The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Detroit City Workers Protest

Aug 31, 2009

Broad smiles and a confident stride marked the scene as more than 1000 Detroit city workers and their supporters surrounded the Coleman A. Young Municipal Building – where Mayor Bing’s office is – on 8/19/09.

Demonstrators said it loud and clear: “No!” to 10% pay cuts for all city workers and “No!” to cuts in bus service.

City bus drivers spearheaded the rally. Drivers distributed demonstration leaflets all over the city with help from riders.

Bus drivers and water department workers came out in force and in uniform. Workers and retirees from many city departments demonstrated. Bus riders – particularly young workers who depend on the bus to get to their jobs – were full of energy and spirited with their chants.

Joining from other workplaces were Detroit Public School teachers, State of Michigan workers, workers from Henry Ford Hospital and Ford workers.

Two popular chants were: “Chop from the top!” and “Bing and [School Chief] Bobb have GOT TO GO!”

One demonstrator said that in his 20 years with the city, he had never seen all the unions come together like this!

The new mayor, a former NBA basketball star, has been putting up a stream of threats at city workers like someone throwing practice foul shots.

By the looks of this demonstration, his shots are bouncing off the rim!