Thursday, May 3, 2012

This Time Limitation

   ThisTimeLimitation by Guy Mingo

       The war on the poor in Michigan increased in intensity last year, when Governor Rick Snyder and the state legislature enacted severe time limitations on welfare assistance and cut cash assistance. Mariam Kramer, of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO), cautioned us then that massive cuts in the state social safety net would have devastating effects. Estimations were that tens of thousands of families across Michigan, most with children and already living day to day, would be affected. Most would have to cease rent payments, allow utilities to be shut-off or cut back on food.
       Now, after balancing the state budget by cutting social services and municipal revenue sharing, the Governor is continuing his multi-pronged assault on the working class. The 2011-2012 class of emergency managers have slashed city services and the public workforce in Benton Harbor, Pontiac and Inkster. In Detroit, the consent agreement is an emergency manager by another name; public and equal education is all but finished.
       Half of the Black population in Michigan has now been stripped of public officials in their communities-- officials that were voted into office during free and open elections.
       There must also be a time limitation on the people's continued allowance of the state to redirect the flow of public monies and public resources to the corporate elite. It remains to be seen what actions the people will take when that limit is reached and the degree of political change it will evoke.
       The Occupy movement tested the waters May 1 after marching through the city with a broad coalition of activists. A few ended up at Capitol Park, where the Occupy Detroit action was centered  last fall. According to reports, the twenty or so participants were immediately dispersed by Detroit Police, who seem to have a slightly less accommodating posture this year.

              The track above incorporates audio captured on August 26, 2011 at one of MRWO's 'Resurrection Marches' in front of the State of Michigan Building on West Grand Boulevard. MWRO's Miriam Kramer provides the mantra, with additional introspection by U.S. Representative John Conyers (D-MI). They both gave me with brief interviews that day. There is also an unidentified  male voice at the beginning and end of the piece backing up Kramer.