Abayomi Azikiwe: Detroit's Economic Crisis and the Role of the Banks!
Part of a Global Crisis. Since late March, the city of Detroit has been under a so called financial emergency, where right wing multi-millionaire Governor Rick Snyder designated Kevyn Orr, a bankers' agent, to head this municipality in total contravention of the political will of the people, not only here but around the state. When the announcement of emergency management was made, the corporate media never bothered to mention that a large majority of people within Michigan had just voted against Proposal II, which would have changed the constitution to ensure payments to the banks, irrespective of the interests of the people of his area. Public Act 436, is nothing but a legislative and executive mechanism, to further impoverish, exploit, oppress and repress the people of Detroit. Over the last census period , some 237,000 people were driven from the city through predatory lending, utility shut offs, the flight of jobs and repression by the state apparatus. When the city loses residents, it means that tax revenues go down, and this inevitably results in a greater drain of resources for the payment of civil servants, and the maintenance of municipal services, like public lighting, public transportation, public schools, etc. The banks who evicted the residents of Detroit do not pay taxes on the seized properties, many of which now are controlled by Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, who are deadbeat property occupiers themselves. At present, there is no viable or legitimate government running the City of Detroit. The current corporate imposed Mayor, and majority City Council, voted to abdicate their authority to the state, and consequently the banks which have ruined Detroit. Just last month, this same Mayor and majority City Council, voted to hand over another $3.3 million to Jones Day law firm, a multi-billion dollar outfit, that was involved in the much championed Chrysler bailout in 2009. These forces, which are the enablers behind Orr, were part of the auto prepackaged bankruptcy, that led to the loss of tens of thousands of jobs, the slashing of salaries, and the institutionalization of a two and three tier wage structure, and attacks on the eight hour day. Jones Day is being contracted to supposedly restructure the debt for the city. We know that whatever they decide to do, will not involve the people of Detroit. We also know that the type of restructuring they are talking about, has nothing to do with the interests of the people of the city, which includes the need for jobs, economic opportunities, housing rehabilitation, municipal services, the re building of public education, public transportation, food security, the maintenance of our water system and other public assets.