The People’s Plan: Demonstrating for more pension, less bank payouts

The People’s Plan: Demonstrating for more pension, less bank payouts

A day after the city of Detroit filed its amended Plan of Adjustment and Disclosure Statement, hundreds of retirees, city workers, advocates and other supporters gathered downtown for a demonstration. They closed off Lafayette Boulevard in front of the federal courthouse, circling and chanting slogans including “No justice, no peace. No pensions, no peace.” Several speakers addressed the crowd, urging Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to not cut pensions as part of the city’s restructuring and emergence from bankruptcy.

The demonstrators also are hoping to convince Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to better protect pensioners who also are facing  increases in their health care costs under the current proposed city restructuring effort.

Attorney Jerome Goldberg was among several speakers. Goldberg has fought to stop home foreclosures in the city, and now represents David Sole, a retired Detroit waterworks employee.

“UBS and Bank of America know: not one penny for the criminal banks. Hands off our pensions. Take it from the banks, not the workers,” Goldberg told the crowd.

Some of the demonstrators say they have filed objections with the bankruptcy court over the city’s proposed restructuring. Others visited a table on the sidewalk at the demonstration where forms and instructions to file were provided. Rhodes will review those submissions, along with other legal challenges, as he considers the feasibility and responsibility to pensioners and other creditors as part of the bankruptcy case. A trial is scheduled for July.

-By WDET’s Sandra Svoboda

@WDETSandra and nextchapter@wdet.org