The following was distributed as a leaflet throughout May and June to mass meetings and protests of Detroit city workers by members and supporters of the Detroit Unit of the Workers Party in America.
Brothers and sisters! If you haven’t by now, you will soon receive the ballot sent to you by officials from the “emergency” dictatorship now running this city. This den of thieves and financial thugs will be asking you to vote to cut your own throat in exchange for empty promises and emptier wallets, courtesy of the bosses, bankers and political barbarians of the Republican and Democratic parties.
For three weeks last February and March, tens of thousands of workers and young people gathered at the Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, to protest against a bill proposed by Republican Governor Scott Walker that would strip unionized public workers of their rights to collectively bargain. Unlike in recent memory, when such actions only provoked token responses, working people took to the streets in mass numbers demanding that the state legislature “kill the bill.”
During the first week of protests, the number of workers participating in the marches, rallies and occupation of the Capitol grew by leaps and bounds, from a few thousand the first day to over 50,000 by the end of the week. By the next week, upwards of 100,000 workers and young people were surrounding and occupying the Capitol.
1. The rise of corporatism — the liquidation of the bourgeois-democratic content of state institutions; the replacement of law-making by deliberative legislation with law-making by judicial fiat; the merger of the public powers (the capitalist state) with private powers (corporate private security, mercenaries, etc.); the rise of the corporate welfare state as the underwriter and guarantor of credit, speculation and capital accumulation; the fundamental shift in the focus of the political government, from the arbiter of rights to the arbiter of “law and order,” and its seeming rise above the bourgeoisie and proletariat, on the backs of the petty-bourgeois bureaucracy, judiciary, military and police — has opened the door to a period of profound political and social crisis in the United States not seen since the secession crisis of the late 1850s and early 1860s.