The Bankruptcy of Detroit
“Everyone feels very betrayed by the union right now”
By Walter Gilberti, 29 April 2016
The Detroit Federation of Teachers’ mobilization to support new Detroit Schools legislation fizzled as teachers largely boycotted the demonstration at the state capitol in Lansing.
A crime of capitalism
By Shannon Jones, 25 April 2016
April 25 marks the second anniversary of the criminal decision to shift the city of Flint’s water supply to the polluted Flint River, setting in motion a social catastrophe.
By Shannon Jones, 21 April 2016
Two low-level state officials and a city of Flint employee face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges in relation to the lead poisoning of city residents.
By Nancy Hanover, 19 April 2016
One third of DPS schools are reporting lead or copper contamination of drinking water, with one sample at 100 times the EPA toxic level.
By Nancy Hanover, 14 April 2016
Amid a continuing drive to dismantle Detroit Public Schools, a lawsuit charges that state officials have deprived students of a “minimally adequate” education.
“What’s happening here is emblematic of what’s going on across the country”
By Shannon Jones, 31 March 2016
Detroit Free Press and Detroit News journalists held a protest Wednesday over company concessions demands, including increases in health care costs and conversion of full-time to part-time work.
By Nancy Hanover, 24 March 2016
With funding for Detroit schools in question, Judge Rhodes and Republican Governor Rick Snyder are backing legislation for an unprecedented reorganization of the impoverished city’s schools.
As April 8 fiscal deadline approaches
By Nancy Hanover, 14 March 2016
As Wall Street demands action on the reorganization of Detroit Public Schools, Judge Steven Rhodes threatened that schools could “go dark.”
By our reporters, 14 March 2016
Detroit teachers spoke to the World Socialist Web Site at the DFT emergency meeting on Thursday, March 10.
By Dan Coles, 10 March 2016
A series of fires has broken out at the facility in southwest Detroit.
By James Brewer, 9 March 2016
Clinton and Sanders said nothing about the US Environmental Protection Agency, which concealed its findings of high lead levels in Flint’s water.
By James Brewer, 5 March 2016
LeeAnne Walters, whose four children still experience symptoms from exposure to lead, named three companies and three officials in her suit.
By James Brewer, 1 March 2016
The examination of uncovered documents, combined with the thousands of newly-public emails released by Governor Rick Snyder, begin to uncover the economic interests behind the poisoning of Flint.
By Shannon Jones, 27 February 2016
Newly released emails show that top aides to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder advocated switching the Flint water supply back to the Detroit water system by October 2014, a year before the public disclosure of contamination.
By our reporters, 26 February 2016
The Detroit Federation of Teachers brought the judge who oversaw the city's bankruptcy to a meeting of school employees to sugarcoat the bipartisan attack on public education.
Who is Judge Steven Rhodes?
By Jerry White, 24 February 2016
Detroit teachers were brought to a meeting Wednesday to listen to retired judge Steven Rhodes, who, during the Detroit bankruptcy, did the dirty work for Wall Street while posturing as a neutral and even-handed arbiter.
By James Brewer, 18 February 2016
A report by a national water advocacy group surveys comparative rates in the country’s largest water systems.
By James Brewer, 16 February 2016
Eight days before switching to the heavily polluted river as a water source, a city official warned that the water system was not ready for the change.
By Nancy Hanover, 15 February 2016
Michigan’s governor, facing the twin crises of Flint and Detroit public schools, has called in Judge Steven Rhodes to reorganize the Detroit schools.
By Lawrence Porter, 13 February 2016
During a meeting of the district-sponsored Detroit Parent Network, audience members denounced the appalling conditions in the schools.
“It’s not just a fight for teachers or students, it’s a fight for education”
By Nancy Hanover, 11 February 2016
DPS students use Michigan “Count Day” to emphasize their fight to defend their teachers and the right of all young people to a decent education.
By Lawrence Porter and Nancy Hanover, 11 February 2016
The American Federation of Teachers is seeking to divert opposition into fruitless appeals to state Democrats and Republicans—the very forces seeking to dismantle public education.
By Andre Damon, 9 February 2016
Retired truck drivers and delivery workers said in a hearing in Detroit Monday that they had been notified their pension benefits would be reduced by between 50 and 70 percent.
“This is a dog and pony show”
By a WSWS reporting team, 9 February 2016
Retirees denounced both political parties along with the Teamsters union for the devastating pension cuts being demanded by the Central States Pension Fund.
By Carlos Delgado, 9 February 2016
One of the first doctors to describe the effects of lead on children called the disease “a toxicity of habitation.” Today it might be more accurately termed a toxicity of poverty.
By Nancy Hanover, 6 February 2016
As Emergency Manager Darnell Earley resigns, union officials and Michigan politicians are working overtime to try to derail the struggle of Detroit teachers.
By E.P. Bannon, 29 January 2016
The meeting, which was attended by teachers, city workers, autoworkers, students and other sections of the working class, discussed a political strategy for the entire working class.
By E.P. Bannon, 28 January 2016
Leaders of the group, We the Students, at Cass Technical High School in Detroit explained the reasons behind their student walkout on Monday.
28 January 2016
Over a hundred workers, retirees and young people, including representatives of teachers and students participating in a sickout protest in Detroit Public Schools, as well as autoworkers and Flint residents, attended an emergency meeting called by the Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality in Detroit Wednesday. A full report on the meeting will follow tomorrow.
By E.P. Bannon, 27 January 2016
As teachers were forced to appear in court, high school students staged walkouts in protest of repression against teachers and the deplorable conditions in city schools.
By Jerry White, 26 January 2016
In a highly political decision, a Detroit judge denied the request by the emergency manager over the Detroit schools for legal action to halt the wave of teacher “sickout” protests.
“This isn’t just our fight, it’s for public education across the country.”
By Lawrence Porter, 26 January 2016
Detroit teachers in court Monday spoke with the World Socialist Web Site after a judge rejected a request for legal action against sickout protests.
”Democracy is being taken away in Michigan”
By Nancy Hanover, 25 January 2016
Teachers face a hearing Monday as the Detroit Public Schools seeks an injunction against sickouts and legislators ramp up efforts to ban opposition to the destruction of public education.
By Andre Damon, 23 January 2016
At least 10 people have died from an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which has been linked to the poisoning of Flint residents covered up for more than a year by the government.
By Eric London, 23 January 2016
DPS is threatening to fire all protesting teachers, encouraging teachers to snoop on each other and employing reactionary legal arguments to attack public education.
By Eric London, 22 January 2016
The catastrophe in Michigan, including the lead poisoning of thousands of residents in Flint, has provoked outrage across the country.
By Jerry White, 22 January 2016
While a judge denied an initial request for a temporary injunction, 23 teachers have been ordered to appear on Monday morning to answer accusations that they organized “illegal strikes.”
22 January 2016
The Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality are calling a public meeting in Detroit, Michigan on January 27 to discuss a political strategy to unite the working class.
By Jerry White, 21 January 2016
Twenty-eight defendants are named in a legal action, which could result in large fines if teachers continue “sick out” protests.
“We are all in this together. This is class warfare”
By Jerry White and Buster Haycook, 21 January 2016
Hundreds of teachers shut down the school system in a “sick out” protest Wednesday against decaying buildings, overcrowded classrooms and years of pay and benefit cuts.
By Jerry White, 20 January 2016
In a State of the State address, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder sought to cover up and evade responsibility for the poisoning of an American city.
By James Brewer, 18 January 2016
Workers in Flint and surrounding areas are incensed at the continued crisis around the poisoning of Flint’s water.
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.