Saturday, March 7, 2009
People’s Summit June 14-17
The Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions voted unanimously on Feb. 28 to call a People’s Summit in Detroit from June 14-17. Organizers will begin widespread outreach to garner endorsers and draw other organizations into building for the June activities. These actions will include a march along Woodward Avenue for jobs and housing and a tent city in Grand Circus Park of the foreclosed-upon, jobless, underpaid, homeless and all who struggle for social and economic justice.
The People’s Summit will occur simultaneously with the National Business Summit, sponsored by the Detroit Economic Club, taking place at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Millionaire and billionaire capitalists, including the heads of ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, General Motors, Chrysler, Humana Inc., Ascension Health, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, BNSF Railway Co. and PVS Chemicals, will gather at this event June 15-17. The presidents of the National Council on Competitiveness and U.S. Chamber of Commerce will also be attending.
Calling it “a Gathering to Define America’s Future,” the business summit’s Web site states: “Participants will have direct access to ... top business, government and academic leaders and a voice in shaping the outcome of the discussion.” In order to have a voice, however, a registration fee of $1,495 per person is required.
Those who can afford this exorbitant registration fee will be putting their heads together to discuss “innovation and policy ideas in technology, energy, environment and manufacturing.” In other words, they will be strategizing on how to further increase their profits at the expense of the ever-shrinking middle class, the vast working class and the growing millions living in utter poverty.
These business tycoons will gather in a city reeling from rampant foreclosures and evictions, record unemployment, plant closings, mass layoffs, school closings, cutbacks, union busting and other forms of devastation.
President Barack Obama and cabinet members have been invited to this gathering. Will these business tycoons allow Obama’s economic stimulus plan to proceed? Will they create jobs at living wages? Will homeowners have real opportunities to avoid foreclosure? Or will the suffering and misery continue?
Only a mass struggle of those most affected by the capitalist economic crisis will turn the tide. The Moratorium NOW! Coalition organizers note that so far only the banks and mortgage lenders have been bailed out, to the tune of trillions of dollars of workers’ tax money—money sorely needed to rebuild the lives of the people.
Organizers hope that the People’s Summit will attract everyone struggling for social and economic justice, not just in Detroit and Michigan, but on a national level. Everyone involved in any progressive struggle is urged to organize for the June 14-17 event.
Kris Hamel is an organizer for the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evicitions. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org