As a contribution to Black History Month we reprint Raya Dunayevskaya’s memorial for Charles Denby (1907-1983), her comrade of 35 years, Editor of News & Letters from its founding in 1955 until his death and the author of Indignant Heart: A Black Worker’s Journal.
Yesterday, a judge approved Detroit bankruptcy. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr outrageously claimed that the attack on workers’ pensions would be “thoughtful, measured and humane.” Read the News & Letters article for a view from the other side of the class struggle.
The new November-December 2013 issue of News & Letters is online.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 6
November – December 2013
The Syrian Revolution as the test of world politics
On Aug. 21 the genocidal regime of Bashar al-Assad murdered over a thousand civilians, mostly women and children, with sarin gas in the Damascus suburbs of Eastern Ghouta. [=>]
A different Detroit is struggling to be realized in the minds and hearts of its citizens: individuals (unrecognized thousands of whom routinely maintain nearby abandoned property) as well as organizations—from churches and small businesses to youth and athletic programs, block clubs and neighborhood associations, and social and environmental justice organizations.
Detroit Eviction Defense came out of the Direct Action Workgroup of Occupy Detroit about two years ago. We work with people who want to save their homes. We have saved about 60 so far.
“Abolish the slums!” was so clearly and loudly the demand of the Negro Revolt in every single part of the country–North, South, East, West–that even President Johnson couldn’t pretend not to have heard it. In words, the President even claimed that that was part of his “war on poverty.” Hadn’t he asked for rat control, and hadn’t Congress denied him even that piddling sum? … As Commander-in-Chief he need not plead. He orders, and his orders were clear and unequivocal: 1) Shoot first…
The entire state of Michigan voted against the harsh emergency manager law, Public Act 436, last November only to have the lame-duck state legislature vote it right back in before year’s end. On the day, March 28, that Act 436 took effect, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager fired the interim superintendent of schools. … Meanwhile, neighborhoods languish under mounting piles of trash, abandoned houses, stores, factories and vehicles. City services are reduced by mandatory budget cut “furloughs.” The challenge for Detroit residents is: can we stand up and organize ourselves for quality living and working conditions, some of which includes wresting support and services from our unelected new leaders? Can we articulate and realize a future Detroit developed for human needs?
The rulers are not about to sit back and let revolt freely develop. All sorts of reactionary ideas and attitudes have been ushered into the mainstream of politics and the media.
News & Letters, Vol. 58, No. 3
May – June 2013
Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2013-2014
Capitalism’s violence, masses’ revolt show need for total view
The world today is riven between the creativity of masses in revolt and the violent degeneracy of counter-revolution, whose destructiveness even extends to the revived specter of nuclear war two decades after the collapse [=>]
AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY
When the Green Movement started in Iran over the 2009 election, the so-called leaders were part of the government who were against Ahmadinejad. The growth of the movement of women and youth got so big it became “out of control” by the so-called leaders. The government leaders got scared because [=>]
From the March-April 2013 issue of News & Letters:
Detroit—Four years after discovering 11,303 untested rape kits in a Detroit Police Department warehouse, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s appearance on NBC’s “Rock Center” gained national attention for her efforts to bring justice to victims of rape. Worthy obtained a million dollars in federal money [=>]
You’re invited to a nationwide series of five Marxist-Humanist discussions on:
Global Crises, Global Rebellion, and the Needed Philosophy of Revolution
Central to today’s reality is the worldwide capitalist economic crisis, the deepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the context for occupations and revolutions across the globe. We will explore the meaning of this [=>]
Flint, Mich.—In November, Flint was placed under the control of an emergency manager for the second time. This time is different, because under a law passed in March of last year the financial manager can end collective bargaining agreements (with state approval), run up debt, increase property taxes and sell property.
The first time around Flint [=>]
UAW and Big 3 still fear rank and file
Detroit—The new auto industry contract just approved by the autoworkers created a huge well of discontent among the rank and file that will surely manifest itself in many ways during the four-year contract. Indications of this were evident during the ratification process, when it became apparent in [=>]
Detroit–The unemployment crisis is reaching far into the future. Whereas many government and private economists have been predicting that the economy will pick up in the next quarter or the next year, new reports conclude that in 50 U.S. metropolitan areas, it will take at least a decade to regain employment lost since the 2008 [=>]
Detroit–Many challenges face the rank-and-file auto workers as the stage is being set for auto contract negotiations in July. Their future is not promising, despite the rhetoric of United Auto Workers union President Bob King that emphasizes the restoration of benefits lost through contract concessions and the General Motors (GM) and Chrysler bankruptcies.
The losses began [=>]
Detroit–A new militant spirit in labor is now coming into play, sparked by the militant struggle against the onslaught of Wisconsin unionized public workers. This opposition is re-energizing the union movement and producing new leaders who are expressing their opposition to their own union leaders and their concessionary mentality. There is positive promise in these [=>]
Lansing, Mich.–It was a dreary, overcast, cold day at the Capitol building here on Feb. 26 when over 2,000 came from all over the state to show solidarity with workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere. Driving in from Detroit, one could pick out those heading for the rally by the bumper stickers on their cars.
The sound [=>]
Secret UAW-GM deal
Detroit–More than 100 UAW workers from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana picketed the UAW headquarters here Oct. 16 to protest a two-tier wage agreement made secretly by UAW leaders with General Motors (GM). It would permit GM to pay 40% of the workers about $14 an hour, half the regular $28 an hour. Workers [=>]