Detroit, strong-armed yet undaunted

Detroit lies slumbering in the State of Michigan as the once steel giant city of industry.  I was there in 1998. Walking down the main street to the city’s gorgeous art museum (Detroit Industry of Arts) and the worthwhile Charles H. Wright African American Museum, the urban decay was evident. But the people seemed very real and on the level, and sometimes surprised that a tourist was wandering about downtown Detroit.

When I was there, they were getting ready to tear down Hudson’s, the tallest department store in the world and one that had been the downtown’s anchor store for decades. Community flyers posted here and there reminded people to go walk around the floors of Hudson’s one more time before closing day.

I attended a community meeting where residents were mounting an effort to oppose the mayor’s plans to build a conference center as it promised construction jobs for the short term and not much more in the long run. I joined the picket line at the local newspaper for an hour or so. I do believe the conference center was ultimately built and the newspaper union ultimately lost. But I’m still plugging for Detroit. Those residents aren’t asleep. My Mom was a big fan of the pendulum theory:  when it gets so wrong, it will start to get right.

“Detroit is a place where we’ve had it pretty tough. But there is a generosity here and a well of kindness that goes deep.”-–Mitch Albom

Strong-armed in Detroit

Strong-armed in Detroit

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Posted in Found in the USA
One comment on “Detroit, strong-armed yet undaunted
  1. lipsticktattoo lipsticktattoo says:

    “What we call the ‘one percent’ accelerated its assault on the rights of working people during the Reagan administration, with the decision to fire all PATCO union members and bring in ‘replacement workers’ (i.e. ‘scabs’). This continued in the early 1990s with numerous other strikes, including the UAW strike against Caterpillar in Illinois. In 1995, the corporate power structure decided to back Gannett and Knight-Ridder in a strong effort to break the Detroit newspaper workers’ unions. They believed if they could break the unions in a labor center such as Detroit, they would demonstrate the power to break unions anywhere in the country. The valiant Detroit newspaper workers took up this challenge, and fought mightily defending their right to organize and bargain collectively. Ultimately, the Detroit newspaper unions survived; the power structure’s effort to destroy them failed. This struggle to defend the right to organize has continued across the country since the Detroit newspaper strike ended.” —National Lawyers Guild, Michigan and Detroit Chapter (July 2015)

    Fortunately, it seems I was wrong about the union losing. —TMLL

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