All out Dec. 17 in Detroit to ‘stop the criminal banks’

Protesters will be gathering Dec. 3 outside the courthouse as Judge Stephen Rhodes issues his ruling on the Detroit municipal bankruptcy eligibility.

Another major demonstration in downtown Detroit is in the works for Tuesday, Dec. 17, starting at 9 a.m. in front of the federal courthouse at 231 W. Lafayette St.

Called by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions & Utility Shutoffs, the protest coincides with the start of a trial in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on a deal proposed by Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, and Gov. Rick Snyder to remove interest rate swaps from the municipal bankruptcy and allow a huge payoff to two banks to go forward.

According to a leaflet issued by Moratorium NOW!, Orr and Snyder “have cut a deal to give approximately $250 million of our tax dollars to two banks, Bank of America (Jones Day’s [Orr’s “former” employer] client) and UBS [United Bank of Switzerland], to pay off their interest rate swap swindle.

“On Dec. 17-19, there will be a trial to determine if 20 percent of city income tax dollars will be pledged for the first six years after bankruptcy to make good on this gift to the banks. This trial will determine if Detroit is to remain permanently enslaved by the criminal banks.”

The protest will demand that Judge Steven Rhodes stop Snyder and Orr’s giveaway to the banks. Other demands include “Cancel Detroit’s debt — the banks owe us,” “Hands off our pensions — No to 16 cents on the dollar,” “Save city services and assets,” “Stop union busting” and “Make the banks fund a jobs program.”