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  • Writer's pictureBrandon Walley

RALLY THIS MONDAY against the World Economic Forum's "Global Centre for Urban Transformation".

The Davos World Economic Forum (WEF) is a premier forum for governments, global corporations and international entrepreneurs. Founded in 1971 by engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, the WEF describes its mission as “shaping global, regional and industry agendas” and “improving the state of the world”. According to its website, “moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.” (from ANTI-EMPIRE)

People Against Corporate Theft (PACT) is holding a rally and speak out on the true nature of the World Economic Forum, a think tank for banks and corporations that are coming to Detroit with what they are calling the "Global Centre for Urban Transformation". These are the same crooks that created the economic crisis then forced working people to foot the bill. Detroit says NO to the WEF. Not in our city. Not in any city. Come hear from the people speak out on the devastating impact of "public-private" partnerships pushed by the WEF that has Detroiters fighting for their lives.

Here is a link to the PACT website with more information on the WEF and the fight for justice against the corporate elites.


The Truth Behind The World Economic Forum

Campus Martius Downtown Detroit


The World Economic Forum, an organization of the capitalist elite, with representatives of Bank of America, Citi, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Barclays, and the European Central Bank among others, are meeting in Detroit. They are setting up a temporary base of operations in Dan Gilbert’s Compuware building for what they are calling the “Global Centre for Urban Transformation” with an official launch announced for October 25th while the permanent site is being built on Gratiot.The WEF is an agency that upholds and facilitates multinational corporations’ control, exploitation and greed. They cloak insidious corporate thievery in words like “transformation,” “future city,” “public-private collaboration,” “economic growth,” and “revival” in campaigns to persuade the public to go along with their agendas.

Detroit was chosen because it exemplifies the most extreme contradictions in the current stage of capitalism. For the past eight years Mike Duggan, backed by Rick Snyder, and now by Gretchen Whitmer, has made it clear that the profiteering of corporations off of public space and resources is more important than the needs of Detroiters. The mayor has done everything in his power to ensure the exponential spread of gentrification that is pricing everyday people out of the city. Instead of redeveloping badly needed wastewater infrastructure, he is putting in bike lanes. Instead of creating a city wide publicly funded housing affordability plan, he is leaving poor and working class people to the whims of the market amid skyrocketing rents and stagnant wages. Instead of returning the $600 million in overtaxation, he is pushing subsidies for billionaires to carve up the 7.2 square miles of downtown rather than address material needs of a majority Black city in which well over 30 percent of people live in poverty.

The capitalists who make up the World Economic Forum have turned Detroit into a model of “Urban Destruction.” They have transformed Detroit, once a great center for the working class and oppressed, the city where the Black Liberation and Working Class struggles reached their zenith, into a center of poverty, evictions, water shutoffs, high infant mortality, and empty fields where working class neighborhoods once stood.

These are the same financial institutions that coerced tens of thousands of Detroiters into predatory and fraudulent mortgage loans, resulting in 65,000 bank foreclosures from 2005-2010 and driving one quarter of Detroit’s people out of the city. Dan Gilbert and Quicken Loans wrote many of these fraudulent mortgages for the banks, and coupled them with fraudulent property assessments that artificially overinflated home values and led to thousands of property tax foreclosures. Detroit, the city that once led the US in Black home ownership, is now a renter city with 35,000 tenants evicted every year.

These financial institutions bankrupted the city government, the school system and the water department with predatory loans, and usurped elected officials with appointed emergency managers. The emergency managers appointed by the state implemented the massive privatization of city services, a virtual shutdown of the Detroit Health Department, massive water shutoffs to pay off the bondholders, and a school system that was declared by the courts as unfit to provide access to basic literacy. Mike Duggan and the city council have facilitated this robbery of the people while giving massive tax breaks and captures to Gilbert, Ilitch, Ford, and numerous other private interests, just as the banks were bailed out by the federal government after their scheme collapsed.

One of the primary strategies of the WEF is to work through the liberal non-profit industrial complex to co-opt community into their project of dispossession and quell independent political opposition. Nonprofits are by and large beholden to philanthropic entities that are funded by private capital. They show up in the community with conditional budgets to superficially address structural inequality that they are incapable of solving, In reality, they are assisting in the appropriation of resources and assets (our tax dollars and government allocation), to expand the wealth and political control of private interests that are antithetical to the needs of the public. This is one of the ways public-private partnerships function under neoliberalism.

All of this has been done to create an environment in which the wealthy reap the profits while Detroit taxpayers foot the bill. This fifty-year project of theft in Detroit is the model that the World Economic Forum is upholding and intends to emulate wherever there are profits to be made. From a working class city of 1.8 million where workers could actually afford homes, Detroit has now been reduced to a city with 637,000 people. Once thriving neighborhoods now are centers of blight and empty fields, while the only development is downtown for the corporate elite. The people of Detroit say No to the World Economic Forum and the same bankers who pillaged this city. They are the ones who created the ongoing structural inequality in Detroit. They are not here to save us. The people of Detroit and the world deserve governance in the interest of the public, not the private entities that have exploited us.

Throughout this project of racialized neoliberal dispossession, Detroiters have never stopped fighting for their schools, the right to water, the right to housing, and the right to their own public resources. The undersigned are a growing list of organizations committed to opposing the wholesale theft of Detroit and cities around the world by the members of the World Economic Forum and to demanding respect for the economic human rights of all people.

Michigan Welfare Rights Organization

National Welfare Rights Union

Detroit Will Breathe

Moratorium Now!

League of Revolutionaries for a New America

Coalition for Police Transparency & Accountability Yemeni Liberation Movement

Swords of the Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery Asia Mock

Party for Socialism & Liberation Hoe Army

Riverwise Magazine

Garage Cultural

Carolyn Baker

Valerie Baker

David Goldberg

Judith Alexander

Elena Bond Hawkins

Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council John Williams

David Smokler

Shea Howell

Nicole Hill

Valerie Jean

Craig Regester

Flint Rising Water You Fighting For

Greg Olszta

Peter Blackmer

"True to form, the 'beast' has emerged from its hibernation during the world pandemic, and has started to announce plans to continue its plunder and targeted control of resources and power.

Word has just come out that the WEF group is launching a world-wide initiative to create public-private partnerships and they have chosen DETROIT to be the headquarters for them. This 'economic hub' is slated to be up and running starting in Sept/Oct and will be the location where these events will be coordinated from. LORD, HELP US...

What do we do? What do we say? Here we are again, not well organized and hardly able to counter-punch. To raise our voices against this economic trap will sound like we don't want financial help for the millions of our people in trouble because they will come with shiny new promises and fresh sounding opportunities that our community will want to embrace. This private-public partnership nonsense keeps coming up. The WEF already has made deals that residents know nothing about starting with the current Mayor who has said not a mumbling word about this. He had to know that they were planning on setting up in the City. They will appeal to the residents with beads, trinkets, furs, and assorted promises to get us to be on their side...they will offer slick looking experts standing next to women, women of color, preachers, preachers of color, and all sorts of spokespersons that are prepared to convince us about their honorable intentions."

Attached is a copy of the statement put out by the World Economic Forum and the collective statement from the new coalition formed out of urgency to respond to this crisis. People Against Corporate Theft (PACT) is made up of grassroot organizations and individuals out of Michigan, and the list is still growing.

Please share this out widely to all your networks and we invite you all to join this struggle!

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