Detroit: People’s Summit & Tent City protests planned
May 31, 2009
Organizers of the People’s Summit and Tent City taking place June
14-17 in downtown Detroit have announced several demonstrations and other
events as part of its four-day agenda. The People’s Summit will counter
the National Summit, known until recently as the National Business Summit,
occurring June 15-17 at the GM Renaissance Center.
A State of Emergency Fightback Rally will kick off the People’s Summit
on June 14. Organizers say they will do what the politicians have so far
refused to do–declare a state of economic emergency in Michigan and all
areas affected by high unemployment, plant closings, mass layoffs, and record
foreclosures and evictions. They will demand and begin instituting an immediate
moratorium on layoffs, budget cuts, evictions and foreclosures.
On the morning of June 15, activists will distribute a Know Your Rights
leaflet to homeowners and renters at Detroit’s 36th District Court, the
busiest foreclosure and eviction court in the U.S. A lunchtime rally and
speak-out for the moratorium and to “bail out the people not the
banks” will take place. The theme of the day’s events will be
“Detroit’s crisis as a symbol of the country and the
Organizers will invite members of the big-business summit and the media to
go on a Corporate/Banker Devastation Tour of the city. They will view
neighborhoods with foreclosed and boarded-up homes, closed factories and
schools, and other signs of poverty and homelessness. Activists from around the
country are also invited.
Later, a mass march down Woodward Ave. will go from Grand Circus Park, site
of the People’s Tent City, to the GM Renaissance Center on
Detroit’s riverfront. People’s Summiteers will protest the
corporate agenda of the big-business gathering and put forward positive demands
such as free national health care for all and a massive program for union jobs
at living wages.
In the evening a youth hip-hop concert and rally to “stop the war on
drugs” and end police brutality are being planned.
The theme on June 16 will be “Stop the war on the workers and
poor–feed the people, not the Pentagon!” A morning demonstration
outside the People Mover station at Grand Circus Park will demand accessibility
for disabled people on the elevated train and full rights for people with
disabilities. The Detroit People Mover says on its Web site that it is
“100-percent accessible,” but it’s not. The elevator at the
Grand Circus Park station doesn’t work.
From noon to 1:30 p.m., as former Michigan Gov. John Engler, now head of the
National Association of Manufacturers, and Richard Dauch, the CEO of American
Axel & Manufacturing, speak at the big-business summit, a mass rally for
jobs will take place. Autoworkers, including member of Soldiers of Solidarity,
are expected to attend.
A Stop the Wars at Home and Abroad Rally and Cultural Program are slated for
the evening. Special sessions on workers’ occupations, immigrant and
women workers, fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act and other struggles
will occur throughout the People’s Summit and Tent City. Videotaped
testimony and people’s speak-outs on how the crisis affects them, as well
as discussions about the People’s Stimulus Plan and Economic Bill of
Rights, will take place daily.
Call 313-887-4344 or visit www.peoplessummit.org for more information or to
register, endorse, get leaflets and volunteer.