Detroit Workers World Party

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Detroit Workers World Party is affiliated to the Workers World Party.

Celebrating 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution

Workers World Party Detroit branch commemorated the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution with a Nov. 11 2017 community dinner, followed by compelling discussion chaired by Sharon Feldman and led by comrades Kris Hamel, Tom Michalak, Deirdre Griswold and Mond Jones.

Comrade Hamel opened with a presentation on how and why the Bolsheviks were able to achieve military success as well as the support of the diverse, multinational oppressed classes in Russia. Hamel highlighted the Bolsheviks’ unwavering commitment to dismantling feudal autocracy and the capitalist system and their staunch stance against opportunism in the social democratic movement of the era.

A presentation by comrade Tom Michalak explored the many successes of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet project. He covered a breadth of information, from the harrowing sacrifices that led to the defeat of fascism in World War II, to an incredible increase in life expectancy undone by the counterrevolution in the 1980s and 1990s.

Founding member and comrade Deirdre Griswold, of the New York City branch of WWP, called in to speak about what led to the dismantling of the USSR. She detailed the conditions experienced by those living in the Soviet bloc as a result of 74 years of unyielding aggression from the United States and its imperialist partners.

Comrade Mond Jones, youth member and final speaker, emphasized the importance of celebrating, commemorating and reflecting on the Bolshevik Revolution. He condemned the conditions the global masses face living under capitalism at a dead end. He brought further attention to capitalism’s many contradictions and to the associated struggles facing workers in Detroit and abroad.

“These may be obvious problems,” said Jones, “but the Bolshevik Revolution gives us a template for implementing solutions.”[1]

Peoples Assembly

A People’s Assembly and Speakout were held on Aug. 29 2015 in downtown Detroit at Grand Circus Park. The event was called by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and endorsed by other community organizations.

Speakers at the assembly included Rebeykah Larson, who co-chaired the gathering. Larson is a housing activist in Detroit and has demonstrated against the pending property tax foreclosures in Wayne County.

JoAnn Watson, former City Council member, lent her moral support to the ongoing struggle in Detroit. Attorney Vanessa Fluker, a people’s lawyer working on housing rights, urged people to fight the banks at the root of the foreclosure crisis.

Errol Jennings, leader of the Russell Woods Neighborhood Association, called for citywide organization to end the forced removals underway against African Americans and other working-class people in the city. Jennings had spearheaded a campaign to get resolutions from community organizations for a moratorium on tax foreclosures. This helped prompt the City Council to pass its own language requesting the moratorium. The tax foreclosure deadline was postponed for two-and-a-half months, allowing thousands to make arrangements with the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office to save their homes.

Other speakers included Cicely McClellan and Tijuana Morris of the Detroit Active and Retirees Association; retired steelworker Pat Driscoll and attorney Matt Clark of the Detroit Eviction Defense; Jack Watkins speaking for youth on the rising tide of racism in this majority African-American city; Debra Simmons of the Detroit chapter of the National Action Network and the ACLU National Police Reform Campaign; Jerry Goldberg and Michael Shane of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition; Diane Bukowski, editor of Voice of Detroit; Valerie Jean, a water and environmental rights community activist; Martha Grevatt of the United Auto Workers; Cynthia Johnson, AM 1440 radio host and leader of the Community Light Walk; Maureen Taylor, co-chair of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization; Meeko Williams of the Detroit Water Brigade; Stephen Boyle, a videographer and environmental activist; Helen Moore of Keep the Vote, No Takeover; and Erik Shelly of Michigan United and Black Lives Matter.

This People’s Assembly once again tested the hard-won right of community organizations to hold political meetings and demonstrations on the streets in downtown Detroit. In 2014, the bankers and corporate heads tried to ban such activities, prompting a legal and political struggle to guarantee free speech and assembly in the financial district and its environs.[2]

Midwest Conference builds socialism: Power to the people!

Revolutionaries from throughout the Midwest and beyond mobilized to build and attend the fightback conference, “Resistance Against Racism and Capitalism: The Struggle for Socialism.” The Detroit branch of Workers World Party and the Wayne State University branch of Students for a Democratic Society co-hosted the event March 25-26, 2017.

Some attendees are coming from beyond the Midwest. Mattie Boyd, of the Workers World Party Philadelphia branch ,said, “I’m traveling from Philadelphia to Detroit — two of the poorest big cities in the country.The forces of racist, imperialist austerity that have laid siege to both working-class Philadelphians and Detroiters are not isolated from each other..[3]