The 2014 Detroit Bankruptcy

The Detroit Institute of Arts and the defense of culture in the US

By Joseph Kishore, 3 October 2013

On Friday, the Socialist Equality Party is holding a demonstration outside the Detroit Institute of Arts, the first stage in the party’s campaign to oppose the threatened sale of the museum’s treasures.

Video: Press conference held for “Defend the DIA” demonstration

By James Brewer, 3 October 2013

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality held a press conference Tuesday to prepare for Friday’s rally to defend the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Detroit area residents speak against sale of DIA art and budget cuts

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 October 2013

An SEP and IYSSE campaign team spoke to workers and young people at Detroit’s Eastern Market about the threatened sale of DIA artworks and the ongoing cuts in social services.

“The art at the DIA belongs to the people, not to the rich!”

SEP and IYSSE hold press conference to announce October 4 rally to defend the DIA

2 October 2013

Lawrence Porter, the SEP’s assistant national secretary, delivered the main remarks at the press conference, which was covered by local media.

More endorsements of the “Defend the DIA” campaign

2 October 2013

Messages of support for the October 4 demonstration to defend the DIA continue to stream in from the US and internationally.

“All the beautiful things are being taken away from us”

Workers speak out against threat to sell off the DIA

By Tim Rivers, 1 October 2013

Workers and young people visiting the museum voiced their opposition to the threat from Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to sell off the collection of the DIA.

Millions in consultancy fees paid out by Detroit emergency manager

By James Brewer, 1 October 2013

Documents acquired by the Detroit Free Press have exposed a boondoggle for well-connected bankruptcy consultants.

Support grows for campaign to defend the DIA

1 October 2013

In recent days, dozens of workers, artists and youth in the Detroit area and around the world have sent in messages of support for the October 4 demonstration to oppose the sell-off of art from the DIA.

The Obama administration and the Detroit bankruptcy

By Joseph Kishore, 30 September 2013

Obama administration officials visited Detroit to provide a fig leaf of “reform” to the emergency manager’s plans to slash pensions and health care and sell off art from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

“The DIA has really helped educate me”

High school students defend Detroit Institute of Arts

By Zac Corrigan and Usman Clemens, 30 September 2013

The DIA, which regularly hosts school visits and runs outreach programs to area schools and communities, has long had a powerful impact on young people.

On the 80th anniversary of the DIA’s Rivera Court

Museum show misrepresents Detroit’s crisis and history

By Tim Rivers, 30 September 2013

An exhibition of 14 mural panels commemorating the completion eighty years ago, in March 1933, of Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes opened September 4 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Detroit emergency manager to freeze city pensions

By Andre Damon, 28 September 2013

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr announced a plan Thursday to freeze the city’s pension plans, wiping out benefits for thousands of workers.

“Detroit is being used as a milestone for every city”

Detroit workers, retirees oppose pension cuts

By our reporters, 28 September 2013

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to firefighters and retirees about the impact of planned pension cuts announced by Detroit’s Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.

White House officials visit Detroit to support “restructuring” plans

By Shannon Jones, 28 September 2013

Top figures in the Obama administration travelled to Detroit Friday for a meeting with state and local officials, presenting proposals for token federal aid to the city.

Detroit blues singer Thornetta Davis: “DIA is important to the youth of Detroit”

28 September 2013

The campaign to defend the DIA is winning widespread support from workers and youth throughout the country and internationally.

Detroit’s Belle Isle, Frederick Law Olmsted and popular access to culture

By Tom Mackaman, 28 September 2013

Along with the Detroit Institute of Arts, Belle Isle Park in Detroit, initially designed by celebrated landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, is being sized up for sale or liquidation.

Video: Detroit creative art students denounce DIA selloff plans

27 September 2013

Students and visitors at the College for Creative Studies, across the street from the Detroit Institute of Arts, spoke to the WSWS.

The working class and the Detroit Institute of Arts

By Joseph Kishore, 25 September 2013

The fight against the sale of artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts is of the highest importance to the working class in Detroit, throughout the United States and internationally.

Governor’s slush fund pays for Detroit emergency manager’s luxury condo

By Lawrence Porter, 25 September 2013

A secret fund established by Michigan’s multi-millionaire governor, Rick Snyder, is paying for Detroit’s Emergency Manager’s luxury condominium and other expenses.

Detroit’s emergency manager plans early payoff of top banks

By James Brewer, 24 September 2013

Kevyn Orr is demanding the payoff of the banks involved in a toxic loan deal with the city before any other creditors, including pensioners

Support builds for demonstration to defend Detroit Institute of Arts

By Jerry White, 24 September 2013

Momentum is building for the October 4 demonstration called by the SEP and International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) to oppose the selloff of the masterpieces of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

While slashing city workers pensions

Detroit officials find $286 million to subsidize new sports arena

By Julien Kiemle, 21 June 2013

Billionaire developer Mike Ilitch will construct a new arena, largely with public funds, for his Red Wings hockey franchise

As developers gentrify Detroit, evictions increase

By Zac Corrigan, 20 June 2013

Billionaire home loan tycoon and real estate investor Dan Gilbert is anticipating a windfall from the potential bankruptcy of Detroit and is rapidly increasing his holdings in downtown Detroit.

Throw out the emergency manager!

Video: D’Artagnan Collier responds to Kevyn Orr’s plan to slash workers’ retirement benefits

19 June 2013

In this video, D’Artagnan Collier, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for Detroit mayor, replies to the proposal by Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to slash the pensions and health care benefits of city workers.

SEP candidate in Detroit speaks with workers about attack on pensions

By Bryan Dyne, 19 June 2013

Workers in Detroit spoke with D’Artagnan Collier about emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s plans to gut pensions and sell off city assets.

Collier speaks with Detroiters opposing high school privatization plan

By our team of reporters, 18 June 2013

SEP Detroit mayoral candidate D’Artagnan Collier spoke with protestors at Northwestern High School to discuss the nature of so-called “self-governing” schools

Social counterrevolution in Detroit

By Andre Damon, 17 June 2013

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr announced a plan Friday to wipe out the pensions and health benefits of current and retired city workers, condemning nearly 20,000 retirees and their families to poverty and poor health.

The dismantling of Pontiac, Michigan

A dress rehearsal for Detroit

By Esther Galen, 17 June 2013

Of 21 Michigan cities under emergency managers, none has yet faced as drastic cuts in public services as Pontiac.

Pontiac residents describe social disaster left by emergency manager

By our reporters, 17 June 2013

Workers in Pontiac spoke about their experiences under emergency management.

Detroit workers speak out against NSA spying

By David Brown, 15 June 2013

Workers in Detroit spoke to the WSWS about Edward Snowden and the leaks that have revealed massive government surveillance.

D'Artagnan Collier, David Walsh speak in defense of the DIA and culture as a social right

By Bryan Dyne, 15 June 2013

Collier and Walsh discussed the defense of culture as part of a program and perspective for the working class.

What the WSWS said about the Detroit Institute of Arts millage

15 June 2013

We are reposting below a statement originally published by the WSWS last August opposing a property tax promoted by the political and corporate establishment of Detroit and Michigan for the ostensible purpose of “saving” the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Detroit emergency manager meets with city’s creditors, presents slash-and-burn plan

By Bryan Dyne, 15 June 2013

Kevyn Orr met with Detroit’s creditors in a closed-door meeting to outline how he intends to restructure the city on behalf of the wealthy.

Detroit emergency manager prepares privatization of trash collection

By James Brewer, 15 June 2013

Orr’s office claims that the privatization will save the city $15 million a year.

Who are Detroit’s creditors?

By Nancy Hanover, 14 June 2013

As Detroit’s emergency manager prepares to release his plan for reorganizing the poorest large city in America, the media is demanding that the population of Detroit pay.

Detroit workers and youth speak out against attacks by emergency manager

By our reporters, 13 June 2013

The threats to sell off city assets, particularly the Detroit Institute of Arts, has provoked widespread opposition across the city.

No to Orr and the bankers’ dictatorship! For a working class and socialist alternative to the looting of Detroit!

Statement of D’Artagnan Collier, Socialist Equality Party candidate for Detroit mayor

12 June 2013

This statement was distributed Monday, June 10 at the first public meeting of the Detroit emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.

Detroit emergency manager holds stage-managed “public” meeting

By Bryan Dyne, 12 June 2013

Kevyn Orr held his required public meeting Monday night where he presented his plans for austerity.

Interview with artist Jef Bourgeau about the threat to the Detroit Institute of Arts

“Art shapes the way you see the world”

By David Walsh and Joanne Laurier, 12 June 2013

We recently spoke to Detroit-area artist Jef Bourgeau about the threat to sell off major works of the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) and related matters.

SEP mayoral candidate speaks at two Detroit election forums

By Bryan Dyne, 11 June 2013

D’Artagnan Collier, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for Detroit Mayor, spoke at candidate forums Friday and Saturday, calling for a mass movement of the working class to oppose the financial manager.

Socialist Equality Party candidate campaigns against Detroit Institute of Arts selloff

By Andre Damon, 10 June 2013

D’Artagnan Collier spoke to workers and youth about threats to sell off the DIA’s art to pay off Detroit’s bondholders.

Bankers to gather in Detroit to plot asset-stripping

By Nancy Hanover, 10 June 2013

Municipal bankruptcy would facilitate the abrogation of labor contracts, pave the way for large-scale layoffs and put pensions at risk.

Trial begins for Detroit police officer who killed seven-year-old

By James Brewer, 8 June 2013

Joseph Weekley, the police officer who shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones in a 2010 raid, is the defendant in the case.

Socialist Equality Party continues campaign against Detroit evictions

By Tom Hall, 7 June 2013

Tenants threatened with eviction from the Henry Street apartment complex and students from nearby Cass Tech high school spoke with supporters of SEP Detroit mayoral candidate D’Artagnan Collier.

Hamtramck latest Michigan city declared in “financial emergency”

By Bryan Dyne, 6 June 2013

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder took the first step in installing an emergency manager for Hamtramck, the small enclave surrounded by Detroit.

SEP campaign to hold June 13 meeting in Detroit: Hands off the DIA

The defense of culture and the crisis in Detroit

5 June 2013

SEP Detroit mayoral candidate D'Artagnan Collier will speak in defense of the DIA and culture in Detroit.

Detroit plans to sell off closed fire stations

By Bryan Dyne, 5 June 2013

Seven fire stations and the former firehouse headquarters are being sold by the city in order to pay part of Detroit's long-term debt.

Detroit emergency manager threatens sale of all cultural treasures

By Bryan Dyne, 4 June 2013

In line with his earlier appraisal of the value of the works at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Kevyn Orr is now determining whether the city should sell off every other public asset.

Mackinac business conference sets anti-working class agenda for Detroit

By Bryan Dyne, 3 June 2013

The Detroit Regional Chamber last week hosted the annual Mackinac Policy Conference in northern Michigan.

D'Artagnan Collier, SEP candidate for Detroit mayor, speaks on the social crisis in Detroit

By Bryan Dyne, 1 June 2013

D'Artagnan Collier advanced a program and perspective for the working class of Detroit to fight back against the cuts and privatizations happening in the city.

Defend the DIA! Culture is a social right!

D’Artagnan Collier—SEP candidate for mayor of Detroit, 30 May 2013

The following statement was issued by SEP Detroit mayoral candidate D’Artagnan Collier in opposition to plans to sell off the masterpieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The threat to sell off the works in the Detroit Institute of Arts

By David Walsh, 29 May 2013

The news that Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is thinking of selling the DIA’s art collection to help pay the city’s creditors has provoked widespread anger.

Workers, students speak on plans to sell Detroit Institute of Art masterpieces

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 May 2013

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team spoke to workers and young people visiting the DIA about the proposal to sell the museum’s art collection.

Emergency manager considers selling off Detroit Institute of Arts collection

By Bryan Dyne, 25 May 2013

The DIA, one of the leading fine arts museums in the US, is being considered as an asset Detroit could sell off to help pay the city’s debt.

SEP campaigners oppose Detroit home evictions

By a campaign team, 24 May 2013

Supporters of Socialist Equality Party Detroit mayoral candidate D’Artagnan Collier spoke this week to residents facing eviction at the Henry Street apartments.

Emergency manager to decide on Detroit bankruptcy within six weeks

By Bryan Dyne, 23 May 2013

Detroit’s emergency manager is using the threat of bankruptcy to extract massive cuts from city workers.

Emergency Meeting: A workers program to answer the crisis in Detroit

By D’Artagnan Collier—Socialist Equality Party candidate for Detroit mayor, 22 May 2013

A call for workers and youth to attend an emergency meeting on the crisis in Detroit.

Hedge funds eye Detroit for “hostile takeover”

By Zac Corrigan, 21 May 2013

Detroit’s $8.6 billion in junk bond debt is being eyed by hedge funds eager to play their part in the looting of the city.

Detroit mayoral candidate D’Artagnan Collier campaigns at Eastern Market

By Thomas Gaist, 20 May 2013

Collier spoke to workers and youth about his mayoral campaign, the fight against the emergency manager and the conditions facing Detroiters.

Workers must reject emergency manager’s plan for Detroit

D’Artagnan Collier—Socialist Equality Party candidate for Detroit mayor, 20 May 2013

The Socialist Equality Party candidate for mayor of Detroit is calling on the city’s working class to reject the economic plan put forward by the city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr.

SEP mayoral candidate outlines socialist program at Detroit election forum

By Thomas Gaist, 18 May 2013

D’Artagnan Collier, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for Detroit mayor, spoke at a mayoral forum on the emergency manager, the social crisis in Detroit and the way forward for the working class.

SEP candidate D’Artagnan Collier on ballot for Detroit mayor race

By Jerry White, 16 May 2013

D’Artagnan Collier, the Socialist Equality Party’s candidate for mayor of Detroit, will be on the ballot for the August 6 primary election.

Detroit’s emergency manager throws down the gauntlet

By Joseph Kishore, 15 May 2013

Detroit is on the front lines of a national and international strategy of the corporate and financial elite, in which increasingly dictatorial methods are being employed to force through deeply unpopular measures.

Detroit’s emergency manager outlines slash and burn “restructuring” plan

By Jerry White, 14 May 2013

Kevyn Orr released a report on Monday, outlining a “comprehensive restructuring plan” for the city involving savage cuts to city workers’ jobs, wages and pensions and the elimination of services to a large section of the population.

SEP Detroit mayoral campaign wins support from workers

By Shannon Jones, 13 May 2013

D’Artagnan Collier joined an SEP campaign team Saturday at Detroit’s Eastern Market.

Video: Detroit tenants denounce mass evictions

By Jerome White and James Brewer, 11 May 2013

Hundreds of low-income Detroit residents are being forced from their homes as part of a plan by Detroit officials to gentrify the downtown area.

D’Artagnan Collier turns in petitions for Detroit mayoral campaign

By Thomas Gaist and Bryan Dyne, 11 May 2013

The SEP submitted one thousand signatures to gain ballot status for the August primary.

Unions, ministers organize protest in Detroit over fast-food worker pay

By Shannon Jones, 11 May 2013

The Detroit protests held Friday at locations across the city shut down several fast-food restaurants.

Detroit’s emergency manager prepares anti-working class financial plan

By Bryan Dyne, 10 May 2013

Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr will submit a report Monday that will be the pretext for an accelerated offensive against the working class in Detroit.

Seniors face eviction in Detroit gentrification plan

By a WSWS reporting team, 8 May 2013

Retired workers living in a rent-subsidized senior housing building in downtown Detroit are facing eviction.

Obama education secretary, Michigan governor promote school “reform”

By Jerry White, 7 May 2013

Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan joined Michigan’s Republican Governor Rick Snyder on Monday to promote the attack on teachers and public education.

Campaign teams for D’Artagnan Collier exceed signature goal in Detroit mayoral race

By an SEP campaign team, 6 May 2013

Campaigners for D’Artagnan Collier, the Socialist Equality candidate for mayor of Detroit, have exceeded their signature goal to put Collier on the ballot.

Two die in northeast Detroit house fire

By Bryan Dyne, 3 May 2013

An elderly couple, one of whom was disabled, died in a house fire in northeast Detroit, the latest fire-related tragedy in the city.

Stop the mass evictions in Detroit!

D’Artagnan Collier—Socialist Equality Party candidate for Detroit mayor, 3 May 2013

The following statement was issued by SEP Detroit mayoral candidate D’Artagnan Collier to oppose the eviction of 300 tenants of the Henry Street apartments in Cass Corridor.

Free health screening in Detroit draws thousands

By a WSWS reporting team, 2 May 2013

Both the uninsured and underinsured turned out at the event held this week at Cobo Convention Center.

Detroit residents speak out against mass evictions

By a campaign team, 1 May 2013

Residents of the Henry Street apartments, located in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, held a tenants meeting on Sunday to fight the eviction from their homes on May 20.

Explosion at Detroit oil refinery raises danger of wider disaster

By Bryan Dyne, 30 April 2013

The explosion of a diesel fuel tank at the Marathon Detroit Refinery raises the specter of a larger industrial disaster in the Detroit area.

Campaigners for D’Artagnan Collier near signature goal in Detroit mayoral race

By an SEP campaign team, 29 April 2013

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party have collected close to the 1,000 signature goal to place Collier on the ballot for Detroit mayor.

Detroit residents face eviction as officials gentrify downtown region

By Lawrence Porter, 27 April 2013

Elderly and handicapped residents of a apartment complex near downtown have been told to leave within a month, and police have begun transporting the homeless outside of city limits.

SEP campaigns to put D’Artagnan Collier on the ballot for Detroit mayor

By an SEP campaign team, 27 April 2013

SEP supporters campaigned throughout the week to put D’Artagnan Collier on the Detroit mayoral ballot, collecting petition signatures at many locations around Detroit.

The Detroit crisis and the municipal bond racket

Timeline of Detroit debt crisis

By Jerry White, 26 April 2013

Detroit is one of many US cities that have taken on crushing levels of debt in response to the Crash of 2008 and to offset cuts in federal aid and state revenue.

Snyder administration plot to privatize Michigan schools exposed

By Jerry White, 24 April 2013

Officials in Governor Rick Snyder’s administration have been holding secret meetings to map out a strategy to finance corporate-run schools with public funds.

SEP mayoral campaign in Detroit wins strong support in first week

By Lawrence Porter, 24 April 2013

The campaign to place D’Artagnan Collier, a city worker and member of the Socialist Equality Party, on the ballot for mayor of Detroit has gotten off to a strong start.

Detroit emergency manager proclaims power to end collective bargaining

By James Brewer, 23 April 2013

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr claims he is under no legal obligation to participate in bargaining with public safety employees, including police, firefighters and emergency medical responders.

Support D’Artagnan Collier, Socialist Equality Party candidate for mayor of Detroit!

Throw out the emergency manager! End the bankers’ dictatorship in Detroit!

Socialist Equality Party (US), 19 April 2013

The Socialist Equality Party (US) is running D’Artagnan Collier as its candidate for mayor of Detroit. The following is his statement announcing the campaign.

Sequestration cuts hit Michigan

By Lawrence Porter, 18 April 2013

As a result of the sequester cuts signed by President Obama, $150 million will be cut from programs that particularly affect the poor in Michigan.

Emergency manager to select former law firm as Detroit’s “restructuring counsel”

By Bryan Dyne, 17 April 2013

Emergency manager Kevyn Orr is set to select his old law firm, Jones Day, to oversee the restructuring of Detroit’s debt on behalf of the bondholders and banks.

Emergency manager to impose contract on Detroit firefighters

By WSWS reporting team, 16 April 2013

Detroit firefighters will have a new contract imposed on them by emergency manager Kevyn Orr starting July 1.

WSWS 15th anniversary meeting held in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 16 April 2013

David North, WSWS international editorial board chairman and SEP (US) national chairman, addressed the meeting, drawing attention to the programmatic and theoretical foundations of the WSWS.

Detroit Mayor Bing proposes $300 million cut in city budget

By Bryan Dyne, 15 April 2013

The final decision on all spending will be made by the city’s emergency manager.

Detroit workers, youth denounce emergency manager

By Bryan Dyne, 12 April 2013

Detroit city workers and youth are deeply concerned that they will be targeted by the cuts to social services and public works to be carried out by the emergency manager.

Detroit area gas explosion reveals deadly state of pipeline infrastructure

By James Brewer, 11 April 2013

Utility company Consumers Energy released an interim report that covers up its responsibility in a recent lethal explosion.

Detroit emergency manager prepares to attack pensions

By Lawrence Porter, 10 April 2013

Detroit’s newly installed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is preparing to target the pensions and health care benefits of retired city workers.

A Call to Action

Oppose the bankers’ dictatorship in Detroit!

the Socialist Equality Party, 8 April 2013

For an indefinite period of time, Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, can enact laws, replace all elected officials, deploy the police, rip up contracts and assume all the powers of government.

Multi-billionaire Dan Gilbert seeks to cash in on Detroit’s financial dictatorship

By Lawrence Porter, 6 April 2013

Dan Gilbert, the multi-billionaire owner of Quicken Loans, has unveiled a plan to gentrify downtown Detroit with the aid of the newly installed emergency manager.

Wayne State University IYSSE holds meeting opposing financial dictatorship in Detroit

By Bryan Dyne, 6 April 2013

SEP National Secretary Joseph Kishore spoke to an audience of students, retirees and workers at a public meeting called to oppose the appointment of a financial manager in Detroit.

Emergency manager’s ex-law firm hired to oversee Detroit restructuring

By Bryan Dyne, 3 April 2013

Jones Day, the law firm where Kevyn Orr worked before becoming Detroit’s emergency financial manager, has been retained by the city of Detroit as its “re-structuring counsel.”

Detroit workers speak against emergency manager

By a WSWS reporting team, 1 April 2013

WSWS reporters spoke to Detroiters over the weekend about the appointment of Kevyn Orr as emergency manager of the city.

World Socialist Web Site 15th Anniversary Meeting in Detroit

Mobilizing the working class against the bankers’ dictatorship

1 April 2013

We call on workers and young people throughout the region to attend this important April 14 meeting on the 15th anniversary of the WSWS

Detroit’s emergency manager keeps mayor, city council on payroll

By Bryan Dyne and Shannon Jones, 30 March 2013

Kevyn Orr’s first act as Detroit’s emergency financial manager was to restore the wages of the mayor and the city council.