Monday, January 28, 2008

what Detroit could do with...

the $9 million dollars that went into covering up the Mayor and his administrations corruption:

- funding for the Detroit Public School system (which is estimating a $70 million shortfall)

- aid to the people (unemployment hovers at 14% with 306,208 of Detroit's citizens under the poverty line)

- money for the Detroit Universal Breakfast Program (meaning kids don't go hungry before school)

- helping with the foreclosure crisis (10% of the city's homeowners face foreclosure, that's almost 30,ooo homes)

- reversing the concessions that the Mayor's Chief of Staff, Beatty, wrestled from the City Unions

and the list goes on.

the current "gotcha" moment for the mayor isnt about his affair with Chief of Staff Beatty, its not about the cops who were canned (and then sued for those millions) because they knew to much of his mess ups, its about the Mayors blatant disregard for accountability and using his position to take advantage of the city and its scarce resources. Its is also about all these government officials living large at the expense of the citizens. "fishing trips" to cover affairs, using the city's credit cards to pay for expensive nightclubs, cops suing for the city's money, all this is corrupt. we need new organization in this city. we need to cut off these crooks. we need accountability and oversight.

even if the mayor survives this mess, we need to be raising the idea of expanding the power of a new and broadened council of city delegates that cooperate with community and labor councils. we need to decentralize the power. and we need associations that are determined by us people at the bottom, not the top.

Mayor Kilpatrick represents one wing of the ruling class, and despite all his charm and style he is a corrupt politician who is looking to build and benefit the corporations and upper classes of this society while everyday people struggle. our future, the future of Detroit, and the future of a troubled Michigan rests with accountability and collective self-governance, not the rule of a few.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

From the Ashes of the Old...

Autoworker Activists Gathering
Saturday, January 26th, 2008
Flint, Michigan

The Center for Labor Renewal & the Solidarity Education Center

in conjunction with Soldiers of Solidarity, Future of the Union, FactoryRat, Labor Notes, and numerous rank-and-file committees of resistance,

. . . will sponsor a one-day meeting for all autoworker activists on the recent concessionary Big Three auto contracts. The session will be an opportunity to analyze the economic and structural impact of the negotiations, to share experiences from the effort to mobilize opposition, and explore strategies and tactics for reclaiming unionism’s direction and rebuilding rank-and-file solidarity.

Location: University of Michigan-Flint
Harding Mott University Center - Michigan Rooms A & B
On Circle Dr. off Kearsley Street (Bldg # 10 on campus map)
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
www.csc.flint.umich.edu/~hickslm/umf/CampusMap.htm

For those coming from some distance and needing overnight accommodations, reduced rate rooms are available at the Holiday Inn adjacent to the campus. For reservations at the discounted rate of $69 per room, single or double occupancy, call Jerry Tucker at 314-968-5534. (Holiday Inn map: www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/fntno/transportation)

There is no cost for the meeting. A small donation for lunch will be at participant option.

Download the handbill (in PDF) here.


For more information or questions, contact:
Gregg Shotwell, SOS
greggshotwell@aol.com
616-485-8176
or Jerry Tucker, CLR/SEC
jtuckernd@sbcglobal.net
314-968-5534

NY Times: Blue-Collar Jobs Disappear, Taking Families’ Way of Life Along

Jeffrey Evans, 49, who moved in with his mother, Shirley Sheline, 73, after losing his job in an automotive factory, said, “I lost everything I worked for all my life.”

read more

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Trouble Around Town: neo-nazis moving into Detroit

Solidarity & Defense is an anti-racist,anti-fascist group. We actively confront neo-Nazis like the NSM. We support grassroots action against Nazis. The below article is informational and is an alert to anti-racist organnizers in Michigan.

The NSM has supporters in Warren, Cadillac, and Grand Rapids. Two years ago the NSM held a rally in Toledo, OH where residents angrily resisted the Nazis and the cops protecting them. The NSM were forced to flee the area.

Since then the NSM has also held rallies in Lansing and Grand Rapids. The Lansing rally saw several NSM Nazis beaten and forced to leave. The NSM advocates extreme violence against "non-White" people, and believes in pogroms and forced repatriation of people out of "White" territory. For more on S&D's position on anti-Nazi organizing see documents in side bars under, Fighting Words.

Top Neo-Nazi group leaves Minneapolis

From the Twin Cities Daily Planet: The Twin Cities Community Newswire
Submitted by Paul Schmelzer on Sun, 12/30/2007

While some of its local sympathizers are likely to stick around, the
country’s largest remaining neo-Nazi group has officially pulled up stakes
in Minnesota: the Hitler-inspired National Socialist Movement (NSM) has
left its longtime Minneapolis headquarters and relocated to Michigan,
according to a press release dated Dec. 29.

NSM head Jeff Schoep moved from Hutchinson to Detroit, bringing the
group’s business operations with him, says Michael Brooks, a former
Detroit resident who now lives in Toledo and covered NSM-sparked riots
there for the Free Press two years ago.

Along with the move, NSM announced leadership changes and touted that it
is “aggressively strengthening the organization with mandatory leadership
requirements including mandatory training seminars and other measures
designed to increase the level of efficiency across the board.”

The white separatist group has a track record of going into minority and
mixed-race communities to rally, as it did in North Toledo, Ohio, in
October 2005. When police shielded neo-Nazis from angry residents, the
crowd turned violent. Schoep commented that the “Negro beasts proved our
point for us.” (Its last Minnesota event of note was a January 2007
book-burning.)

But in Detroit, it’s Schoep (at right) who’s in the minority: around 88
percent of the city’s population is non-white, according to the U.S.
Census Bureau (by contrast, 18 percent of Minneapolis residents are
African American).

Reached by email, Brooks said he didn’t think Schoep moved to stir up
conflict. “I wouldn’t expect Schoep to suddenly turn into a one-man
vigilante force, and I don’t see this as a ‘belly-of-the-beast’ move,” he
wrote. “Schoep has always been a low-key, behind-the-scenes operative who
participates in few public rallies.”

NSM has attracted the attention of hatewatch groups like the Southern
Poverty Law Center for, among other activities, recruiting young people
through its Viking Youth Corps. A SPLC report in 2004 stated that Viking
Youth “will be taught military skills, national socialist theory and
practice, the history of the white race and, in general, how to become ‘a
more effective warrior.’” At that time, Schoep claimed there was so much
interest that “we can barely keep up.”

The group has two endeavors that presumably target that demographic: a
profitable record label (now promoting Arrow Cross, dubbed “real rock that
you will be proud to turn up load [sic]!”) and a social networking site
for “people of European descent.”

Like MySpace meets Mein Kampf, the site states, “Hot topics of interest
include defending the rights of white people, preservation of European
culture and heritage, reform of illegal immigration policies, workers
rights, withdrawal of our military from an illegal Middle Eastern
occupation and promotion of white separation.”