Detroit's Rebellion and Rise of the Neoliberal State
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/09/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21640
In 1967 hundreds of uprisings circulated across U.S. cities with unprecedented power and intensity. Almost always the provocation was racist police violence - ranging from arrests to beatings to shootings.
The overturning of Jim Crow, capitalism, and U.S. imperialism seemed like a possibility. Taken together these events represented a critical turning point in U.S. history, one from which there was no going back.
According to movement intellectuals and activists, the Detroit rebellion of July 1967 was essentially a working-class revolt. It was met with deadly force once state officials ordered National Guard troops, federal soldiers, and police officers to treat people deemed looters and arsonists as enemies of the state. Over forty people were killed.
While response to the events demonstrated the repressive power of the state, the rebellion also exposed the vulnerability of the auto corporations to the pressure of class struggle at the point of production. Nine months after the July rebellion in May of 1968, over four thousand workers shut down the Dodge Main plant. These events led to the formation of the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM), which later became the League.