Detroit Demands a Green New Deal

Last Friday, during the Auto Show’s annual ‘Prom’, DJJ leaders gathered with labor, environmental, and community activists as they shared their questions and demands with GM executives.

In light of GM’s decision in early 2019 to close production at multiple plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Canada, protest leaders wanted to know exactly what GM was going to do to support the thousands of individuals impacted. Auto Show attendees passed by in formal wear as poignant protest leaders led the group in chants and share-outs that demanded GM take responsibility for their harmful impact on communities due to the thousands of jobs lost, and their role as a corporation advancing climate change. The peaceful march was anchored in a clear set of demands moving forward. Securing environmental responsibility and safe jobs will only become possible by demanding a ‘Green New Deal’ which will prioritize the health of people and planet. Read below to see the exact language used by Detroit Coalition for a Green New Deal.

“We are labor, environmental and community activists united in our demands for a just, green economy:

1. General Motors must honor its labor contracts and its legal and moral commitments to the places in which it has done business. This means keeping all the plants open, creating more union jobs, and ensuring they contribute to the building of a green economy.

2. If GM does not agree to keep the plants open, we demand that they be seized via eminent domain and put to public use. If eminent domain was used to take property from the residents of Poletown in the early 1980s to build the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, it can be used today to take the assets back. Public hearings on this issue are vital.

3. We demand a Green New Deal that takes us on a path to rapid decarbonization of the economy, implements a federal union jobs guarantee, and ensures a just transition for workers, people of color, the poor, and other marginalized groups”.

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