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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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  • 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...
    June 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...
    April 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.
    June 28, 2010 | Web Exclusive
  • Farmlifeweb
    In Detroit, demolition crews are planning to tear down 10,000 residential buildings over the next four years that the city has deemed dangerous. But as old structures are coming down, the city is redefining itself in other ways. An estimated 20 to 30 percent of the city’s lots are vacant, and there is a growing urban agriculture movement that community groups are using to reclaim the city. Malik Yakini, chairman of the Detroit Black...
    June 24, 2010 | Story
  • Detroit_mural
    To many longtime Detroit-based activists, urban farming and other community-based programs are a prime example of why they see Detroit not as Ground Zero for the recession but as a movement city — a place that uses crisis as an opportunity to nurture sustainability and community-building. When many of the Detroit-based activists and organizers are asked how they first got involved in their communities, they often mention Detroit Summer,...
    June 24, 2010 | Story
  • Invincibleweb
    Invincible performs an a capella version of her new "Detroit Summer" and talks about how youth organizing is transforming Detroit. She is releasing the song this summer on her own label Emergence, which is based on cooperative economics. The website TheTop13.com recently named Invincible the fifth best female MC ever, behind Jean Grae, MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah. [includes rush transcript]
    June 24, 2010 | Story
  • Social_forum
    Thousands of people from across the country marched through Detroit Tuesday afternoon to kick off the opening ceremony of the US Social Forum. The colorful, joyous, and sometimes raucous procession down Detroit’s Woodward Avenue included social movements and community organizations struggling for justice on everything from healthcare, the environment, fair trade, labor solidarity, immigrant rights, and racial profiling to Palestine...
    June 23, 2010 | Story
  • Mlk-detroit
    We turn now to another historic march down Woodward Avenue in Detroit. It was June 23rd, 1963, when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a civil rights march of thousands and delivered a speech with what would become his most famous words: "I have a dream." The speech came two months before the historic March on Washington. We play an excerpt of the speech and talk to Grace Lee Boggs, who helped organize the march. [includes rush...
    June 23, 2010 | Story
  • Adrienne
    Thousands of activists and organizers have come from around the world for the US Social Forum for four days of workshops, meetings and marches to strengthen social movements and advance a progressive agenda. Democracy Now!’s Mike Burke was at Cobo Hall for the opening ceremony. He spoke with one of the national coordinators of the US Social Forum, Adrienne Maree Brown. [includes rush transcript]
    June 23, 2010 | Story
  • Adapt
    Disability justice activists gathered in Detroit to take part in the US Social Forum and the Allied Media Conference. "There is a growing framework about how disability connects with other issues," says Stacey Milbern. "It’s a way to maintain ablism and not look at the way disability connects in with how our bodies are policed or experience trauma in the medical-industrial complex." [includes rush transcript]
    June 23, 2010 | Story