Detroit, Jan. 28: Make The Banks Pay for Detroit’s Financial Crisis!

Organizing Meeting

Monday, January 28, 2013, 7 p.m.

5920 Second Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202 (at Antoinette, just north of Wayne State University)

Organized by Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs

The Banks Owe the City of Detroit Billions of Dollars for the Destruction of Our Neighborhoods

No financial manager or “financial stability agreement”

The same banks which caused the economic crisis and destroyed the City of Detroit’s tax base with their fraudulent and racist predatory loans resulting in approximately 150,000 foreclosures in the past five years, now get first lien on city tax dollars for debt service payments.

… Public Act 4, the Emergency Manager Act, guarantees these banks “payment in full of the scheduled debt service requirements on all bonds, notes and municipal securities.” The Financial Stability Agreement incorporates these guarantees. Thousands of city workers are being eliminated, city services are being destroyed and city assets sold to pay off the criminal banks.

The March 12, 2012 Report of the Detroit Financial Review Team’s noted that in the prior fiscal year the City of Detroit paid $597 million in debt service to the banks. The city owes $16.9 billion in debt service to the banks, including $4.9 billion in interest (profit) alone. Eighty per cent of state payments from tax dollars to the Detroit Public Schools is earmarked for debt service payments to the banks.

The 2012 City of Detroit Comprehensive Annual Financial Report states in part:

• $116.1 million of the $218.6 million in bonds the State floated to “help” the City of Detroit went directly to debt service payments to the banks.
• The Water Department issued $1.160.5 billion in revenue bonds last year – $547.2 million was used to pay penalties to the banks for prior bond deals gone sour.
• The City of Detroit is on the hook for an additional $894 million in termination fees this year for being hoodwinked by the banks into interest rate swaps that went bad.
• The City owes the County $84 million this year alone for chargebacks on uncollectible delinquent property taxes – at least half of that is because banks have refused to pay property taxes on foreclosed properties in the City of Detroit.

The banks owe the city billions in reparations for the destruction they have caused. We need an immediate moratorium or halt on all debt service payments to the banks. A suspension in debt service payments would resolve the city’s fiscal crisis and allow for the restoration of city services and the recall of laid-off city workers.

Mayor Bing and the majority of City Council have given up any authority over the City because of their subservience to the banks and Gov. Snyder, and their willingness to destroy the City to serve the rich. We need a People’s Assembly to organize the struggle to demand that the people come before the banks. We have already begun with a Freedom on Information Request for every city contract/ bond with the banks for a people’s review.

In the 1930’s, during the depression, Mayor Frank Murphy of Detroit first formulated the demand for a Moratorium on Debt Service payments when he led the National Conference of Mayors. Let’s revive the fighting tradition of Detroit. Make the banksters pay for the rebuilding of our communities!



Madison, Jan. 23: Protest Mining Bill at State Capitol

Public Hearing inside state capitol, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Idle No More: Silent No More 5:30 p.m. protest at Lady Forward Statue:

The Bad River Protect and Defend the Water Committee is coordinating transportation to the hearing with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. We expect that there will be two coach buses traveling from the north to Madison. There will likely be stops in Ashland, Odanah, Woodruff and Wausau. Please contact Mary Lou Salawater if you would like to ride down on the bus. Mary Lou can be reached at 715-292-5015 and 715-682-4505. Buses are leaving before 5 am on Wednesday, returning very late on Wednesday night.


United National AntiWar Coalition Opposes Western Intervention in Mali


The statement concludes by saying, “The U.S. anti-war movement, which has fought so hard to oppose U.S. intervention in the Middle East and other regions of the world, must take up the long-overdue struggle to oppose U.S. intervention in Africa. We must demand the dismantling of AFRICOM. We must oppose any U.S. or European-led intervention in Mali. We must call for the withdrawal of all Western troops from the Continent. We must demand Western reparations for the unimaginable damage wrought on Africa and Africans by centuries of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism and neocolonialism.”


Chicago, Jan. 24: Protest U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald

Protest former US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at meeting of University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Thursday, January 24

3:30 pm

828 S. Wolcott, UIC Student Center West

Demand an End to Investigation of Anti-War Activists

Patrick Fitzgerald has been appointed to be a member of the UI Board of Trustees.  His first meeting will be this week on the UIC campus.  Activists who have been the targets of raids and grand jury subpoenas are calling for a protest.

Fitzgerald has played a leading role in the U.S. government’s undermining of civil liberties during the so called “War on Terror. He convened a grand jury in 2009 under the pretext of investigating “material support for foreign terrorist organizations,” and together with the FBI, sent undercover officers to infiltrate and spy on anti-war groups.  The prosecutor in his former office, Barry Jonas, continues the investigation to this day, despite an outpouring of support for the targeted activists from the Arab and Muslim communities, faith leaders, labor unions, and a dozen members of Congress.

Fitzgerald also prosecuted Palestinians Muhammad Salah, who has U.S. citizenship, and Abdelhaleem Ashqar.  Fitzgerald’s office presented evidence extracted from Salah through torture in an Israeli prison, and allowed the Israeli torturers to testify without allowing the defense to hear the testimony, the infamous “secret evidence.”  After Ashqar and Salah were acquitted of the major terrorism-related charges, Ashqar was indicted, convicted, and sentenced to over 11 years in prison for invoking his constitutional right not to testify to a grand jury–clearly a punitive response by Fitzgerald after his very public loss in the case.

In addition, Jonas was the primary investigator in the case of the Holy Land Five, in which leaders of a Palestinian Muslim charity were convicted of providing material aid to terrorism. They were sentenced to many decades in prison, based on alleged donations to the same Gaza-based charities that the U.S. government donated to, and based on the secret testimony of an agent of the Israeli state.