The 2014 Detroit Bankruptcy
By Nancy Hanover, 18 January 2016
Fearing that the sickouts could trigger a broader rebellion by the working class, the enemies of teachers spent last week trying to quash the movement.
By Jerry White, 15 January 2016
After three straight days of “sick-out” protests, hundreds of determined teachers attended a union meeting Thursday, where officials tried to smother resistance.
By Jerry White, 15 January 2016
Rank-and-file teachers have taken their own initiative and acted independently of every faction of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and political establishment in Detroit and Lansing.
By Jerry White, 13 January 2016
It is no accident that social opposition is taking the form of a rebellion against the trade unions, which have long served as industrial police for the corporations and government.
By Nancy Hanover, 13 January 2016
Despite the attempts by Michigan politicians and the Detroit Federation of Teachers to end teachers’ growing protests, the sickouts are continuing.
“For too long we looked to the union… now we have to do it ourselves”
By Jerry White, 12 January 2016
The struggle has erupted outside of the control of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, which has a long and sordid history of collaborating with state and local officials.
By James Brewer and Jerry White, 8 January 2016
The poisoning of the population in the former manufacturing center for General Motors—and the cover-up by state officials—highlights the socially destructive character of American capitalism.
Behind the Detroit Public School’s debt numbers
By Nancy Hanover, 8 January 2016
The Detroit Public Schools have been the target of both sordid profit-taking and deliberate destabilization by privatization forces.
By Nancy Hanover, 8 January 2016
Pro-privatization politicians and financial interests are seeking to use the crisis at the Detroit Public Schools to ram through a reorganization of the district.
By Matthew Brennan, 31 December 2015
The resignations are an attempt by Republican governor Rick Snyder to obscure the criminal role he and his "Emergency Managers" in Flint and Detroit have played in creating a public health crisis.
By By our reporter, 17 December 2015
Dwayne Cole and Siretha Lattimore made the wrenching decision to hand their children over to state custody after being homeless for a year, despite Dwayne’s full-time job at an auto parts factory
By James Brewer, 17 December 2015
Detroit's policy of mass water shutoffs has been called a human rights violation by the United Nations.
By Kathleen Martin, 17 December 2015
With 40 percent of residents living in poverty, many Detroit workers are forced to find alternative ways to make money, including selling their plasma.
By Matthew Brennan and Lawrence Porter, 16 December 2015
Behind the declaration by the newly-elected mayor is a deep-going political crisis over the poisoning of nearly 100,000 residents.
By Niles Williamson, 11 December 2015
The event at Wayne State University, which featured key players in the conspiracy to loot city workers’ pensions, was cut short in the face of repeated outbursts from the audience.
By James Brewer, 11 November 2015
State and local officials ignored health warnings in regard to the water supply.
By James Brewer, 27 October 2015
The claim by Brenda Jones of the Detroit City Council that they were in the dark about the DWSD plan to lay off key employees is a lie.
By James Brewer, 20 October 2015
The latest round of layoffs at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department are the outcome of measures imposed last year as a result of the city’s bankruptcy.
By Phyllis Scherrer, 19 October 2015
WSWS reporters visited Flint to discuss the city’s water crisis, produced by the cost-cutting decision of city officials to switch their water source to the Flint River.
By Debra Watson, 17 October 2015
For current drivers, the starting wage will be $12.06 per hour, an annual income barely more than the official federal poverty level of $24,250 for a family of four.
By James Brewer, 10 October 2015
The action by the state of Michigan is a tacit admission that the city’s population has been subjected to lead poisoning for 17 months.
By James Brewer, 2 October 2015
Independent studies have proved that Flint residents, and particularly children, are in danger from lead poisoning caused by mismanagement of the water system.
By James Brewer and Lawrence Porter, 26 September 2015
The head of the Virginia Tech university team that conducted a survey of Flint’s water toxicity warned residents not to trust the government's claims that city water is safe to drink.
By Kathleen Martin, 24 September 2015
Led by Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert, the corporate and financial elite is restructuring the city post-bankruptcy to serve its own interests.
By Sheila Brehm, 22 September 2015
The executive board of the Detroit Federation of Teachers pushed through the removal of Steve Conn on trumped-up charges.
By James Brewer, 15 September 2015
A research group from Virginia Tech University calls for “immediate health warnings and intervention” based on sample results from Flint households.
By Shannon Jones, 1 September 2015
Residents of the Michigan city describe a continuing nightmare caused by astronomical water rates combined with foul smelling, discolored drinking water.
By Walter Gilberti and Nancy Hanover, 1 September 2015
The DFT removed Steve Conn, a leader of the pseudo-left By Any Means Necessary group, from the presidency, as Michigan officials move to reorganize the Detroit Public Schools.
By Khara Sikhan, 4 August 2015
Detroit increased water rates for the second time this year.
By Debra Watson, 3 August 2015
Child poverty in Michigan exceeds the deplorable national average of 22 percent.
By Khara Sikhan, 24 July 2015
The methods used in the Detroit bankruptcy are being repeated in Michigan’s most populous county to loot pensions, slash benefits, and privatize services.
By Tyler Van Dyke and Lawrence Porter, 13 July 2015
Firefighters had to pump water from blocks away in order to contain a fire that engulfed a five-story apartment building.
“People deserve respect whether they can pay their bills or not”
By Seraphine Collins, 8 July 2015
In this video, Mamie Brown, a Detroit preschool teacher, describes the experience of having her water shut off.
By Khara Sikhan, 7 July 2015
The plan to break up the schools into an “old” and a “new” district is a prelude to the expansion of for-profit charter operations and the gutting of teacher pensions.
By Khara Sikhan, 19 June 2015
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans has asked Michigan officials to declare a financial state of emergency to escalate attacks on public workers and services.
By Zac Corrigan, 18 June 2015
At least 1,000 households have been shut off as of May 26, with at least 25,000 residences—or one in three households in the city—targeted for possible shutoff this summer.
“School is like a second home”
By Zac Corrigan, 13 June 2015
The impoverished Detroit enclave’s emergency manager declared that keeping the school was no longer “financially feasible.”
“It’s monstrous! We’ve got to organize!”
By a WSWS reporting team, 9 June 2015
Socialist Equality Party campaign teams building for a June 9 meeting against water shutoffs received an enthusiastic response to their call for free access to water.
By Robert Fowler and Philip Guelpa, 8 June 2015
Nurses in New York City’s private hospitals overwhelmingly authorized strike action to demand adequate staffing.
By Zac Corrigan, 3 June 2015
The garish work adorns the north face of the One Campus Martius office building, headquarters of Quicken Loans, the financial company chaired by billionaire Dan Gilbert.
By Kathleen Martin, 20 May 2015
The threat to remove cash assistance from families with truant children corresponds cruelly to the withdrawal of funding and shutdown of “underperforming” public schools.
By Seraphine Collins and Zac Corrigan, 16 May 2015
WSWS reporters spoke to Detroit residents about the drive by the city to shut off water service to as many as 25,000 households.
By Shannon Jones, 15 May 2015
After the death of Donald Megge, workers at the Jefferson North Assembly plant have described numerous accidents due to pressure to meet production targets.
13 May 2015
On Michigan Radio’s popular “Stateside” program, Porter spoke about the activity of the SEP in the Detroit area and the growing interest in socialism throughout the country.
By Andre Damon, 12 May 2015
Residents, many of them elderly and disabled or living with children, are scrambling to raise money by any means to avoid having their water shut off.
By Tyler Van Dyke, 9 May 2015
Some 25,000 households are scheduled to receive shutoff notices beginning May 11.
By Shannon Jones, 6 May 2015
Donald Megge, a 53-year-old skilled trades worker, died while repairing machinery at the Jefferson North plant’s wastewater treatment facility.
“Part 2” of the Detroit bankruptcy
By Nancy Hanover, 2 May 2015
The governor’s plan to reorganize Detroit Public Schools is the most ambitious structural overhaul of public education since the all-charter school district was established in New Orleans.
By Shannon Jones, 30 April 2015
About 200 workers and young people assembled on the west side of Detroit Tuesday to protest the killing of 20-year-old Terrance Kellom
By Jerry White, 22 April 2015
City officials will issue 800 shutoff notices a day to households late on their bills, as part of a strategy to privatize the water system and channel more money to financial speculators.
By Jerry White, 21 April 2015
Detroit officials are getting ready to cut off water to as many as 73,000 households.
By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 18 April 2015
The suburban Detroit city of Hazel Park is laying off nearly a quarter of its school district staff and slashing the pay of the remaining teachers and support personnel.
By Seraphine Collins, 8 April 2015
Recent exhibitions and ongoing projects examine human rights abuses throughout the US prison system, focusing on the sentencing of juveniles to life in prison without parole.
By James Brewer, 7 April 2015
In the move toward the transition to a new regional water authority, the Detroit water department is launching an assault on the jobs and living standard of workers
“They don’t care about the people … all they care about are the rich”
By a WSWS reporting team, 1 April 2015
Flint residents expressed anger and frustration over unsafe water, high bills and the emergency manager overseeing the destruction of living conditions in the city.
By Lawrence Porter, 1 April 2015
Moratorium NOW! worked to conceal the role of the courts and promote the trade unions and Democratic Party as part of the political conspiracy against the workers of Detroit.
By Shannon Jones, 31 March 2015
Recent remarks by Judge Steven Rhodes further underscore the anti-democratic character of the Detroit bankruptcy proceedings.
By Andre Damon, 23 March 2015
In few places anywhere on the globe is the systematized, ruthless cruelty of the ruling class—facilitated by all factions of the political establishment—so flagrantly on display as in Detroit.
By Andre Damon, 21 March 2015
As many as 28,000 households in America’s poorest large city face having their water service shut off.
By Thomas Gaist, 3 March 2015
The pension checks of Detroit city workers saw their first reductions Sunday, in line with the bankruptcy plan imposed by federal judge Steven Rhodes.
By Thomas Gaist, 28 February 2015
Judge Steven Rhodes said he regretted that the Detroit bankruptcy did not eliminate defined benefit pensions altogether for the city’s retirees.
By Khara Sikhan, 19 February 2015
The source of the fire is not yet known, though house fires are often caused by space heaters or other unsafe heating devices.
By James Brewer, 18 February 2015
The ruling comes three months after Judge Steven Rhodes rubber-stamped the city’s plan to exit bankruptcy by slashing retirees’ pensions and health care benefits.
By Lawrence Porter, 13 February 2015
The fire station nearest to the house was shuttered due to budget cuts.
By James Brewer, 30 January 2015
The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced they would not pursue a third trial against Officer Joseph Weekley for the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones.
By Jerry White, 27 January 2015
The following leaflet was distributed to teachers attending Sunday’s union meeting in Detroit.
By Shannon Jones, 24 January 2015
The news comes as Detroit continues its draconian policy of shutting off water to residents who are too poor to pay for it.
What is the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren?
By Debra Watson and Nancy Hanover, 21 January 2015
As Detroit emerges from bankruptcy, Democratic and Republican politicians are now turning their attention to further privatizing public education in the impoverished city.
By Nancy Hanover, 19 January 2015
New Emergency Manager Darnell Earley has pledged further cuts to impoverished Detroit schools.
By James Brewer, 12 January 2015
Only months after severing its contract with the Detroit water system, the city of Flint faces a crisis.
By Jerry White, 8 January 2015
President Obama pointed to the auto industry—where labor costs have been slashed by nearly a third over the last decade—as the model for building America’s “middle class.”
By Zac Corrigan, 7 January 2015
More than 60,000 Detroit homes have been served foreclosure notices as part of a plan to squeeze more from the city’s low-income residents to pay off wealthy bondholders.
By Zac Corrigan and Jerry White, 24 December 2014
With the stock market setting new records and Wall Street investors getting bumper year-end bonuses, Detroit workers describe the reality facing tens of millions of working people this holiday season.
By James Brewer, 13 December 2014
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has acknowledged that Detroit owes $28 million to investment banking firm Miller Buckfire.
By Shannon Jones, 12 December 2014
The formal implementation of the Detroit bankruptcy settlement, a massive social crime, was the occasion for further self-congratulations on the part of the political establishment.
By Thomas Gaist, 4 December 2014
The blackout, attributed to the failure of a single cable on the city’s municipal power grid, speaks to the decline of Detroit and the decay of infrastructure throughout the country.
By Thomas Gaist, 3 December 2014
The blackout underscores the dangers arising from the sweeping privatizations that are part of the bankruptcy restructuring of Detroit.
By Shannon Jones, 27 November 2014
The meeting will examine the political background of the mounting attacks on democratic rights, including recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and the bankruptcy settlement in Detroit.
By David Walsh, 20 November 2014
The so-called “rescue” of the DIA raises a number of complex questions that belie the current celebratory mood.
19 November 2014
This special meeting of the DWAC will discuss the Detroit bankruptcy and the way forward for the working class.
By Jerry White, 18 November 2014
The unelected panel of financial and real estate executives will have unilateral power to overturn labor agreements and borrowing and spending decisions for 13 years.
“The Democrats conspired with the Republicans on this”
By Zac Corrigan, 17 November 2014
Workers in Detroit discussed the implications of the city’s bankruptcy trial and savage restructuring plan.
By Shannon Jones, 15 November 2014
In contrast to the official celebration by the political and corporate establishment, workers are reacting to the ruling with bitterness and anger
By Tom Carter, 14 November 2014
The decision by federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes is a landmark ruling, establishing a pseudo-legal framework for suspending democracy and the rule of law.
By Lawrence Porter, 13 November 2014
In this video, SEP Assistant National Secretary Lawrence Porter explains the significance of the Detroit bankruptcy ruling and calls on workers to take up the fight in defense of their social rights.
By Jerry White, 12 November 2014
The federal bankruptcy judge’s ruling sets a precedent to use the pretext of a “financial emergency” to suspend democratic rights and impose unpopular measures on the working class.
By Jerry White, 8 November 2014
In a thoroughly undemocratic ruling, Judge Steven Rhodes sanctioned the city’s restructuring plan, setting a precedent for attacking the rights of public sector workers throughout the country.
A city for sale
By Seraphine Collins and Andre Damon, 6 November 2014
As part of the largest municipal bankruptcy in history, Detroit auctioned off garbage trucks, public lighting vehicles and busses at fire sale prices Wednesday.
By Shannon Jones, 4 November 2014
Nearly 30,000 households in the city have had their water service disconnected so far this year.
By Shannon Jones, 1 November 2014
The DMC has a long history of aggressive downsizing and cost-cutting going back to the tenure of now-Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan as CEO
By Jerry White, 30 October 2014
The Detroit bankruptcy has provided yet another demonstration of the anti-working class character of the unions, which function as instruments of the ruling class and the state.
By Jerry White, 28 October 2014
Fifteen months after Detroit was thrown into bankruptcy, a federal judge is set to rubber-stamp a financial restructuring plan that marks a new stage in the attack on workers.
By Jerry White, 23 October 2014
As the bankruptcy of Detroit enters its final chapter, the plunder of city assets by Wall Street speculators grows ever more shameless.
By Jerry White, 21 October 2014
The event on Sunday was sponsored by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and the Detroit Peoples Water Board.
By Jerry White, 17 October 2014
A settlement with FGIC announced Thursday will give the bond insurer control of choice riverfront property and other city owned assets.
By Thomas Gaist, 8 October 2014
After dropping their rhetorical opposition to the emergency manager, Mayor Mike Duggan and City Council President Brenda Jones were given seats on the financial control board.
By James Brewer, 8 October 2014
Aiyana Stanley-Jones was shot and killed during a violent SWAT team raid in 2010.
By Thomas Gaist, 4 October 2014
As the Detroit bankruptcy moves into its final stage, it becomes ever more clear that the corporate-financial oligarchy is implementing the wholesale privatization of an entire US city.
By Jerry White, 1 October 2014
Judge Steven Rhodes openly stated the operating principle that guides the ruling class the world over.
By Jerry White, 30 September 2014
US bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes on Monday threw out a motion for a temporary injunction to stop the city’s mass water shutoff policy, which has already affected nearly 50,000 households.