Detroit

Detroit mayor pushes back-to-work agenda as COVID-19 cases rise across Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 1 May 2020

The number of confirmed cases and deaths across the state of Michigan continues rising as Democratic Governor Whitmer and Mayor Mike Duggan push for a rapid reopening of Detroit.

US appeals court rules literacy is “a fundamental right” in Detroit case

By J. Cooper, 1 May 2020

The decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is being hailed as a major victory. The working class deserves far more.

Detroit nursing home residents and care workers infected and dying from COVID-19

By Debra Watson, 28 April 2020

Two hundred residents along with three nursing home workers had died in the city’s 26 nursing homes.

Detroit bus drivers and riders exposed to COVID-19

By Stephen Fuller, 27 April 2020

One-quarter of the residents of the Motor City cannot afford a car and many are forced to ride public buses, which have become a conduit for the spread of deadly disease.

Behind the clinical test of hydroxychloroquine in Detroit

By Kevin Reed, 27 April 2020

Democratic politicians in Detroit and Michigan are collaborating with the Trump administration and the pharmaceutical industry in the rush to find a pandemic “wonder drug.”

Beaumont Health lays off 2,500 and eliminates 450 jobs in Metro Detroit

By Kevin Reed, 22 April 2020

Michigan’s largest health care provider, Beaumont Health, announced the layoff of 2,475 employees and the permanent elimination of 450 positions at its Detroit-area facilities.

999 Detroit bus drivers and coronavirus

20 April 2020

Detroit-area hospitals slash jobs and close facilities to cut costs during COVID-19 crisis

By Kevin Reed, 18 April 2020

Corporate health care providers in the Detroit area are attempting to impose financial losses associated with the health crisis onto the working class.

Detroit Democratic Mayor Duggan outlines layoffs, wage and service cuts amid exploding city budget crisis

By Kevin Reed, 17 April 2020

The dramatic economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has produced a massive budget crisis in Detroit and the city’s mayor has wasted no time in working out a plan to make city employees and residents pay for it.

Detroit Symphony musicians to take 20 percent pay cut

By Shannon Jones, 15 April 2020

Orchestras, opera companies, museums and other cultural institutions face severe revenue strains due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are responding with major cuts.

“This is what will bring the people into the streets … this didn’t have to happen”

Interview with a retired Detroit school bus driver about the impact of COVID-19

By Kevin Reed, 13 April 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with Mary Coleman, a retired Detroit school bus driver, who spoke about the unfolding crisis and the deaths of five of her former coworkers.

Detroit nurse fired by Sinai-Grace Hospital for demanding action to improve desperate conditions

By Stephen Fuller, 11 April 2020

Kenisa Barkai was dismissed for insisting hospital management protect staff and provide the necessary care for the expanding number of coronavirus patients.

Detroit nurses battling to save patients and themselves from COVID-19

By Kevin Reed, 9 April 2020

Nurses throughout the Detroit metropolitan area are fighting to protect themselves from the coronavirus under conditions of shortages of equipment and staff while the number of patients continues to climb dramatically.

Michigan’s confirmed COVID-19 cases surge past 10,000 as Democratic officials attempt to deflect responsibility

By Shannon Jones, 3 April 2020

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan have offered demagogic appeals for unity as the state has solidified its position as one of the epicenters of the pandemic.

As Detroit surges past 2,000 cases, COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout Michigan

By Kevin Reed, 1 April 2020

Given that there is no systematic and mass testing of the public for the presence of the virus, the reported numbers of confirmed cases are very deceptive.

Coronavirus death toll rising rapidly in Detroit

By Kevin Reed, 31 March 2020

The number of deaths increased by 27 on Monday as the coronavirus continued to spread rapidly in Detroit and southeast Michigan.

Leading epidemiologist says Detroit is facing a coronavirus “tsunami”

By Kevin Reed, 30 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is exploding in Detroit and surrounding communities as Michigan overtook Washington as the state with the fourth most confirmed cases of the infection.

Detroit hospitals warn many “extremely sick” patients will be denied lifesaving treatment

By Kevin Reed, 27 March 2020

As COVID-19 cases throughout the metro Detroit area soared, the Henry Ford Health system has warned patients that “because of shortages,” patients who are “extremely sick” may be “ineligible for ICU or ventilator care.”

Detroit-area hospitals reach capacity as coronavirus infections in Michigan surge past 2,000

By Kevin Reed, 25 March 2020

The escalating number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan are concentrated in the tri-county area around and especially within the city of Detroit.

080 Detroit residents without running water

20 March 2020

Drivers shut down Detroit bus system with sick-out over health and safety concerns during coronavirus outbreak

By Kevin Reed, 20 March 2020

Bus drivers took matters into their own hands in Detroit on Tuesday morning and shut down the city’s public transportation system to demand sanitary conditions.

Detroit reverses water shutoffs

Michigan governor declares state of emergency after state’s first two coronavirus cases confirmed

By Kathleen Martin, 12 March 2020

The Oakland and Wayne County residents are hospitalized and college campuses across the state are moving online as the pandemic spreads through the United States.

President of Wayne State University calls cops on lecturers protesting layoffs

By Laura Villon and Tom Hall, 5 March 2020

Opposition is mounting after 38 percent of lecturers received “notices of non-renewal” last month in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Detroit’s Wayne State University.

Detroit State of the City 2020: Pro-capitalist promises, lies and omissions

By James Brewer, 4 March 2020

Mayor Mike Duggan painted a rosy picture of a city which has become a Mecca for cheap labor.

Workers left to scramble as GM closes Detroit Hamtramck plant for 18-month retooling

By Shannon Jones, 2 March 2020

The last Chevrolet Impala came off the assembly line Thursday at the GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant as 800 workers face dislocation due to a planned 18-month retooling of the facility to build electric vehicles.

Water shutoffs continue in Detroit in the face of growing opposition

By James Brewer, 27 February 2020

The Democratic administrations of both the city and the state insist that water shutoffs in Detroit remain as a “collection tool of last resort.”

Four months before 2020 contract fight: Detroit schools superintendent tells teachers “no increases”

By Nancy Hanover, 25 February 2020

Four years after Detroit teachers organized wildcat sickouts, the city’s schools remain on the brink.

PFAS contamination found at Detroit-area plating company site leaking cancer causing chemicals

By Kevin Reed, 22 January 2020

A public information briefing by state regulators has been scheduled to contain growing public anger over the industrial chemical contamination of the ground and surface water in the Detroit suburb.

Settlement reached in lawsuit against Detroit killer cops in Damon Grimes case

By Tyler van Dyke and Tom Hall, 7 January 2020

The family of Damon Grimes, a Detroit teen who died in an ATV crash after police tasered him from a moving vehicle, received a $12 million settlement.

040 Detroit Police killing settlement

6 January 2020

Hexavalent chromium contamination likely leaking onto Detroit-area freeway since 2016

By Kevin Reed, 31 December 2019

As more details emerge about the oozing of the known carcinogen from the basement of a small metal plating company over the Christmas holiday, it is becoming clear that government environmental agencies are also directly responsible.

High lead levels found in many Detroit metropolitan cities

By James Brewer, 6 November 2019

The appearance of the toxin in the tap water of diverse communities in Michigan reveals the broad social character of the lead-in-water issue.

Detroit Democrat John Conyers, long-standing fixture in Congress, dies at 90

By Patrick Martin, 30 October 2019

Conyers spent most of his political career using left rhetoric in an attempt to obscure the rightward evolution of the Democratic Party.

“It would be great for workers from different countries to band together”

GM Detroit-Hamtramck workers determined to fight as auto contract deadline approaches

By a WSWS reporting team, 11 September 2019

GM workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which is threatened with closure, said they were ready to walk out and expressed support for striking GM workers in South Korea.

Detroit to serve as a cheap labor platform

Behind Fiat Chrysler’s $4.5 billion investment in the Motor City

By Kevin Reed, 20 August 2019

The investment of $4.5 billion by FCA in automotive manufacturing in Detroit is part of a global strategy predicated on further dramatic reductions in labor costs.

The Democrats and Detroit

By Jerry White, 1 August 2019

The bitter experience of Detroit workers exposes the claims by Sanders, Warren and others that the Democrats represent a genuine alternative to Trump’s reactionary policies.

Amid mounting opposition, former Michigan Governor Snyder withdraws from Harvard fellowship

By Sheila Brehm, 4 July 2019

The decision came in the face of widespread opposition on the Harvard campus, in Flint, Michigan, and nationally.

Video shows neo-Nazis attacking woman at Detroit Pride festival while police look on

By Muhammad Khan, 20 June 2019

The fascistic attackers openly carried firearms, which is legal under Michigan’s open carry laws, and threatened festival-goers and pedestrians with violence while police looked on.

Detroit teachers demand action on pay, class sizes and testing

By J. Cooper, 16 May 2019

Hundreds of red-shirted teachers demanded to be heard at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

The teachers’ revolt and the fight for social equality

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 14 May 2019

Three years ago, Detroit teachers were the first to organize sickouts and protests that exposed the crisis of public education to a national and international audience.

Freep Film Festival 2019 in Detroit—Part 2

Midnight Family from Mexico, The Last Truck and American Factory—about a former GM plant, murderous Detroit police and I Am Richard Pryor: A mixed lot

By Joanne Laurier, 19 April 2019

In some cases, good intentions are mingled with a socially non-committal attitude—in others, an obvious feeling for important issues is marred by middle-class prejudices and conceptions.

Freep Film Festival 2019 in Detroit—Part 1

Glimpses of social life: The Feeling of Being Watched, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool and Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts, among others

By David Walsh and Helen Halyard, 17 April 2019

The Detroit film festival organizers made an obvious effort to program works oriented toward contemporary reality and recent social history, including many of their difficult and painful aspects.

Debra Ann Washington Miller–A fighter for the working class

January 18, 1952–December 1, 2018

By Helen Halyard, 8 December 2018

It is with great sadness that the World Socialist Web Site reports the recent death of Debra Ann Washington Miller, an active supporter of the Socialist Equality Party in Detroit who played a significant role in mobilizing workers against evictions in the downtown area.

Five years since Detroit bankruptcy

Moody’s warns investors about Detroit’s mounting debt

By Debra Watson, 5 December 2018

Moody’s Investors Service has issued major warnings about the ability to meet bond payments and financial shortfalls in the city’s public schools.

Albanian immigrant worker, forced to hide in Detroit church for 10 months, fights deportation

By Will Morrow, 14 November 2018

Ded Rranxburgaj, the sole caregiver and provider for his wheelchair-bound wife and two sons, is seeking to prevent his deportation.

220 Detroit teachers statement

6 November 2018

Detroit's reality: Infant corpses found piled up in funeral home

By Lawrence Porter, 22 October 2018

Police raids following an anonymous tip and a lawsuit have uncovered dozens of fetuses, several children’s bodies and hundreds of containers of human remains.

Lead at some Detroit schools 50 times the allowable federal level

By Lawrence Porter, 12 October 2018

A new report on lead and copper in Detroit schools reveals the acute health dangers facing working class families due to the massive deterioration in education funding.

Striking workers rally at Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit

By Kevin Martinez and Kathleen Martin, 10 October 2018

The determination of workers contrasted sharply with the efforts of UNITE HERE to promote local Democratic Party politicians.

House fire at vacant property kills two in Hamtramck, Michigan

By Will Morrow and Zac Corrigan, 2 October 2018

Neighbors said the house was officially vacant but had been occupied by a homeless man for over two years.

Questions emerge following shutoff of water to Detroit schools

By James Brewer, 21 September 2018

Superintendent Vitti’s claim of his “abundance of caution” in shutting the water off at all 106 schools has been belied by new lead and copper test results showing over half with high levels.

Ford’s shakedown of Detroit over new tech campus

By Shannon Jones, 15 September 2018

The state of Michigan and Detroit city officials appear ready to hand over $250 million to the automaker, which is sitting on a multi-billion dollar cash reserve.

045 Detroit manufacturing

13 September 2018

As classes begin, Detroit schools shut off drinking water due to high levels of lead and copper

By Eula Holmes and Patrick Martin, 31 August 2018

The pollution of the water supply is particularly devastating for children, whose brains and bodies are especially at risk from toxins.

Teacher hostility grows to Michigan Department of Education’s curriculum changes

By Walter Gilberti, 20 August 2018

The Michigan Department of Education has proposed new social studies standards which remove references to essential democratic rights and aim to censor the study of history.

Fifteen workers hospitalized after explosion at US Steel mill south of Detroit

By Jessica Goldstein, 13 August 2018

According to local news reports, workers initially refused a supervisor’s directive to clean out a dust separator, warning that it posed a safety issue.

Detroit water shutoffs to resume in midst of punishing heat wave

By Debra Watson, 7 July 2018

Detroit water shutoffs will resume this week, after a one-week pause, though extremely high temperatures and heat advisories in Detroit are expected to continue throughout the summer.

Detroit exits bankruptcy, but conditions remain bleak

By Helen Hayes, 9 May 2018

The federal courts and the state government are relinquishing direct control over city operations, entrusting further budget cuts and austerity measures to the administration of Democratic Mayor Mike Duggan.

Police kill two men in two days in Detroit suburbs

By a reporter, 17 April 2018

The killings last Monday and Tuesday went largely unreported in the media, perhaps because they took place in middle-class suburban areas rather than the inner city.

Police kill two men in two days in Detroit suburbs

By a reporter, 17 April 2018

The killings last Monday and Tuesday went largely unreported in the media, perhaps because they took place in middle-class suburban areas rather than the inner city.

Twelve-year-old boy dies in Detroit area fire

By Jerry White, 22 November 2017

While the fire is still under investigation, authorities are looking at a space heater as the cause of the fatal blaze.

Corporate interests, racial politics dominate Detroit mayoral election

By Tyler Van Dyke, 7 November 2017

With the backing of the city’s major corporations and the Democratic political establishment, incumbent Mayor Mike Duggan is expected to be reelected in today’s mayoral election.

Some Detroit-area residents left homeless after eviction from condemned low-income motel

By Debra Watson, 27 October 2017

The deplorable conditions faced by low-income renters in the Detroit area highlight the crisis of affordable housing in the United States.

Temporary shutdown of GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant signals new threat to auto jobs

By Shannon Jones, 13 October 2017

Some 1,800 workers at the facility face a six-week layoff starting in mid-November, with the indefinite layoff of 200 workers planned for January.

As Detroit mayoral election approaches, water shutoffs continue amidst pervasive poverty

By Debra Watson, 6 October 2017

As the election approaches, persistent and shocking levels of poverty in Detroit and continuing residential water shutoffs belie claims that the city is making a comeback.

As teachers narrowly ratify concessions deal

Billionaire’s Detroit sports arena to take $34.5 million in school tax money

By J. Cooper, 2 August 2017

Detroit public schools will lose millions of dollars due to continuing handouts to the city’s billionaire developers.

Experts warn of public health crisis as Detroit rejects halt to water shutoffs

By Kathleen Martin, 1 August 2017

Data from the Henry Ford Global Health Initiative found that patients are 1.55 times more likely to get a water-borne illness if they live on a block where a water shutoff occurs.

SEP public meetings: “Flint and the Grenfell fire: Social crimes against the working class”

26 July 2017

The SEP and the IYSSE are holding public meetings Thursday in Detroit and Flint, Michigan to review the experience of the Grenfell fire tragedy in London and its broader implications for the working class.

Detroit Federation of Teachers accepts merit pay, other concessions

By Phyllis Steele, 3 July 2017

The Detroit Federation of Teachers is attempting to impose yet another round of concessions on teachers who have suffered years of givebacks, layoffs and eroding school conditions.

Latest fatal house fire kills one adult and two small children in Detroit

By Tim Rivers, 29 June 2017

An apparent electrical fire took the lives of an adult and two small children in a working-class neighborhood of Detroit Tuesday.

Detroit and Wayne County Democrats bleed working-class homeowners dry

By Debra Watson, 24 June 2017

Local Democratic administrations have been using what amounts to a scam to fleece homeowners in the Detroit metropolitan area in order to increase tax revenues.

While one in six homes have no running water

Billionaire real estate mogul Dan Gilbert cashing in on corporate welfare in Detroit

By Kathleen Martin, 6 June 2017

The Quicken Loans CEO is raking in cash from the city and the state to fund his real estate development enterprises downtown, two and a half years after Detroit's bankruptcy.

050 Gilbert tax giveaway

5 June 2017

“This is a new world we’re seeing with Betsy DeVos”

Detroit-area charter school shuts doors, leaves teachers unpaid

By Debra Watson, 5 June 2017

Teachers at the Southfield, Michigan school learned only last week that Renaissance, which calls itself a school turn-around specialist, has run out of money.

Almost 10,000 Detroit households face water shutoff

By James Brewer, 1 June 2017

Some 400 households had their water service disconnected in the one-week period following the city’s resumption of water shutoffs earlier this spring.

One third of American households cannot afford water bills

Mass water shutoffs continue for Detroit households

By Kathleen Martin, 29 May 2017

Recent reports show major sustainability issues, with rising costs of water and affordability for millions of US households.

Union conceals district’s takeaway demands from Detroit teachers

By Phyllis Steele, 22 May 2017

So egregious were the school board’s demands that the Detroit Federation of Teachers executive board could not bring it back to rank-and-file educators.

Michigan partnership agreements only a temporary reprieve in statewide school closure threats

By Marissa Ross, 20 May 2017

The announcement of unprecedented mass closures sparked outrage among students, parents and educators across the state.

Waste plant polluting southwest Detroit neighborhoods

By Kathleen Martin, 15 May 2017

The new biosolids waste facility has violated one-hour EPA sulfur dioxide emission standards over 2,500 times in the last year.

The Michigan power outages and the case for the nationalization of the utility industries

By Jerry White, 15 March 2017

At its peak last week, more than a million homes, schools and businesses in the metropolitan Detroit area and outstate areas had no electricity.

Thousands still without power in metro Detroit

By Kathleen Martin, 13 March 2017

Tens of thousand of residents remain in the dark and without heat in below freezing temperatures following high winds last week that crippled the aging electrical grid in the Detroit area.

Hundreds of thousands in the dark in Michigan as windstorm cripples aging electrical grid

By Shannon Jones, 11 March 2017

Michigan residents once again had their lives disrupted by a fairly routine weather event, testifying again to the longstanding neglect of US infrastructure.

Boil advisory issued in Detroit following water system malfunction

By Kathleen Martin, 2 March 2017

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department issued a boil water advisory Tuesday due to concerns over bacterial contamination affecting a large section of the city.

What did billionaire Mike Ilitch leave Detroit?

By Shannon Jones, 15 February 2017

Behind the official paeans to the late billionaire Mike Ilitch lies the reality of a city devastated by the ruthless workings of capitalist “free enterprise.”

“There are a lot of struggling people in the Detroit Metro area”

Hard-pressed Detroit area families face bleak holiday

By Shannon Jones, 25 November 2016

As we enter the holiday season, residents of Detroit and surrounding suburbs face continued high levels of unemployment, food insecurity and homelessness.

Detroit housing crisis deepens with county tax foreclosure auction

By Debra Watson, 23 November 2016

Following the rejection of a lawsuit on a moratorium, thousands of Wayne County, Michigan residents may soon face eviction as officials seize properties for back taxes.

Detroit Federation of Teachers pushes through sellout contract

By Nancy Hanover, 19 September 2016

Educators greeted the agreement with anger and skepticism in the face of the concerted attempts by the union to derail their struggles over the course of the last year.

US federal court rejects challenge to Michigan emergency manager law

By James Brewer, 14 September 2016

The ruling upholding a law used to force Detroit into bankruptcy and switch Flint to a toxic water source was based on the assertion that the population does not have a right to vote.

Vote “No” on Detroit Federation of Teachers’ contract!

By Nancy Hanover, 12 September 2016

The American Federation of Teachers is demanding that educators acquiesce to low pay, overcrowded classrooms, unsafe buildings and more school closures.

Detroit teachers angered by contract deal

By Marissa Ross, 8 September 2016

Detroit teachers received contract “highlights” at a mass meeting called by the Detroit Federation of Teachers and will begin voting next week.

After the destruction of the Detroit Public Schools

Michigan officials press to close “failing schools”

By Nancy Hanover, 6 September 2016

The reorganization of DPS has established the precedent that debt-ridden schools can be dissolved, reorganized and/or replaced with private entities.

Judge tosses out Detroit Public Schools lawsuit against teacher “sickouts”

By Marissa Ross and Nancy Hanover, 25 August 2016

In the wake of the dissolution of the DPS and the launching of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, the court case against teacher protests has been wrapped up.

Affordable housing shortage in Detroit creates dire conditions for seniors

By a WSWS reporting team, 18 August 2016

WSWS reporters uncovered landlord neglect at a government-subsidized retirement building in Southwest Detroit.

Low-income retirees in the Detroit-area face abysmal housing conditions

By Debra Watson and Catherine Long, 8 August 2016

An acute lack of affordable housing along with deplorable conditions in existing housing stock has left tens of thousands without a safe and healthy place to live out their retirement.

Michigan attorney general charges six more state officials in Flint water crisis

By James Brewer, 30 July 2016

These six indictments bring the number of criminal indictments to nine.

Decision expected soon in Detroit Public Schools “sickout” lawsuit

By Nancy Hanover, 15 July 2016

Despite the restructuring of the Detroit Public Schools, the district’s lawsuit against two teachers for “encouraging” last winter’s sickouts remains in the courts.

Michigan governor signs Detroit Public Schools dissolution measures

Judge Rhodes, Democrats try to pacify Detroit teachers

By Nancy Hanover, 27 June 2016

Hundreds of teachers and parents turned out for a town hall informational meeting called by local Democrats to explain the legislative deal which will terminate the Detroit Public Schools.

“Public education is not a business, it is a right”

Detroit teachers and parents speak out against public school reorganization

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 June 2016

Teachers and parents spoke to the WSWS at a public town hall meeting held in the wake of the legislative deal to dissolve the 174-year-old Detroit Public Schools.

Michigan public school teacher messages of solidarity with Mexican teachers

27 June 2016

Michigan public school teachers express their support for teachers in Oaxaca and throughout Mexico in the face of last week’s government massacre.

Teachers’ union sanctions destruction of Detroit Public Schools district

By Nancy Hanover, 18 June 2016

The Michigan legislature uses debt crisis as the pretext to dissolve the district and rewrite the rules governing education in the nation’s largest poor city.