Eyes on Detroit

Critical Moment: What are you learning from observing today’s struggles in Detroit?

Ruben Solis Garcia, President, University Sin Fronteras

“Detroit is the epi-center, ground zero, of the failure of the modernist capitalist model, and now the forceful and colonial implementation of the neo-liberal globalization model of capitalism: moreover, in the class struggle and peoples’ and community struggles Detroit was and is the embryonic space and place of ‘another world is possible and necessary.’\

“Detroit stands as a front of struggle nationally and internationally, alongside New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, with Katrina, and Arizona on migrant systemic repression and border militarization in El Paso-Cuidad Juarez Mexico.

“Collectively we are standing against the new globalized state, a model of global destruction, and a culture of militarization and violence.  We are in the South border while Detroit in the North border and we have border to border links and power social movement relations.

As fronts of power we are stronger together than we are separate.  Detroit is a learning liberatory space where food sovereignty is as big in community organizing as anti-globalization self-determination.  Like a phoenix; Detroit is a place & space for renewal, rebirth and ReGeneration.”

Jerome Scott, League of Revolutionaries for a New America & National Planning Committee Member, US Social Forum

“The world is in technological, economic, ecological, and political transition; and Detroit is the leading edge. Politically democracy is under attack – witness the appointment of the Emergency Financial Manager which means Detroiters’ votes no longer count. This is inspiring many of us to rise up in struggle because we understand the future is truly up to us.”

Maria Whittaker, President, Local to Global Advocates for Justice; Food, Health and Environmental Justice Coalition

“Detroit is ground zero in the US for the crumbling of our global, capitalist, industrialized economic system. Detroit exemplifies the racist nature of these policies as well, as historically less powerful groups such as indigenous and racial, ethnic or oppressed groups are initially targeted by these policies and practices. Detroit is also ground zero for the worst practices of our global, industrialized, big corporate governed country and world as poor and Black folks are targeted for the worst policies and practices of these big institutions. Consequently, Detroiters are hit first and hardest in the US, so the struggle there is at the root and at its worst.

“I just returned from 6 months in Nairobi, Kenya where I visited the work in the slums there where most Kenyans and Sub-Saharan Africans live. Situations and conditions were very similar to Detroit but worse. These folks are suffering the fallout from the world’s global, imperialist, industrialized, big corporate system. Detroit is the best example of that in the US. The resistance there is at the root consequently. It will also eventually reach all of us, so Detroit is a prediction of what is to come for all of us. I am learning the strategies they will use to oppress the rest of us but also how they use racism to justify their policies and blame poor and Black people instead of the system for its oppression and injustices.”

Flickr photo by Pat (Cletch) Williams