Nov 07

City of Detroit:
Vote Tues. Nov. 8th
Reject the Proposed City Charter Revisions!
Vote NO on Proposal C!

Detroit Socialist Party Position Statement on City of Detroit 2011 Ballot Proposal C

The Detroit Socialist Party calls upon all city voters to cast a NO vote in the citywide municipal referendum being held on November 8, 2011 on approval or rejection of the Detroit City Charter amendments proposed by the City Charter Revision Commission.

While incorporating a partial and significantly modified version of the city voter-approved 2009 ballot proposal establishing for election of City Council by district, the currently proposed Charter revisions would further extend such legislative district divisions to the composition of virtually all of the city’s (predominately mayoral-appointed) boards and commissions. The true aim of such extensive regional partitioning of the city’s executive branch is to facilitate the (Democratic Party-based) Bing mayoral regime’s overarching “Detroit Works Project” objectives, geared toward sub-dividing different sections of the city between those targeted for city-service-concentrated gentrification efforts and those targeted for further city-service diminution and neglect.

Another equally insidious element of the proposed charter revisions is the addition of an entirely new section to the Charter titled “Elimination of Redundancy in Government.” In addition to requiring the City’s Legislative and Executive branches and City Clerk to publish comprehensive reports each election cycle on all efforts being undertaken to reduce and eliminate redundancy in services, programs, activities, and processes; the proposed new section would additionally stipulate that: “As much as practicable attempts shall be made to realign ser­vice delivery systems and eliminate operational duplication and inefficiency, which may include cooperative agreements with other government entities as allowed by law [italics added].”

Particularly when examined in light of the recently stripped away removal of municipal control over Detroit’s water department last September, as well as the recently renewed efforts of the Bing regime to establish full-scale privatization of the city lighting department by state region-wide electric power provider DTE Energy (on whose corporate board Bing long personally served), one can clearly discern that the overarching purpose of this new section is to provide greater backing and citable cover for the further expanded dispossession of Detroit city residents’ control over Detroit’s most valuable public assets and resources still remaining under municipal control.

In equally parallel relation to both the recently accelerated efforts to strip municipal control of the city’s most important public resources, and the newly proposed City Charter language oriented to directly accommodating such city resource abnegation, the state of Michigan’s newly expanded “Emergency Manger” law, enacted last March, directly provides for a state-appointed Financial Manager’s power to “enter into agreements with other local governments, public bodies, or entities for the provision of services, the joint exercise of powers, or the transfer of functions and responsibilities; enter into agreements with other units of government to transfer property of the municipal government…. [and] enter into agreements with other local governments, or with private entities to the extent provided by law, for the provision of services [italics added].”

Given Bing’s repeated proclamations, during only the past week, on both the probable inevitability of Detroit’s impending placement under Emergency Manager rule by the state, and his own personally willing desire to accept the position of Detroit’s Emergency Manger if appointed (as earlier leaked reports suggest has already been pre-arranged between Bing and the Republican Snyder regime in Lansing), one can also quite reasonably infer that such proposed Charter revisions are intended to provide for some token pretext of continuity between the dictatorial actions imposed by Detroit’s likely forthcoming Emergency Manager and the directly preceding City Charter revisions approved by the people before the termination of elected municipal governance.

In addition to the above new provisions proposed to be added to the City Charter, Proposal C also asks voters to approve the establishment of a new system of city-district elected “Community Advisory Councils” (CAC’s) to directly supplant the long-established duties and role of city-district elected Citizens’ District Councils (CDC’s) (to which the Socialist Party fielded an elected candidate in the most recently held election) and resultantly marginalize and inhibit their operational effectiveness.

In spite of assigning all of the same functions held by CDC’s to the new CAC bodies, the proposed new Charter provisions contrastingly bar CAC’s from ever receiving any municipal funding, prescribe for CAC elections to take place at the same time that City Council elections are held, and further leave out the limited watchdog and community defense powers of the CDC’s, as established under state law (1945 P.A.344), including the right to delay implementation of proposed development projects, require information from any city department, and require City Council hearings to be held on proposed development projects of concern.

The Proposal C charter revisions also remove the 2009 voter-approved change to allow for office-specific city wide election of the City Council President and Council President Pro-Tempore, and instead prescribe for the nine elected City Council members (composed of seven members elected by district and two elected at large) to select the holders of those two specified Council offices from among themselves. Since the City Council President temporarily assumes the office of city Mayor in the event of vacancy, this change would remove the 2009 ballot-approved right of city voters to determine which candidate shall stand eligible for mayoral succession.

Other amending changes within Proposal C include eliminating the Charter’s formerly contained residency requirement for appointed city officers, as well as new amendments to the Planning and Development Department section of the Charter, geared toward redirecting the Department’s main objectives so as to: “provide the sup­port, assistance and conditions necessary to retain businesses,” “develop and implement a strategic plan and program focused on recruiting and supporting emerging in­dustries” (read further widening expansion of the city’s massive corporate welfare subsidies to big business) and further to: “create con­ditions supportive of global trade” (read race to the bottom for cheap labor and corporate deregulation) [emphasis added].

Taken together, Proposal C is simply the latest maneuver by the Bing-Snyder alliance to further sweep away all remaining obstacles standing in the way of the ongoing raid on Detroit’s public resources by both corporate party politicians’ true political constituency. Detroit’s working class population has nothing substantively beneficial to gain from this proposal and should resoundingly reject it at the polls on Tuesday November 8th.

Feb 25

Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers, Students, Teachers, and Unions!

The Detroit Socialist Party, with the Socialist Party of Michigan, stands in solidarity with the great people of Wisconsin, while they fight for their rights as workers against the tyrannical Governor Scott Walker. The outcry of support is not only deafening, but increasing exponentially as well (both domestically and across the globe). The struggle in which they find themselves is as disgusting as it is unnecessary: no one should be commanded to slit their own throats for the profit of a few.


As Socialists:
• We stand for the right of all workers to organize.
• We support worker control of industry through the democratic organization of the workplace.
• We stand for the social ownership of the means of production and distribution, and call for international solidarity among working people based on common opposition to global capitalism and imperialism.
• We believe that the international organization of labor is the only way of combating the exploitation of workers in a global capitalist
• We believe that working people have no country, but rather an international bond based on class.

As such, workers throughout the world have far more in common with their international brothers and sisters than with their native bosses. Ultimately, a socialist revolution must be an international one: a revolution which will surely not survive if confined to individual countries amidst the pestilence of capitalist imperialism. We stand with you, the worker, in this your time of need and solidarity. Furthermore, we offer you the utmost support as you not only face a wretched, petty bureaucrat who would take away your rights, both labor and human, but as you simultaneously stand against a symptom of this entire corrupt slave-system. We will not sit back and let this venomous bill infect your great state, as we know that capitalist leaders in other capitals anticipate their own chance like so many horrible dominoes. We refuse to accept it here in Michigan and urge you to continue the struggle: educating, organizing, and agitating counter to the Wisconsin capitalist machine.

We send our most gracious thanks for igniting this most impressive movement that states quite plainly that workers are humans, not expendable cogs to be used and discarded. The voice of millions that speaks, “We have rights and we will fight like hell to keep them,” is yours as well as it is ours. Be assured, yet again, that we are with you in solidarity. An injury to one is an injury to all; therefore, it’s time for all workers, domestically and abroad, to UNITE and overturn this capitalist nightmare!!!

Feb 24


Governor-elect Rick Snyder, center, announces the appointment of House Speaker Andy Dillon, left, as treasurer and former Lt. Governor Dick Posthumus as senior adviser to the Governor at University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor on Nov. 8, 2010.  Angela J. Cesere |





Statement originally adopted by the Socialist Party of Michigan on Feb. 21st, 2011 and last updated on May 6th 2011

The Socialist Party of Michigan stands in wholehearted solidarity with the growing resurgence of labor-resistance to the recently escalated round of class warfare legislation first introduced in the Midwestern “rustbelt” states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio, and now rapidly expanding throughout the nation. Accordingly, the SPMI affirms its unwavering alliance with all forces seeking to further advance the growing wave of workers’ political protest and mobilization, toward an uncompromising demand for the working class’ collective seizure of political power.

In convergence with the recent wave of legislative attacks on public workers’ collective bargaining rights sweeping over each of Michigan’s bordering states and beyond; recent counterpart legislation, drafted by Republican Governor Rick Snyder and Democratic State Treasurer (and 2007-10 Democratic State House Speaker) Andy Dillon, was successfully enacted by Michigan’s own corporate party lawmakers last month, to provide for not only the unchallengeable nullification of union contracts and bargaining rights of state employees, but also the most nominal political rights of Michigan voters residing in working class communities throughout the state.

The “Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act” (2011 Public Act 4) formally signed into law on March 16th, has since bestowed the state’s Governor and Treasurer with immediately effective authority to place any Michigan city, township, village, or school district into receivership status upon such officials’ allegedly perceived indication of even the most fleeting budgetary shortfall or tentative future deficit,  thereby resulting in the State Treasurer’s or Governor’s assignment of an emergency financial manager (“EFM”) to assume absolute political and financial control over all aspects of that municipality’s or school district’s governance, operations, budget, and property; including expendable and transferrable control over the entirety of its community-owned public assets.

While Michigan’s precedingly enacted “Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1990,” stopped short of furnishing the Governor’s appointed EFM’s to usurp full political control over a municipality’s or school district’s political or academic operations, Michigan’s newly enacted receivership law directly empowers an EFM to individually assume, exercise, override, appointively transfer, or otherwise suspend the powers of any and all locally elected bodies and officials at his/her own unmediated discretion,  as well as to disincorporate, dissolve, or merge state municipalities; close an unlimited number of district schools; privatize municipal or school district services; and freely lock local elected officials and employees out of their own government offices, email accounts, and public information systems.

In congruence with such other dictatorial new measures, state lawmakers further added additional new language to the Public Act 4 legislation for the explicit purpose of legislatively nullifying the recent ruling of the Wayne County Circuit Court, following a successful legal challenge by the Detroit Public Schools district’s presently elected board, that the district’s longstanding Granholm-appointed EFM Robert Bobb “cannot usurp the elected board’s authority over academics and curriculum matters.” Consequently, Michigan’s recently enacted EFM legislation now includes an additional new provision serving to render any school district-installed EFM with supreme and unilateral authority to develop and impose, “for school districts, an academic and educational plan.”

As a further means of  preemptively curtailing the capacity of the Detroit School Board, or any other receivership-subjected local body, to attempt to mount any more future judicial challenges to the dictums and encroachments of their state-appointed EFM’s,  Michigan’s new receivership law additionally establishes strict new limits on the court’s jurisdiction to review EFM decrees, while further compelling the local government seeking judicial relief to bear all of the State Attorney General’s legal expenses for defending the appointed EFM against the local government’s own legal claims. In adding even further insult to injury, the newly effective legislation also provides no limit on the length of time during which a municipality or school district can be placed in EFM-subordinate receivership, while nevertheless requiring any municipality or district faced with such a status to bear the entire cost of financing, not only the full salary of its appointed EFM, but also the costs and salaries of any unlimited number of financial management assistant staff, or outside consulting, collection, and accounting firms that its commanding EFM may independently choose to hire.

The consequences of such an arrangement have been particularly devastating to the Detroit Public Schools (“DPS”) district over the course of the past two years under the reign of its Granholm-appointed EFM Robert Bobb, during which his astronomical expenditures on private consultants, and apparent penchant for six-figure-per-month travel expenses, have resulted in the near doubling of the district’s deficit since the time he assumed full control over the district’s financial operations.  In spite of such exacerbation of the district’s financial woes, Bobb has simultaneously ordered the lay-offs of hundreds of DPS workers, including the outsourcing of the district’s custodial and security staff to private corporations, and the closure of approximately 60 district schools, all while receiving a supplementary salary from the billionaire-directed and pro-education privatization Broad Foundation and Kellogg Foundation, in addition to the $280,000 personal salary (not counting the numerous other six-figure salaries owed by DPS for each of Bobb’s EFM-hired “consultant” staff) that DPS is compelled to pay annually to Robert Bobb alone.

As with the state’s other three local governments in Benton Harbor, Ecorse and Pontiac, already contending with the presently enacted system of EFM-led receivership; the recently enacted receivership legislation procedurally provides for the DPS district’s automatically added subjection to all of the newly added stipulations of the current receivership law within sixty days of its enactment. Accordingly during the final weeks of his two-year contract as the Detroit Public School’s EFM, Bobb has most recently issued lay-off notices to all 5,466 Detroit Federation of Teachers members, while correspondingly declaring his intent to hire only a fraction of such teachers back for the forthcoming school year, and to abrogate the existing union contract of those teachers who are able to return. Moreover through a new district-structuring arrangement jointly established with State Treasurer Dillon, Bobb has now additionally designated approximately one-third of the district’s remaining schools to face corporate bidding for control under a charter-school structure, while further slating dozens more of the district’s schools for unconditional closure. Benton Harbor’s EFM similarly wasted no time in already issuing an order providing that “Absent prior express written authorization and approval by the Emergency Manager, no City Board, Commission or Authority shall take any action for or on behalf of the City whatsoever other than [to] call a meeting to order, approve of meeting minutes, or adjourn a meeting.”

As with the counterpart legislation confronting workers in Wisconsin, Michigan’s newly enacted receivership legislation is equally, if only more insidiously, directed toward the same political effort to strip away the right, or otherwise meaningful ability, of public workers to engage in collective bargaining. Michigan’s new receivership law additionally grants automatic authority to an appointed EFM to act as the sole agent in collective bargaining with employees of a local government facing receivership, and to “reject, modify, or terminate” the terms of any existing labor contract or collective bargaining agreement at will. Furthermore, the new Michigan law exempts a local government from state collective bargaining requirements for up to five years from the date its placed in receivership status (should it continue to be imposed for that long), while also prohibiting an elected local government from subsequently amending its outgoing EFM’s developed two year post-receivership budget (including all contractual and employment agreements) without approval from the State Treasurer, or from revising any order or ordinance implemented by its former EFM during its period of receivership before to the passage of a full year after the date on which its status of receivership is terminated.

Recent indications made by Michigan’s new Wall Street CEO-Governor have left little question regarding the extent to which the state’s current leadership aims to use the new receivership law as a mechanism to impose economic austerity measures within working class and oppressed communities throughout the state. As reported in the Detroit Free Press more than a month before the legislation’s passage, Dillon had already begun the process of training forty-five new EFM’s during the month of February alone, in confident anticipation of the legislation’s forthcoming enactment. As still yet another apparent means of further assuring the state’s widespread application of the new receivership provisions (or even the weight of the threat thereof), as both an instrument of privatization and billy club to strike and threaten the state’s organized workforce; Snyder’s concurrently drafted state budget includes a proposed  33% cut to state revenue sharing to cities, villages, townships, and counties, as well as a $470-per-pupil cut in state revenue to Michigan’s school districts.

In direct contextual reference to such local revenue sharing cuts, Snyder himself was bluntly quoted in the February 18th edition of the Detroit News as noting that “there could be a number’ of cities that require an emergency financial manager in the coming months as a result of economic conditions.” Correspondingly, while the drastic state budgetary cuts to local government revenue sharing may serve to ensure that the state’s intensified receivership program obtains a wider application;  the state’s corresponding ability to appoint an official with the power to unilaterally amend, eliminate, or renegotiate virtually any given state employees’ collective bargaining agreement at any time would serve to present the state with a much more readily attainable means to force such pre-budgeted public employee concessions to come to fruition.

In addition to the ominously unexplicated concessions commitment and major cuts to municipality and school district funding, Snyder’s FY 2012 budget also includes pending legislative proposals to: (a) eliminate the state-income tax exemption for both public and private pensions; (b) eliminate the state; Earned Income Tax Credit and state Home Heating Credit for low income families, and reduce the Homestead Property Tax Credit for elderly and disabled state residents; (c) impose a 48 month life-time limit on welfare recipients with limited potential exceptions; (d) impose a 15% cut in funding to the state’s fifteen public universities; (e)eliminate 300 fieldworker jobs within the Department of Human Services; (f) impose a $2.3 million (9.4% ) cut in state aid to local libraries; (g) impose a $45 million cut to the Michigan Department of Community Health and the bouncing of  200,000 Michigan dually-eligible Medicare/Medicaid recipients into HMO-modeled programs; (i) privatize the dairy farm milk safety inspection process under the control of dairy industry representatives themselves; (j) eliminate Department of Agriculture inspections of animal shelters; and (i) expand low-wage privatization of services within state prisons and state veterans’ homes.

When looking upon the already skyrocketing budgets of the state’s suppressive and corporate welfare apparatuses, however, Snyder’s ardent insistence on the need for “shared sacrifice,” appears, like the many similar appeals made by his Democratic predecessor throughout her last term, to entirely exempt such components of the state budget from its applicable scope. Despite already surpassing the state’s educational budget, even without Snyder’s most recently proposed school district and university cuts, Snyder not only refrains from proposing any corresponding cut to the Michigan’s obscenely soaring prison system expenditures, but actually recommends further increasing the Department of Corrections’ appropriations by nearly five million more dollars for FY 2012, followed by a second raise to the Department of Corrections budget by nearly eighty-two million more dollars for FY 2013.

A similar examination of Snyder’s Executive Budget Recommendation for the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) correspondingly reveals no deviation from the enduring bi-partisan consensus on its seemingly sacrosanct status. While the Department of Corrections appropriations serve a latent corporate welfare function for the many profiteers of Michigan’s unceasingly nurtured prison-industrial complex, the MSF’s orientation to that function is entirely manifest. While constituting a state appointed public body composed of a handful of big business executives and several select state bureaucrats, the MSF operates almost exclusively as a legal intermediary to transfer state treasury money to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) – a cabal of corporate gangsters from each of the most Michigan-invested Wall Street firms, who thereupon function to grant out such public money directly to corporations throughout the state, as a form of dividend return on their sponsorship of, and investment in, the electoral and political operations of the two big-business parties.

Accordingly, Snyder quite evidently illustrated the true meaning of his calls for “shared sacrifice,” by recommending, within his presently pending state budget proposals, that Michigan workers share approximately four-hundred million tax dollars with the MSF’s corporate beneficiaries over the course of the next two years. Moreover, in further eliminating the state business tax liability for all non-‘Class-C’ stock issuing firms, Snyder’s overwhelming commitment to share such previously taxable income with the ‘business community’ stands resolute even in spite of the fact that the state’s resulting $1.8 billion dollar revenue loss substantially exceeds the total amount of the state’s entire current deficit altogether!

Although Snyder, like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, happens to align with the Republican wing of the two capitalist parties, the growing movement of workers’ resistance to the recent wave of attacks we’ve been dealt could make no greater error than to accept the illusory claim that any official section of the Democratic Party could be trusted to genuinely and positively align its hopes or preferences with our present struggle’s continued expansion, persistence, or success. Whether one looks to State Treasurer Andy Dillon’s development and administration of the state’s new system of receivership and union-busting, the simultaneous legislative attacks on public worker bargaining rights and contracted benefits initiated by Democratic majority legislatures in Massachusetts and Connecticut,  or the practically universal union concession fights waged by virtually every notable Michigan Democratic politician elected to chief executive political office in recent times, (e.g. former Governor Granholm, current Detroit Mayor Bing, or even Lansing Mayor and so-called labor-rights-champion Virg Bernero); the Democratic Party cannot honestly be said to characteristically and meaningfully demonstrate any greater degree of loyalty to the labor movement than its GOP counterpart, nor truly even any greater reticence toward browbeating and suppressing it when in political power.

While some Democrats have historically supported varying forms of olive branches to quell rising threats of working class upheaval, such instances of placatory posturing have always remained equally and unexceptionally in the service of U.S. ruling class and the defense of the systemic status quo. Stemming from that foundation, the Democratic Party has always operated as a co-optationally oriented death trap for progressive social movements, particularly those centered on rank and file struggles of labor. As even the Democratic Party of Michigan itself declared in the Party’s official press release-response to Snyder’s State of State speech last month, “Democrats will work with Governor Snyder to seek bipartisan solutions that reform our government, create jobs and help restore the economy … We will work with Republicans in the legislature to pass sensible, bipartisan reforms.”

As leaders of both of our state’s corporate parties declare empty platitudes about a new era for the 21st Century, and bipartisan pathways toward the reinvention of our state, the Socialist Party of Michigan contrastingly stands committed to the principle that any such meaningful process of reinvention must begin with the working class’ united seizure of political power from our present corporate oligarchy, and its corresponding establishment of democratic ownership and control over our political system, economy, and workplaces, as the basic prerequisite for obtaining genuinely free and autonomous self-direction over our own daily lives.

The Socialist Party of Michigan Platform outlines an extensive program, aimed at cooperatively developing a contemporary and real-world path and vision for a truly democratic workers’ state government, run by and for the state’s working majority, rather than its richest one-percent. Since the time of its initial adoption nearly a decade ago the contemporary version of the Socialist Party of Michigan Platform has also specifically called for the “abolition of the right of the state government to stage ‘takeovers’ of community institutions;” as well as calling for full employment with a minimum wage of at least $15 per hour; a steeply graduated state income and estate tax; abolition of regressive sales, sin, and property taxes; a 100% capital flight tax on corporations that attempt to cut labor costs by leaving the state; full funding for state and municipal services to meet the needs of Michigan’s workers and environment; an immediate end to all forms of corporate-welfare; and the placement of all major corporations under democratic collective ownership and workers’ self-management.

The specific and simultaneous selection of the Midwestern historic-rustbelt states, as staging-grounds for the present wave of anti-labor attacks, should leave little doubt that real focal point of our ruling class politicians’ vision for the “reinvention” of Michigan, and “new era” for the wider U.S., principally centers upon the working class’ numerous historic gains during the past century, and their targeting for a sweeping reversal in the new one presently unfolding. If you agree that the present struggle to build a fundamentally new society for the future must go hand in hand with a steadfast defense of lasting gains won in all earlier historic labor and social struggles of the past, then we strongly encourage you to join the Socialist Party and help us win this fight!

SP-USA National Campaign to Defend Public Employees and Government Services

SP-USA Statement in Solidarity with the Wisconsin Workers’ Uprising

Feb 14

Drop All Charges Against Max Kantar and Ahlam Mohsen!

Adopted unanimously at the Feb. 12, 2011 Socialist Party of Michigan state membership meeting

The Socialist Party of Michigan expresses its strongest condemnation of the outrageous charges presently being pressed against Michigan human rights activists Max Kantar and Ahlam Mohsen, in response to their anti-imperialist solidarity display at an August 16th Democratic Party-sponsored public meeting with U.S. Senator Carl Levin at the Pepper’s Café and Deli in Big Rapids.

During a question-and-answer session of the meeting, Kantar, a 23 year old independent freelance political writer and frequent contributor to the SPMI’s intermittently published Michigan Socialist political magazine, read a scathingly veracious denunciation of Sen. Levin’s long history of enabling support for U.S. war crimes around the globe, coupled with the Senator’s corresponding record of complicity and substantive indifference to the escalating economic devastation, racist police repression, and systematic mass imprisonment of tens of thousands of his own constituents in the interests of the rich and powerful. At the conclusion of Kantar’s speech, Mohsen, a 23 year old Palestinian-solidarity activist and anthropology student at Michigan State University, performed the symbolic action of placing a de-crusted apple pie in the senator’s face…

Citing an earlier arrest of both Kantar and Mohsen in January 2010, resulting from their participation in an anti-war protest held at Sen. Levin’s Detroit office while the Senator was away in D.C., both were subsequently charged with felony aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, and later released on bonds of $10,000 and $25,000 respectively, after being initially set for each at $250,000. In further seizing upon the opportunity to make an example out of two more activists, amid the FBI’s recently accelerated multi-state crackdown on the anti-war activist left in the U.S., the Mecosta County charges filed against Kantar and Mohsen were temporarily “suspended” two weeks later in order to facilitate an FBI investigation into whether the two had committed federal crimes against a member of Congress.

Following the FBI’s investigation of the Big Rapids restaurant protest incident, both Mohsen and Kantar were arraigned on combined misdemeanor and felony charges of aiding and abetting the assault of a federal officer. In addition to citing 18 U.S.C. § 111, which establishes a maximum sentence of eight years in federal prison for conviction of such a crime, the federal indictment of Mohsen and Kantar, underlying such charges, additionally cites 18 U.S.C. § 1114, which establishes additional criminal penalties for “Whoever kills or attempts to kill any officer or employee of the United States…” (Emphasis ours).

Both the baseless FBI investigation into Mohsen’s and Kantar’s solidarity action against Senator Levin last August, and the draconian federal charges currently being pressed against the two activists, come amid a recent waive of FBI repression against left-wing, anti-imperialist solidarity activists throughout the Midwest beginning with coordinated FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas last September and December against numerous individuals representing such organizations as the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombian Action Network, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. During the course of such raids, FBI agents confiscated virtually all of such individuals and organizations’ files, passports, membership and phone lists, financial records, and computers and other electronic equipment at the homes and offices where the raids were conducted.

The Bush regime’s concerted efforts to expand the apparatus of executive surveillance and intrusion are now widely recognized by the American populace to have been among the cornerstones of its domestic policy agenda throughout its two terms. The presently accelerated crackdown on anti-war/anti-imperialist activists around the U.S. should serve to unequivocally demonstrate that the present Obama administration’s Democratic Party-directed Justice Department stands equally committed to the employment of police state-style suppression and intimidation methods to quell the growth of popular opposition to U.S. imperialist crimes abroad.

Similarly demonstrative of the Democratic Party’s true principles has been Senator Levin’s unflinching refusal to exercise his overwhelmingly influential and contextually relevant position to request that the outrageous charges currently being pressed against Kantar and Mohsen be dropped – a subsequent standpoint that even such figures as Pat Buchanan, William Kristol, and Pat Robertson conceded to be too drastically unbalanced when given the choice of having assault charges pressed after their respective encounters with similar protest actions involving the symbolic “pie-ing” of prominent politicians and pundits.

The Socialist Party of Michigan demands that all charges pending against Max Kantar and Ahlam Mohsen be immediately and unconditionally dropped and call upon all SPMI members and supporters to contact the office of Asst. U.S. Attorney Hagan Frank to give additional voice to this demand. We additionally affirm our full solidarity with the content of Kantar and Ahlam’s speech, along with our corresponding recognition that the only true criminal at the August 16 Big Rapids restaurant meeting, known to hold any real culpability for acts of aiding and abetting assault, was U.S. senator Carl Levin himself.

Letters, faxes, and phone calls to demand the government’s dropping of all charges against Kantar and Mohsem can be sent/made to:
330 Ionia Avenue, N.W. Suite 501,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 456-2404
Fax: 616-456-2408

Text of the Activists’ Aug. 16 Statement Read to Sen. Levin before their Arrest

Campaign to Free Ahlam Mohsen and Max Kantar official blog

Feb 04

Solidarity with the Revolutions in Egypt and the Middle East!!

Joint Statement of the Detroit Socialist Party and the Organization for a Free Society

The Detroit Socialist Party and the Organization for a Free Society support the struggle in Egypt which has inspired people across the world as they fight passionately to smash the 30-year rule of the US backed dictatorship of President Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian people have realized the limits of their government and, no longer satisfied with hollow assurances of democracy and freedom, have taken the first steps towards real democracy and actual freedom. The courage and solidarity with which they have successfully contested the Mubarak dictatorship gives us all hope that democracy and freedom can be attained by and for the power of united poor and working people.

Mubarak’s authoritarian rule over Egypt (aided at every turn in his pact with US imperialism), has created and maintained a system of economic injustice in which the majority live and work in poverty (if they are permitted to work at all). In the face of widespread social and economic injustice, Mubarak has employed a vast apparatus of secret police goons whose sole task is to maintain the security of the wealthy elite through harassment and intimidation. In addition to the creation of oppressive domestic policies, Mubarak has also assisted in crushing the right to self-determination for neighboring Middle East nations. This is especially true for the people of Palestine, who’s access through Egypt has been blocked largely as a consequence of Mubarak’s active support for the illegal and cruel Israeli military occupation. The current struggle in Egypt raises our hope that the people of Egypt will not only shake the foundations of their own oppression, but will strike a blow to the oppression of the Palestinians, the Middle East, and all oppressed and exploited people throughout the world.

US lawmakers are carefully examining the situation in the Middle East and what it holds for their empire. President Obama and Secretary Clinton have paid lip service to the “universal rights” of the Egyptians to rebel, while continuing their policy of support for the Mubarak regime and allowing him to use US teargas, tanks and weapons to try and crush the Egyptian people’s struggle. Therefore, to stand in solidarity with the Egyptian people’s fight for a democratic government we are taking to the streets ourselves to end US support of the Mubarak regime and will continue to build the struggle for real democracy in the US.

As capitalism continues to spiral into crisis, a wave of free-market dogmatism is rushing into the halls of US lawmakers, who are calling for a slash-and-burn spending policy aimed at every public service which intends to help the poor, working class, youth, students, women, people of color and the environment. It seems that war, empire and corporate profits are the only things that aren’t too expensive to our US lawmakers. The present US military occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the secretive bombing of Pakistan and military aid to Israel, is all based upon the lie that what is presently happening in Egypt and across the Middle East never happens! It is high time that socialists and all those who seek peace and freedom everywhere reinvigorate and rebuild the struggle against Western imperial adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, the Middle East and throughout the world.

Presently, activists who have been taking responsibility to lead the anti-imperialist struggle are facing government repression tactics in the form of Grand Jury subpoenas, infiltration and spurious criminal charges. These tactics are aimed at intimidating activists and undermining the ability for Americans to take responsibility for changing their governments policies toward finally reflecting the democratic, peaceful reputation that US political leaders speak of. We demand that people’s right to resist and protest be respected, and that all repressive tactics to intimidate and undermine global justice activism be brought to an end!

As revolutionary socialists in the US, we are reminded of the limitations of our own system and are inspired by the passion and determination for real justice in the struggles in Egypt and across the Middle East. We once again bear witness to the eternal truth that working people of all countries have more in common with each other than the regimes ruling over them. We all share the same aspirations to rights that would truly be universal: The right to meaningful work; to a life without poverty; to universal education; and to collectively determining the use of the resources and technology that sustain our lives and our world. In this very real sense, the Egyptians’ struggle is our struggle. Let us extend the most meaningful show of solidarity to them yet, by not simply cheering them on but in taking up their call. With the Egyptians, we too demand no less than the radical emancipation of our own oppressed, our own unemployed, our own impoverished. Working people of all counties, unite! In solidarity with this struggle, and the struggles of the people across the Middle East, we demand an immediate end to all US support to the governments of Egypt and Israel, an end to the wars against the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, and an end to federal government repression of peace and justice activists.


  • Solidarity with the people’s movement in Egypt. End Mubarack’s 30-year dictatorship! US out of the Middle East.
  • We want an immediate end to all US support to the governments of Egypt and Israel, and an end to the wars against the people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • People’s right to resist and protest be respected, and that all repressive tactics to intimidate and undermine global justice activism be brought to an end!
  • World wide revolution to end all imperialist regimes. We want global solidarity and cooperation! International socialism for the 21st century!

See also: SP International Commission Statement on the Tunisian Uprising (leaflet version