The Bankruptcy of Detroit
“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.
By Jerry White, 29 September 2014
The new arrangement is part of a reorganization of political structures in the city to ensure the permanent exclusion of any opposition to the dictates of the corporate and financial elite.
By Thomas Gaist, 27 September 2014
The agreement is aimed at cementing in political form the conspiracy against the working class to restructure the city of Detroit using the bankruptcy courts.
By Lawrence Porter, 26 September 2014
Victims of water shutoffs and public health experts gave evidence about the impact the city’s water shutoff policy.
By Jerry White, 25 September 2014
US bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes will issue a ruling Monday on a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the shutoff of water for thousands of low-income households.
By Thomas Gaist, 23 September 2014
The present proceedings are in the main political theatre aimed at boosting the credibility of the judge as a supposedly “neutral arbiter.”
By Thomas Gaist, 22 September 2014
A select group of billionaires and wealthy private foundations gathered at an invitation-only event this week to plan Detroit’s future.
By Jerry White, 17 September 2014
After reaching settlements with key players over the past week, the federal bankruptcy court is moving quickly to approve the anti-working class restructuring plan.
By Thomas Gaist, 17 September 2014
Jones Day, the former law firm of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, has charged the city nearly $50 million.
By Tim Rivers, 13 September 2014
In this video, Detroit residents speak on the resumption of the city’s drive to shut off water service to its most vulnerable people.
By Jerry White, 12 September 2014
The Detroit bankruptcy and moves toward the privatization of the water department are fully backed by the Obama administration, which has encouraged cities to enter “public-private partnerships” to fill the gap from reduced federal and state funding.
By Jerry White, 11 September 2014
The Detroit-Windsor tunnel and the suburban pipelines of the city’s water and sewerage system will be leased out as part of Detroit’s restructuring plan.
By WSWS reporters, 11 September 2014
Workers, students and retirees attended an emergency meeting of the Detroit Workers Action Committee to adopt a program calling for the independent political mobilization of the working class.
By a WSWS reporting team, 8 September 2014
Campaign teams visited schools, neighborhoods and work locations over the past week in preparation for the public meeting being held Tuesday at Wayne State University.
Day four of the confirmation hearings
By Thomas Gaist, 6 September 2014
Conway MacKenzie consultant Charles Moore detailed plans to slash city services and tear down buildings.
By Jerry White, 5 September 2014
Behind the dry, antiseptic testimony of the city’s chief financial officer in the federal bankruptcy courtroom Thursday was a restructuring plan that will produce untold suffering in Detroit.
By Thomas Gaist, 4 September 2014
Behind legal proceedings before a bankruptcy judge, a vicious struggle is being waged between the city’s creditors and their insurers.
By Lawrence Porter, 4 September 2014
US federal bankruptcy judge Steven Rhodes decided to delay any ruling on water shutoffs at least until September 17.
By Thomas Gaist, 3 September 2014
Despite their differences, all parties represented in the bankruptcy court are determined to make the workers of Detroit pay for the social crisis.
A call to action
2 September 2014
The Socialist Equality Party and the Detroit Workers Action Committee are holding a public meeting September 9 to mobilize the working class throughout the Detroit area against water shutoffs.
By Jerry White, 30 August 2014
If Detroit is the epicenter of social counterrevolution in America, Ferguson revealed the repressive measures the ruling class is prepared to use against all opposition to its policies.
“We have a war going on in our own country”
By Zac Corrigan, 29 August 2014
Workers, students and youth attended a meeting on the bankruptcy of Detroit and the police murder of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.
By Thomas Gaist and Shannon Jones, 28 August 2014
The WSWS spoke to many of the hundreds of workers and retirees who are seeking to keep their water from being cut off.
“Folks just can’t afford water, rent, lights, gas and food”
By Zac Corrigan and Tim Rivers, 26 August 2014
In this video, Detroit residents attending a sham “water affordability fair” denounce the city’s policy of cutting off water to those who are too poor to pay for it.
By Thomas Gaist and D’Artagnan Collier, 25 August 2014
With water shutoffs set to resume Tuesday, some two thousand desperate residents flooded into Cobo Hall in an effort to maintain their service.
“They treat us like savages!”
By WSWS reporters, 25 August 2014
Detroit workers and unemployed residents spoke to the WSWS outside the Cobo Water Fair in downtown Detroit Saturday.
Meeting Wednesday in Detroit: Police Violence in Ferguson and the Detroit Bankruptcy—the class issues
23 August 2014
The Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are holding this public meeting Wednesday, August 27 at Wayne State University.
By Thomas Gaist, 13 August 2014
Mayor Mike Duggan's “10-point plan” is part of political maneuvers being orchestrated by Detroit’s political establishment to dampen popular outrage over mass water shutoffs
By Zac Corrigan, 12 August 2014
A massive water main break took days to locate, resulting in a ban on water use for “purposes other than the maintenance of public health and safety.”
By Thomas Gaist, 12 August 2014
Surveying the handiwork of the banks and corporations that have devastated Detroit, the bankruptcy judge took a tour of the Motor City last week.
By Jerry White, 6 August 2014
Workers at the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department who voted down the city’s contract demands last week spoke on the cutoff of water service to tens of thousands of households.
By our reporters, 4 August 2014
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department held a public relations event on the city’s impoverished east side as it prepares to resume mass water shutoffs.
By Nick Barrickman, 2 August 2014
The increasing number of traffic accidents and fatalities takes place under conditions where Detroit’s public lighting system is collapsing.
By Nancy Hanover, 1 August 2014
An eastside school, located in one of Detroit’s high poverty areas, has elected to combine all kindergartners together, cramming 100 five-year-olds into a single class.
By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White, 31 July 2014
The campaign mounted by the People’s Water Board against water shutoffs is aimed at channeling popular opposition behind the Democratic Party and trade union bureaucracy.
By Jerry White, 31 July 2014
As the city shuts off service to tens of thousands of residents, Detroit water workers rejected a contract offer that opens the way for the privatization of the water system.
“We’ve got to bail out the fat cats so they can remain fat cats”
By Kevin Martinez, 30 July 2014
Members of the Socialist Equality Party spoke to workers as they voted on a new contract that would strip them of basic job protections and pave the way for the privatization of the water system.
No to privatization, job cuts and concessions!
By Jerry White, 29 July 2014
The following statement is being distributed to Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers who are voting on the city’s contract proposal today.
By Tom Hall and Jerry White, 28 July 2014
Like the emergency manager, the unelected Plan Monitor will be solely accountable to powerful financial interests.
By David Brown, 25 July 2014
The Socialist Equality Party and the Detroit Workers Committee held a rally at the water department’s central facility even as city officials continued shutoffs despite the so-called 15-day “pause.”
Dan Gilbert’s “New Detroit”
By Zac Corrigan, 24 July 2014
Dan Gilbert wants to exclude those who don't fit in with the upscale design of his “New Detroit.”
By Jerry White, 23 July 2014
More than half of the city workers and retirees eligible to take part in the bankruptcy court’s ballot on the plan of adjustment refused to vote.
By Jerry White, 22 July 2014
The temporary suspension of shutoffs is a public relations move as the city prepares to escalate a brutal policy that has left thousands without water.
By James Brewer, 22 July 2014
In this video, Detroit residents speak out against water shutoffs at a bill payment center and rally against water shutoffs.
“We are not living in a democratic society”
By our reporters, 21 July 2014
The shut off of water to tens of thousands of Detroit residents has provoked widespread anger and opposition throughout the city and beyond.
By our reporters, 19 July 2014
The Democratic Party and associated organizations called the rally in an attempt to derail widespread popular opposition to the shutoff of water in Detroit.
By our reporters, 18 July 2014
City workers, retirees and students participated in a rally Thursday against water shutoffs called by the Socialist Equality Party.
By Jerry White, 18 July 2014
The city’s unelected emergency manager Kevyn Orr has declared his full support for mass water shutoffs.
By Jake Dean, 17 July 2014
A profile of the corporate executives who sit on the seven-member Board of Water Commissioners in Detroit.
By David Walsh, 17 July 2014
The DIA has received pledges of another $26.8 million in donations from various major corporations and banks toward its goal of raising $100 million as part of the so-called “Grand Bargain.”
By Jerry White, 16 July 2014
In a degrading farce, US Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes granted a mere five minutes each for Detroit residents to beg him not to slash city workers’ retirement benefits or shut off water to tens of thousands.
By our reporters, 16 July 2014
Retired city workers spoke with the WSWS outside the federal courthouse in Detroit Tuesday.