Appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
A Call for Assistance in the Efforts to Halt Racism, Racial Discrimination and Acts of Genocide Directed Towards the People of the City of Detroit in the United States of America
The following draft appeal was submitted and accepted by the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN) to be included in their report related to the gross human rights violations being committed inside the country. This appeal is an important contribution to the annual submission by the USHRN that is designed to point out the violations by the U.S. government of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). The appeal requests the direct intervention by relevant UN agencies including, but not limited to, the High Commissioner for Human Rights based in Geneva, Switzerland.
This appeal is directed towards the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and all other agencies of this international body concerned with the prevention and halting of institutional racism, racial discrimination and genocide. Two organizations which have played a leading role in opposition to the imposition of austerity, the racist denial of the right to vote and due process under the law in defense against the predatory actions of multi-national corporations and international financial institutions in the City of Detroit, the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), founded in 2002 and the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs, founded in 2008, are making this appeal to the United Nations due to the failure of the local, state and federal governmental structures to uphold the fundamental civil and human rights of the majority African American population of Detroit, but not limited to this predominant segment of the people, and encompassing all those who are impacted by the current policies enacted by a system of emergency management, forced bankruptcy and restructuring of the City of Detroit.
We are charging that deliberate actions by the State of Michigan through its Governor Rick Snyder and majority right-wing legislative bodies are calculated and well-planned to foster the disempowerment of the African American people. This program is specifically designed to destroy the political and social gains made by the African American people, but also severely impacts negatively the labor movement, social justice organizations and all other historically affected groups facing national discrimination and class oppression in the United States.
The Nullification of the Elections of November 2012
2014 Motor City Pride
Motor City Festival, June 7-8, Hart Plaza
Motor City Pride Parade, Sunday, June 8, 10:30 am
Once again, Moratorium Now/MECAWI and Workers World Party will be marching in the annual LGBTQ Motor City Pride Parade. To join contingent in the Parade, gather at 10:30 am on Sunday, June 8, at Fort and Griswold and look for our banners.
Volunteers needed to staff literature table
We will also have a literature table at the Pride festival at Hart Plaza. Table slots are 1:00-3:00, 3:00-5:00 and 5:00-7:00 on Saturday, June 7 and 12:00-2:00, 2:00-4:00 and 4:00-6:00 Sunday, June 8.
Please email Martha Grevatt, email@example.com, if you can join our contingent in the parade and/or take a two hour slot at our literature table.
MONEY FOR DETROIT!
For our schools, services, pensions, art, parks, homes and neighborhoods, for jobs for youth and the unemployed, and at higher wages—billions for our hurting city, not for war!
NO NEW U.S. WAR!
Hands off Ukraine and Venezuela!
Stop U.S. $upport for fascists
Tuesday, March 18, 4:30 PM
Hart Plaza, Downtown Detroit
The Ukrainian and Russian people in this picture are resisting the imposition of a U.S. backed fascist dictatorship in Ukraine. The U.S. has collaborated and conspired with outright fascists to threaten the Venezuelan people’s chosen government and to overthrow the elected president of Ukraine and install a pro-U.S. regime. The neo-Nazis now running Ukraine openly flaunt the swastika and the Confederate flag. These forces have received billions and Washington has committed $10 billion more to the illegal government in Ukraine—money that we need to save our city! Sanctions, U.S. war ships in the Black Sea, U.S. fighter jets in countries bordering Ukraine—the war danger is real. Only the people can stop it.
Sponsored by Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice
Find more information on Ukraine and upcoming actions at
Variety of downloadable signs helpful for demonstrations:
UKRAINE: What the media isn’t telling you
United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) demands
‘U.S. hands off Ukraine and Venezuela’
Veterans for Peace – San Diego:
‘Preparing for war with Russia’
‘Why are Nazi & Confederate flags on display in Kiev?’
‘Hillary and other assorted barbarians at Russia’s gate’
‘U.S. whips up crisis over Crimea’
‘Ukraine and the Pathology of the Liberal Worldview:
An African American Perspective’
Transcript of leaked Victoria Nuland-Geoffrey Pyatt call
Estonian FM says Maidan snipers were not Yanukovich’s
The United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) Demands “US Hands off Ukraine and Venezuela”
The United States government is the main instigator of the present crises in both countries.
The hypocrisy of Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement on Face the Nation, “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped up pretext,” is beyond belief. What about the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, or regime change in Libya, or the threats to bomb Syria and attack Iran?
The US has waged a massive propaganda campaign of misinformation, distortion, and outright lies and the national media has taken the State Department’s “facts” and disseminated them without question or challenge. News about the US/EU role in creating the current crisis is buried.
The US is the only country that has its troops throughout the world in over 120 countries. It sends drones and special operations forces to kill anyone and anywhere it chooses and uses its vast economic power to undercut any government that will not submit to its policies. Although there is lip service to concerns about democracy and sovereignty, the reality is that the US acts in the interests of preserving its imperialist power and wealth.
Ukraine and Venezuela are not exceptions to this rule of imperialist intervention. For 20 years, $5 billion was invested in Ukraine to support the opposition and to create tens of thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to move the country more towards the US and EU and their policies. In an intercepted phone call between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, she discusses who the US wants to be the head of the new illigitimate government, and lo and behold, the US pick, Arseniy Yatseniuk, is named as the interim Ukrainian leader. This is clearly outside intervention in the affairs of a sovereign country that would not be tolerated if directed at the US or its allies.
What are the real objectives and why is Russia so alarmed? Could it be the US-NATO campaign to militarily surround Russia and bring neighboring countries into the western military and financial orbit? Might it be that the largest supply of natural gas in the world is in Russia and the pipelines go through Ukraine, or that global warming is opening the Arctic to oil drilling and Russia borders the Arctic? It is clear that Russia will not passively sit by while the Western-backed coup, led by violent fascist forces and local billionaires, overthrows a democratically elected government and installs a puppet regime on its border.
By treaty, Russia can have 25,000 troops in Crimea. To protect its military base there and to protect the people in the Eastern and Southern parts of the country, where the coup is not supported, Russia has moved some troops to the Ukrainian border and into the Crimean peninsula. Many in the east and south are fearful of the new coup government and the neo-Nazi and nationalist forces that led the street demonstrations.
The escalating threats of military and economic aggression towards Russia should not be taken lightly. Washington’s recklessness and disregard for humanity have resurrected the worst vestiges of cold war politics. They have created a dangerous situation that can generate a real war with an adversary with a powerful military of its own.
The US is similarly intervening in Venezuela. There, the US government wants a return to policies which brought the benefits of that nation’s oil wealth to a privileged few. The Bolivarian Revolution has been supported by a majority of Venezuelans in election after election. Yet the United States persists in violating the sovereignty and self-determination of the Venezuelan people. In 2002, the US supported a coup against the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. During this coup, Chavez was forced onto a US military plane to be taken out of the country. The Venezuelan people and military were able to rescue Chavez and defeat the coup. However, the US has continued to intervene in Venezuela causing the government of Nicolas Maduro to expel three US officials for trying to organize students for anti-government protests.
As long as the United States is committed to aggression, the whole world is endangered, just as Ukraine and Venezuela are. Libya fell, Syria is under attack, there is a “pivot to Asia”, and Africom controls the military in almost every African nation. We must demand that our government stop its policy of imperialist domination which generates conflict throughout the world.
NO TO US WARS, THREATS, ATTACKS, SANCTIONS, AND COVERT OPERATIONS IN UKRAINE, RUSSIA, VENEZUELA, AND ALL OTHER SOVEREIGN COUNTRIES!
MONEY FOR JOBS, EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE AND MEETING SOCIAL NEEDS, NOT WAR AND AGGRESSION TO BENEFIT THE RICH!
German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden. (ENGLISH).
Uploaded on LiveLeak
Media Blacks Out New Snowden Interview The Government Doesn’t Want You to See
by Jay Syrmopoulos, at BenSwann.com
This past Sunday evening former NSA contractor Edward Snowden sat down for an interview with German television network ARD. The interview has been intentionally blocked from the US public, with virtually no major broadcast news outlets covering this story. In addition, the video has been taken down almost immediately every time it’s posted on YouTube.
In contrast, this was treated as a major political event in both print and broadcast media, in Germany, and across much of the world. In the interview, Mr. Snowden lays out a succinct case as to how these domestic surveillance programs undermine and erode human rights and democratic freedom.
He states that his “breaking point” was “seeing Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress” denying the existence of a domestic spying programs while under questioning in March of last year. Mr. Snowden goes on to state that, “The public had a right to know about these programs. The public had a right to know that which the government is doing in its name, and that which the government is doing against the public.”
It seems clear that the virtual blackout of this insightful interview is yet another deliberate attempt to obfuscate the truth from the view of the American public. The media has continually attempted to shill the official government lies about mass domestic surveillance programs, justifying them as necessary to fight the “War on Terror”, while attempting to painting Mr. Snowden as a traitor.
In regards to accusations that he is a traitor or a foreign agent, he states, “ If I am traitor, who did I betray? I gave all my information to the American public, to American journalists who are reporting on American issues. If they see that as treason, I think people really need to consider who they think they’re working for. The public is supposed to be their boss, not their enemy. Beyond that as far as my personal safety, Ill never be fully safe until these systems have changed.”
The attempt to bury this interview by the government/corporate symbiosis has extremely dark implications. Additionally, the fact that government officials have openly talked about assassinating Mr. Snowden cannot be taken lightly, and Mr. Snowden obviously takes these threats to his life very seriously. Sadly, the reality of the US government assassinating an American citizen is not beyond the realm of possibility in the age we live in.
In conjunction with the Day of Day of Solidarity in Support of Boston School Bus Drivers Union – USW 8751:
Friday, January 31, 12:00 Noon
500 Griswold, downtown Detroit (Guardian Building)
Demand Veolia rehire the fired drivers now—B of A stop profiting from union-busting!
Say NO to Union-buster Veolia
See endorsement letter from the Massachusetts AFL-CIO: Day of Solidarity
On October 8, 2013, Veolia Transportation suspended five Boston school bus drivers after they engaged in legally protected union activity. In November four of them were fired. Veolia currently holds the contract for the privatized school transportation system in Boston. Veolia is a giant French company with a global reach. Veolia oppresses and exploits, busts unions, and harms the environment all over the world. Unions in California, Florida, Arizona, England, Sweden, Finland and France have all had disputes with Veolia and currently Veolia Super Shuttle workers at the Baltimore-Washington airport are protesting sub-minimum wage and deplorable working conditions. The company’s “environmental services” division has been blamed for the release of toxic chemicals and is involved in “fracking.” By providing transportation and waste removal services to illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine Veolia profits from Israeli apartheid. These are just a few examples.
The Dutch group BankTrack has identified seven banks who are major Veolia investors: Deutsche Bank, JPMorganChase, UBS, Barclays, MorganStanley, the Belgian bank Belfius and Bank of America.
Most of of these banks just happen to be the same banks who are destroying Detroit!
First the banks created the racist subprime mortgage crisis, forcing mass numbers of Detroiters out of their homes. Then they bled the city dry with exorbitant interest rates. Bank of America and UBS are the culprits in the now-infamous interest rate swap swindle. Barclays wants to saddle Detroit with another high interest loan to pay of B of A and UBS. Union retirees’ pensions are threatened. From Boston to Detroit to Palestine, these criminal bankers and corporations must be challenged!
The Boston School Bus Union Five have called on supporters around the country to stand with them on or around February 1.
For more information, call 313-680-5508
Date: Sat. 02/01/2014 – 1:00pm
Location Name: Veolia Bus Yard and Corporate Offices
Address: Hoyt and Dorchester Street, Dorchester, MA
Sponsored by the United Steelworkers International, USW 8751 and endorsed by the Mass AFL-CIO, Greater Boston Labor Council, Coalition for Equal Quality Education, City Councilor Charles Yancey, Chuck Turner, Charles Clemons, Founder TOUCH 106.1 Radio and a broad coalition of Labor and Community.
Let’s Drive Veolia’s Union Busting Out ot Boston!
Despite signing an agreement to honor all terms and conditions of the USW 8751 contract on June 18, 2013, since Veolia took over management of the Boston School Bus transportation on July 1, 2013 they blatantly and systematically violated nearly every article regarding wages, benefits and working conditions and repudiated the established grievance and arbitration procedures. From July to October over 175 individual and class action grievances were filed. In September the Steelworkers filed 18 Unfair Labor Practices charges with the National Labor Relations Board. On October 7th the company attempted to force the drivers to fill out new hire applications. The members also knew that due to the Federal Government shutdown at the time they had no redress available. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
On the morning of October 8th the drivers reported to work and demanded a meeting with Veolia, whose top management as well as BPS officials were onsite at the bus yards, concerning their total failure to honor the contract. They refused for hours, then at 11:00 am locked the gates and evicted the drivers under threat of arrest for trespassing. The workers request for a meeting is protected concerted union activity and the company’s lockout was not only a violation of the contract but of federal law. There never was a wild cat strike. This was a cruel hoax perpetrated against the union by Veolia with the aid of former Mayor Menino and his School Department and the Boston media. When Boston City Council called a hearing to investigate the events of October the 8th Veolia, the Administration and Boston Public School officials boycotted. The City Council has vowed to continue the investigation. Veolia in a clear attack on the organizational backbone of the union singled out the four leaders for firing. They have been out since the first week of November.
For more info:
“Union busting is disgusting”
Please support our sisters and brothers fighting anti-worker austerity and repression in Boston. Local 8751 supported the International People’s Assembly held in Detroit on October 5 and 6 in Grand Circus Park with a generous donation. It’s now our turn to show them our support and solidarity with a donation, however large or small.
Happy New Year!
These union leaders were singled out for their consistently progressive, pro-union and pro-people stand – as well as for the rights and benefits they’ve been able to win for their members over the years.
We’re making a big push to try to reach $10,000 by January 1. Please help by forwarding this email to your contacts. Feel free to donate, but make sure to spread the word!
January will see the fightback against union-busting shift into high gear, with two major Boston events: a follow-up city council hearing investigating Veolia’s breach of contract, and “Solidarity Day 2,” another major demonstration in support of Local 8751. The dates are to be determined, and will be announced soon!
This fundraising campaign is what will allow the fired leaders of the union to keep fighting.
Boston is the latest hotspot of a union in battle with the vicious union-busting tactics of Veolia Transportation. In Phoenix, Veolia provoked a strike with public transportation unions and bilked the city for tens of millions of dollars. In Florida, Veolia flew scabs in from all over the country and hired round-the-clock armed security when the bus drivers there went on strike.
Veolia has also been singled out by UN officials for its support of illegal settlements in Palestine. Veolia is well established as a despicable corporation — but it is not operating on its own. It was brought into Boston by forces who have wanted to decapitate the leadership of Local 8751 for decades. After the October 8 lockout, Boston’s outgoing Mayor Menino held multiple press conferences calling for the drivers to be fired.
If you already have donated, please share this message with your friends by email, twitter, facebook or other social media.
Union-busting, illegal-settlement-supporting Veolia has been defeated before. In Florida, St. Louis, Indianapolis and other cities, Veolia has been kicked out. Keep up the pressure — the next peoples’ victory against Veolia will be in Boston!
Victor Toro and Rebel Diaz
Garage Cultural, 3439 Livernois, Detroit
6 pm – 10 pm
VICTOR TORO is an activist and community organizer who has lived in the South Bronx (New York) since the 1973 military coup in Chile. He has participated in campaigns against housing eviction, and has resisted federal court efforts to deport him, thus visibilizing the plight of undocumented immigrants.
REBEL DIAZ is a rap group that denounces social injustice and proposes paths of organization and transformation. They are founders of the RDAC-BX collective, which offers artistic events, educational workshops, and spaces for creative expression against racism and discrimination.
There will also be videos, photography, and art presentations by several local artists.