The city of Detroit bankruptcy case is being played out in a courtroom far removed from the real future of the city and the destiny of its workers, retirees and residents.
Yes, the federal bankruptcy court is in downtown Detroit. But the lawyers representing the emergency-management-run city and the bankers who are trying to squeeze it dry are as far removed from the reality of average Detroiters as is the moon. The courtroom and legal process itself are meant to intimidate workers, as anyone who has observed the bankruptcy trial can attest to.
It is thus a critical development that so far some 300 city of Detroit retirees, workers and residents have made their voices heard by filing objections to the city’s austerity “Plan of Adjustment” that is being offered by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr. This plan asks the more than 20,000 city retirees to take a 34 percent cut in their pensions if they reject the plan, or a 26 percent cut if they accept the plan.
These cuts are on top of past wage cuts, the elimination of cost-of-living adjustments, severe reductions to the annuity plans that supplement pension benefits, and major cuts to health care benefits. One union official estimated the total real cuts on the table at 70 percent.
during the mid-to-late-197o’s; buenos aires was subject to the rule of the brutal military dictatorship led by jorge videla. they disappeared an estimated 3o-5o,ooo argentineans; as a focused tactic of political repression [ the majority of their victims were; left-wing activists and militants, including trade unionists, students, journalists, marxists, peronist guerrillas and alleged sympathizers]. the vehicle of choice for the military junta death squads to carry out their clandestine kidnappings, was typically a dark green ford falcon [ styled after the american design ]. seeing such a car in those days often signaled the imminence of one’s disappearance into the torture chambers they left their victims to suffer in. the pictures shown were taken at an exhibit in the Espacio Memoria y Derechos Humanos [ which is the site of the former naval academy; where many of the disappeared were held, tortured and murdered ].