The 2014 Detroit Bankruptcy
Public meeting at the University of Michigan
20 January 2014
The Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality will hold a public meeting at the University of Michigan on Wednesday, February 5 to discuss the campaign to build the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit.
Behind the fraudulent “rescue” plan
By Thomas Gaist, 18 January 2014
The $100 million demand amounts to an act of extortion and would have a ruinous impact on the museum’s balance sheet.
By Thomas Gaist, 17 January 2014
Rhodes acknowledged that a challenge to the legality of the “swaps deal” was “likely to succeed” but told the Detroit emergency manager to re-negotiate a payoff for the banks anyway
International Youth and Students for Social Equality holds rally to build support for Workers Inquiry
By our reporters, 17 January 2014
The IYSSE at Detroit’s Wayne State University is leading the fight to develop working class opposition to the bankruptcy.
By WSWS reporters, 16 January 2014
Facing the loss of their pensions and health benefits, thousands of retired Detroit city workers attended an event January 14 called by the union-affiliated Detroit Retired City Employees Association.
A Report on the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit
16 January 2014
The Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality will hold a public meeting on January 23 at Wayne State University to discuss the campaign to build the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit.
"This deal should have the swap counterparties paying the city"
By Thomas Gaist, 14 January 2014
Witnesses testified Monday that the 2005 interest rate swaps deal, which has drained hundreds of millions from Detroit's budget, was made in violation of Michigan state law.
By Larry Porter, 14 January 2014
The following statement was released by Larry Porter, the assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party and chairman of the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA and Pensions.
“Educated workers are dangerous workers”
By our reporting team, 13 January 2014
An SEP campaign team discussed the upcoming Detroit Workers Inquiry at Eastern Market on Saturday.
By Kevin Reed, 11 January 2014
An examination of the Blight Removal Task Force co-chaired by billionaire Dan Gilbert shows it has nothing to do with improving the conditions of life of the people of Detroit.
Behind the attack on the Detroit Institute of Arts
By Nancy Hanover, 9 January 2014
In December, a US District Court judge proposed a “grand bargain” in which the world-class Detroit Institute of Art would be handed over to private foundations in exchange for $500 million, ending the century-long public ownership of the famous museum.
By Thomas Gaist, 8 January 2014
Detroit is only one in a long line of cities, which have paid gigantic sums to the big banks as a result of predatory interest rate swaps.
By Thomas Gaist, 6 January 2014
Hearings continued last week on a plan for Detroit to pay $165 million to end a swaps deal with Bank of America and UBS that has already bled hundreds of millions of dollars from the city’s coffers.
By Shannon Jones, 6 January 2014
The deaths are the most recent in a series of tragedies related to the use of space heaters in cold weather.
By Lawrence Porter—chairman of the Detroit Workers Inquiry, 3 January 2014
Duggan assumes an office with virtually no powers, with all decisions in the hands of an unelected emergency manager.
By our reporters, 3 January 2014
“These things are owned by the people, not just by the city council; they’re the people’s property.”
By Walter Gilberti and Nancy Hanover, 31 December 2013
Long before Michigan’s emergency manager law was used to throw Detroit into bankruptcy, the anti-democratic measure was first used to restructure Detroit schools and create a profit driven school system.
”They want to go back to the days when art was only for the wealthy”
By Jerry White, 30 December 2013
A Socialist Equality Party team campaigned outside the Detroit Institute of Arts Saturday to build for the Workers Inquiry into the Attack on the DIA to be held February 15 at Wayne State University.
Fee bonanza for attorneys, accountants and consultants:
By Kevin Reed, 28 December 2013
Nothing reveals more openly the criminal looting of Detroit by the wealthy elite than the $100 million being paid out to well-connected law firms, accountants and consultancy businesses.
Statement from the chairman of the Workers Inquiry
By Lawrence Porter, 27 December 2013
Lawrence Porter issued the following statement on the city of Detroit’s settlement with Bank of America and Swiss bank UBS.
As campaign builds for workers inquiry
By Tim Rivers, 24 December 2013
Many workers and young people at Chrysler’s Warren Truck plant and Detroit’s Eastern Market spoke out about the issues being investigated by the Workers Inquiry into the Attack on the DIA and the Bankruptcy of Detroit.
Inquiry gains momentum among workers
By Tim Rivers, 23 December 2013
At a Chrysler plant and Detroit’s Eastern Market, workers denounced the looting of city pensions and the art museum, the mortgage swindle and the disappearance of well-paying jobs.
“What you have now is not a true government, it is a dictatorship”
By our reporters, 21 December 2013
For four years, Detroit residents have seen the already grossly inadequate public bus system gutted by cuts in public funding.
By Joseph Kishore, 20 December 2013
An itemized list from the New York City auction house places the combined monetary value of a selection of the DIA’s most significant artwork at $867 million.
In the bankruptcy court
By Thomas Gaist, 19 December 2013
Nearly two-thirds of the massive loan sought by Kevyn Orr will likely be paid to Bank of America and UBS AG to end the "swap deal."
By Gabriel Black, 18 December 2013
Detroit’s bankruptcy ruling will be used to deepen the attack against workers in California.
By our reporter, 18 December 2013
Lawrence Porter, the chairman of the Workers Inquiry into the Attack on the DIA and the Bankruptcy of Detroit, condemned the handover of the city’s public lighting system to utility giant DTE Energy.
By Thomas Gaist, 17 December 2013
The bankruptcy judge has approved a key aspect of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to privatize Detroit’s public lighting system.
By our reporters, 16 December 2013
A WSWS team spoke with Detroit fire firefighters and workers at the city’s giant sewerage treatment plant.
By Jerry White, 13 December 2013
Although the details of the secret discussions involving the fate of the Detroit Institute of Arts remain sketchy, a federal mediator in the Detroit bankruptcy case is reportedly close to a deal that would privatize the DIA.
By our reporting team, 13 December 2013
Two Detroit house fires in the past week have left two children dead and other residents injured.
By Nick Barrickman, 12 December 2013
The attack on federal workers’ retirement funds comes as municipal and state-level employees are also seeing reductions to their future benefits.
By Sybille Fuchs, 12 December 2013
The Detroit project organised in the German city of Bochum is a cultural cover-up for the treachery of the SPD and the trade unions in the city.
By David Walsh, 12 December 2013
The proposal to set up a private trust that would buy the Detroit Institute of Arts from the city of Detroit is historically regressive and would place the priceless artwork firmly in the hands of the moneyed elite.
By Thomas Gaist, 11 December 2013
The 2012 “Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force” makes the case for massive cuts to social benefits and social infrastructure.
By Jerry White, 10 December 2013
Appearing Sunday on the Detroit news talk show “Flashpoint,” Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr outlined his plans to attack public employee pensions and sell off public assets.
By Our reporting team, 10 December 2013
Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) held a meeting Saturday with tenants facing eviction at the Griswold Apartments in downtown Detroit to discuss the February 15 Workers Inquiry Into the Attack on the DIA and the Bankruptcy of Detroit.
By Thomas Gaist, 7 December 2013
Ultra-wealthy individuals and foundations are seeking to privatize the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).
By WSWS reporting team, 7 December 2013
Workers at Chrysler’s Warren Truck Assembly plant expressed anger at the bankruptcy court ruling that Detroit city workers’ pensions were not protected by the state constitution and could be cut.
By Jerry White, 6 December 2013
Within days of a federal judge’s ruling in support of the Detroit bankruptcy filing, the devastating implications for the working class across the US are becoming apparent.
6 December 2013
The answer of the working class to the ruling of the bankruptcy court in Detroit is being prepared by the campaign for the Workers Inquiry into the Attack on the DIA and the Bankruptcy of Detroit.
By Jerry White, 5 December 2013
The Detroit bankruptcy ruling handed down Tuesday is a turning point in class relations in the United States.
By Thomas Gaist, 5 December 2013
A WSWS reporting team spoke with Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers and Wayne State University students Wednesday about the Detroit bankruptcy ruling.
By Thomas Gaist, 4 December 2013
WSWS reporters spoke with workers in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Detroit, as a judge ruled the city’s bankruptcy could go forward.
On the eve of the bankruptcy ruling
By Thomas Gaist, 3 December 2013
Residents spoke out Monday in Hamtramck, a working class enclave in Detroit, as US Judge Steven Rhodes prepared to rule on Detroit’s bankruptcy.
By Joseph Kishore, 2 December 2013
In precise legal language, a motion filed in bankruptcy court to demand the sale of DIA art exposes the unions as full participants in the bankers’ conspiracy against the working class.
As unions push sale of art treasures
By Tim Rivers, 2 December 2013
In preparation for the February 15 Workers Inquiry into the Attack on the DIA and the Bankruptcy of Detroit, members of the Socialist Equality Party spoke to workers and students who were visiting the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) last Friday night.
By Thomas Gaist, 29 November 2013
The Detroit Blight Task Force will be surveying city properties, targeting vast areas for “blight removal and redevelopment” to benefit wealthy investors.
By Jerry White, 28 November 2013
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has joined a legal action to demand that Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr sell the cultural treasures of the Detroit Institute of Arts to pay off the city’s creditors.
By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White, 27 November 2013
In this installment, the WSWS examines the role of the top trade union executives in the Detroit bankruptcy
By WSWS reporting team, 27 November 2013
The scene, reminiscent of the soup or bread lines of the 1930s, speaks to the dire conditions facing working people in Detroit, America’s poorest big city
By Thomas Gaist, 26 November 2013
Malik Shelton, 14, is the latest victim of what can arguably be described as criminal negligence by utility giant DTE Energy.
By a WSWS reporting team, 25 November 2013
A campaign team in downtown Detroit won an enthusiastic response to the call for a workers’ inquiry into the attack on the Detroit Institute of Arts and the bankruptcy of the city.
By Thomas Gaist, 23 November 2013
Even as Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is imposing brutal cuts in city workers’ pensions and health benefits, he is handing out at least $62 million in city revenues to private consultants.
By Thomas Gaist, 22 November 2013
A report issued Wednesday by the Washington DC-based liberal think tank Demos is a devastating refutation of the arguments used to throw the city of Detroit into bankruptcy.
By Shannon Jones, 21 November 2013
At a public forum organized by the Detroit News, Democratic Party officials voiced support for the pro-corporate restructuring being carried out by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
“It’s capitalism, not democracy”
By Thomas Gaist, 20 November 2013
Sanitation workers face layoffs and benefit cuts as Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr moves ahead with privatization plans.
By Thomas Gaist and Lawrence Porter, 19 November 2013
A 14-year-old boy was hospitalized in critical condition Monday after touching a fallen power line in West Detroit
By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White, 19 November 2013
Here are profiled Richard Baird, Governor Rick Snyder’s top political aide, federal Judge Steven Rhodes, who is overseeing the bankruptcy case, and Detroit Mayor David Bing.
By J. Cooper, 18 November 2013
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s spokesman announced that two private companies will be awarded contracts for Detroit’s garbage pickup.
By James Brewer, 16 November 2013
The Detroit Water and Sewerage Departmen is a major target in the plunder of public assets under the auspices of Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
”Art has a long term value which dwarves that of a quick, soon to be forgotten buck”
15 November 2013
As part of the campaign opposing the closure of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the SEP (Britain) solicited this statement from Dr. Adrian Locke.
By Jerry White, 14 November 2013
Behind the façade of impartial justice, what has been discussed in the Detroit bankruptcy court is plain and simple: theft on a monumental scale.
By Thomas Gaist, 14 November 2013
A Michigan state financial assistance board voted Tuesday to approve the transfer of control over Belle Isle to the state government in Lansing.
By Thomas Gaist, 13 November 2013
Two weeks of testimony in the Detroit bankruptcy case have exposed the pre-meditated character of the July 18 decision by Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to initiate the largest municipal bankruptcy proceeding in US history.
By a WSWS reporting team, 11 November 2013
Workers at the Chrysler Warren Truck Assembly Plant voiced support for the proposal for a workers inquiry in the bankruptcy of Detroit.
By Thomas Gaist, 9 November 2013
Judge Stephen Rhodes is now set to make a decision as to whether the bankruptcy can proceed.
By Thomas Gaist, 8 November 2013
Richard Baird, a key player in the plot to throw Detroit into Chapter 9 bankruptcy, testified Thursday
By Jerry White, 8 November 2013
The election attracted barely 25 percent of registered voters, meaning Duggan will take office with the support of only a tiny fraction of the city’s eligible voters.
By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White, 6 November 2013
From the time Republican Governor Rick Snyder appointed him treasurer in January 2011, Dillon, a Democrat and former investment banker, was the chief architect of the drive to throw Detroit into bankruptcy.
By Lawrence Porter, 5 November 2013
The national and constitutional implications of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing was the central topic of discussion at the conference of bankruptcy judges in Atlanta, Georgia last week.
By Thomas Gaist, 5 November 2013
Cross examination of Orr further exposed the Jones Day law firm’s role in planning the bankruptcy of Detroit
Statement of the Socialist Equality Party
4 November 2013
The Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are organizing a Workers Inquiry as the next stage in the Battle of Detroit in opposition to the entire political establishment.
By Shannon Jones, 31 October 2013
An article by Jones Day attorneys published in 2011 lays out a strategy to use the bankruptcy court to gut public employee pensions.
By Thomas Gaist, 30 October 2013
Orr’s testimony underscored the fact that the main purpose of the bankruptcy filing is to carry out a massive confiscation of wealth from working people in Detroit.
By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White, 29 October 2013
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Governor Richard Snyder testified about their roles in preparing the Chapter 9 filing during Monday’s trial.
By Jerry White, 28 October 2013
A foul spectacle is being played out in bankruptcy court in Detroit that has ominous implications for workers throughout the United States and internationally.
By Thomas Gaist, 26 October 2013
Day three of the bankruptcy hearings saw initial testimony from Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr, who described his appointment as “a call to action.”
By Thomas Gaist, 25 October 2013
The city’s legal team concentrated on arguing that bankruptcy is legitimate and necessary, while the unions’ representatives continued to argue that bankruptcy should have been avoided by liquidating city assets.
By Thomas Gaist and Jerry White, 24 October 2013
Attorneys representing the city and the unions made arguments during an unprecedented Chapter 9 case.
By Shannon Jones, 22 October 2013
Detroit transit workers took off work Monday to protest a wide range of grievances, including assaults on drivers, cuts to pay and benefits and deteriorating service.
By Debra Watson, 21 October 2013
The WSWS spoke to residents of Detroit about the disastrous state of the city’s public transportation system.
By Bryan Dyne, 19 October 2013
Former police chief and current mayoral candidate Benny Napoleon said he would sell the art at the DIA to prevent the layoff of police officers.
By Jerry White, 17 October 2013
Orr is expected to make a decision on selling the artwork at the Detroit Institute of Arts by next month.
By Jerry White, 16 October 2013
Nearly 20,000 retired municipal workers in Detroit will see their city-paid health benefits disappear as of January 1, 2014.
By Shannon Jones, 16 October 2013
In so far as the report presents any explanation for the crisis in the city, it is to suggest that overly generous wages and benefits are to blame.
By Jerry White, 15 October 2013
The Obama administration has intervened to uphold the power of the federal bankruptcy court to gut the benefits of public employees and sell off public assets, including masterpieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
15 October 2013
Chrysler and Ford workers voice their opposition to the threatened sale of art from the Detroit Institute of Arts.
10 October 2013
Workers and students spoke on their reasons for attending the “Defend the DIA” demonstration on October 4.
10 October 2013
Messages of support for the campaign to defend the DIA.
By Thomas Gaist, 10 October 2013
Detroit firefighters voiced their approval for the Defend the DIA! demonstration organized by the SEP and discussed how the struggle against the emergency manager could be taken forward.
“Without the DIA we would not know anything about culture”
By WSWS reporters, 8 October 2013
The WSWS is publishing more interviews from the hundreds of workers and youth who attended last Friday’s demonstration.
By Joseph Kishore and David North, 7 October 2013
Hundreds of workers and youth attended the demonstration called by the Socialist Equality Party, in the first expression of mass opposition to the demands of Detroit’s emergency manager.
By Andre Damon, 7 October 2013
The demonstration, called by the Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality, gave expression to popular opposition to the dictates of Detroit’s emergency manager.
By Betty Hayes, 7 October 2013
Tenant councils from downtown Detroit held a march and rally on Saturday to oppose the attacks on decent and affordable housing for veterans, seniors and the disabled.
By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2013
Five hundred youth, workers, students, professionals and retirees from across the Detroit area expressed the mass opposition to the dictates of the city's emergency manager and the threat to loot the Detroit Institute of Arts.
By Tim Rivers, 5 October 2013
Workers and young people spoke to the WSWS about why they had come to the demonstration.
By Shannon Jones, 4 October 2013
At a Detroit Economic Club luncheon, Emergency Manger Kevyn Orr reiterated his determination to sell DIA artworks to pay off the city’s creditors.
By Betty Hayes, 4 October 2013
Detroit residents facing eviction due to gentrification are sending a delegation to the October 4 demonstration.
”To sell off any of its assets is to rob us all!”
4 October 2013
Messages of support for the campaign to defend the DIA and the October 4 demonstration continue to come in from throughout the US and internationally.