Occupy Detroit Voices

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The good thing is the camera is much smaller now … about the size of a cell phone! Our situation now is training the masses to use the weapon in their pocket responsibly to FTP (Film The Police-State) and broadcast it to the world.

(via the-nomad-soul)

Police Brutality, Corruption and Cecily McMillan, OWS Protester/YDS Member

On today’s show, I have with me a representative for Cecily McMillan, Lauren Wilfong, of the Justice for Cecily team. Also joining us on the show is Timothy Eastman. Tim is a photojournalist based in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Eastman has been documenting global uprisings, and has been a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement since September, 2011. Tim was there at the 6 month anniversary and photographed Cicely as she was arrested.

Cecily McMillan, the Young Democratic Socialist Northeast Office member and Occupy Wall Street protester, at the age of 23 was assaulted and arrested by the NYPD officers on March 17th, 2012 during the demonstration for the 6 month anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Cicely was being detained and seizing on the ground, handcuffed with zip ties, hands behind her back, following a blow to the head by an officer. Some of the arrestees at this time were being taken away on MTA city buses, chanting “Anticapitalista” inside. Cecily started having a panic attack following the seizure, fell unconscious and was taken to the hospital. A violent conflict between the Protestors and the NYPD broke out during this time.

[read more] - Revolution News 

Free Detroit No Consent: Two Years Under State Rule 

Two years ago today (April 4, 2012) Detroit City Council voted to approve a Consent Agreement that gave the city over to fascist rule by the State of Michigan. A sufficient number of elected officials (6 vs 3) chose to allow SELECTED officials to run the city. They abdicated democratic rule.

Sadly three of those that voted in this manner won re-(s)election in November 2013. Detroit - you need to read the history book being created daily. If you blink you might not see the depth of matters.

[read more]

Cost of Snyderholes is Not Being Addressed and It is Rising

Excerpt from the Eclectablog article:
The cost of bad roads for the average driver is well over $300 a year:

Driving on rough roads costs the average Detroit urban area motorist $536 annually in extra vehicle operating costs, while the average driver in the Grand Rapids urban area loses $327 each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. In the Lansing urban area, the average motorist loses $305 annually due to driving on rough roads.

It’s gotten so bad that an astonishing array of different groups has banded together to demand lawmakers fix our roads. They have a website called JustFixTheRoads.com. The Michigan Association for Justice has set up a website called FixYourRide.org where you can report vehicle damage for reimbursement by the state. “We are trying to provide an easy place for drivers to report a pothole, get information on how to get money from the state if they qualify, and let the legislature know their frustration with the current road situation,” said Steve Pontoni, Director of Communications at MAJ.

(via As Michigan roads disintegrate, Republicans push for tax cuts – Don’t call them potholes, call them “Snyderholes” | Eclectablog)


Community Groups Release Plan for Detroit based on Resident’s Needs.  Input of Detroiter’s voices and concerns is crucial to reestablishing democracy.

For Immediate Release

News Release
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Contact: Shea Howell - howell@oakland.edu  313-282-7669

DETROIT – Monday, at Historic King Solomon Baptist Church, a coalition of community based groups released a plan to directly engage Detroiters in charting a course for their future.  The National Action Network (NAN), Moratorium Now and Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management (D-REM) were among the groups releasing the “People’s Plan for Restructuring: Toward a Sustainable Detroit”( http://www.d-rem.org/peoplesplan/).  That plan will be the center of the “Emergency Town Hall Meeting,” Sunday, March 2, 3:00 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church, Woodward and Grand Circus Park.

“Governor Snyder’s plan is unjust, inequitable, and unfair. Detroiters and pensioners bailed out the Wall Street interests in 2008. Bond holders and banks must to take deeper cuts. We plan to submit an official objection” said Reverend Charles E. Williams, president, National Action Network, Michigan Chapter.

Highlights of the “People’s Plan for Restructuring” include

• Addressing the actual number attached to Detroit’s bankruptcy proceedings, namely the $198 million annual shortfall in revenue versus the billions falsely claimed by the Snyder Orr team
• Bank of America, UBS and any other Wall Street firms must immediately terminate the toxic interest rate swaps without penalties or further payment
• Pensioners should be held harmless, with no cuts to their income and all medical benefits restored
• Return the Detroit Public Schools and the seized EAA schools to the control of the democratically elected School Board and introduce place-based education for children, adults and elders coming together to revitalize Detroit
• Fulfill the obligation of the City Charter to establish Citizens Advisory Councils
• Require enforceable Community Benefit Agreements that are accountable to those most affected by all corporate economic development

“From reversing the illegal and immoral ‘swap’ deals with the likes Bank of America and UBS to reorienting schools based on the needs of families and communities, the People’s Plan was created with the needs of residents, city workers and retirees at the center of the process,” said Fred Vitale of Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.  “It is also a living document and the coalition will seek more community input during the People’s Assembly, March 2 at Central United Methodist.”

Moratorium Now announcement http://moratorium-mi.org/emergency-town-hall-meeting-sunday-march-2-3-pm/

Learn more about the #PeoplesPlan at http://www.d-rem.org/category/peoplesplan/


Peaceful Protest is NOT a Civil Infraction!

Please vote NO on Michgan HB 4643 - “Labor; fair employment practices; remedies for mass picketing; modify. Amends sec. 9f of 1939 PA 176 (MCL 423.9f)”.
Free speech and assembly are cornerstones of our democracy, and this bill would discourage the exercise of those civil liberties. As a voter in your district, I expect you to stand up for these constitutionally protected rights.

I made a call today to my state representative and left a message. Peaceful civil disobedience is the ONLY thing that allowed progress to be made for the health and well-being of people. Corporations are duty-bound to profit as their first priority, even if that means killing people off.

We are not subservient to companies, and neither should our government officials. Allowing PROFIT to rule over people is inappropriate.


ATTENTION: artists, organizers, technologists, researchers, designers, filmmakers, community builders, policy-shapers, healers, journalists - YOU! The 16th annual Allied Media Conference needs your brilliant content.


Guardian Angels For Activists

We become so consumed by our passion fighting for causes bigger than ourselves. We see that “ME” fits within the “WE” conversation. Sometimes we sacrifice a part of ourselves in that fight. We forget to take care of ourselves or put ourselves on the line for a cause we believe in. We consider civil disobedience as a statement of the passion we hope others will understand. We ask for judges and juries at our trials to find verdict by their conscious, and see the greater picture that the disobedience was aimed at. The laws which protect the people don’t always work, it takes people getting involved and showing how the letter of the law is weak and does not give us justice by following it literally.

Skilled communication regarding our feelings can be a tough thing to offer. How do we discuss our moral compass and realize someone listening is likely looking to knock it. Critique can be constructive and offer new perspectives that deepen or alter our beliefs and how they are expressed. It requires having a safe space for those conversations - one where critiques are solution-based and not ripping down the character of those involved. While we strive for peace the currents of unrest are where we grow the most. We have to become comfortable with a certain amount of unrest and realize it as the growth we claim to desire. Communities build character of those who enter them and remain through the unrest and growth.

I’m thankful for diving into Occupy Detroit when I saw it come along. The currents of change have been flaming rampantly all around the world. In truth it has been happening for centuries and my eyes and mind simply did not see for half my life. I desire seeing the community of growth continue through the Occupy Detroit Movement leading to organizations. I’ll acknowledge there haven’t been meetings to continue movement building and I wish to resurrect that spirit. I want to talk about decolonization as a movement direction. Discussions about not only abolishing the systemic destruction of the middle class, but to work on a change in our value system. We need to embrace our commons - the air, land, water that we are all stewards to protect and use to the betterment of all. The conversations aren’t about price tags, they are about needs and resources - bringing them together to acknowledge the value of people equally is essential. Each of us needs a chance to succeed and the systems in our US American culture are poisoning anything and everything that is truly of value to people, in effect sacrificing people for profit.

Things have to change. I’m committed to being a catalyst through my life’s work in effecting change. I will work inside and outside the system, because confronting things from one direction is like speaking TO the problem but not WITH it. Life is a conversation that is not one-sided. Portions of the conversations in our lives have different dialects and sometimes even foreign language. Our minds have to comprehend the facets around our beliefs, acknowledging what we don’t know but that it exists. We have to discuss our weaknesses and address concerns with an interest in strengthening rather than continued weakness.

We’re going to bring Occupy Detroit movement building back together this year - 2014. We’re going to Occupy Detroit in a systemic approach, because its more about the systems of oppression affecting the people’s actions than the people or the place itself. I hope to meet my locals reading this message. We may sit on different sides of common conversations. We have to bring outlying concepts into conversation, and it takes inclusion with a lot of patience & listening. Lets talk about real world changes and how to influence change in our systems. Not everything fits - especially when we talk of empowering our people and changing existing value systems.

—- Stephen Boyle - community member in Detroit
Occupy Detroit 
Free Detroit No Consent 
March Against Monsanto Detroit 
Detroit Coalition Against Tar Sands 
Occupy Detroit Transit 
Abolitionist Movement of Today 
North End Woodward Community Coalition
and many more… 

ally to indigenous Detroiters of all colors & creeds 
ally to Environmental Justice in Detroit 
ally to Food Justice in Detroit 
ally to Transportation Justice in Detroit