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Showing blog posts tagged with Detroit

Trying to Understand What Makes Sense

Two boys at the Detroit Water Rally held July 18, 2014. Photo courtesy of National Nurses United.

Last month, a United Nations panel held that cutting off water to Detroit residents suffering from high unemployment rates and low incomes, leaving them unable to afford their water bills, was a violation of basic human rights. This past weekend, actor Mark Ruffalo and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) joined close to a thousand protesters in a march organized by National Nurses United from Detroit’s Cobo Center to Hart Plaza. The chants of the crowd included “We got sold out, banks got bailed out." And there were renewed calls for a financial transaction tax, commonly referred to as a “Robin Hood tax.”

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Ruffalo and a Cast of 1,000 Look to Smash Back Against Republican Attacks on Poor in Detroit

Photo courtesy of National Nurses United

Actor Mark Ruffalo, most famous for playing the Incredible Hulk in the Marvel Comics movie "The Avengers," led a crowd of 1,000 through the streets of Detroit in protest of Republican policies that have led to water being shut off for thousands of the city's residents. National Nurses United (NNU) organized the rally. The United Nations and others have called the city's actions a violation of human rights, and demands that the water be turned back on have come from across the political landscape. Hundreds of different organizations and their members showed up at the march, which began outside Detroit's Cobo Center, where the annual Netroots Nation convention is being held. Protesters marched passed the city's Water and Sewerage offices before ending at Hart Plaza.

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Orr Takes Immediate Aim at Pensions After Judge OKs Detroit Bankruptcy


A federal bankruptcy judge today ruled that the city of Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection and may cut pension benefits for retired city workers despite a provision in the state’s Constitution banning such pension cuts. Attorneys for city workers, firefighters and police officers say they will appeal the judge’s ruling.

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The Real Reason Detroit Went Bankrupt

The Real Reason Detroit Went Bankrupt

As the story goes, the city of Detroit went bankrupt because of $18 billion in long-term debt, in large part caused by pension and health care benefitsA new report, written by Wallace Turbeville and released today from Demos, says that narrative is inflated, inaccurate and irrelevant to explaining the city's bankruptcy.

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Detroit’s Bankruptcy Czar Refuses Free Lunch Offer from City Pensioners

Metro Detroit AFL-CIO photo

It wasn’t crab cakes and calamari delivered via room service to his tony penthouse paid for by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) “secretive nonprofit foundation,” but Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s so-called emergency manager overseeing the city’s bankruptcy, turned down an offer of a free lunch.

Maybe he doesn’t have the taste for a down-home chili dog, but it’s more likely he didn’t have the stomach or backbone to dine with the retired city workers who invited him to lunch Monday. The retirees who, Orr has said, face “significant cuts” to pensions.

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Detroit, Labor Day and a Hard Day’s Night

Photo courtesy of AFSCME's Facebook page. Ora Mae, a retired Detroit City worker.

Detroit, Labor Day and a Hard Day’s Night was originally published on The Hill's Congress Blog

The Beatles first visited Detroit just before Labor Day in 1964, and they gushed with admiration for the Motown sound. Detroit hummed with industry then, like the Beatle’s own Liverpool, England, with its bustling ports and pop music scene. Both industrial cities would soon flounder, losing 40 percent of their populations over the next 30 years.

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Detroit Unions Challenge City’s Bankruptcy Claims

Several unions representing Detroit city works and retirees challenged Detroit’s claim for bankruptcy protection. The challenges were filed Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit, the court which will determine if the city is eligible for bankruptcy protection. AFSCME Council 25 said the city has not proven it is insolvent and has not negotiated in good faith with its creditors.

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