Two Rallies against Privatization in Washtenaw County Next Week

Please join HVALF, Eastern Michigan University staff, faculty, and students, and Veterans’ Administration Hospital workers for two events next week opposing privatization initiatives in Washtenaw County:

(1) EMU Food services, Tuesday, June 21st – Rally at 11am, outside Welch Hall*, Eastern Michigan University Campus, Ypsilanti, and Regents meeting at 1pm, Room 201 Welch Hall. EMU Flyer (PDF)

and

(2) VA Hospital, Wednesday, June 22nd, from 11am to 1pm, 2215 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor. Rally in front of hospital. VA Hospital Flyer

Please come to one or both if you can, and forward widely to friends and allies whether or not you can come in person.

A year does not go by without initiatives to privatize more public services in our county. This steady drip, drip, drip is, cumulatively, a major contributor to the growing share of Washtenaw County’s people who don’t earn enough to meet the United Way’s “basic needs” budget. See the Growing Together or Drifting Apart report for the details on this trend.

We need to stop this trend in its tracks, and reverse it where possible. But that’s not going to happen without a struggle. Powerful vested interests benefit from privatization — financially (extracting shareholder profits from tax payer money — think charter schools), politically (by weakening organized labor, which resists their redistribute to the 1% agenda) and ideologically (if 75% of higher ed institutions contract out food services, it must be the right thing to do! 10,000 lemmings can’t be wrong). These self-interested actors will not stop pushing for more and more privatization until we stand up and say Enough!

In the words of Frederick Douglass, who knew something about challenging entrenched power structures, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.”

Truer words were never spoken. Please stand with us next week.

*For directions to EMU’s Welch Hall, please see this campus map. There is Visitor Parking in the nearby Bowen, McKinney, and Student Center lots, accessible from Oakwood Street. See http://www.emich.edu/parking/documents/parking_map.pdf .

For more background on the food service privatization, Eclectablog has a good summary.

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