Workers and youth from throughout Detroit, across the US and internationally gathered at Wayne State University (WSU) on Saturday, February 15 for the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit & the Attack on the DIA and Pensions.

The Inquiry, sponsored by the Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), was the product of a months-long campaign to organize working class opposition to the bankruptcy. The Workers Inquiry provided a detailed exposure of the political conspiracy involving both major political parties, the courts and the mass media.

Coverage of the Workers Inquiry as well as reports and analysis of the Detroit bankruptcy can be found on our news page.

Event Details


Sat., Feb. 15, 2014


10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Wayne State Univ.

New from Mehring Books: The Truth Behind the Bankruptcy of Detroit

Mehring Books is pleased to announce that The Truth Behind the Bankruptcy of Detroit is now available for online purchase. This 64-page, full color, perfect bound pamphlet exposes the political and social forces behind the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

The pamphlet is comprised of the five reports from the Workers Inquiry into the Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Attack on the DIA & Pensions, held on February 15, 2014. They include:

  • “The Social and Historical Context of the Detroit Bankruptcy,” By WSWS reporter Jerry White
  • “The Political Conspiracy Behind The Bankruptcy of Detroit: Anatomy of a Crime,” By Workers Inquiry Chairman Lawrence Porter
  • “Art and the Working Class,” By WSWS Arts Editor David Walsh
  • “The Detroit Bankruptcy: A Travesty of Democracy,” By WSWS reporter Tom Carter
  • “The Rape of Detroit: Deindustrialization, financialization and parasitism,” By WSWS US Editor Barry Grey

These reports present a detailed exposure of a social crime: the decision to use the courts and an anti-democratic emergency manager law to impose attacks on the working class previously considered impossible.

The July 18, 2013 bankruptcy filing by Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, was the culmination of a long-planned political conspiracy, crafted by powerful investment and legal firms and supported by both big business parties. The aim was to use the bankruptcy court to override legal obstacles, including the state constitution, to the looting of public employee pensions funds and other public assets, including the priceless collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Obama administration, which intervened on behalf of Orr, sees Detroit as a test case to gut pensions of millions of retired teachers, firefighters and other public employees throughout the country.

The Workers Inquiry cut through the lies of the Democrats and Republicans, the corporate controlled media and the trade union executives, which all insist the working class must pay for a financial crisis they did not create. In calling the Inquiry, the Socialist Equality Party explained that what workers lack is not the desire to fight, but the truth: an understanding of the nature of the political and social forces they confront.

The information contained in this pamphlet will play an important role in organizing a class conscious, socialist alternative to the capitalist system.

To order click here.

Title: The Truth Behind the Bankruptcy of Detroit Price: $9.95

Pages: 64

ISBN: 978-1-893638-44-0

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Detroit Inquiry: A Workers' Inquiry Into the Looting of an American CityDetroit Inquiry: A Workers' Inquiry Into the Looting of an American City

Detroit Inquiry: A Workers' Inquiry Into the Looting of an American City shared International Youth and Students for Social Equality - Wayne State Chapter's event. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

From Detroit to Ferguson, the Class Issues

August 27, 2014, 7:00pm

Wayne State University- State Hall (Rm 101)

At the heart of all the social and democratic issues raised in Ferguson is the nature of the capitalist system. No struggle against inequality and the police state apparatus in America can be successful unless it is based on the understanding that what is involved is a struggle against the entire social and economic order. In Missouri we have the police execution of an unarmed teenager. In Detroit we have the policy of water shutoffs and massive cuts through the bankruptcy courts. In the Middle East and Ukraine mass murder has become the new normal. In each case the same political forces who control the state are involved. There is a growing realization within the working class that the problems working people face are systemic. In video interviews posted on the WSWS, workers and young people in Ferguson speak of the nature of capitalism, pointing to the vast resources that are devoted to the military and police even as the ruling class claims there is no money for education or jobs. They note the hypocrisy of American imperialism waging wars for “democracy” abroad even as it sends tanks against American cities at home. This developing consciousness in the working class must be anchored to a clear political program on the basis of which a successful struggle can be waged. The central aim of the Socialist Equality Party in the US and its sister parties around the world is to build the revolutionary leadership—in St. Louis, throughout the country and internationally—that is required to arm the working class with such a socialist program. The SEP calls for the mobilization of the entire working class behind the workers and youth of Ferguson, Missouri. Demonstrations and meetings demanding the arrest and prosecution of the killer of Michael Brown, the withdrawal of the National Guard and demobilization of the police, and the lifting of the state of emergency should be held throughout the country. These democratic demands should be linked to the defense of the social rights of the working class—the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars to provide decent-paying jobs, education, health care and housing for all. What is taking place in Ferguson is part of an attack on all workers. The police-state measures employed on the streets of that city, along with the vast intelligence and military apparatus, are directed against all opposition to the policies of the corporate and financial aristocracy. The IYSSE and SEP insists that the defense of the democratic and social rights of the population in the United States must be connected to the struggle against imperialist war. The National Guard troops being deployed in Ferguson are the same forces that have been sent to brutally suppress the populations of Iraq and Afghanistan. The interests of the American working class in dismantling the US war machine are inextricably connected to the fight of workers all over the world against the machinations of the US ruling class, which is threatening to plunge the world into a new world war. Nothing can be accomplished without a direct assault on the domination of society by a capitalist class that has shown it will shrink from nothing to defend its rule. The basic question posed is: Who will rule? Will the ruling class and its instruments of repression continue to impose ever more savage attacks on the social and democratic rights of the working class, while leading mankind to catastrophe? Or will the working class, the vast majority of the population, take political power and reorganize society on the basis of equality, a radical redistribution of wealth, and democratic control over the giant productive forces of humanity? This alternative is posed with ever-greater immediacy and urgency.

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