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_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,...
    Jun 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]
    Jun 24, 2010 | 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
  • 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 people...
    Apr 14, 2011 | 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
  • 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 suspended...
    Apr 13, 2012 | 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 joined...
    Sep 18, 2012 | 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 services...
    Jul 23, 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 overcome...
    Jul 25, 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 face...
    Nov 13, 2013 | Story