Detroit Topics

More than 10,000 citizens, activists and organizers gathered in Detroit in June for the second-ever US Social Forum. The theme was "Another World Is Possible. Another US Is Necessary. Another Detroit is Happening." Democracy Now! was in Detroit to broadcast during the conference and to take a closer look at the city of Detroit. Detroit was highlighted by conference organizers both for its example of the stark failures of capitalism as well as for its growing reputation as a model for renewal as a "movement city."

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  • Detroit
    Activists in Detroit have appealed to the United Nations over the city’s move to shut off the water of thousands of residents. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says half of its 323,000 accounts are delinquent and has begun turning off the taps of those who do not pay bills that total above $150 or that are 60 days late. Since March, up to 3,000 account holders have had their water cut off every week. The Detroit water authority...
    Jun 24, 2014 | Story
  • Detroitprotests1
    A federal judge has approved Detroit’s bid to qualify for bankruptcy, putting the city on a path to financial recovery — but threatening the livelihoods of thousands of city workers. In a landmark decision that could harm retiree benefits nationwide, Federal Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that federal bankruptcy law can override state laws that protect public pensions. That clears the way for Detroit to make major cuts to the health and...
    Dec 04, 2013 | Story
  • Renisha1
    Anger is growing in the Detroit area over the killing of Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old African-American woman who was shot dead by a white homeowner on his front porch. Her family says she died as she was seeking help after a car accident. The homeowner told police he believed McBride was trying to break into his home, but he claimed his gun accidentally fired at her. No charges have been filed. An autopsy revealed McBride was shot in the...
    Nov 13, 2013 | Story
  • Wolff
    Kicking off a series of speeches about the economy, President Obama told a crowd in Illinois on Wednesday that reversing growing inequality and rejuvenating the middle class "has to be Washington’s highest priority." During his remarks, Obama failed to mention the bankruptcy filing by Detroit, where thousands of public workers are now fighting to protect their pensions and medical benefits as the city threatens massive cuts to...
    Jul 25, 2013 | Story
  • Detroitbankruptskyliney
    Facing an estimated $18 billion in debt, Detroit has become the largest U.S. municipality to file for bankruptcy. It is a grim milestone in the decline of what was once the country’s fourth largest city. Known as the Motor City and the birthplace of the middle class, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed. A steady decline in population has decimated its tax base, leaving the city with massive cuts to basic...
    Jul 23, 2013 | Story
  • Detroit_film
    Once known as the Motor City, where the middle class was born, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed. Today the city is on the verge of bankruptcy, facing a thinning population and massive cuts to basic services. The new film "Detropia" takes an intimate look at at some of the city’s former members of the middle class as they struggle to make ends meet and refuse to abandon hope. We’re...
    Sep 18, 2012 | Story
  • Harrisheadshot
    An eighth grade charter school teacher in Michigan has been fired after helping her students organize a fundraiser for Trayvon Martin’s parents. Brooke Harris and her students at Pontiac Academy for Excellence drew up a plan to raise money by donating one dollar each to wear a hoodie to school, as Martin had worn when he was shot dead. She obtained permission for the fundraiser, but her superintendent opposed the plan. Harris was initially...
    Apr 13, 2012 | Story
  • Michigan_button
    A group of Michigan residents have filed a suit challenging a controversial new state law that allows the governor to appoint an unelected emergency manager or corporation to take over financially distressed towns and cities and effectively fire elected officials. The law empowers these unelected managers to sell off public property, shred union contracts, and privatize government services, without any input from local voters. Michigan now has...
    Jun 23, 2011 | Story
  • Seg3
    We discuss the state of the economy in Detroit, "ground zero" for the economic downturn in the United States, with civil rights activist and author, Grace Lee Boggs. "I think it’s very difficult for someone who doesn’t live in Detroit to say you can look at a vacant lot and, instead of seeing devastation, see hope," says Boggs, "see the opportunity to grow your own food, see an opportunity to give young...
    Apr 14, 2011 | Story
  • Jessica-care-moore
    Jessica Care Moore is an acclaimed Detroit poet. Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke caught up with Jessica at the U.S. Social Forum.
    Jun 28, 2010 | Web Exclusive