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

”We’ve got to bail out the fat cats so they can remain fat cats” =Detroit water workers denounce demands for concessions= Members of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) talked to workers on their way to vote at the AFSCME headquarters in downtown Detroit. They handed out copies of the Detroit Workers Newsletter and the recent statement “For a political struggle by Detroit workers against Orr’s bankruptcy plan”, which outlined a program for water workers to fight concessions, privatization and mass layoffs. Above all, this required, SEP members explained, the independent mobilization of the working class in opposition to the trade unions, the Democratic politicians and the bankers’ dictatorship they defend. A veteran worker said, “The unions were appointed to act as a buffer, but they’ve been selling us out.” Regarding the attacks on workers’ pensions, he said, “The stuff they’re doing to us now, they’re going to do to everyone else. The city government is appointed by the bank and corporations. In a few years there won’t even be downtown Detroit, it will be Gilbertville (in reference to Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, the richest man in Detroit). He’s hiring his own private security.” Another worker expressed opposition to the policy of water shutoffs being carried out by the city. “Workers are not billionaires. If big business paid their bills we would not have to shut water off at all, it could be free.” Another DWSD worker said of the contract, “We’ve got to bail out the fat cats so they can remain fat cats. It’s terrible, it’s wrong. It’s because of the powers that be and it’s because of greed.” When asked about the possibility of a strike, he remarked, “We’re about to have a demonstration again. I’m tired of it. The only thing I can do is leave Detroit and find something else to do. They’re going to pretty much do what they’re going to do, I just wanted to have my voice heard.” ... See MoreSee Less

16 hours ago

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