Economic crisis, workers resist

The British Airways industrial dispute is continuing, with another strike expected on 27 March. See also here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

The European Commission has warned that the British government could face a Greek scenario if it does not escalate its drive to impose austerity: here.

The huge cuts being made in the sphere of culture in Germany are an indication of the bourgeois establishment’s low regard for the arts: here.

USA: At the initial public hearing of the Citizens Inquiry into the Dexter Avenue Fire, held Saturday at Wayne State University in Detroit, Inquiry commissioners heard testimony from residents, experts and researchers about utility shutoffs and house fires in Detroit, the practices and political influence of energy giant DTE, and the broader social crisis in the city: here.

Arizona education funding and vital social programs have been cut by $1.1 billion. These cuts will have almost immediate disastrous consequences for hundreds of thousands of poor and working class residents: here.

1 thought on “Economic crisis, workers resist

  1. Stop Foreclosures and Evictions

    Save Renee’s Baltimore Home—

    Stop Bank of America from Foreclosing

    Demand a Moratorium Now!

    Please Click to Sign the Important Petition to Stop BOA’s Foreclosure

    Renee Washington DeFreitas, a 51 year old state employee and mother of five did everything she was supposed to: she worked hard long hours, volunteered for overtime when it existed, saved her money, and bought a home with the hope that she would have something as she grew older, both for herself and her children and grandchildren.

    But along came the economic crisis. State workers were forced to take pay cuts and furlough days, non-paid days that drastically reduced her already meager salary. And her husband, whose income she had counted on left.

    Her once “dream home” has now became a nightmare.

    Imagine trying to pay a $1,200 mortgage for a modest row home in Baltimore and taking home only $1,400 a month. What’s left to pay utility bills, food or transportation? Nothing.
    Renee did everything.

    In her own words in a letter to HOPE, she stated, “I worked my whole life so I could get my own home, which I did, and also make me proud to have my own, but now it’s a burden. I have used my savings to pay my mortgage, along with my 401 (k). I’ve even gone as far as asking family members to help. I have went into my insurance policies in order to keep my house.”

    She also did everything right with Bank of America filling out long forms and submitting over 44 pages of documentation to its BAC Home Loan Servicing to apply for a home modification on her loan. She did this all in a timely manner.

    But, at the same time that she was being advised to fill out forms and to get in touch with HOPE, Bank of America was beginning the foreclosure process through the law firm of Cohn, Goldberg & Deutsch.

    Renee Washington DeFreitas needs our help. She represents the thousands of workers who are being unjustly and even illegally thrown out of their homes. Please sign the petition below to the Bank of America and to local and state political leaders.


    By the government’s own accounts ( approximately 7 million homeowners will lose their homes in the third quarter. Julie Gordon from the Center for Responsible Lending testified that with the effects of high unemployment millions more would be added to these numbers. She estimated that by the time this crisis abates as many as 13 million families will have lost their homes.

    The Home Affordable Modification Program has fallen short because banks have simply not abided by the law. The promise of HAMP was that 3 to 4 million homeowners would be helped with loan modifications. But to date only 650,000 homeowners are now in a trial modification. Only a fraction of those have actually received a permanent loan modification.

    In addition HAMP does not address those workers who have lost their jobs completely, a major shortcoming for the 30 million who are unemployed and left out in the cold.

    How is it that bank profits are rising while foreclosures grow exponentially? The reason is that the government is increasingly guaranteeing bank losses due to foreclosures by reimbursing the lenders at the full value for overvalued mortgages when there are defaults. This “silent bailout” continues every day.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which guarantee about half of the country’s mortgages, were taken over by the government in July 2008. Fannie and Freddie are burning so much cash bailing out the lenders that the Treasury is considering an infusion of another $400 billion in taxpayer funds into these entities (New York Times, Dec. 17).

    Coupled with funds from the AIG and GMAC bailouts, which are being utilized to pay off lenders on foreclosed properties, it is estimated the total government lifeline to the banks could rise to $1 trillion.

    The effect of this continued bailout is that it actually discourages bank lenders from reducing the principal on mortgages whose values they inflated through their predatory lending practices. This is because they know the government will pay them full value. In addition, why even abide by HAMP and keep people in their homes, when there is so much profit to be made in foreclosing.


    The Moratorium-Now Coalition in Michigan and the Community/Labor Coalition for a Moratorium in Los Angeles have been leading the way in calling for a moratorium on all foreclosures and evictions.

    The present situation cries out for a moratorium. Jerry Goldberg, an attorney with the Moratorium-Now Coalition pointed out, “Even the Helping Families Stay in Their Homes Act passed in May 2009, states that it is the sense of Congress that there should be a moratorium on foreclosures until the Treasury Department certifies that HAMP has been implemented.” HAMP has obviously not been implemented.


    The banks could care less! It’s time for the people to make them do what’s just and right: “No more foreclosures; No more evictions.” Let’s work together to not only keep Renee DeFreitas in her home but also every one from Baltimore to LA, from Detroit to Miami, from Cleveland to Houston.

    In Baltimore, we are launching a campaign to stop Bank of America’s foreclosure of Renee DeFreitas. This includes not only this national petition campaign, but picket lines, meetings and protests. It also includes utilizing whatever legal avenues may be at our disposal. This campaign will show that people can stand up, fight back and win.

    We cannot allow a trillion dollar bank like BOA, which has received millions of our tax dollars to destroy the lives of our friends, neighbors and co-workers. Every empty house not only crushes the dreams of its former occupants—it crushes the dreams of an entire community.

    We can’t and won’t allow them top do it. If push comes to shove, we will organize a “Community Stay-in at Renee’s House” to stop the sheriff.

    Issued by:
    Network to Stop Foreclosures & Evictions
    2011 N. Charles St. Lower Level
    Baltimore, Maryland 21218
    Phone: 410-218-4835


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