Banksters Demand Black Removal as a Condition of Urban Investment
“Katrina left no doubt about the intentions of the folks who run this country, the financial class,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford, speaking at a Socialist Action forum in Hartford, Connecticut. “The goal is to drastically reduce the Black populations of the cities,” because “the very presence of large numbers of Black people depresses the value of urban assets.” The mayor of Hartford, a mostly Black and Latino city, wants to build a $60 million baseball stadium as a centerpiece of development. However, such schemes are ultimately intended to bring in whites and displace Blacks and browns, as a “prerequisite” for substantial corporation investment in the future, said Ford, at Urban Hope Refuge Church.”
No Stadium Deal, People Before Profits!
by Chris Hutchinson a UPS Teamster and member of Socialist Action
Hartford Workers, the unemployed, and their families mostly Black and Latino, face a city government, billionaires like Josh Solomon, and banks that seek to disenfranchise and exploit the labor and resources of oppressed communities to line their own pockets. As it stands official unemployment in Hartford is 12.6% and if you factor in those who are no longer counted because they are demoralized and no longer looking for work we could nearly double that number. “African-American woman working full time, year round made just 64 cents for every dollar a white man made and Hispanic women made just 54 cents.” stadium proposal, that has been cooked up in secret by the mayor, Josh Solomon and their banker friends will only continue to entrench the severe income inequality that already exists in our city. Whether publicly or privately funded the stadium will be a boon for the banks and a bust for those living in Hartford.
In fact a recent New York Times article stated that it may be impossible to find any private backers at all. “To think they could even come up with a third of stadium costs is not possible,” said Miles Wolff, the commissioner of the Can-Am League and the American Association, two independent baseball leagues. “Ballparks don’t make money. That’s why they’re public facilities.”
The public-private partnership that the mayor is now considering is also a scam. It is a way to sneakily transfer costs back on to the public sector through off book accounting to make it look as though expenditures are lower than they actually are. The current economic and financial crisis was caused by the same policies of public-private partnerships as are currently being pushed on Hartford workers by the Mayor.
We’ve known about the corruption in the private sector and how they are less able to manage risk. Hartford working people need to stand together and say not another dime of our hard earned money to the banks. No more concessions to corporations. No more back room secret discussions by politicians and billionaires. We want open and democratic discussions regarding the economic decisions made in Hartford that are accountable first and foremost to the most oppressed in our community.
-Working people in Hartford do not need this stadium! We need our public schools like Martin Luther King Jr. fully funded and repaired.
- We need to End racist discrimination and oppression.
-We need Preferential hiring of Black, Puerto Rican, Latino, indigenous, LGBTQ and female workers to make up for centuries of marginalization from the better jobs.
- We need corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes and not hide behind loopholes and offshore accounts.
- We need a massive jobs program that puts all the unemployed and underemployed back to work with a living wage.
-We need to increase the minimum wage to be a livable wage.
If the Mayor and the billionaires are counting on the people of Hartford to roll over and accept without question their schemes and seedy deals they are dead wrong. We are going to come back again and again to city hall every time we get a whiff of a rotten deal that further disenfranchises and exploits a community that deserves to have a sustainable and beautiful life free of oppression.
No to this rotten stadium deal! No to the Secret Deals! No to the Billionaires! Forward for a Hartford that puts people before profits!
Hartford Community Marches Against the Stadium Deal
March and Rally to Oppose the Rock Cat’s Stadium Deal
Who: The Hartford Coalition to Stop the Stadium
When: Today, July 21
Where: 4 pm: Meet at 1212 Main St in Htfd, the proposed site for a stadium
4:30 pm: March to City Hall, Htfd
5pm: Rally at City Hall
6-7 pm: Public Hearings at City Hall, 550 Main St
By now, most people have heard about the proposed $60 million baseball stadium for DoNo Hartford.
- We know the “deal was done” in secret negotiations for 18 months;
- we know the “overcooked” numbers about jobs make no sense (see Jeff Jacobs’ Sunday Courant column); and
- data from 25 years of baseball/stadiums proves they almost never benefit a city but instead create decades of debt service (see Noll & Zimbalist: Sports, Jobs & Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums) ;
- and that a much needed supermarket complex got overridden by yet another big ticket development deal imposed by corporate interests and willing city “leaders”
Even if you’re not a Htfd resident, come out to lend your support and solidarity for the grassroots Coalition that is campaigning for a better deal for Hartford residents than a short-sighted baseball stadium.
STOP A BAD DEAL; CREATE NEW SOLUTIONS; DEMAND TRANSPARENCY!
Did you miss our forum Thursday July 17 with Glen Ford? Well check out TSVN’s recording. Thanks to all who attended. Check back here for our next forum.
Demand that the US stop all military aid to Israel!
Demand an end to the siege of Gaza, end collective punishment!
When: Friday, July 18, 3pm
Where: 1 Market st Hartford CT, the Old State House.
For more information on the current situation read the article below in its entirety at SA News
Israel out of Gaza! Justice for Palestine!
By MICHAEL SCHREIBER
“As we go to press on July 17, Israel has undertaken a ground invasion of the beleaguered Palestinian enclave of Gaza. Naval gunships, drones, helicopters, and F-16 fighters have kept up a constant bombardment of the territory to accompany the assault by infantry and tanks. Israel has called up at least 50,000 soldiers for the operation.
Three days earlier, Israel had dropped thousands of leaflets on some parts of Gaza, warning residents to evacuate since an attack was imminent. But few people left the area; they had nowhere to go.
Airstrikes at the start of the land invasion killed at least four Palestinian children playing on a rooftop, while several nurses were injured when Israeli tanks barraged the al-Wafa rehabilitation hospital. The hospital had also been hit by airstrikes a week earlier, destroying the holding tanks that supply water to patients.”
Interview with Glen Ford of Black Agenda report who will be speaking in Hartford Thurs, 7/17 at the Urban Hope Refuge Church 136 Westland St., Hartford . He and Stanley Heller talk about Detroit and Michigan as a whole where “administrators” run black majority cities, effectively disenfranchising blacks. They also touch on Hartford and Newark and the sad state of the black leadership class.
Find the event with Glen on Face Book here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1501519740080487/
For immediate release: July 14th, 2014
From the Hartford Stadium Deal to Detroit Water Shutoffs: Glen Ford on the New Corporate Scheme
What: Community forum sponsored by Socialist Action CT
When: Thursday July 17th, 7:30pm
Where: 136 Westland St., Hartford, CT
Detroit, New Orleans, Atlanta, Newark…What can they Teach US About the Plans of the 1% for Black, Brown, and Working Class Cities? How Can We Fight Back?
What is going on when a mayor secretly spends 18 months on a deal to borrow $60 million for a ballpark just after laying off 99 city workers and selling $34.5 million in city assets? A deal that will cost $4 million a year in debt payments alone but will only return $500,000 in annual rent? Is there more at stake here than the routine theft of public funds? Could the new stadium deal be better than the first? What is in store for Hartford residents should the government fail to repay the debt in the coming years? What can we learn from other cities like Detroit that are targeted by wealthy scam artists?
The state of Michigan is now using Detroit’s engineered bankruptcy to replace the elected city government with a state-appointed “Emergency Financial Manager” who is serving the city on a platter to the very loan sharks who put it under water. City revenue is turned directly over to creditors, pensions are plundered, and now tap water is cut off to tens of thousands of residents as part of a scheme to privatize the water service.
Hear Glen Ford, Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, help make sense of the stadium deal and the larger offensive on Black, Brown, and working class cities.