Barbaric Grace (The Journey of a Revolution)


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The Story of Water. The People vs Us Ecology. Join us Saturday June 29th am at Eastern Market to demonstrate and educate! The Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US Ecology will be joined by Detroit and Hamtramck neighbors to advocate for the protection of our water supply and for a healthy environment. Our goal is to keep our neighborhoods safe from the massive increase of poisonous chemical waste being brought into our cities. Bring your signs, noise makers, friends and neighbors!! At the intersection of Grand River Ave. The most prominent one, spanning the top half of the front facade, is of four hands shaping the letters L-O-V-E.

For nearly 20 years, this building was a home for artists and small businesses. Through low-cost studio space, gallery space, and community, it nurtured a kind of creative love, the impact of which is visible along Grand River, and will be felt for many more decades. June 18, in Living for Change. Currently, Detroit and Chicago are the only cities in the country implementing real-time facial recognition. Representative of the Detroit Police Department strongly advocated the use of this technology, saying it would enable them to catch criminals.

To blunt fears of the new technology the police said it was like using fingerprints or DNA, just another way to identify who committed a crime. Such sloppy arguments were echoed by some community members who spoke of their fears of crime and their willingness to do almost anything to feel more secure. These arguments represent one of the primary reasons we should oppose facial recognition systems and Project Green Light.

The advocates of these programs are taking the deepest fears of people and twisting them into a distorted idea of what will improve their lives. The supporters of surveillance take our best impulses and turn them against us. This willful manipulation of fear, and the promises of some kind of security, distort our capacity to make meaningful decisions about how to create peaceful, compassionate relationships.

Several major studies have concluded that there is absolutely no basis to claim that either the real time monitoring of people or the introduction of facial recognition systems reduces crime. There is no evidence that facial recognition impacts crime. There is ample evidence that facial recognition increases injustice against African Americans, people of color, women, and youth. In September , the Urban Institute, an economic and social policy think tank published a paper analyzing surveillance trends in Washington, D.

Drilling into the question of whether the program was worth the cost, the organization reported mixed findings. Baltimore police did use facial recognition technology successfully to identify people who protested the police killing of Freddie Gray. In the University of Texas at Dallas conducted a study concluding that racial bias was predictable because of the nature of the data sets being used.

In A Georgetown University Law School study raised similar concerns and noted that nearly half of all adults have been entered into a law enforcement facial recognition data base. Falsely identifying people as criminal suspects could lead to a host of other potential issues. Clare Garvie, an author of both reports, believes that a moratorium on facial recognition is necessary, given the lack of regulation around the technology.

Garvie said. Last week, the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition released its report. Surveillance technology is big business and powerful interests are telling us this will make us safe. But researches consistently point out there is no basis for these claims. The sample size is too small, the time frame too short. June 5, in Uncategorized. Hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, this gathering produces some of the most vicious and damaging ideas effecting people. This year is no different. The gathering is troubling both for what it addresses and for what it evades. Education got a lot of attention on the agenda, but there was little sense of urgency.

The sessions on education offered no new thinking about our common responsibilities, the kind of education our children need and deserve, or the destruction of local control via emergency management laws. There was no reflection on how the decades of meddling by state level entities have done nothing but destroy public schools and create an abusive environment for children and teachers. To pretend that this gathering has either the intention of the capacity to advance the education of our children is foolish and dangerous.

But as these new ideas of education started to reflect concerns for social justice and cultural integrity, right wing forces reacted. Under the influence of ideologues like Betsy DeVos and the legislators she helped elect, Michigan has fallen to near the bottom in comparison to other states. Our children, teachers and schools have been under assault.

Most of it led by the people highlighted in this Island gathering. The very people who created the problems we face are not likely to have any answers for the future. Meanwhile, the legislature is refusing to eliminate its most recent weapon, the third grade reading law. This law mandates the retention of children who are falling behind in reading.

Almost anyone who cares about education knows this is a disaster. We are likely to see a six-fold increase in the number of children who will be forced to repeat the third grade. In sharp contrast to the gathering on Mackinac, people around the state are looking for new ways to develop our children rooted in love and compassion. For example, as elites gathered on the Mackinac Hotel porch, the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools begin their summer gardening program with the Charles H.

Wright Museum of African American History. Here is where progressive thinking and commitment to children can be found.


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A message from Russ Bellant russbellant gmail. Despite clear campaign positions supporting school districts in African American, Latino and low-income districts, Gretchen Whitmer followed her last three predecessors practices by ordering the Benton Harbor school board to close their only high school and send those students to nine surrounding white districts and charter schools.

Those districts want those students to boost the state funding to their schools, which guts the Benton Harbor district. Her staff also let it be known that if they do not do what she demanded, she will close down the entire school district! To add insult to injury, no Benton Harbor school board member was consulted before this edict. Despite pledges last year from the State that the Benton Harbor school board would return to control of their school district July 1, the Whitmer administration from its outset was privately threatening the school district if they did not retain the school district superintendent previously put in place by Lansing.

Many thought that matter was resolved but instead Whitmer is now escalating. It shall serve as the general planning and coordination body for all public education, including higher education, and shall advise the legislature as to the financial requirements therewith. Yet governors and legislators corrupt the Constitution in order to run over Black students, their families and communities.

This abuse today is a warning that Detroit schools are not immune. There is a response forming to stand up to these racist practices, this corruption of power and related looting of community resources, to threats of future abuse and injustice. From my point of view it is a message to the Governor to not go down the path of her predecessors or play to the racist corruption of Berrien County, the De Vos empire and their delegation in the Legislature.

May 31, in Living for Change. Mayors can make a difference. And we know that that disproportionately affects low income people of color who are going to be shut off from water services. We will not do that in the city. As with Detroit, Chicago has experienced rapidly accelerating water bills.


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  4. They have tripled in the last decade. In the past 12 years , households have received shut off notices. Illegal reconnections have actually outpaced the legal ones.

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    It is a document worth reading. I especially recommend it to our own Mayor and City Council. These actions are important because they bring into the public sphere values that are badly needed as we develop policies in the face of increasing challenges around access and safety of water. The values behind the choices the new Mayor is making are essential as we prepare for long term struggles around the role of cities and democracy in our country.

    Increasingly we are coming to understand that right wing, corporate forces are aggressively limiting direct democracy in cities. Pursuing state level preemptive actions, right wing, corporate financed legislatures are blocking direct democratic actions by local governments. For centuries, cities have been the natural site of politics. Part of the deep, structural changes we are finding our way to creating, begins with a new understanding of the power of cities, the purposes and responsibilities of local governments.

    The new Mayor of Chicago is helping make clear what kind of values are at stake for our futures. Move 9 women freed after 40 years in jail over Philadelphia police siege. Today I am honoring my daddy, Vincent Harding, who passed into glory on this day, five years ago — May 19, When I think about my daddy and my mama, Rosemarie Freeney Harding, at this juncture of my life, what comes most strongly to my mind is the way they embodied together a tremendous warmth, dedication and depth of spirit in the midst of struggle.

    They wrapped faith and resistance very beautifully in imagination and a wide, inclusive understanding of family. And they gave me room to find my own way in the world with their support. I am grateful every day to Creator and Creation for my parents. Daddy was a historian in love with the best possibilities and most humane potentials of this nation. Daddy was a teacher with a marvelous gift of encouragement. May 20, in Living for Change. The city of Northville MI faced a boil water advisory this weekend.

    Over the last few years these advisories are becoming more common. This latest directive to boil water before drinking it was because of a water main break on Friday morning. Just a few days earlier, images began to circulate revealing the extent of the damage done to the oil pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac. In April a tugboat anchor dragged across line 5, creating gashes in the pipe, allowing oil to spill out.

    Enbridge, the company that controls the pipeline, tells us there is nothing to worry about. There is no repair for the oil that seeped into the lakes. Communities that were home to shoe manufacturing and military bases show especially high levels of contamination. These chemicals have been linked to fertility issues, high cholesterol, thyroid and liver problems and cancer.

    Along with newly discovered toxins, we have known for decades that lead and other heavy metals lurk in our waters. We have known that more and more people are finding it impossible to pay ever escalating bills to provide safe water and maintain the system. It should be obvious we cannot continue to segment the issues of providing and protecting our waters. Safe, affordable water is no longer a taken for granted part of life anywhere in Michigan. The oil from the pipeline spill mixes in. The infrastructure that carries our water and waste is deteriorating rapidly.

    And the technologies of testing for contamination cannot keep up with the new toxins we are dumping without thought. Jeffrey Insko recently gave a picture of just how vulnerable the 4 million people who depend on the Detroit water system are when he wrote: Hundreds of chemical spills over several decades contaminated Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River, released cancer-causing toxins into the air, and produced increased levels of cancer and low birth-rates among First Nations inhabitants of the region.

    Detroit knows this story all too well. Clair River like a poisoned umbilical cord. The water crisis we face cannot be fixed quickly, nor with small patches attempting to respond to each emergency. We need to shift how we think about the way of life that is literally poisoning us. This shift has been given a new framework in the Green New Deal. It is an opportunity to think holistically about the interconnections of our waters, the earth, the ways we make a living, and relate to one another.

    The Green New Deal offers the possibilities of reimagining how we can live in ways that acknowledge the intricate connections that form the web of life that sustains us. It is an invitation to look honestly at the horrors we are creating and to choose a path toward life. Community organizers Rami Nashashibi and Lucas Johnson have much to teach us about using love — the most reliable muscle of human transformation — as a practical public good.

    We hope all of you are very well. The visit of the Brazilian elders is a partnership with our friends, Daniel and Marcia Minter, who have recently founded the Indigo Arts Alliance, in Portland, Maine, a wonderful center for artists of the African diaspora. Our principal events this summer May and June are:. Invisible Knowledge. An interfaith conversation circle with African American and Afro-Brazilian elder women on resources of spirit and community for social justice work. All day. May 13, in Uncategorized. The Trump administration is ramping up its efforts to attack local, democratic, compassion efforts to protect people who are seeking safer and more secure lives.

    Local officers will be encouraged to arrest people based on ICE warrants. This latest effort is sharpening the contradiction between local governments, where people are most likely to make their will known, and the consolidation of federal force. These bills are working their way through committees. We have seen the negative effects similar policies have had around the country — further eroding the fragile trust between immigrant populations and local law enforcement and disincentivizing community members from coming forward when they witness or are the victims of a crime.

    That makes us all less safe in the long run. If public safety is truly the goal, we need to work to foster an environment characterized by cooperation and togetherness, not finger-pointing and division. Across the country, local communities are taking principled stands for the dignity and rights of people.

    From California to Michigan, city councils and county officials are cancelling contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE , which rents bed space from local, county, or state-owned jails across the country. Since last summer at least five counties in California have severed ties with ICE and 4 counties in Michigan have done the same.

    In response, Trump is accelerating private prisons outside the purview of public policies. As local communities withdraw support, private corporations are seeing new opportunities to profit from human bodies. We need to assert our responsibilities to welcome people to our communities, to protect each other and to work together for justice. We must find new and creative ways to shelter one another. Today, both the EDC Board and the PED Committee failed to move the land transfers and benefits package forward for a final vote by the committee of the whole.

    By hitting the pause button City Council Members have an opportunity to hold FIAT Chrysler accountable around the environmental and health impacts relations to their planned expansion. Now there is an opportunity for the Neighborhood Advisory Council to go back to the table and fight for a better CBA package for residents. They have only committed 8. Continue to keep the pressure on Detroit City Council, demand that Fiat Chrysler not only address environmental health impacts and negotiate a bigger and better CBA. May 7, in Living for Change.

    FCA says it will create 6, jobs. They had given the city a short day window to come up with the land for the new plant. The rest is coming from state grants and loans which presumably will also come back to the city. Along with the cash, the city is swapping a total of acres of land, including given to Crown Enterprises and 25 to DTE energy.

    This ordinance, backed by business interests to thwart one with real enforcement powers, is a flawed effort. But east side residents, among the most organized in the city, have put forward visionary ways of thinking about how the current FCA development can be leveraged toward a more sustainable and just future. Residents have also called upon the FCA to create neighborhood stabilization policies, including a moratorium on water shut-offs and tax foreclosures.

    This forward thinking by community organizations has unsettled the city administration. While the mayor has attempted to control the CBA process, he cannot limit the power of the ideas being generated there. It is also now clear that if the Mayor is to retain any credibility about the CBA, he is going to have to address the enormous costs associated with the acquisition of the land. The land give-away to Hantz Farms is completely overshadowed by the deal with Crown Enterprises.

    Crown Enterprises is the name of the company owned by the Moroun family. In this latest deal in order to get the This is ten times the cost for a little over half the acreage of the remaining land. At the very least the Moroun Family and the City should enter into another CBA so that the community can gain direct benefit from the public lands and cash given the Crown Enterprises. Detroiters have become wary of deals done under deadlines. There is a long list, including Poletown, Marathon, Detroit Axel, Hantz Farms, and the drive to bankruptcy, where corporate powers press the city for quick decisions.

    Almost always these are decisions that benefit the corporations and leave the city with broken promises. Perhaps Duggan thought that the good news of jobs would overshadow the outrageous deal with the Morouns. Or the outrageous deal with Hantz. This kind of deal making has never benefited the people. Whatever the limitations of the CBA process, we have the strength of committed, experienced community organizations dedicated to finding pathways toward a just future.

    This gives us all a strong basis for hope. In an effort to educate the Citizens of Detroit about the current status of the Detroit Charter Commission and the revision process, there will be an info discussion to ensure the Citizens have a better understanding of what the elected body has accomplished this far. Out of a recognition of the interconnectedness of struggles for social and economic justice between the peoples of the US and the countries the US dominates, the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights proudly recognizes the struggle and achievements of the ex-GM workers in Bogota, Colombia in their fight for justice.

    Detroit-area activists know these workers from their dramatic tent encampment at the US Embassy now reaching its 2,rd day, and their acts of moral witness, including stitching their lips shut as part of three hunger strikes. The delegation witnessed first hand the heroic stand by Jorge and his comrades, their support for other struggles, including families fighting the banks over unjust evictions, and other fired injured GM workers.

    Some of us were booted out, only to join a spirited rally there at the Ren Cen! We urge MCHR supporters to keep up the fight! May 3, in Living for Change. Check out the link above about our Silence the Violence march. Join us this year Saturday June 29th at 10am at Church of the Messiah. We will honor the innocent victims of gun violence as well tackle some of its root causes such as poverty, unemployment, drug addiction, and mass incarceration.

    After the march and rally there will be on the spot employment opportunities, information on home ownership and affordable housing, mentorship and summer camp for kids, and entrepreneurship opportunities for neighborhood residents. Highlighted on this day will be Young Empire Detroit. YED This is a collaboration of over 60 groups, individuals, and organizations who have come together with knowledge experience and expertise in creating businesses.

    Mentors are created from this to help young people become entrepreneurs. This 5o1c3 specializes in entrepreneurship, job readiness, activism, and community development. At the event will also be support groups for families dealing with grief and organizations created after the tragic loss of a loved one to help others now being affected by gun violence. At 10am we gather for the rally.

    At 11am we march. At 12noon we network and strategize. The next day we continue to go to work on behalf of those who no longer have a voice. Stand with us, march with us, work with us. Let us put an end to gun violence!!! Barry Randolph Please share the video! April 22, in Living for Change. Hantz Farms is briefly back in the news this week. That means Hantz is getting a more than 10 parcels for every one he is giving up.

    And he is getting these additional parcels for 8. That is the price he negotiated six years ago with the Bing administration. It is a sweet deal for Hantz. He is getting ten times the property and at one tenth the cost. In addition to helping consolidate the land the city wants to give to Fiat Chrysler, this little deal will allow Hantz to consolidate his one square mile farm dream. All of this is happening without any public oversight or comment. The proposal has been rushed to City Council and they are set to vote on Tuesday April 23, The last time City Council discussed a deal with John Hantz, the chambers were packed.

    An open meeting with them on the East side saw more than people turn out to voice their objections on one of the coldest nights in January. But it makes some things very clear. The purpose of the Land Bank is not to stabilize neighborhoods or keep people in their homes. It is to enable the Mayor to give away the city at the lowest possible price to the richest, whitest people he can find. We are exploring options. It is hard to believe any developer could have come up with a better set of options than those offered by Mayor Duggan.

    He wants to take land off the speculative market to drive the prices up. The consequences of rising prices are clear. Higher property taxes, higher insurance, more financial speculation and less stable neighborhoods. While the City Council is not likely to stop this deal, there is a great deal they can do to stop the worst consequences of it in the lives of people.

    They should immediately establish a moratorium on property tax increases for currently occupied homes, develop the capacity for community land banks, and put a moratorium on water shut offs and foreclosures. They should also establish effective rent controls and mechanisms for people to hold absentee land lords accountable. This latest land grab by Hantz is an outrage to any sense of fairness or justice. It reveals who the city values and the extraordinary efforts this mayor will make to assist white businessmen in getting what they want.

    The tour and the reflective conversations provided a space to share the evolutionary thinking as we carry out our mission to nurture community leadership based upon visionary organizing. In the tour format we are able to tell the story of the rise and fall of the American Dream and the question what it means t be living in a moment of great transition from one historical epoch to the next stage in human evolution.

    Dakarai Carter shared his involvements with Detroit Summer, Wayne Curtis talked about the importance of the urban farming, peace zones for life ,and his involvement with the Black Panther Party. Kim Sherobbi shared her work at Birwood with middle school student, the evolving block club network and Women Creating Caring Communities. Our visitors learned the importance of placed based organizing, the need to create liberated territories, and about efforts to create new, value based relationships among people.

    We are facing an epochal crisis in capitalism requiring us to redefine our relationships to each other and to the planet. Today we have responsibilities and opportunities to usher in a new system. It is our time to create the beloved community rooted in local history and emerging contradictions. Our tours begin at Elmwood Cemetery , acknowledging the presence of ancestors who give us wisdom and strength. Here, in land holding the shape of centuries of wind and water, we remember the resistance to colonialism by Chief Pontiac and honor Bloody Run Creek that still flows defiantly.

    Carlos and Tyree introduce people to challenge rationalism and linear thinking through unleashing their imaginations as they relate to upcycling and creating wind power for energy and through found art initiatives. They represent the challenge to find your passions and commit to do what we really, really want to do.

    The Michigan Coalition for Human rights began in In that year the US elected Ronald Reagan as president, ushering in the political power of counter revolutionary forces. In those days it was called the New Right. Still fighting communism and determined to re-establish US military might after its defeat in Viet Nam, Reagan solidified the organizational and intellectual foundations of the forces that would ultimately bring Donald Trump to the White House.

    In Detroit, as industry continued to leave and as federal supports disappeared, we faced deep questions about the kind of city we would be. We organized to keep Casino gambling out of the city and to create peace in our communities with Save our Sons and Daughters and d We the People to Reclaim our Streets. The struggle against Apartheid in South Africa and the divestment movement inspired national civil disobedience and organizing on campuses, town halls and churches as people took a stand for human rights.

    Rashida Tlaib was the guest speaker, offering clear direction and analysis for this time. She then shared the following:. MCHR then gave out awards. The first award wen to Jonathan Roberts who also talked about movement building, the urgency of now and the need to focus on liberation. In , he spearheaded city-wide campaign preventing homes from being auctioned off after foreclosure. The program closed with a call for young people, to join the and Freedom Tours. This gathering acknowledged the spirit that we live in movement times, in times of urgency and calls for actions beyond voting, beyond calling your representatives.

    The future is now! Thank you MCHR for a spirited and engaging evening. April 15, in Living for Change. Sanctuary cities are back in the news. Trump has renewed his efforts to punish cities that have declared sanctuary for people coming to this country seeking safety and new ways of life. In both a speech and a tweet, Trump vowed he is thinking about rounding up people who are being detained at the border and sending them to cities that have declared sanctuary. He is taking special aim at California. No one but Trump and his advisor Stephen Miller support this. We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply.

    The notion of shipping people to Sanctuary cities has been pushed repeatedly by Miller. Trump pays little attention to the law in his efforts to whip up anti-immigrant hatred and to intimidate those who oppose him. He has persisted in efforts to block funds to sanctuary jurisdictions.

    At least seven federal courts have blocked Trumps unilateral efforts to cut funds to sanctuary jurisdictions. It is immoral. It is unethical. It is sophomoric. It is petulant. And it is par for the course. Bennie G. This is the context giving rise to equally cruel, cowardly, and immoral efforts at the Michigan State Legislature. The bills were originally introduced with names that clearly explained what they intended. In an effort to make them more palatable the names were changed Tuesday. But changing their names does not change their intent.

    Nor does it change the reality that this is an effort rooted in racism and xenophobia. It is an attempt to bring Michigan in line with inhuman and callous policies advocated by Trump. It is an effort to ask us to endorse cruelty. We should resist these bills forcefully. By now it sure is clear that we cannot appease Trump and his ilk. If history has taught us anything, it is that only fearless love can overcome hate. A tiny house program in Detroit helps people avoid homelessness, and get a head start on building equity.

    April 9, in Living for Change. As most of you know, a devastating fire burned down our main office early Friday morning. Thankfully no one was inside the building and no one was injured. We also found a symbol connected to the white power movement spray-painted on the parking lot connected to the main office. While we do not know the names of the culprits, we know that the white power movement has been increasing and consolidating power across the South, across this nation, and globally.

    Their attempts to increase in size and scale impact the realities of our daily lives here because the majority of Black people in this country reside in southern states. We know that anti-Semitic attacks have rocked the Jewish community. Even in the face of these realities, the southern freedom movement is alive and well. Our folks are winning campaigns. People are fighting for progressive policies and using direct action to hold people in power accountable. Highlander is a sacred place built by communities of the most affected people and it has become a home to those who believe in freedom and collective liberation here in the south, across the U.

    S and around the world. Because of our history we are not surprised that this space, one where marginalized people working across sectors, geographies and identities show up consistently, has been repeatedly targeted over our 87 years of existence. The safety of our people is and has always been our first concern. The investigation is nowhere near over. We are continuing to survive and monitor the process that takes more time in a rural geography with limited public resources. The Tennessee Bomb and Arson people will continue to do theirs.

    We are not confused about how rarely people are ever charged with arson; however, we are surviving and monitoring these investigations. This is a time for building our power. Now is the time to be vigilant. To love each other and support each other and to keep each other safe in turbulent times. Now is not the time to dismiss how scary things are, which makes it even more important to have concrete assessments of concrete conditions, and sophisticated strategies to build a new world.

    It is the day Martin Luther King Jr. It is also the day he was murdered, one year later. Over the past two years, this day has been acknowledged widely. In thousands of people gathered to read Breaking the Silence and discuss its meaning 50 years later. Last year, people gathered to consider how movements live beyond individuals, shifting and changing to overcome the challenges we all face.

    This year, these events received little public attention. Perhaps these moments of collective experience are dimming. Most of the people who were part of them are gone now, especially those closest to King. Still, in honor of that day, I always read King words. I find them a searing indictment of who we are, and a compassionate longing for who we might become. So, it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

    There he announced. These words were followed by another threat to close the border and more bluster about the wall. Trump was especially flattered by a plaque that his Secretary of Homeland Security had installed in October of , to ensure that Trump got credit for a little over two miles of new fence, initiated by his predecessor. Border Patrol. Last week the people held under a bridge, sleeping on gravel, were let go and the ACLU is filing a suit on their behalf.

    Without immediate attention and oversight, we will continue to risk the lives of those seeking refuge in our country. Our children will remember what has happened to them and what we choose to do. These are critical days. April 4, in Living for Change. As we continue to mourn this great loss in our community, remember her family, close friends, and comrades. A legend, mother, sister, wife, a righteous woman of immovable conviction, water warrior, tireless champion for the people and challenger of the status quo, fierce anti-racist, a trainer and educator of generations, Lila Mae Leaks Cabbil will be sorely missed.

    Congrats, Mama Aneb! Aneb Kgositsile, or Dr. You can read more about her honor here. Ending White Supremacy, Here, and Now The physical destruction of White Supremacy in all of its embodiments requires a political clarity about the moment in which we are living. How much of this still applies today? Of the failure of so-called White allies to support unapologetic calls for uncompromising Black liberation in our lifetime, is El Hajj Malik El Shabazz not speaking prophetically then about our now?

    Listen with intent to act. The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy HALA is a free in-school or after-school arts education program designed to empower students in grades 4 through 12 with the tools they need to be active change agents in their community. Click to check out the HALA brochure or visit the website for more information. Together as a collective , we operate in part with the financial generosity of community members like yourself to print. Help keep the current flowing. Help sustain independent, community storytelling. You are receiving this email because you indicated that you love Riverwise.

    We love you, too! Our mailing address is:. April 2, in Living for Change. April 2nd, This marks a victory for one of the most sustained, imaginative, and persistent campaigns for environmental justice anywhere. Across Detroit people who pulled babies in carts to protest pollution can now share the good news with their grandchildren.

    I vividly remember going to one of the first hearings held by the Environmental Protection Agency with James and Grace Lee Boggs more than 30 years ago. James had agreed to give testimony against the incinerator on behalf of the Detroit Greens. He argued that the incinerator was taking us in the wrong direction. Its need for trash to burn to produce electricity depended on increasing consumption and waste. Instead, he argued, we should be developing policies to decrease our consumption and encourage recycling and reuse.

    He also talked about the finances of the project, predicting that Wall Street banks would become an increasing burden on city finances. He concluded his remarks reminding people that our major hospitals, meat packing, and fresh food centers all were in the path of daily cancer producing pollutants. People were being placed at risk every time they ate something or went to the hospital to be cured of the asthma or cancer caused by that very air. Then, with a dramatic gesture, he ripped the shirt off, revealing another.

    Then another, and another, and another, and another, and another, and another. Harold walked up to the panel and asked them to look closely at the bird. He wanted his grand-children to be able to see such beauty, to hear its song. He warned that if the incinerator continued, it would be a death sentence to such fragile life. Dressed for tea, a young mother read her remarks. I was not prepared for the depth of her testimony. She explained her group started talking about the smell of the incinerator at social gatherings. They had seen some of the protests and had started to wonder if the air carrying the smell was carrying other things into their community.

    They developed a process to test air quality systematically and had found alarming levels of pollutants, well above the levels allowed by the EPA. They had also found that in the first three months of the year, the air contained especially high levels of lead, cambium, and mercury as well as toxins related to the burning of plastics.

    The three months after Christmas, she said, were the worst, because toys and batteries were tossed away. For years these arguments have been repeated, deepened, and become more insightful. But their basic truth continues. There are many lessons to learn from this long struggle. Learning to listen to voices motivated by care and compassion, rather than corporate greed, protects life. Amp has a new Mission and Vision. Want to visualize inequality? View cities from above. March 26, in Living for Change. Wright Museum of African American History, Barclay has been filling up the airways, giving interviews and penning columns.

    These sources mention the controversy over the Jefferson exhibit, but not a single one has reached out to the Black Legacy Coalition for comments. Nor have they asked any of the organizations that oppose the exhibit, including a leading professional association of African American scholars, and human rights groups. This lack of coverage was most glaring last week as members of the Black Legacy Coalition went to the Detroit City Council with their concerns.

    Coalition members asked the Council to exercise its authority and stop the current exhibit. They also asked that the Council insist on community-based representation on the Museum board of directors, and that the Council increase the annual funding of the Museum to support needed repairs and program development.

    Instead the mainstream media has focused on recycling the arguments for the exhibit, this time delivered by the new CEO. He raped a 14 year old girl whose life he totally controlled. This is not fathering. The use of the term father is intended to obscure the sexual violence inherent in this relationship. It is precisely this kind of confusion that has fueled objections to the exhibit. Visitors are not greeted by Jefferson when they walk in. Instead they walk over a tombstone with the names of people who were enslaved.

    Jefferson is a little further in, still on his pedestal. We need to talk about race. But the place they are aiming to encourage dialogue is among African Americans. They are targeting four African American museums around the country. African Americans know full well that slavery was evil. This reasoning is much like the infamous Kerner report that found the causes of rebellion in the US to be white supremacy, and then made a host of recommendations to change African Americans.

    This exhibit, based on lies, is as dangerous for white people as it is insulting to African Americans. It wants to keep Jefferson as focus, not confront the violence he perpetuated. It is part of the current white supremacist thrust to rewrite history. This museum was built by public funds, voted for by the citizens. The city budget allocates funds to it every year. We must insist that there is at least one place in or city where truth matters. Save the date. Save the Wright. April 13th p. Outer Drive, Detroit MI. Fearless Woman — Dr.

    Russ Bellant. On March 7 contractors showed up at a house on W. This house has been owned since by a family with 6 children that has been restoring the house so that they can move their family in. It was secured until the contractor flattened the doors and broke out windows that they did not remove. They also broke out some basement glass block windows. The owners were alerted by neighbors and arrived to stop the destruction of their house.

    The contractor was rude but eventually called their boss who said to stop work. By then one of the contractors, Brickworld, had bundled up 4 pallets of bricks and the fencing was gone. They demanded to see the paperwork authorizing contractors on their property but no paperwork was provided at that time. She advised them to leave her bricks but by the next morning all 4 pallets were gone. No apology or admission of error was forthcoming. The house has been open to the elements since.

    After a BSEED employee threatened to have the contractor come back and finish the demolition, Supervisor Arthur Edge who I consider a man of his word promised a suspension of the demolition activity, according to the owner. Later documents shared with the owner regarding the contract had dates going back to So, how can a contract be valid when the owner the City sold the property and thus forfeited its right to solely determine the fate of this property.?

    The house was, after all, secured by the rightful owner until the contractor destroyed the security. How can the City and contractor not immediately begin discussions with the owner to make the family whole for the harm that they caused? From my point of view, multiple crimes were committed — breaking and entering, vandalism and theft of property. Somebody needs some jail time. March 12, in Living for Change. Kim Sherobbi welcomed about women and men to the event, this year emphasizing Love, Purpose and Power.

    Ashley Scales of the UAW gave a powerful perspective on the role of the union to support women and to develop the community. She asked us to think about how it has always been the bonds of community and labor that have moved our country forward. She concluded by pointing to the emerging efforts to fight against greed and self-interest, from fights for a living wage, to teachers strikes, and women elected to congress on progressive platforms.

    Quoting John L. Lewis, Ms. Tiffany Ruff shared her journey from incarceration to becoming an activist. She explained how critical having a vision of where we want to go is to finding and developing our own sense of purpose. Cindy Estrada brought the discussions to a close talking about power.

    She challenged all of us to do more and to think more deeply about the relationships between the community and labor. She talked of her own beginnings as an organizer, working with Dolores Huerta and farm workers. There she saw how women were able to come together for a common purpose and demand dignity. Often undocumented and fearful, facing harassment and corruption, women confronted power. We have to figure out who we are going to be, how we are going to move forward. For me this means we need to get quiet, listening to that voice inside of each of us, where we are not fixing and blaming others, but asking what is my purpose, what do I want to do in the next phase of life?

    This is the power within us. March 5, in Living for Change. For the first time in more than a generation, Detroit will see a new auto plant. Most of these jobs will be in Detroit.

    This is an extraordinary commitment. S, but not in new plants. In the last 15 years, only seven new auto plants have been built by any auto companies in the entire United States. Gretchen Whitmer said. Vice President Estrada also raised the importance of thinking beyond the immediate issue of jobs.

    All of this expansion comes less than two months after the announcement by General Motors that it will be closing 5 auto plants. Buried in the story of expansion here was the announcement the same day that FCA was cutting 1, jobs from the Jeep Cherokee assembly plant in Belvidere Illinois. People working in the plant in Saltillo, Mexico are also likely to face job loss as some truck production shifts to Warren.

    While we welcome this expansion, and encourage a strong commitment to a Community Benefits Agreement, it is important to think very differently about how we are building our economic and social life for a sustainable future. This is the same old story of openings and closings, winners and losers, temporary gains and long-term consequences.


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    City mayors lure corporations with tax breaks. The government lifts environmental regulations which industry claims impede economic growth, Union leaders, to keep their own jobs, urge workers to accept cutbacks. We know capitalism operates by displacing human beings with machines, so plants which today employ will soon employ We know U. We know modern war needs technicians and scientists more than it does ground troops and workers, and stockpiling weapons only brings a nuclear holocaust closer. But rather than accept responsibility for changing the system which has turned us into slaves to constantly-expanding toxic wastes, and constantly-expanding multi-national corporations, we beg the master to give us back our jobs so he can lay us off again.

    This new expansion and the process of creating a real community benefit agreement provide an opportunity for us to ask fundamental questions about what kind of work we need to develop ourselves, our children, and our communities. A just, sustainable future means thinking about more than a job. February 28, in Living for Change. Many of us are especially grieved to learn that she had been in the hospital the last several days in ICU with the flu and pneumonia and we did not know this. I spoke briefly tonight with her husband and assured him that we are ready to do anything he may need from us in this difficult time.

    He says he and the family are making home-going arrangements and should have more information on Monday. Meanwhile, services will take place on Saturday, March 9th. It was only five months ago that we said our goodbyes to her beloved Mother Edna Leak. I already miss my friend immensely.

    Thinking for Ourselves What Detroit Future? Shea Howell. After a contentious, widely criticized community engagement process, Detroit Future City produced a year plan nearly a decade ago. The plan laid out a blueprint for shrinking our neighborhoods and established a framework for a transition to a whiter, wealthier city. The bankruptcy process overshadowed this effort.

    Now Mayor Duggan has dropped the signature concept of the plan, the shrinking of the city. Instead, Duggan is all about growth. Everyone knows that the current growth and development under the Duggan administration has left most neighborhoods feeling neglected. Recognizing the racial tensions that are simmering, Detroit Future City offers a view of development to encourage middle class African American families to come into the city. It gives hard figures to something almost everyone knows. One of the reasons Detroit has become smaller, is because African-Americans have moved out.

    Many of them were middle class. But there is something insidious at work here. This latest intervention into policy decisions provides another justification to ignore actions that would actually stabilize existing neighborhoods and make life better for people who live here. The report points our thinking away from what it means to build an inclusive city, while pretending to be concerned with increasing an African American presence. This denial of the creativity, ingenuity, and inventiveness that characterizes most of the people who have stayed here and love this city fosters race and class antagonisms.

    It continues the idea that there is nothing and no one of value in our neighborhoods as we currently exist. Thus, the report provides yet another justification for the continued assaults on neighborhood residents. A report rooted in justice would begin with some sense of history. For decades our residents have been under attack.

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    Many middle classes lives in Detroit have been directly targeted. All of these factors have solutions, many in the hands of the mayor and city council. We should have a moratorium of school closing, foreclosures, water shut offs, layoffs of public employees and punitive bail policies. Each one of these steps would have an immediate impact on neighborhood stability and on the quality of life of our people. Detroit Future City continues to obscure the real challenges we face. It would do well to begin with a different question. As we face climate catastrophe and growing inequity, will more middle-class people create to a sustainable future?

    Can the earth continue to bear ways of living that foster individual, highly consumptive ways of being? Can we imagine a future based on sharing and caring? Until we ask real questions, we will continue to foster a culture that is destroying us all. February 12, in Living for Change. Last week the Boggs Center hosted two conversations as part of the Black Genius series sponsored by the Michigan Roundtable.

    James Boggs life and legacy were discussed at the first event. Knowing this, he deeply believed that we could create a better country, where we cared for each other, found meaning in providing for our basic needs, and had joy in creativity. We were fortunate to have Clem join us via Facetime from her home in Tennessee. Clem said she had decided to participate, not because she thought she was a genius, but because of all the geniuses we had lost because of the lives cut short by violence.

    Saying that every child had a right to a full, productive life and their deaths by guns, police, or other forms of violence meant that everyone of us had lost something. We lost that unique contribution of what could have been. Clem said understanding this was the basis of love. This demonstration, organized by the Frontline Detroit Coalition offers new possibilities to deepen the national perspective on the twin crises of our time: climate catastrophe and income inequality.

    REVOLUTION 2020

    Detroit has unique contributions to make in the understanding of a Green New Deal. As one of the first cities developed by large scale, industrial production, we were also one of the first abandoned by it. As a result, Detroiters long ago gave up the notion that there will some single, simple action to restore work to millions of people and provide secure ways of living. And as the mayor and his minions continue to shut off water, Detroiters are insisting that we shift our thinking from water as a commodity, to be owned, bought, and sold, to water as a human right and sacred trust.

    These concepts are the foundation for continued pressure for water affordability and the insistence that we make responsible decisions that protect people as well as the planet. Detroiters have also seen the ease with which capital finds new ways to make money. We have seen our schools devastated by profit seekers. We have endured increased pollution and persistent threats to our air and water as corporations pursue expanding refineries and transporting fuel through fragile ecologies.

    We are told the best we can expect is a few jobs in exchange for poisoning our air and risking our health. More and more of us are rejecting that logic. These experiences collectively frame one of the most important and little reported acts of the Detroit City Council. It passed unanimously. It offers an honest look at the magnitude of the crisis we face and the possibilities for action. It states in the opening:. WHEREAS, The world is presently entering the climate change era, which is already causing epic transformation of our home planet as a result of increasingly unstable climactic and environmental conditions, intensified and more frequent and destructive storms, floods, droughts, fires and resulting disruptions of social and economic life.

    WHEREAS, In response to this unprecedented series of existential threats to the very ecological basis for human civilization itself, climate justice activists have demanded a Green New Deal … an urgent ten 10 year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society, leading to a national social, industrial and economic policy transformation, on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.. WHEREAS, The proposed Green New Deal names multiple systemic injustices in frontline and vulnerable communities as among the most far-reaching evils of our climate emergency which must be fought and prevented…and.

    WHEREAS, The proposed Green New Deal is a transitional program to, among other things, protect the basic human rights of the most vulnerable, stimulate the economy by funding full employment through ecological restoration projects — on the model of the Works Progress Administration WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps CCC of the original New Deal — to ensure that basic needs of the most seriously endangered and harmed will be met in the process of a necessary planned, just transition to a sustainable economy and society; ….

    But within the community, the sense of urgency is encouraging the imaginations of people determined to find new ways of living, of relating to one another and the earth that sustains us. The crises we face are not natural. They are the direct result of choices we have made. The future depends on our capacity now, to make different choices about who and what we value. Following opening statements, every member of the task force introduced themself and the work that they do.

    August 1, in Living for Change , Uncategorized. The debate over increased surveillance in our city is not going to go away. The decision to establish and expand these Centers is linked to the controversial use of facial recognition technologies. Increasingly the public is becoming skeptical of the Mayor and his motives. Over the last few weeks the public debate has established that these technologies are racial biased. It has been made clear that there is no evidence that these technologies actually deter or solve crimes. One clear technique the Mayor uses is to divide up the various programs he is putting together.

    In he spent another million to contract with DataWorks, buying and implementing facial recognition technologies. This is before the possible expanded contract with DataWorks. At a time when crime is going down nationally and locally why is the Mayor committing such vast expenditures of public money to this project? The Mayor is dividing up more than the money. He is also hiding the extent of the network he is creating and his efforts to consolidate public support.

    Now Duggan is running around trying to separate Project Green Light from Neighborhood surveillance, and both from facial recognition. There are many ways for us to create safe, healthy, sustainable communities. But none of these are encouraged by Duggan. Instead his record is one of deceit and manipulation. It was one of those moments where the Beloved Community came together in real time. Hundreds of people were there. The MC for the program was her grandson Josh. All of the children spoke briefly and gave voice to the values their mother embodied. In the middle of the program Susan Bro was introduced and gave a short but moving speech.

    Heather is sometimes referred to as the modern Viola Liuzzo. The statue is located at Viola Liuzzo park. The evolution of the park itself has been a decades long effort to pay tribute to her life and her sacrifice. It is close to the home she left to go to support the Selma to Montgomery march in Note in the photo the delightful detail that she is carrying her shoes. July 24, in Living for Change.

    Thank you for all your endless love and support! You embody what community power is and what is possible when we join forces toward true liberation. We will be welcoming some of the amazing women who I met at Huron Valley who are now home! We must show them our love and solidarity. Donations continue to support legal fees, media documentation, other women who have been released and need support, abolition organizing and much more. Legal fees are also paid by speaking engagements and workshops.

    We will keep all of you in the loop as we get more legal and policy related updates, and to keep you informed of other ways to get involved. Siwatu FreeSiwatu. This week Mayor Duggan issued a letter that increased the confusion around police use of facial recognition technology. His carefully worded statement, designed to give the appearance of protecting privacy while expanding police powers, underscores why we cannot trust this mayor, or any police department, with such powerful tools of surveillance and control.

    As the controversy is accelerating in Detroit, the New York Times published an article on the private use of digital surveillance as a new profit-based industry. Later Weinberger explained we need a moratorium on the use of these technologies, precisely because there is both so much misunderstanding and so much misuse. However, the history of police power in the US and everywhere else contradicts this statement.

    Nor have citizen rights stood in their way. Whether to protect state power or resolve personal grievances, the desire to identify, surveil, and ultimately control others propels police to use every weapon they have. Usually these weapons cannot be stopped, even when they clearly create great harm. They are not correct. These cameras feed into the Control Center that does have this technology.

    Yet, he plays on the emotion of fear, pointing to car jackings, kidnappings, and murders, claiming, without a single piece of research, that this technology will make us safer. Many of us who oppose facial recognition technology are emotional about it. We care deeply about the direction of city, the safety of our lives, and the quality of our relationships.

    July 16, in Living for Change. We are grateful for the connections, lessons, and leadership that made it possible, and for each person who engaged with ideas and with each other. As we rest and reflect from the celebration, we want to hear from you about what you learned and experienced for the event s you attended. To continue the work of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, we welcome monetary support through tax-deductible donations. Become a sustainer, today! They condone pushing him to the floor, handcuffing him, and hauling him off to jail because he made forceful comments during a routine Commission meeting.

    They cannot handle public criticism without resorting to force and violence. He wrote: We, the people of Detroit, do not want pervasive real-time facial recognition surveillance in our city. Their tactics were reprehensible, and I stand with the community in calling for a public referendum. They circulated a policy document among board members with no explanation of where it came from, no opportunity to debate, and no public comment. In the June 27 meeting, the Board approved this document and the program.

    When I tried to question the process and call for delay, I was undemocratically shut down by the Chair, who has no regard for the voices of the , Detroiters I was elected to represent. And we learned that across the globe, from Ferguson to China, these technologies are being used to target activists. Mayor Duggan and Chief Craig have shown little regard for inhuman treatment of people.

    They have supported the expansion of surveillance without any evidence that it enhances the safety of people. They have not condemned the cramming of people into concentration camps, nor the separation of children from their families. Their voices have been silent in the face of escalating state violence. Neither public safety nor democracy are well served by the use of brute force. We cannot trust these men to run a routine public meeting.

    We should not trust them with technologies that will increase their powers of control. Reception: Friday, July 19, pm. A more textured story exists and it is critical that Detroiters do the telling. Not all artists are activists and not all nonprofit organizations are connected to the world of art. Signal-Return, a traditional letterpress print shop and community arts center, paired twelve Detroit artists with twelve Detroit nonprofit organizations, which resulted in powerful creative collaborations.

    As part this On Press project, artists received honoraria for their time and talent, and proceeds from poster sales benefit partner organizations. This collaboration created a creatively rich opportunity for engagement for both groups, for Detroit and for those looking at us from the outside. The project was directed by Lynne Avadenka and the artists were guided by Lee Marchalonis. This exhibition includes the twelve relief printed editions created by the artists to celebrate the nonprofits, along with original works by each artist, and information about the selected nonprofits.

    Knight Foundation. July 8, in Living for Change. As planes flew over his head, often drowning out the sound system designed to reach his select crowd, about Detroiters gathered on the East side to talk about freedom, peace, art and liberation. The gathering at Feedem Freedom Growers offered a workshop on creating peace zones for life, celebrated the new Fox Creek Artist collective, and provided food from local vendors. Children made art projects and played on tire swings fashioned on the low branches of ancient maple trees.

    Detroit Police came by three times. At one point, an officer got on a loudspeaker to yell at people crossing the street. Of course, people were moving freely back and forth between gardens, water stations, art exhibits, and play areas. The street was closed to all but local traffic. This police intrusion, unasked for and unwanted, reflected the prison mentality taking over our country. It was in line with the words and actions of Trump. Its most brutal expressions are encouraged by him daily.

    This police presence is a reminder to all of us that we are at a critical moment in the evolution of capitalist economies. In , with the ascent of Ronald Reagan to power, capital began to shift as primary sources of profit. Prior to Reagan, as industrial capital replaced people with robots and technologies of production, human beings became more important as consumers than as producers. But with Reagan, the use of tax dollars to support consumption by those thrown out of work eroded.

    He introduced a racialized pretext for ending the public consensus that we had a responsibility to one another to ensure that all people had some level of dignity and the ability to secure food, clothing, education, and shelter. Until Reagan, capital supported public assistance to those made obsolete to production. Capital endorsed using taxpayer dollars to stimulate consumption. Consumption was seen as necessary to keep profits going. It is making money from controlling our bodies. In much the same way as early capital in the US sold human beings into slavery for profit, capital is again turning our bodies into money.

    Putting elders into hospitals and nursing homes, cramming children into for profit charter schools, stealing dreams of education from people seeking advanced education through for-profit colleges, and forcing people into prison cells and detention centers are now all big business. In this new evolution of capital, controlling people becomes essential. For capital not only makes money off warehousing us in hospitals, nursing homes, schools and prisons, it makes money off of publicly financing and building these institutions. Municipal debt impoverishes cities while advancing the wealth of a few individuals.

    This dynamic is most insidious in the evolution of technologies of control. Snared in an ever-expanding criminal net, people are forced to pay daily fees for monitoring, for installation costs, late fees, and outrageous interest rates. These mechanisms are supported by the Trump policies encouraging the arrest of more people. Increasingly those people in this system are being steered into technological monitoring programs. This Fourth of July, we gathered to talk of a different kind of future, one without prisons or borders. Gathering to dream together of peace, of a future that embraces children, values art, and encourages joy threatens the foundation of those whose attempt to profit from controlling us.

    July 1, in Living for Change. This year marks the th Anniversary of the birth of Detroit revolutionary philosopher, writer, and activist James Boggs. The celebrations began on Saturday morning at the Church of the Messiah, just down the street from the home James and Grace shared for nearly 50 years on the east side of Detroit. The purpose of the march has been to shed light to the issues facing young people in America today, specifically urban communities. The event also focuses on connecting community organizations making positive impacts in the community, to create Detroit IN powerment Village Alliances D.

    Community groups, religious organizations, governmental leaders, law enforcement, business leaders, as well as the average citizen, will all gather and participate in this annual event to celebrate community and honor those who have died because of gun violence. Although James Boggs was a man of ideas who urged us to think more deeply, he was vitally concerned with actions in public life. There is no doubt he would have participated in the march if he was still with us.

    Certainly, his spirit was there as people walked for peace, to share ideas about how to live with more consciousness and care for one another and for the earth we share. Like thousands of young people, he was preparing for his prom and graduation from Martin Luther King High School. He was one of seven people shot to death in Detroit the night of May 24th. We are all poorer because of his death. And we failed him. We failed to create a community where he could sit in a car and talk to a friend and be safe. We failed to create a community that enables all of our children to thrive, to develop to their full capabilities and deepest dreams.

    The level of our human relationships has never been so low. How do we create a culture that is life-affirming rather than life-destroying, which is based on caring and compassion rather than on the philosophy of the Survival of the fittest? Jimmy believed the only solution to this violence is in the creation of loving communities. It is in the community that our human identity is created because it is in community that Love, Respect and Responsibility for one another are nurtured.

    Creating a new public culture begins with stepping toward one another, finding our way to a future that nurtures, loves, and protects all our children. My journey with Jimmy, began in the spring of During one of our earlier conversations, we sat deep into the Boggs homestead, around a quite compact kitchen dining table. I was offered coffee or tea. I chose tea and my first offering of sweet cakes. Taking our first bites, Jimmy and I rather easily moved into a lengthy give-and-take about my Louisiana ties and his deep south upbringing in Alabama. At the time of their arrest, the three were reporting on and supporting a struggle for occupational disease compensation by Hunanese construction workers who had contracted pneumoconiosis doing blast hole drilling in Shenzhen.

    Since the s, workers from Hunan have been engaging in drilling and blasting in Shenzhen to construct the foundations for city landmarks. After working in a dusty environment without adequate protective gears, many of the workers have been diagnosed with the incurable occupational disease pneumoconiosis later. As the employers failed to provide workers with labour contracts and social security contributions, the workers have had difficulty accessing occupational disease identification, treatment and compensation, and ended up in huge debt.

    Since early , hundreds of them have petitioned to Shenzhen for over ten times to campaign for defend their rights. However, on January 8th, only one day after fifty pneumoconiosis workers were forcibly sent back to Hunan. Yang Zhengjun, was arrested in Guangzhou. During the interrogation, the police told Yang that he was arrested because of the protests of pneumoconiosis workers. On March 20, Wei and Ke were also arrested in Guangzhou. RSDL is a controversial system of enforced disappearances enacted into law in Due to the lack of oversight allowing torture and forced confessions.

    According to RSDL Monitor, many lawyers, journalists, and other human rights defenders, have been subjected to this system. As of today, Yang has been held for over days, but the four requests to meet him from his lawyers between February and April have all been refused; the police has been arguing that Yang has written a statement stating that he has terminated the appointment of the lawyer appointed by the families, yet the police never been able to show the families the statement. Wei graduated from Guangzhou University in During his college years, he participated in various labour-related studies and provided services to frontline workers.

    He decided to devote himself to improving the living conditions of Chinese workers after reading a booklet in the University about the tragic story of pneumoconiosis workers. On March 20th, he was arrested and detained at the Shenzhen No. After graduation from Jinan University in , Ke devoted himself to serving workers in the Pearl River Delta, participating in research on the situation of Foxconn workers.

    In , he became editor iLabour to speaking out for workers. The African American Mysteries , Underground Youth Ensemble, is designed to bring African American history alive in an exciting, informative, and creative manner for both the youth and adult audiences. There were almost businesses owned by black people in Detroit prior to the Civil War. June 26, in Living for Change. The future of our city is driven by countless small decisions. Of course, political choices, like giving acres of land to Fiat-Chrysler, or flattening a community for a Cadillac plant, have enormous consequences.

    But often, the things that touch our daily lives are far less dramatic. Most of these small decisions happen without much public attention. Small conversations, routine committee meetings, and group planning sessions can be the spark for big changes. Such a moment occurred last week in the Public Health and Safety committee discussion convened to explore the transfer of responsibilities from the Land Bank back to the city of Detroit. What started out as a routine administrative effort to show a power point and move on was quickly turned into a thoughtful discussion by the only two council members present, Janee Ayers, who chairs the committee, and Roy McCalister, who happens to be my representative.

    The head of the Detroit Building Authority laid out his case for helping the committee understand the need to shift housing demolition away from the Detroit Land Bank and into the Housing and Revitalization Department HRD. It is no secret that housing demolition is a contentious issue. Since Duggan took office, 18, homes have been destroyed. Duggan frequently brags about this. However, many of the homes, now abandoned and suffering from want of care, were created by illegal taxing and foreclosure policies. The persistent over evaluation of poorer neighborhoods and under evaluation of wealthy neighborhoods has been a powerful tool in clearing people out of their homes.

    The use of foreclosure to drive people out has been especially contentious because Duggan decided to use federal money intended to be used to keep people in their homes to demolish them instead. Since one in four Detroit homes have been foreclosed. We have shifted from being a majority African American home owning city, to a majority of renters. Often these rents go to faceless companies in distant lands. In the small committee meeting, Ayers and McCalister asked critical questions based on fundamental ideas about developing people and place.

    They probed: Who decides what gets demolished? Who decides how and when neighbors are engaged in decision making about what happens in their neighborhoods? Who is responsible for land that is opened up? What is the thinking about using demolition as a way to increase the skills of Detroiters? What is the thinking about how to encourage community driven planning?

    What about ensuring that we keep people in homes, rather than encouraging abandonment or take overs? It does not think about it as the place of neighborhood life, where people care for one another and what is around them. It is asking only transactional questions. Ayers and McCalister introduced transformational questions that open the way for a new dialogue about the kind of city we want, who is responsible for it, and how we enact policies that encourage collaboration and protection for those who are vulnerable.

    The Story of Water. The People vs Us Ecology. Join us Saturday June 29th am at Eastern Market to demonstrate and educate! The Coalition to Oppose the Expansion of US Ecology will be joined by Detroit and Hamtramck neighbors to advocate for the protection of our water supply and for a healthy environment. Our goal is to keep our neighborhoods safe from the massive increase of poisonous chemical waste being brought into our cities.

    Bring your signs, noise makers, friends and neighbors!! At the intersection of Grand River Ave. The most prominent one, spanning the top half of the front facade, is of four hands shaping the letters L-O-V-E. For nearly 20 years, this building was a home for artists and small businesses.

    Through low-cost studio space, gallery space, and community, it nurtured a kind of creative love, the impact of which is visible along Grand River, and will be felt for many more decades. June 18, in Living for Change. Currently, Detroit and Chicago are the only cities in the country implementing real-time facial recognition. Representative of the Detroit Police Department strongly advocated the use of this technology, saying it would enable them to catch criminals.

    To blunt fears of the new technology the police said it was like using fingerprints or DNA, just another way to identify who committed a crime. Such sloppy arguments were echoed by some community members who spoke of their fears of crime and their willingness to do almost anything to feel more secure.

    These arguments represent one of the primary reasons we should oppose facial recognition systems and Project Green Light. The advocates of these programs are taking the deepest fears of people and twisting them into a distorted idea of what will improve their lives. The supporters of surveillance take our best impulses and turn them against us. This willful manipulation of fear, and the promises of some kind of security, distort our capacity to make meaningful decisions about how to create peaceful, compassionate relationships. Several major studies have concluded that there is absolutely no basis to claim that either the real time monitoring of people or the introduction of facial recognition systems reduces crime.

    There is no evidence that facial recognition impacts crime. There is ample evidence that facial recognition increases injustice against African Americans, people of color, women, and youth. In September , the Urban Institute, an economic and social policy think tank published a paper analyzing surveillance trends in Washington, D. Drilling into the question of whether the program was worth the cost, the organization reported mixed findings. Baltimore police did use facial recognition technology successfully to identify people who protested the police killing of Freddie Gray. In the University of Texas at Dallas conducted a study concluding that racial bias was predictable because of the nature of the data sets being used.

    In A Georgetown University Law School study raised similar concerns and noted that nearly half of all adults have been entered into a law enforcement facial recognition data base. Falsely identifying people as criminal suspects could lead to a host of other potential issues. Clare Garvie, an author of both reports, believes that a moratorium on facial recognition is necessary, given the lack of regulation around the technology. Garvie said. Last week, the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition released its report.

    Surveillance technology is big business and powerful interests are telling us this will make us safe. But researches consistently point out there is no basis for these claims. The sample size is too small, the time frame too short. June 5, in Uncategorized. Hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, this gathering produces some of the most vicious and damaging ideas effecting people. This year is no different. The gathering is troubling both for what it addresses and for what it evades. Education got a lot of attention on the agenda, but there was little sense of urgency.

    The sessions on education offered no new thinking about our common responsibilities, the kind of education our children need and deserve, or the destruction of local control via emergency management laws. There was no reflection on how the decades of meddling by state level entities have done nothing but destroy public schools and create an abusive environment for children and teachers. To pretend that this gathering has either the intention of the capacity to advance the education of our children is foolish and dangerous.

    But as these new ideas of education started to reflect concerns for social justice and cultural integrity, right wing forces reacted. Under the influence of ideologues like Betsy DeVos and the legislators she helped elect, Michigan has fallen to near the bottom in comparison to other states. Our children, teachers and schools have been under assault. Most of it led by the people highlighted in this Island gathering. The very people who created the problems we face are not likely to have any answers for the future.

    Meanwhile, the legislature is refusing to eliminate its most recent weapon, the third grade reading law. This law mandates the retention of children who are falling behind in reading. Almost anyone who cares about education knows this is a disaster. We are likely to see a six-fold increase in the number of children who will be forced to repeat the third grade. In sharp contrast to the gathering on Mackinac, people around the state are looking for new ways to develop our children rooted in love and compassion.

    For example, as elites gathered on the Mackinac Hotel porch, the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools begin their summer gardening program with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Here is where progressive thinking and commitment to children can be found.

    A message from Russ Bellant russbellant gmail. Despite clear campaign positions supporting school districts in African American, Latino and low-income districts, Gretchen Whitmer followed her last three predecessors practices by ordering the Benton Harbor school board to close their only high school and send those students to nine surrounding white districts and charter schools.

    Those districts want those students to boost the state funding to their schools, which guts the Benton Harbor district. Her staff also let it be known that if they do not do what she demanded, she will close down the entire school district! To add insult to injury, no Benton Harbor school board member was consulted before this edict. Despite pledges last year from the State that the Benton Harbor school board would return to control of their school district July 1, the Whitmer administration from its outset was privately threatening the school district if they did not retain the school district superintendent previously put in place by Lansing.

    Many thought that matter was resolved but instead Whitmer is now escalating. It shall serve as the general planning and coordination body for all public education, including higher education, and shall advise the legislature as to the financial requirements therewith. Yet governors and legislators corrupt the Constitution in order to run over Black students, their families and communities. This abuse today is a warning that Detroit schools are not immune. There is a response forming to stand up to these racist practices, this corruption of power and related looting of community resources, to threats of future abuse and injustice.

    From my point of view it is a message to the Governor to not go down the path of her predecessors or play to the racist corruption of Berrien County, the De Vos empire and their delegation in the Legislature. May 31, in Living for Change. Mayors can make a difference. And we know that that disproportionately affects low income people of color who are going to be shut off from water services.

    We will not do that in the city. As with Detroit, Chicago has experienced rapidly accelerating water bills. They have tripled in the last decade. In the past 12 years , households have received shut off notices. Illegal reconnections have actually outpaced the legal ones. It is a document worth reading. I especially recommend it to our own Mayor and City Council. These actions are important because they bring into the public sphere values that are badly needed as we develop policies in the face of increasing challenges around access and safety of water. The values behind the choices the new Mayor is making are essential as we prepare for long term struggles around the role of cities and democracy in our country.

    Increasingly we are coming to understand that right wing, corporate forces are aggressively limiting direct democracy in cities. Pursuing state level preemptive actions, right wing, corporate financed legislatures are blocking direct democratic actions by local governments. For centuries, cities have been the natural site of politics. Part of the deep, structural changes we are finding our way to creating, begins with a new understanding of the power of cities, the purposes and responsibilities of local governments.

    The new Mayor of Chicago is helping make clear what kind of values are at stake for our futures. Move 9 women freed after 40 years in jail over Philadelphia police siege. Today I am honoring my daddy, Vincent Harding, who passed into glory on this day, five years ago — May 19, When I think about my daddy and my mama, Rosemarie Freeney Harding, at this juncture of my life, what comes most strongly to my mind is the way they embodied together a tremendous warmth, dedication and depth of spirit in the midst of struggle.

    They wrapped faith and resistance very beautifully in imagination and a wide, inclusive understanding of family. And they gave me room to find my own way in the world with their support. I am grateful every day to Creator and Creation for my parents. Daddy was a historian in love with the best possibilities and most humane potentials of this nation. Daddy was a teacher with a marvelous gift of encouragement. May 20, in Living for Change. The city of Northville MI faced a boil water advisory this weekend. Over the last few years these advisories are becoming more common. This latest directive to boil water before drinking it was because of a water main break on Friday morning.

    Just a few days earlier, images began to circulate revealing the extent of the damage done to the oil pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac. In April a tugboat anchor dragged across line 5, creating gashes in the pipe, allowing oil to spill out. Enbridge, the company that controls the pipeline, tells us there is nothing to worry about. There is no repair for the oil that seeped into the lakes. Communities that were home to shoe manufacturing and military bases show especially high levels of contamination. These chemicals have been linked to fertility issues, high cholesterol, thyroid and liver problems and cancer.

    Along with newly discovered toxins, we have known for decades that lead and other heavy metals lurk in our waters. We have known that more and more people are finding it impossible to pay ever escalating bills to provide safe water and maintain the system. It should be obvious we cannot continue to segment the issues of providing and protecting our waters.

    Safe, affordable water is no longer a taken for granted part of life anywhere in Michigan. The oil from the pipeline spill mixes in. The infrastructure that carries our water and waste is deteriorating rapidly. And the technologies of testing for contamination cannot keep up with the new toxins we are dumping without thought. Jeffrey Insko recently gave a picture of just how vulnerable the 4 million people who depend on the Detroit water system are when he wrote: Hundreds of chemical spills over several decades contaminated Lake St.

    Clair and the St. Clair River, released cancer-causing toxins into the air, and produced increased levels of cancer and low birth-rates among First Nations inhabitants of the region. Detroit knows this story all too well. Clair River like a poisoned umbilical cord. The water crisis we face cannot be fixed quickly, nor with small patches attempting to respond to each emergency. We need to shift how we think about the way of life that is literally poisoning us. This shift has been given a new framework in the Green New Deal.

    It is an opportunity to think holistically about the interconnections of our waters, the earth, the ways we make a living, and relate to one another. The Green New Deal offers the possibilities of reimagining how we can live in ways that acknowledge the intricate connections that form the web of life that sustains us. It is an invitation to look honestly at the horrors we are creating and to choose a path toward life.

    Community organizers Rami Nashashibi and Lucas Johnson have much to teach us about using love — the most reliable muscle of human transformation — as a practical public good. We hope all of you are very well. The visit of the Brazilian elders is a partnership with our friends, Daniel and Marcia Minter, who have recently founded the Indigo Arts Alliance, in Portland, Maine, a wonderful center for artists of the African diaspora. Our principal events this summer May and June are:.

    Invisible Knowledge. An interfaith conversation circle with African American and Afro-Brazilian elder women on resources of spirit and community for social justice work. All day. May 13, in Uncategorized. The Trump administration is ramping up its efforts to attack local, democratic, compassion efforts to protect people who are seeking safer and more secure lives.

    Local officers will be encouraged to arrest people based on ICE warrants. This latest effort is sharpening the contradiction between local governments, where people are most likely to make their will known, and the consolidation of federal force. These bills are working their way through committees.

    We have seen the negative effects similar policies have had around the country — further eroding the fragile trust between immigrant populations and local law enforcement and disincentivizing community members from coming forward when they witness or are the victims of a crime.

    That makes us all less safe in the long run. If public safety is truly the goal, we need to work to foster an environment characterized by cooperation and togetherness, not finger-pointing and division. Across the country, local communities are taking principled stands for the dignity and rights of people. From California to Michigan, city councils and county officials are cancelling contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE , which rents bed space from local, county, or state-owned jails across the country. Since last summer at least five counties in California have severed ties with ICE and 4 counties in Michigan have done the same.

    In response, Trump is accelerating private prisons outside the purview of public policies. As local communities withdraw support, private corporations are seeing new opportunities to profit from human bodies. We need to assert our responsibilities to welcome people to our communities, to protect each other and to work together for justice. We must find new and creative ways to shelter one another.

    Today, both the EDC Board and the PED Committee failed to move the land transfers and benefits package forward for a final vote by the committee of the whole. By hitting the pause button City Council Members have an opportunity to hold FIAT Chrysler accountable around the environmental and health impacts relations to their planned expansion. Now there is an opportunity for the Neighborhood Advisory Council to go back to the table and fight for a better CBA package for residents. They have only committed 8. Continue to keep the pressure on Detroit City Council, demand that Fiat Chrysler not only address environmental health impacts and negotiate a bigger and better CBA.

    May 7, in Living for Change. FCA says it will create 6, jobs. They had given the city a short day window to come up with the land for the new plant. The rest is coming from state grants and loans which presumably will also come back to the city. Along with the cash, the city is swapping a total of acres of land, including given to Crown Enterprises and 25 to DTE energy. This ordinance, backed by business interests to thwart one with real enforcement powers, is a flawed effort. But east side residents, among the most organized in the city, have put forward visionary ways of thinking about how the current FCA development can be leveraged toward a more sustainable and just future.

    Residents have also called upon the FCA to create neighborhood stabilization policies, including a moratorium on water shut-offs and tax foreclosures. This forward thinking by community organizations has unsettled the city administration. While the mayor has attempted to control the CBA process, he cannot limit the power of the ideas being generated there. It is also now clear that if the Mayor is to retain any credibility about the CBA, he is going to have to address the enormous costs associated with the acquisition of the land. The land give-away to Hantz Farms is completely overshadowed by the deal with Crown Enterprises.

    Crown Enterprises is the name of the company owned by the Moroun family. In this latest deal in order to get the This is ten times the cost for a little over half the acreage of the remaining land. At the very least the Moroun Family and the City should enter into another CBA so that the community can gain direct benefit from the public lands and cash given the Crown Enterprises.

    Detroiters have become wary of deals done under deadlines.

    John Wycliffe and the Dawn of the Reformation

    There is a long list, including Poletown, Marathon, Detroit Axel, Hantz Farms, and the drive to bankruptcy, where corporate powers press the city for quick decisions. Almost always these are decisions that benefit the corporations and leave the city with broken promises. Perhaps Duggan thought that the good news of jobs would overshadow the outrageous deal with the Morouns.

    Or the outrageous deal with Hantz. This kind of deal making has never benefited the people. Whatever the limitations of the CBA process, we have the strength of committed, experienced community organizations dedicated to finding pathways toward a just future. This gives us all a strong basis for hope. In an effort to educate the Citizens of Detroit about the current status of the Detroit Charter Commission and the revision process, there will be an info discussion to ensure the Citizens have a better understanding of what the elected body has accomplished this far.

    Out of a recognition of the interconnectedness of struggles for social and economic justice between the peoples of the US and the countries the US dominates, the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights proudly recognizes the struggle and achievements of the ex-GM workers in Bogota, Colombia in their fight for justice. Detroit-area activists know these workers from their dramatic tent encampment at the US Embassy now reaching its 2,rd day, and their acts of moral witness, including stitching their lips shut as part of three hunger strikes. The delegation witnessed first hand the heroic stand by Jorge and his comrades, their support for other struggles, including families fighting the banks over unjust evictions, and other fired injured GM workers.

    Some of us were booted out, only to join a spirited rally there at the Ren Cen! We urge MCHR supporters to keep up the fight! May 3, in Living for Change. Check out the link above about our Silence the Violence march. Join us this year Saturday June 29th at 10am at Church of the Messiah. We will honor the innocent victims of gun violence as well tackle some of its root causes such as poverty, unemployment, drug addiction, and mass incarceration. After the march and rally there will be on the spot employment opportunities, information on home ownership and affordable housing, mentorship and summer camp for kids, and entrepreneurship opportunities for neighborhood residents.

    Highlighted on this day will be Young Empire Detroit. YED This is a collaboration of over 60 groups, individuals, and organizations who have come together with knowledge experience and expertise in creating businesses. Mentors are created from this to help young people become entrepreneurs. This 5o1c3 specializes in entrepreneurship, job readiness, activism, and community development.

    At the event will also be support groups for families dealing with grief and organizations created after the tragic loss of a loved one to help others now being affected by gun violence. At 10am we gather for the rally. At 11am we march. At 12noon we network and strategize. The next day we continue to go to work on behalf of those who no longer have a voice. Stand with us, march with us, work with us. Let us put an end to gun violence!!! Barry Randolph Please share the video!

    April 22, in Living for Change. Hantz Farms is briefly back in the news this week. That means Hantz is getting a more than 10 parcels for every one he is giving up. And he is getting these additional parcels for 8. That is the price he negotiated six years ago with the Bing administration. It is a sweet deal for Hantz.

    He is getting ten times the property and at one tenth the cost. In addition to helping consolidate the land the city wants to give to Fiat Chrysler, this little deal will allow Hantz to consolidate his one square mile farm dream. All of this is happening without any public oversight or comment. The proposal has been rushed to City Council and they are set to vote on Tuesday April 23, The last time City Council discussed a deal with John Hantz, the chambers were packed. An open meeting with them on the East side saw more than people turn out to voice their objections on one of the coldest nights in January.

    But it makes some things very clear. The purpose of the Land Bank is not to stabilize neighborhoods or keep people in their homes. It is to enable the Mayor to give away the city at the lowest possible price to the richest, whitest people he can find. We are exploring options. It is hard to believe any developer could have come up with a better set of options than those offered by Mayor Duggan.

    He wants to take land off the speculative market to drive the prices up. The consequences of rising prices are clear. Higher property taxes, higher insurance, more financial speculation and less stable neighborhoods. While the City Council is not likely to stop this deal, there is a great deal they can do to stop the worst consequences of it in the lives of people. They should immediately establish a moratorium on property tax increases for currently occupied homes, develop the capacity for community land banks, and put a moratorium on water shut offs and foreclosures.

    They should also establish effective rent controls and mechanisms for people to hold absentee land lords accountable. This latest land grab by Hantz is an outrage to any sense of fairness or justice. It reveals who the city values and the extraordinary efforts this mayor will make to assist white businessmen in getting what they want. The tour and the reflective conversations provided a space to share the evolutionary thinking as we carry out our mission to nurture community leadership based upon visionary organizing.

    In the tour format we are able to tell the story of the rise and fall of the American Dream and the question what it means t be living in a moment of great transition from one historical epoch to the next stage in human evolution. Dakarai Carter shared his involvements with Detroit Summer, Wayne Curtis talked about the importance of the urban farming, peace zones for life ,and his involvement with the Black Panther Party. Kim Sherobbi shared her work at Birwood with middle school student, the evolving block club network and Women Creating Caring Communities. Our visitors learned the importance of placed based organizing, the need to create liberated territories, and about efforts to create new, value based relationships among people.

    We are facing an epochal crisis in capitalism requiring us to redefine our relationships to each other and to the planet. Today we have responsibilities and opportunities to usher in a new system. It is our time to create the beloved community rooted in local history and emerging contradictions. Our tours begin at Elmwood Cemetery , acknowledging the presence of ancestors who give us wisdom and strength.

    Here, in land holding the shape of centuries of wind and water, we remember the resistance to colonialism by Chief Pontiac and honor Bloody Run Creek that still flows defiantly. Carlos and Tyree introduce people to challenge rationalism and linear thinking through unleashing their imaginations as they relate to upcycling and creating wind power for energy and through found art initiatives. They represent the challenge to find your passions and commit to do what we really, really want to do.

    The Michigan Coalition for Human rights began in In that year the US elected Ronald Reagan as president, ushering in the political power of counter revolutionary forces. In those days it was called the New Right. Still fighting communism and determined to re-establish US military might after its defeat in Viet Nam, Reagan solidified the organizational and intellectual foundations of the forces that would ultimately bring Donald Trump to the White House. In Detroit, as industry continued to leave and as federal supports disappeared, we faced deep questions about the kind of city we would be.

    We organized to keep Casino gambling out of the city and to create peace in our communities with Save our Sons and Daughters and d We the People to Reclaim our Streets. The struggle against Apartheid in South Africa and the divestment movement inspired national civil disobedience and organizing on campuses, town halls and churches as people took a stand for human rights. Rashida Tlaib was the guest speaker, offering clear direction and analysis for this time.

    She then shared the following:. MCHR then gave out awards. The first award wen to Jonathan Roberts who also talked about movement building, the urgency of now and the need to focus on liberation. In , he spearheaded city-wide campaign preventing homes from being auctioned off after foreclosure.

    The program closed with a call for young people, to join the and Freedom Tours. This gathering acknowledged the spirit that we live in movement times, in times of urgency and calls for actions beyond voting, beyond calling your representatives. The future is now! Thank you MCHR for a spirited and engaging evening. April 15, in Living for Change.

    Sanctuary cities are back in the news. Trump has renewed his efforts to punish cities that have declared sanctuary for people coming to this country seeking safety and new ways of life. In both a speech and a tweet, Trump vowed he is thinking about rounding up people who are being detained at the border and sending them to cities that have declared sanctuary. He is taking special aim at California. No one but Trump and his advisor Stephen Miller support this.

    We can give them a lot. We can give them an unlimited supply. The notion of shipping people to Sanctuary cities has been pushed repeatedly by Miller. Trump pays little attention to the law in his efforts to whip up anti-immigrant hatred and to intimidate those who oppose him. He has persisted in efforts to block funds to sanctuary jurisdictions.

    At least seven federal courts have blocked Trumps unilateral efforts to cut funds to sanctuary jurisdictions. It is immoral. It is unethical. It is sophomoric. It is petulant. And it is par for the course. Bennie G. This is the context giving rise to equally cruel, cowardly, and immoral efforts at the Michigan State Legislature.

    The bills were originally introduced with names that clearly explained what they intended. In an effort to make them more palatable the names were changed Tuesday. But changing their names does not change their intent. Nor does it change the reality that this is an effort rooted in racism and xenophobia. It is an attempt to bring Michigan in line with inhuman and callous policies advocated by Trump. It is an effort to ask us to endorse cruelty. We should resist these bills forcefully. By now it sure is clear that we cannot appease Trump and his ilk.

    If history has taught us anything, it is that only fearless love can overcome hate. A tiny house program in Detroit helps people avoid homelessness, and get a head start on building equity. April 9, in Living for Change. As most of you know, a devastating fire burned down our main office early Friday morning. Thankfully no one was inside the building and no one was injured. We also found a symbol connected to the white power movement spray-painted on the parking lot connected to the main office. While we do not know the names of the culprits, we know that the white power movement has been increasing and consolidating power across the South, across this nation, and globally.

    Their attempts to increase in size and scale impact the realities of our daily lives here because the majority of Black people in this country reside in southern states. We know that anti-Semitic attacks have rocked the Jewish community. Even in the face of these realities, the southern freedom movement is alive and well. Our folks are winning campaigns.

    People are fighting for progressive policies and using direct action to hold people in power accountable. Highlander is a sacred place built by communities of the most affected people and it has become a home to those who believe in freedom and collective liberation here in the south, across the U. S and around the world. Because of our history we are not surprised that this space, one where marginalized people working across sectors, geographies and identities show up consistently, has been repeatedly targeted over our 87 years of existence.

    The safety of our people is and has always been our first concern. The investigation is nowhere near over. We are continuing to survive and monitor the process that takes more time in a rural geography with limited public resources. The Tennessee Bomb and Arson people will continue to do theirs. We are not confused about how rarely people are ever charged with arson; however, we are surviving and monitoring these investigations.

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    Barbaric Grace (The Journey of a Revolution) Barbaric Grace (The Journey of a Revolution)
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