General Motors and Their Rich Allies Think They Can Destroy our Communities, demolish our working lives, Take over our schools, shatter democracy and promote inequality---and we won't do a thing. THEY'RE WRONG!
There comes a time when an offense against humanity becomes so vile that it is necessary to stand up, to bear witness, and to take control of a situation that appears to be beyond control. We MUST go to Flint on Saturday, July 25, 1998 at noon to demonstrate that we are not robots to be used and discarded, that our communities are not sandboxes for the greedy to play in, that our children can and will have a future--if we choose to ACT.
There comes a time when the machinery of greed must be stopped by a human wave that shows we know we can understand and transform the realities that are presented to us.
Workers, students, parents, educators, kids, all of us must take action to regain control of our lives, our communities, our schools, and our destinies.
The General Motors corporation is one of the most profitable in the world. It took in $6.7 billion in profits last year. The company has cut its work force by 200,000 in the last several years. The Chairman of GM, Jack Smith, earns $7.1 million. But GM wants more.
GM, like most other companies, has lobbied hard to cut its tax responsibilities, to make working and poor people pay more than their fair share, while the companies reap huge profits, yet allow schools to rot, health systems to collapse, cities to be turned into junk heaps.
Now GM, following the lead of nearly every corporation in the world, has provoked a strike, forced out nearly two hundred thousand workers, threatened their health benefits, and disputes their applications for unemployment.
For workers in industrial states, and throughout the world for that matter, wages at GM are a highwater mark. If that mark is lowered, wages and benefits for all poor and working people will be cut.
GM believes it can carry on this assault because the executives think the workers are isolated, that their union will do nothing, that the citizens are so completely defeated and apathetic that we will sit by and do nothing. THEY'RE WRONG. We must act to change our communities and our lives. As John from Flint said on Talk of the Nation, "The only thing that this movement has ever done right is to get out, to get our voice heard, to get it into the public, and to make sure that we get justice."
An injury to one only precedes an injury to all. This continuous attack must come to an end. We can stop it if we stand up, if we rely on only ourselves to get to Flint, and to stand up for a decent, just equitable democratic society.
GM has sucked Flint dry.
In mid-June, more than one million people went to downtown Detroit to celebrate the victory of the Red Wings. We need to capture that energy and take it to Flint, to celebrate our determination to stand up against greed, to witness against inequality, to take control of our own communities, and our own lives. We will witness against GM, against greed, for democracy, equality, and justice. We will celebrate ourselves and our ability to understand and change our world--for the better.
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