For those of you not heading south on Monday to celebrate Robert E. Lee Day, it looks like there might be something interesting going on right here in Michigan. From what I hear, it looks as though there’s going to be a big march down Geddes to the Ann Arbor home of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. The march, which is set to begin at 4:00 PM at Washtenaw Community College (4800 East Huron Drive), is said to be in direct response to the Governor’s aggressive push to take over economically struggling Michigan cities, replacing their elected officials with his own Emergency Financial Managers, empowered to sell public assets, break union contracts, and otherwise subvert the will of the people. And, as you may have surmised, it’s not a coincidence that this protest is taking place on Martin Luther King Day. As we’ve discussed here before, the Emergency Financial Managers to date have only been deployed in cities that are primarily African American in composition. In fact, I was just reading that, if Inkster and Detroit are taken over by the Snyder administration, as most people think they will be, that will mean that half of the African Americans living in Michigan will be without local democratically-elected representation. Further details concerning the march, which people from all of Michigan’s seized cities are expected to attend, can be found here.
And, here, for those of you interested in knowing more, is a clip from an interview that Electablog’s Chris Savage just conducted with Pastor David Bullock, one of the individuals planning the march.
SAVAGE:If you don’t like the Emergency Manager law, then what is YOUR answer?
BULLOCK: Well, my first response, is that dismantling democracy has nothing to do with fixing deficits. In fact, democracy is what ensures accountability and transparency when we are working to solve these problems.
Second, over the last decade, our state and our country have been hemorrhaging jobs, losing jobs to other countries. This crushes the tax base in cities like Flint and Pontiac and Benton Harbor and Detroit. So when you are talking about solutions, you must talk about reinvestment in our cities and trade policy.
The Emergency Managers come in cutting, not solving these problems. Cutting fire and police and attacking unions is putting a band-aid on a wound needing stitches. There is no reinvestment in our cities.
What we need are incentives for companies to hire locally. Right now, when companies come in to do work, there’s no guarantee that they will hire locals…