Austerity is the forerunner to colonial-style takeovers of the cities, urban school districts and democratic decision-making. What the banksters are doing in Puerto Rico is setting the stage.
Sound familiar? Maybe like the Control Board established for D.C.?
Newark in '05?
New Orleans in 2003?
Philly in 2001.
Or Michigan's Public Act 436 in 2012, that allowed criminal Republican Gov. Rick Scott to appoint emergency managers with near-absolute power in cash-strapped cities, towns, and school districts. Emergency managers who can supersede local ordinances, sell city assets, and break union contracts -- leaving local elected officials without real authority.
It's the act that led to the takeover of Detroit schools, the Flint lead-in-the-water crisis, and the end of democracy (such as it was) in the state of MI.
|After "emergency" takeover in Michigan|
According to Democracy Now's Juan González, there's one big difference.
The governor of Michigan did have the power, under the laws that existed, to do that. Puerto Rico supposedly is a self-governing territory, that was granted self-government by Congress back in the 1950s. And so, this is a situation not just of a state imposing itself on a city, but of one nation imposing colonial control on another nation.
Now we're seeing similar plans emerging for colonial-style takeover and privatization of debt-ridden urban (mostly black and Latino) school districts like Chicago and Baltimore..
Yesteday's Baltimore Sun reports:
Baltimore City school officials said the district will save about $14 million from cutting 171 positions this year, which included 111 staff members who were notified Tuesday that their jobs were being eliminated. The new details about the layoffs were released to The Sun on Wednesday, one day after the school system executed the third round of layoffs in two years.
There have been several attempts to takeover Baltimore schools in the past decade. So far, all have been beaten back.
Schools may not open in the fall in Chicago where sociopath Gov. Rauner has kept the state without a budget for nearly a year, forcing massive, up to 40% cuts in local schools.
Rauner is also pushing legislation aimed forcing Chicago schools into bankruptcy and allowing a takeover and ultimately privatization while busting the CTU. So far, the Democratic majority in the legislature hasn't given in. Stay tuned.