Monday, March 20, 2006


March 20, 2006
by Maureen D. Taylor, State Chair, MWRO
Several significant, progressive events took place this last week that deserve mention so that those of us who are discouraged can gain heart. As we approach the Easter season, a religious holiday that is important in the lives of many Detroiters, let us all pause and take stock of these things together.
First, a large group of responsible persons commemorated the third anniversary of the Iraq War. We are looking at 2,300 plus dead on this side, 17,000 plus injured on this side, and $200 billion spent so far on this side. My question??? Why are anti-war protests attended mostly by white Americans? People of color don’t care for government-sponsored carnage either, but are few in marches even in cities where people of color are the predominant force. What is this about…
Next, on Sunday, a large group of sad picketers marched in front of our former ‘favorite’ son’s home to declare our anger and angst at his recent signings as a new Council member. The visit to member Kwame Kenyatta house was sparked because of a series of errant votes he cast, including voting to purchase a new police tank, to privatize parts of the Detroit Zoo, and most saliently hurtful was his signature of a resolution increasing water rates when we needed him to maintain this bargaining chip. The Water Affordability Program was being discussed and we would have help greater leverage in forcing a serious review of this plan had he not buckled. What is this about…
Next, news has trickled out again about how much of a band of liars the Water Dept is and how much they HATE us all. On Bloody Friday, March 10, 2006, when some of the Detroit City Council flimflammed the community and forced a crooked water rate increase through, representatives from the Water Dept. were asked point blank, if there were plans to lay off water employees. All the water administrative staff persons, including that low-down, enemy of the people, Water Director Victor Mercado claimed there were no such plans. Members of the Water Union, Local 207, produced the letter they received on March 13, 2006, that lists the staff positions in the Water Dept. that are slated for early April layoffs. We are so-o-o-o disrespected, that today, the Detroit News has exposed the flash that the Mayor has asked Federal Court Judge Feikens to approve his request to spend $12 million more in new payments to existing water contractors for cost over-runs. A high part of that request includes $7.5 million mores for one of the Mayor’s “road-dogs,” and a low part of this new request will cover a $10,000 raise for the Water Director, Victor Mercado. “HEY, DETROIT WATER EMPLOYEES!!!” Can you say, “What the hell is this?” While you are losing your jobs, while these so-called tiny water increases are being used to fund appointed, non-union positions at the six-figure level, while 45,000 more Detroiters are already slated for shut-offs this year, we can’t hear your cries. What is this about…
Finally, this is the last week in the court hearing going on in racist Benton Harbor, where the corporate giant Whirlpool is crucifying a little country preacher, the Rev. Ed Pinkney, for standing against oppression. Whirlpool wants to build condominiums and golf courses but in order to do so, they must scare the Blacks and poor Whites out of their Benton Harbor homes so that they can have their way with the land. Rev. Pinkney is charged with paying three crack heads $5.00 each to vote in a past election, and every day this drama of justice gone awry is played on with the Judge making sure that the unskilled, unprepared prosecutor’s points are properly argued in front of the jury. We pray for Rev. Pinkney, especially since we contacted the three large Methodist Churches in that area asking that they help him…”No,” they said -- he was Baptist. Happy Holidays and remember what Dr. Martin Luther King said…”We are gonna go on, anyhow….”

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