Saturday, November 29, 2008

Moratorium Now! Activists Continue to Pressure Michigan Governor to Halt Foreclosures; Ohio Coalition Formed

Activists press Mich. guv to stop foreclosures

By Kris Hamel
Published Nov 24, 2008 5:20 PM

Union and community activists came out despite a brutally cold wind on Nov. 20 to demand Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm use her executive authority to implement an immediate moratorium stopping foreclosures. The demonstration, which targeted the State building in Detroit, was called by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures and Evictions.

On Nov. 6 Granholm announced deep budget cuts at the same time that she ordered $150 million to be released from the state treasury to go to banks and credit unions “to help spur economic growth throughout Michigan.” She also stated she wanted the legislature to enact a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures “to allow the homeowner and the lender to work out terms.” (

For two years Granholm had steadfastly refused to acknowledge the foreclosure catastrophe and had opposed the grassroots struggle demanding a moratorium. Her answer to the extreme economic crisis in Michigan has been to give more money to the corporations and ignore the people.

Coalition organizers were stunned by Granholm’s statement supporting a moratorium, and considered it a victory in the people’s struggle. Organizers noted, however, that Granholm still refused to use her executive authority and instead called for the state legislature to pass a moratorium.

SB 1306, a two-year foreclosure moratorium law, has been before the state Senate since May 2008. Other bills have been introduced for a one-year moratorium.

In a speech to a “poverty summit” held in downtown Detroit on Nov. 13, Granholm didn’t refer to her moratorium proposal and reverted back to her rose-tinted view of Michigan’s economic prospects. She reiterated her refrain, “We may be down, but we’re not out!”

In a press conference, reporters from Telesur asked her if she would use her executive authority to order a moratorium on foreclosures. Granholm said, “No.” They asked if she supported SB 1306, and again she said, “No.”

The Moratorium NOW! Coalition is vowing to keep up the pressure on all fronts in this struggle—on the governor, the City of Detroit and other municipalities—for a workers’ bailout and for defending peoples’ right to their homes by any means necessary.

On Dec. 6 the coalition is hosting a statewide organizers conference from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on the second floor of Central United Methodist Church, 23 East Adams at Woodward in downtown Detroit. Call 313-887-4344, email, or visit for more information or to send a donation.

Articles copyright 1995-2008 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:

Cleveland activists launch moratorium campaign

By Martha Grevatt
Published Nov 24, 2008 5:17 PM

Activists in Cleveland have formed the Ohio Moratorium Now! Coalition to Stop Evictions, Foreclosures and Shutoffs using the Moratorium NOW! Coalition in Michigan as a model.

The Nov. 18 founding meeting was called by the Peoples Fightback Center, the Cleveland Chapter of the New Black Panther Party, the Lucasville Uprising Freedom Network (formerly the Cleveland Lucasville Five Defense Committee) and the Baldwin Wallace College Chapter of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST).

The call to “join a nationwide movement that is keeping people in their homes and keeping their utilities from being shut off” drew additional community activists from outside the original sponsoring groups.

Those present were inspired by a reading from the classic book “Labor’s Untold Story.” The passage told the story of Peter Grossup, a cabinetmaker laid off in 1930 who eighteen months later faced foreclosure.

When the sheriffs finally came and threw the Grossup family’s possessions on the street, the Unemployed Council came and moved everything back in. Grossup, who until that day dismissed the Council as “a bunch of Communists,” was lifted from despondency, and subsequently became a Council activist in his own right.

The initial Moratorium Now! meeting was held in the Glenville neighborhood, a predominantly African-American community on Cleveland’s east side where the foreclosure crisis is the most severe. The group agreed to hold the second meeting in the west side suburb of Lakewood, which has a large lesbian, gay, bi and trans population and where a Lutheran minister asked the coalition to come to her church.

By going to different neighborhoods, Ohio Moratorium Now! plans to launch a countywide and eventually a statewide campaign to save people’s homes and prevent utility shutoffs.

Organizers will employ a two-pronged approach and push for a moratorium through legislative or other governmental action while at the same time building a rapid-response strike force to keep people from being thrown out on the street.

Articles copyright 1995-2008 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:

No comments: