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VIDEO: ‘Days of Revolt’: Chris Hedges, Detroit Activists Describe the Death of the American City

Posted on Jan 26, 2016

teleSUR

In this week’s episode of teleSUR’s “Days of Revolt,” Chris Hedges and two Detroit activists, Darryl “Waistline” Mitchell and Roshaun Harris, trace Detroit’s socio-economic apocalypse, which has taken forms specific to that city but also mirrors other communities around the country.

In his opening comments, Hedges refers to “the sacrifice zone that Detroit has become” and calls the catastrophic changes there “a consequence of unfettered, unregulated capitalism.”

Mitchell traces the arc of Detroit’s fate along his own life line, remembering when it was possible to make a living wage in the auto industry there. He also points to the many ways in which the systemic racism corroding the city is connected to America’s economic history.

On that note, Harris points out how the social contract once held out to workers—still quaintly referred to as “the American Dream”—is no longer available. Like Mitchell, Harris breaks down the problems from a standpoint in which economic and racial influences are inextricably linked.

Of the new generation of young black activists and the forms and focus their protests are taking, Harris says: “People are starting to see that it’s not just about white cops killing young black men. Historically that paradigm or that problem has existed ... but how that represents itself today is a connection between people starting to understand how the state operates.”

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Harris describes the presence of troops in cities like Detroit as “almost like a foreign occupying army occupying the territory that’s underserved, that has not been tended to in all of the other socially necessary ways to produce vitality within that community.”

Watch the discussion below (via teleSUR):