The Spark

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

Detroit Demonstrations against Cuts

Jul 30, 2012

It seems there is a new protest every day!” exclaimed a state worker at Michigan’s Cadillac Place Offices in Detroit.

On July 26 a barely publicized community meeting with the mayor, required by city charter, turned into “the most raucous public meeting in Bing’s administration,” according to one aide.

A routine call for police protection alerted angry off-duty police, fire and EMS employees of a chance to discuss their reaction to 10% pay cuts and other cuts imposed by the mayor.

While angry demonstrators lined the street outside, more than 500 people overflowed the Northwest Activities Center.

The meeting opened with ten minutes of bitter chants for the mayor to come out and talk. Even after the mayor came out, the angry chanting continued. While Mayor Bing addressed the crowd, regular outbursts of boos and chants of “Liar! Liar!” continued. One after the other, public safety workers, other city workers, and family members challenged the cuts, to thunderous support from the crowd.

Drastic attacks on public employees and the population are turning Detroit into a city where different demonstrations are all starting to say the same thing: “We are NOT letting them take any more!”

On June 28 and July 12, a coalition of community groups demonstrated at the Court of Appeals at Cadillac Place, to demand that the Emergency Financial Manager Law to be placed before voters.

Detroit Public School teachers rallied on July 19 with teachers from other districts and again on July 27, reinforced by teachers from across the county who were in Detroit for their national convention.

Detroit Water and Sewage workers angrily demonstrated on July 24. Public Safety Unions and their families were not deterred by rain and came out in the hundreds on July 26.

Since July 19, protestors and supporters around Occupy Detroit have staged a continuous demonstration to prevent an eviction in a Detroit neighborhood.

Separate groups may be fighting separately – at the moment. But as in nature, each emerging stream increases the probability for joining up and forming a mighty river – in this case, of determined resistance.