Facing evictions, repression, no jobs
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, introducing Detroit Councilwoman JoAnn Watson at the People's Summit held in Grand Circus Park. (Photo: Alan Pollock)
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, introducing Detroit Councilwoman JoAnn Watson at the People's Summit held in Grand Circus Park. (Photo: Alan Pollock)
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Workers, youth open fightback at Tent City
Published Jun 17, 2009 4:34 PM
By Kris Hamel
Tent City, Detroit
June 16—Hundreds of poor and working people have gathered at the National People’s Summit and Tent City in downtown Detroit to put forward the people’s vision of a future with guaranteed jobs and income, universal health care, housing and utilities, and all rights that working class people are currently denied under the capitalist system.
More than 330 people registered for the four-day event. They have come from throughout metro Detroit and Michigan—even workers from the Upper Peninsula are at Tent City. Workers and activists from Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and more are represented.
The People’s Summit and Tent City, based in Grand Circus Park from June 14-17, was called in response to the National Summit of big-business CEOs and executives being held at the General Motors Renaissance Center—GM’s world headquarters.
“They’re going to regret the closing of 14 plants and the laying off of General Motors workers, because the workers are fighting back!” said Frank Hammer, a retired United Auto Workers International representative and leader of the Autoworker Caravan, as he opened the rally after a militant demonstration outside the big-business summit today.
More than 500 workers, including many from around Michigan and Ohio, marched in front of the GM Renaissance Center demanding jobs and human needs, not corporate greed. “The workers have spoken—keep the plants open!” was one of many chants that thundered from East Jefferson Avenue as dozens of cops and private thugs stood in formation guarding the privately owned Ren Cen.
As the workers marched and rallied for jobs, Richard Dauch, CEO of American Axle and Manufacturing, Inc., addressed the capitalists inside, along with former Michigan Gov. John Engler.
Dauch wrested tremendous concessions from striking UAW workers in 2008, cutting wages and benefits in half. Workers were promised their jobs would be saved, but now Dauch has broken that vow and the American Axle plant in Hamtramck, Mich., located within the city of Detroit, has closed.
Engler was rewarded for his gutting of welfare and education in Michigan with his appointment as president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
The People’s Summit and Tent City opened with a dynamic State of Emergency Fightback Rally on June 14. A host of speakers reiterated the theme that workers and poor people must fight back to reclaim their right to jobs, homes, equal quality education, and social and economic justice. “I declare a state of emergency!” said state Sen. Hansen Clarke, sponsor of a bill in the state legislature for a two-year moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
Other speakers included Detroit Councilperson JoAnn Watson; the Rev. Ed Rowe of Central United Methodist Church, a base of many struggles for social and economic justice; Maureen Taylor of Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; Teresa Gutierrez of the May 1 Coalition in New York City; foreclosure-fighting attorney Vanessa Fluker; Sandra Hines of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions; Marguerite Maddox of Paws with Cause, a disability-rights organization; youth and union organizer Dante Strobino of Durham, N.C.; recently- convicted people’s journalist Diane Bukowski, who was charged with felony counts while trying to report on pedestrian deaths resulting from a police chase; and Baldemar Velasquez of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.
Special sessions at the People’s Summit on June 14 discussed the immigrant rights struggle. Organizers with Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), a militant national youth organization, talked about the problems facing students and young workers today. Another special session heard from Dieter Ilius of the German Metalworkers Trade Union.
June 15 started with a mass leafleting outside 36th District Court, three blocks from Tent City. Activists distributed hundreds of “Know Your Rights” leaflets to homeowners and renters facing foreclosures and evictions. 36th District Court is the busiest foreclosure court in the United States. A militant picket line and demonstration demanding a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions took place outside the court at lunchtime.
A “Corporate/Banker Devastation Tour” caravan departed Tent City for the GM Ren Cen to pick up big-business meeting participants who were “cordially invited” to see the real Detroit and what corporate greed has done to the city’s people. None of them had the guts to board the van and face reality. Nevertheless, many out-of-town People’s Summiteers and some media joined the tour and viewed foreclosed homes, abandoned neighborhoods and closed plants.
A special session on organizing mass protests outside the G20 summit to be held in Pittsburgh heard from dozens of people with ideas on how to build a broad-based coalition to challenge the mass meeting of capitalists from the richest countries on Sept. 24-25. Special sessions on the crisis in education and how to fight foreclosures provided an opportunity for activists to exchange ideas on furthering these struggles.
Hundreds of People’s Summiteers marched from Tent City down Woodward Avenue to the GM Ren Cen on June 15. “Bail out the people! Not the banks!” and other chants echoed loudly throughout downtown Detroit as marchers carried banners and signs demanding jobs, health care, education, immigrant rights, jobs not jails for youth, reproductive justice for women, an end to foreclosures and evictions, and many other demands.
In the evening a rally to stop police brutality and killings denounced the many injustices of the criminal injustice system that incarcerates millions of oppressed people. Speakers included Larry Hales of FIST, himself a survivor of police brutality and ongoing harassment; former prisoner Joshua; Kevin Carey and Charlotte Diggs of Detroit People’s Task Force, who are investigating the many irregularities in the Detroit Crime Lab; Ron Scott of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality; and LeiLani Dowell of FIST, who chronicled the police brutality and injustices facing lesbian, gay, bi and trans people.
June 16 began with a militant demonstration led by people with disabilities in front of the Grand Circus Park station of the Detroit People Mover, an elevated rail system that is inaccessible to people in wheelchairs. Participants marched and wheeled down Woodward Avenue to the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, where they spoke out at a session of City Council. Councilwoman JoAnn Watson commissioned the council’s research department to begin an immediate investigation into the lack of elevators at the Detroit People Mover stations so as to implement meeting the needs of Detroiters with disabilities.
Musicians, poets and spoken-word artists have rounded out the days at the Tent City with performances after each evening’s rallies. A delicious dinner has been prepared by volunteer activists and served every evening to more than 300 people at Grand Circus Park.
The People’s Summit and Tent City has received widespread coverage by the big-business-owned media. Every day the people’s struggle has been highlighted on local television, radio and in newspapers.
The strength and success of the People’s Summit and Tent City, the feeling of fightback and solidarity expressed by all its participants, will not end when the final tent is taken down on June 17. There is the sense here that this is the beginning of a mighty struggle to reorder the priorities of society, to demand and fight for jobs and all human needs and to put corporate greed and the profit system into the dustbin of history where they belong.
Articles copyright 1995-2009 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.
Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY, NY 10011
Page printed from:
Thursday, June 18, 2009
In RenCen, CEOs tilt at windmills
My favorite joke has two Jehovah's Witnesses working a neighborhood when they finally happen upon a homeowner who responds to their plea, "Can I tell you about Jesus?"
"Sure," the homeowner says. "Come on in." Once they're settled on the couch, the homeowner asks, "OK, What now?" The Witnesses look at each other and shrug, "We don't know. We never got this far before."
I thought about those startled missionaries this week when I wandered to the "People's Summit" in Grand Circus Park, set up to protest the National Summit on the economy a mile away in the Renaissance Center.
As I walked up, a speaker was railing against "the corporate community that is responsible for the crisis in this country. What they're doing in the RenCen right now is an affront to all of us."
So I asked what they wanted. The answer: national health care; more spending on welfare programs; an end to free trade; punish the corporations; re-educate CEOs and slash their pay; nationalize industry; take from the rich and give to the poor.
They've won, and they don't have a clue how to handle victory.
The agenda espoused by these dreadlock-wearing, sign-carrying, slogan-shouting habitual protesters was once a quixotic quest, but now reflects mainstream thinking in Washington. The pinstriped set at the summit, asking for freer markets and regulatory relief, are the impossible dreamers.
President Barack Obama has spent far more time marching with the likes of the People's Summiteers than he has sitting across the table from CEOs, and his vision of America's future better aligns with the former than the latter.
Since January, corporate America has been a pariah in Washington. Business executives are saddled with the blame for the nation's collapse, and no one in charge is much interested in hearing their ideas for fixing things. Corporate chiefs are the new disenfranchised class.
"They've been steamrolled by the popular express," says Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University.
And that's a tragedy. Because there were some solid, common-sense solutions for reviving America put on the table this week in Detroit. The brain power gathered in the RenCen's silos could have moved a mountain, if anyone had been listening.
In normal times, this line-up of CEOs would have drawn overflowing crowds of wisdom seekers. But many of the sessions were sparsely attended, despite featuring some of the nation's top corporate bosses.
Business doesn't matter in the upside-down world in which we live. Government has all the answers, all the money and all the muscle. Critical decisions are being made about the future of industry without the input of industrialists.
In a heartbeat we've moved from a nation that worships entrepreneurship, innovation and the freedom to succeed to one that craves the false security of an economy carefully contained by the government.
The CEOs acknowledged their diminished status and the danger of making the word "corporate" as pejorative as communist was 60 years ago, particularly for a nation that must encourage its youth to become engineers, entrepreneurs and executives if it hopes to avoid becoming the servant of more enlightened economies.
"We're got to make it cool again to be in business," Ford CEO Alan Mulally said. "Industry is the source of all wealth creation for everybody."
The power really is to the people. But it's not the people, at least not the sign toters in Grand Circus Park, who will rebuild businesses, create jobs and return America to a level of prosperity that lifts all boats.
Those people were in the RenCen tilting at windmills.
Nolan Finley is editorial page editor of The Detroit News. His column runs on Sunday and Thursday. Try (313) 222-2064 or email@example.com.
Find this article at:
Demonstrators Gather Outside GM Headquarters to Protest National Summit
Posted by: habforham
As part of an on-going protest against the National Big-Business Summit, the People’s Summit and Tent City, located in Grand Circus Park, downtown Detroit, has become an epicenter for a number of workshops, demonstrations, speeches, and rallies against the corporate philosophies that have come to bankrupt America.
Sponsored by Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions, the site has become a city of tiny tents full of people, overshadowed by vacant buildings towering above.
Today the summit marched through the streets to the GM Renaissance Center and voiced their concerns. Led by Abayomi Azikiwe, an activist in the social rights community, the protest of about 150 people was highlighted by various speakers who passionately voiced their arguments symbolically toward the building.
And while it may have been a somewhat small rally, many in attendance believed that there would be greater solidarity once people realized that they were part of a community of people affected by the economic crisis.
“You messed up America, and now you want us to pay for it” shouted Sandra Hines into a megaphone toward the GM building. “This is just the tip of the iceberg. You haven’t seen the movement. We want America back. We will not go away. We’re getting stronger, and you’re going to have to deal with it. This is the revolution.”
While the heads of the Fortune 500 companies inside may not have heard her statements, the force of about 40 police officers and various other security personnel protecting the perimeter got a front row seat to every speech.
Also in attendance was Sharon Bell, a candidate for Detroit City Council. She expressed her belief in the demonstration, saying, “I am passionate about what is going on. Everyone in the community is affected by the impact of these companies, and one way to combat their actions is through our own actions.”
David Sole, an organizer of the event who lives in Detroit, expressed satisfaction with the protest while reiterating Bell’s position. “You have to build up the movement into something big. Once everyone who has lost their job, their homes, their benefits—once they come together and realize they are all part of a community of people that are suffering together, then we will be able to accomplish big things.”
WZZM 13 News - Print Edition
Economic Summit Opens in Detroit
Web Editor: Peter Ross
DETROIT (AP) - Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford says the worst economic crisis in decades has been a wake-up call to the nation that its industrial base is eroding and should be rebuilt.
Ford on Monday kicked off the three-day National Summit, which is expected to draw nearly 3,000 attendees from the public and private sector to Detroit over three days. The goal of the summit is to craft a plan to keep the U.S. competitive in manufacturing, energy, technology and the environment.
Ford is a summit co-chair with Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris. He says other countries keep their industry strong.
Liveris says the summit's goal is to turn a "to-do list into a national agenda."
Meantime, a different summit was also underway in Detroit, the so-called People's Summit. Organizers said the economic problems of U-S citizens are being overlooked. They want the federal government to design an economic bill of rights for poor and working people. One of those on hand was Teresa Guitierrez, who told a reporter: "so if the Obama administration, and the government finds trillions to bail out the banks and the corporations, then we know that there's money for the people."
Published: June 15, 2009 07:05 am
Nation Summit arrives in Detroit
DETROIT (AP) -- The country's economic troubles already were brewing when organizers announced in September that business and other leaders would gather here to craft a plan for keeping the U.S. competitive in manufacturing, energy, technology and environmental efforts.
But few predicted the plunge to follow: Banks failed, stocks tanked, homes foreclosed and two once-mighty U.S. automakers landed in bankruptcy court. Congress has poured billions into hopeful fixes, and the new president has made it a personal mission to right the nation's ship.
So, where does that leave the three-day National Summit, which starts Monday and brings more than 90 leaders from the public and private sectors to the especially hard-hit Motor City? The answer: scaled back but no less determined to do something.
"The need is more crucial now," said Tom Dekar, a vice chairman of accounting and consulting firm Deloitte LLP, which helped create the conference.
"I think we may be where we are because we did not have the right policy set in each of those topic areas," he said. "Had we had a better set of policies in the industrial sector, had we looked at automotive market as a market ... we might not be where we are today."
Conference organizers initially hoped to draw as many as 5,000 to Ford Field, home of the NFL's Detroit Lions, but to cut costs they moved it to the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. Nearly 3,000 are expected to attend. The summit is being convened by the Detroit Economic Club.
Still, the vision hasn't changed: assemble leaders from business, government and academia to discuss issues facing the four sectors and come up with recommendations for increasing the nation's competitiveness. Organizers hope the summit's nonpartisan approach offers credibility to the ideas among policy-makers.
The conference includes dozens of top executives from corporations such as Microsoft Corp., Delta Air Lines Inc., ConocoPhillips Co., Citigroup Inc., Dow Chemical Co., General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. Members of the Obama administration expected to attend include Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation.
Dekar said the government's heavy involvement in the government-led restructuring of GM and Chrysler LLC doesn't dissuade conference leaders from offering recommendations. He said the U.S. auto industry illustrates what they can do beyond the scope of internal reorganization.
"They enjoyed 100 percent of the market share in the 1940s, '50s and '60s ... then along came the transplants who didn't have the same kinds of costs," Dekar said. "Given we are where we are, what do you really want it to be in the future? How do we ensure the marketplace is fair to all participants?"
The focus on the marketplace concerns organizers of the People's Summit, a simultaneous alternative gathering consisting of marches, rallies and workshops.
"The whole thrust of the summit, in our opinion, is misguided," said spokesman Abayomi Azikiwe, a Detroit community activist. "The financial community, as well as the industrialists, have created the conditions for the worst economic crisis we've faced in 75 years. We don't feel they have a solution."
He said the People's Summit is advocating for foreclosure and eviction moratoriums, full-employment programs and national health insurance.
Dekar said backlash based on the current economic condition is understandable but the National Summit's attendees and agenda are important to finding ways out of it.
"We need a set of policies to remain competitive and be leaders in the world," he said. "We've got to cure ourselves first, before we can be of benefit to the rest of the world."
Protesters picket National Summit in Detroit
By DAVID GRANT , 06.16.09, 01:43 PM EDT
DETROIT -- About 150 people are protesting auto plant closures and calling for a living wage outside the National Summit in downtown Detroit.
The protest was held Tuesday in front of the Renaissance Center, home to the world headquarters of General Motors Corp.
Protesters chanted, "your job is next," at people attending the National Summit, a three-day gathering of business and government officials working to craft a plan to keep the U.S. competitive in manufacturing, energy, technology and the environment.
After picketing an hour outside the Renaissance Center, the protesters marched to nearby Grand Circus Park for a rally featuring the Rev. Jesse Jackson and others.
Business Summit Calls for New US Strategy
Published: 16/06/2009 at 09:58 AM
The United States needs a clear strategy to remain a competitive leader in industry and other sectors of an economy in crisis, business leaders have told a national summit that has opened in the country.
Police stood guard outside General Motors world headquarters building, site of the the National Summit in Detroit, Michigan. The National Summit, picketed by many protest groups, is a three-day gathering of business, labor, government and academic leaders designed to develop and promote America's competiveness in a global economy.
The three-day summit in Detroit, Michigan aims to develop a national consensus on policies for technology, energy, environment and manufacturing.
"Our goal is to develop a to do list of actions that will revitalize and revive our economy," said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. and co-chair of the summit's opening session.
Ford said the global economic crisis "increases the urgency to begin a national dialogue on the economy."
The meeting reflects growing momentum for the United States to formalize an "industrial policy" similar to those implemented in Asia and elsewhere to help nurture businesses in a tough global environment.
The summit also seeks to define policies on energy, environment and technology.
Although industrial policy is often equated with protectionism, Ford and other speakers said the United States needs to be tougher with trading partners to maintain prosperity.
"Having no policy is a bad policy," Ford said. "Other countries understand this and they work hard to maintain a strong industrial base.
"They bend or even break the rules to maintain a competitive advantage over the US. We need to do something different," he added.
Echoing those calls, fellow co-chair Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Co., called for "a modern-era industrial policy, one built for the 21st century.
"The life force and strength of this country has to be rebuilt," Liveris told the gathering of several hundred people.
"It has to be rebuilt by American industry."
Liveris said that "maybe we all became enamored with the idea of making money from money. And we forgot that making real things, real innovative things, still matters."
Michigan Senator Carl Levin said the notion of industrial policy for many years was "anathema to many people ... it was a killer label."
But he said there is a growing recognition, including at the White House, of the need for more government involvement in the economy.
"There is a recognition finally in this country that our global competition is not just with companies, but with the governments that support those companies," Levin told a summit forum. "It's a fundamental awakening."
Thomas d'Aquino, president and CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, acknowledged the need to shift policy.
"There is a perception that America has been weakened by the financial calamity," he said. "I think the US has been too much the boy scouts, and we're working in a different environment."
One note of caution came from Bud Peterson, president of the Georgia Institute of Technology, who warned against following the models of some countries that invest directly in companies.
"In this country, we have invested in universities in research, and that drives the technologies that create the companies that create jobs," he said.
The summit, which may continue as an annual event, grew out of conversations at the Detroit Economic Club about the future of the US economy.
The speakers include chief executives Richard Anderson of Delta Air Lines, Steve Ballmer of Microsoft Corp., Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, Fritz Henderson of General Motors and Alan Mulally of Ford.
From government, new US chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will appear among the 90-plus speakers.
Called last September, the summit has taken on new importance amid a recession that is the worst in decades, costing more than six million US jobs.
About 200 protestors marched from a nearby park, where a shadow "people's summit" was being held to try to draw attention to those affected by the current economic crisis.
Carrying signs demanding an end to foreclosures and the capitalist system they chanted "Bail out the people not the banks" and "Come out! Come out! Stop meeting in secret" outside Detroit's Renaissance Center, home to both General Motors and the conference.
"The banks and the corporations are taking over people's homes," said David Gilbert, 27, who like 13.6 percent of the city's population is unemployed.
"They don't care about homelessness. They only care about profits and people are expendable."
Posted: Monday, 15 June 2009 6:39PM
Ford Exec: Crisis Was A "Wake-Up Call"
(CBS/ AP) Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford says the worst economic crisis in decades has been a wake-up call to the nation that its industrial base is eroding and should be rebuilt.
Ford spoke at the kick-off Monday of the National Summit, a conference of prominent business, government and academic leaders.
Ford said he didn’t know the ramifications of having the U.S. government so heavily involved and invested in the auto industry.
But he said the Automotive Task Force acted very responsibly in quickly addressing the industry as it threatened the health of supplier firms. "Because if the supply base melted down, it would take down not just Ford, GM and Chrysler but, frankly, Toyota, Honda and everybody else who produces here as well."
The goal of the summit is to craft a plan to keep the U.S. competitive in manufacturing, energy, technology and the environment.
Nearly 3,000 attendees are expected during the 3-day event.
Ford is co-chairing the summit with Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris.
Liveris says the summit's goal is to turn a "to-do list into a national agenda."
"We still have an economic engine that is sluggish at best," Liveris said. "It’s sluggish because we have forgotten that the life force and strength of this country was built by American industry. We became enamored with making money from money … and we forgot that making things - real, tangible things - still matters."
He called for policies to rebuild a strong industrial base, improve education, secure a stable energy supply, encourage environmental sustainability, and support a technology and R&D sector that is "second-to-none."
"As much as we’d like to believe in it, there is no silver bullet" to the current economic crisis, Liveris said. "There is no one single policy or regulation that will raise us above the problems we have today. The solutions - when they come - must be expansive."
Detroit is also the site of the People's Summit. Thousands converged on Grand Circus Park to participate in marches and rallies to raise awareness about the effects of the economic crisis.
A rally is scheduled Tuesday outside General Motors' headquarters.
"We need to have to declare Detroit and the Midwest area 'ground zero,'" said demonstrator Teresa Gutierrez. "So if the Obama administration and the government finds trillions to bail out the banks and the corporations, then we know that there's money for the people."
"Working people are losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing their healthcare and pensions. So we feel only the people can come up with a proper economic stimulus program to actually turn the economy around," said another participant, Abayomi Azikiwe.
Organizers said the economic problems of U.S. citizens are being overlooked. They want the federal government to design an economic bill of rights for poor and working people. They also seek a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions and universal health care.
Matt Friedman, a spokesperson for the National Summit, said the Summit's participants are "very serious about coming here to Detroit to begin to address problems."
The National Summit Continues In Downtown Detroit Today (Tuesday) With Topics Such As Education Innovation, Green Homes, And World Trade In The Forefront.
This Afternoon, Governor Jennifer Granholm Is Scheduled To Speak During A Session And U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Will Talk About How The Department Will Make Programs And Services Accessible To Businesses And Entrepreneurs Within Michigan.
The Three Day Summit Is Hosted By The Detroit Economic Club.
It Includes Business, Government And Academic Leaders Taking Part In Town Hall Meetings And Ceo Summits Along With An Innovation Expo Showcasing Ideas, Projects And Technologies.
Meanwhile, General Motors Will Be The Target Of A Mass Demonstration As Protesters Of The National Summit Voice Their Frustrations Over The Loss Of Jobs From The Auto Industry Meltdown.
Coordinator Abayomi Azikiwe Says That The American Worker Is Paying The Price For Someone Else's Bad Decisions.
(Metro Source/Wwj, Detroit)
National People's Summit Opens at Grand Circus Park
Jun 15, 2009
The National People’s Summit is being held in response to the National Summit of business leaders in Detroit this week.
Organizer Abayomi Azikiwe says the National Summit is neglecting important issues. He says the People’s Summit is about motivating people to advocate for social and political changes.
“They have to demand jobs, they have to demand national health insurance, they have to demand preservation of their pensions and they have to demand a moratorium on forecloses and evictions.”
Organizers of the People’s Summit plan to protest the National Summit which is taking place at the Renaissance Center through Wednesday.
Posted: Tuesday, 16 June 2009 5:15AM
Protesters Target GM Headquarters
Detroit (WWJ) -- General Motors will be the target of a mass demonstration Tuesday in downtown Detroit as protesters of the National Summit voice their frustrations over the loss of jobs from the auto industry meltdown.
Coordinator Abayomi Azikiwe tells WWJ's Ron Dewey that the American worker is paying the price for someone else's bad decisions.
"These workers have given their blood, sweat, and tears to build these corporations, so we see the necessity for a real jobs program in the U.S. at this time," he said.
When it comes to creating jobs, Azikiwe said that the current stimulus plan doesn't begin to address what this country needs. And, he put some of the blame on GM for its current situation.
"It was clearly bad policies, overproduction, bad credit policies they that enacted through GMAC and other banking institutions. It's affected real estate and is also having a ripple effect on auto and other manufacturing industries as well," Azikiwe said.
My TV20 Detroit
Originally printed at http://www.tv20detroit.com/news/48165912.html
Some of the nation's top business leaders are in the Motor City tonight. They're attending a three-day economic summit at the Renaissance Center. They include representatives of Ford, Chrysler, Microsoft and Delta Air Lines. Meanwhile, not everyone is glad to see them.
"Bail out the people, not the banks! Bail out the people, not the banks!"
That's the message repeated outside the Renaissance Center this afternoon. Nearly 200 people voiced their objections to what they claim is unfair treatement to workers. Demonstrators are calling for an end to plant closings and foreclosures in Michigan. They plan to picket tomorrow's session that features the CEO of American Axle, and ex-Governor John Engler.