our youth to work.

Cancel the debt banner - US Bankruptcy C

U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 231 West Lafayette, Detroit, Michigan 48226

 January 4, 2014  Posted by at 10:29 pm Detroit Bankruptcy , , ,  No Responses »
Jan 042014

Detroit MLK Day Rally & March
Monday, Jan. 20, 2014, Noon
Central United Methodist Church, Woodward at East Adams

Annual Detroit MLK Day Rally & March to Focus on 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, Monday, Jan. 20, Beginning at Noon

Fannie Lou Hamer and others

This year’s commemorative celebration of the federal holiday honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on his 85th birthday will again take place at Central United Methodist Church, located on Woodward Avenue and East Adams, downtown, on Jan. 20 beginning at Noon. There will be a rally and a march through downtown Detroit returning to the Church for a community meal and cultural program. Continue reading »

 January 4, 2014  Posted by at 2:42 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Jan 012014

For Immediate Release – January 1, 2014

Location: 231 W. Lafayette in Downtown Detroit
Contact: (313)-671 3715, 680-5508
URL: http://moratorium-mi.org Continue reading »

Dec 302013

orr robbing retireesThe Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Stop Theft of Our Pensions Committee, and Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management request that people around the United States and the world hold demonstrations in solidarity with the working people of Detroit on January 2, 3 and 4, at the offices of Bank of America, UBS, Merrill Lynch and Barclays. The outcome of the struggle to save pensions, jobs, public assets and the right to vote in Detroit will set a precedent for people throughout the country.

For more information, please call 313-671-3715 or 313-680-5508.

Please let us know of your solidarity action by emailing details to moratorium@moratorium-mi.org

Solidarity Actions

Friday, January 3

New York City – 1:00 PM

@Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Offices, 2 Financial Center, Liberty & West Street, NYC

Raleigh, North Carolina – 12 p.m. (Noon)

Gather at Bank of America, 421 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, NC

Oakland, California – 12 p.m. (Noon)

Demo at BofA near Fruitvale BART to support Detroit.
3251 International Blvd, Oakland, California 94601-2903

Facebook: Support Detroit Workers – Make the Banks Pay – demo against Bank of America

Saturday, January 4

New York City – 2:30 PM

Protest at Bank of America HQ, 42nd St & 6th Ave, NYC
Then join us for a 4:00pm PPA Planning Meeting for Martin Luther King Day & Low Wage Workers Campaign at Solidarity Center – 147 West 24th St. 2nd Floor
(Hot soup & great snacks provided).  More info at Peoples Power Assemblies

 December 30, 2013  Posted by at 11:49 pm Detroit Bankruptcy No Responses »
Dec 302013

For Immediate Release
Media Advisory
December 29, 2013

Event: Demonstrate Outside Federal Court on Friday January 3, 8:30 a.m.
Location: 231 W. Lafayette in Downtown Detroit
Contact: (313)-671 3715, 680-5508
E:mail: info@moratorium-mi.org
URL: http://moratorium-mi.org

Oppose Barclays Swap Deal Which Will Cost the City of Detroit Its Future Continue reading »

 December 30, 2013  Posted by at 8:25 pm Detroit Bankruptcy  No Responses »
Dec 302013

Oppose Barclays Swap Deal Which Will Cost the City of Detroit Its Future

Demonstrate Outside Federal Court

Friday, January 3, 8:30 a.m.

231 W. Lafayette in Downtown Detroit

Contact: 313-671 3715, 313-680-5508


Cancel Detroit’s Debt –Make the Banks Pay, They Owe Us

Hands Off Our Pensions

Save City Services and Assets

Make the Banks Fund a Jobs Program

Initiated by
Moratorium NOW! Coalition (moratorium-MI.org)
Stop Theft of Our Pensions Committee (S.T.O.P.)
Detroit Resisting Emergency Management (d-rem.org)
Continue reading »