Boggs Center – Living For Change News – September 26th, 2022

September 26th, 2022

revolution image final 

 


Thinking for Ourselves

Dangeorus Silence
Shea Howell

The specter of nuclear war is haunting us. Vladimir Putin’s recent speech made clear his willingness to consider the use of nuclear weapons. As he insisted that the invasion of Ukraine was in defense of Russian sovereignty, he declared, “If the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people.” He emphasized, “This is not a bluff.”

This threat was combined with a risky political decision to mobilize Russia for a longer war, calling up 300,000 additional troops in a highly unpopular military draft. Further, Putin has backed a series of referendums to formally move regions of Ukraine into Russia.

These decisions, coming in the wake of Ukrainian progress in regaining territory, were greeted by the Biden administration with a commitment to continued military engagement. Speaking at the UN President Biden said, “We will stand in solidarity to Russia’s aggression.” He acknowledged that Putin was making “irresponsible nuclear threats.’’

Much of the mainstream thinking has focused on these commitments by Putin and the very real possibility that as he suffers military defeats and domestic unrest, the likelihood of “strategic” nuclear attacks escalates.

Little has been said about the possibilities of the US doing the same thing. It is important for us to remember that we are the only nation to have used nuclear weapons. Twice. Currently, many people in our government are pushing for an escalation of military might, not a de-escalation toward a negotiated settlement.

This position was made clear by the responses in congress this week to the efforts of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition.  Under the leadership of CODEPINK, Veterans for Peace, Democratic Socialists of America, Massachusetts Peace Action, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom and other organizations, public demonstrations demanding a “ceasefire now” were held in multiple cities. Meanwhile, congressional offices were targeted for visits, urging members to vote against increased military spending for Ukraine. These efforts were met with no support.

After a sure to pass congressional vote at the end of this month, the US will have committed $67 billion since February to this war. The amount specifically for military weapons and intelligence could surpass $40 billion. To understand what this means, by comparison, this is 4 times the entire budget of the US Environmental Protection Agency, charged with addressing the global climate crisis.

CODEPINK co-founder, Media Benjamin said of the week of resistance to the war, “Further escalation should be unthinkable, but so should a long war of endless crushing artillery barrages and brutal urban and trench warfare that slowly and agonizingly destroys Ukraine, killing hundreds of Ukrainians with each day that passes. The only realistic alternative to this endless slaughter is a return to peace talks to bring the fighting to an end.”

We are in the midst of what is being described as a slow moving Cuban missile crisis. Yet no one in public authority is showing any wisdom or commitment to peace. Rather, the US is digging in to push Putin out of power. Such efforts are endangering all life.  We do not know how many thousands of Ukrainians have died. We know that 12 million people have been displaced. We know that 80,000 Russian soldiers have been killed. We know the fertile lands of Ukraine have been poisoned by the waste of military conflict.

The Peace in Ukraine Coalition condemns the Russian invasion. But it recognizes that there can be no military solution. We encourage people who are thinking about peace, about justice and about the possibilities of creating a world that honors our interdependence, to support the efforts of this coalition. The drive by the US to dominate and dictate cannot be encouraged by our silence.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Weekly highlights

ShotSpotter Detroit Week of Action 

StopShotSpotter

Last week we mentioned that Detroit City Council would be voting on the approval of $7M in ARPA funds to be allocated to ShotSpotter technology. However, it was announced at the start of the meeting that voting would be postponed until this week. Fortunately, that didn’t stop the people from being heard as comments about the disapproval of ShotSpotter demanded the room for the first hour.

Later in the week on Thursday, Sept. 22, there was a town hall held by the Board of Police Commissioners to address local issues. ShotSpotter was conveniently on the agenda, though City Council’s vote was postponed, as BOPC and other ShotSpotter supporters used cardboard headstone cutouts to woo the crowd. Other harmful rhetoric shared at the meeting included a DPD representative stating, “Nothing about ShotSpotter erodes the 4th Amendment,” while shortly after, local pastor Maurice Hardwick followed up with, “I think we got too many damn rights in this country.”

You can find a thread of live coverage from the meeting here. The BOPC hasn’t posted the meeting footage yet, though it can be found here when it has posted.
Here’s what the people had to say about that meeting:

ShotSpotter (1)

The fight is still on to speak up and out about the opposition of ShotSpotter technology as City Council will be presenting the issue as an item to be voted on this week. Thank you if you were one of the many who spoke out last week, thank you for showing up again this week to be heard.
Attend & give public comment at the Detroit City Council meeting about ShotSpotter

Tuesday, September 27, 2022; 10am 
2 Woodward Ave., 13th floor Detroit, MI 48226
or
via phone: (312) 626 6799 – Meeting ID: 858 4690 3626
or
online

Tips for public comment: 

  1. Telephone participants, raise your hand by pressing *9
  2. Web participants: Raise your hand by clicking raise hand in the application or pressing:
    1. ?Windows computer = [ALT] + [Y]
    2. Apple computers = [OPTION] + [Y]
  3. ?You will be called on in the order in which your hand is raised
  4. All time limits set by the meeting Chair will still be enforced
  5. Any hands raised after the Chair ends submission of public comments, will not be able to speak at the meeting
  6.  
  7.  

Additional readings regarding ShotSpotter:

What we’re listening to

UnderTheTreeRobinKelley

 

Under the Tree w/ Robin D.G. Kelley

During the Socialism 2022 Conference, podcast host, Bill Ayers had the opportunity to converse with Robin D.G. Kelley about his book Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination and his ideals of being a ‘Marxist surrealist feminist who is not just anti something, but pro-emancipation, pro-liberation’. Ayers described the experience as one where “we released our radical imaginations in a generative and wide-ranging conversation. The conference was held in Chicago, with conversation facilitated by Haymarket Books.

Check it out here

#WaterWednesday w/ People’s Water Board Coalition

WaterWednesday 

In this latest episode of #WaterWednesday, hosts featured retired pastor, author, and activist, Bill Wylie-Kellerman along with an incarcerated individual, Efren Paredes, Jr., who shared information about the contaminated water at Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, MI. Paredes elaborates on the issue after its reporting in Deadline Detroit, while water contamination issues have taken place since 2021.
Check it out here

 

What we’re reading

Did you know??

It’s Black Reading Month! And although September is coming to a close, our acknowledgement of Black authors and their ability to tell the histories of people in eloquent or sometimes straightforward ways shouldn’t go unnoticed at any time of the year.

This list features books from Black authors that have been banned due to its truthtelling. Be sure to check them out or share with a young person who should know of these works and authors for awareness of their profound history.

Mildred’s Mississippi:
RollofThunder

‘Roll of Thunder’ as a love letter home

Image courtesy of Mississippi Book Festival and Penguin Random House

In this storytelling piece written by Adria R. Walker and published in Scalawag Magazine, the writer weaved a piece of themselves and their connection to Mississippi to Mildred Taylor, author of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry  as they share the commonality of being born in Jackson, Mississippi and being a writer.

The story mentions of Taylor receiving the Children’s Literature Legacy Award in 2021, while Roll of Thunder  was removed from reading lists in the Burbank, CA school district due to its vivid address of the past.

Walker further elaborates on what this story about a Mississippi family did to make her feel seen as a writer thanks to Taylor, while acknowledging other writers from Mississippi and dedications made to the place despite its painful past that the author highlights people seem to want to forget.

“Because [Taylor] doesn’t shy away from Mississippi’s fraught past, nor does she embellish or languish in it, Taylor’s works are love letters to the people of the Magnolia State. The author plainly focuses on the ways in which Black Mississippians fought back and resisted, while loving themselves and each other. She does all of this in books written for children and young adults, though her works are of significant value to adults, as well.”
Read more here

 

Riverwise – Summer/Fall 2022 Edition

Riverwise_Summer22

Have you grabbed your copy yet? The Riverwise Summer/Fall 2022 edition is now available at various local spots across Detroit. Not local and still want a copy? You can find an e-version on their site or reach out to request a physical copy to be mailed. Don’t forget to subscribe!
Be on the lookout for a special edition to be soon released in your favorite local place!

Pick up a copy from Magazine Rack on Boggs Center porch!

Read it now

Uplifting & Supporting our Community

Time is… 

BlackQuantumPhysics

photo credit: Black Quantum Futurism, The Temporal Disruptors Digital Collage, 2018 – Arts at CERN

Guided by the work of Black Quantum Futurism’s (BQF) Time Zone Protocols and Just in Timekit, this workshop will explore the natures of Time in temporalities such as healing, nature, grief, ancestral wisdom, and more. This gathering seeks to explore meanings of time beyond linear constructs and to imagine how new definitions can serve as a tool for community care and mobilization.
When: Two sessions/dates will be offered:
Session 1: Sunday, September 25th, 2pm-3:30pm
Session 2: Sunday, October 2nd,  2pm-3:30pm

Where: Birwood House Gathering Space
12605 Wyoming (corner of Wyoming and Fullerton)

Learn more about this workshop and register here

InstSocialEcology

The Institute for Social Ecology has some offerings for the Fall that they’d like you to take advantage of. Classes start as early as October 3, and can be requested as self-directed flex courses or for college credits. Need-based financial assistance is also available. Check out the links below for more information or email mhersonhord@gmail.com for help with financial assistance or other requests.

Help Puerto Rico by donating to Community Response Fund to Hurricane Fiona
ORIGINAL TEXT FROM MARÍA FUND ORG

PuertoRico

OPEN LETTER TO OUR COMMUNITY:

In the absence of an efficient response plan from the local government, and the need to facilitate international solidarity, María Fund launched on, September 19, 2022, the Community Response Fund to Hurricane Fiona, together with the organizations Taller Salud, HASER, Federation of Teachers of Puerto Rico, Ayuda Legal Puerto Rico, Revista étnica, Agitarte, The Institute for Agroecology and Casa Tallaboeña (Camp against Ashes in Peñuelas). This collaboration is organized as one that responds to the needs of the people and seeks to connect response funds directly with communities. The Hurricane Fiona Community Response Fund’s primary goal is to address both immediate needs and the work of organizing our long-term’ power to move toward the Puerto Rico we deserve.

Donate here

 

Line 5 graphic  2

Canada’s Enbridge corporation has requested a permit to build an oil tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac in the Great Lakes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is taking public comments on the scope of their Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for this project.

Public comments are being accepted until Oct. 14, 2022 which can be submitted here. You can find a sample writing to submit, or craft to your own words here.

Resources

How to find, contact, and donate to your local abortion fund

Abortion Rights

The National Network of Abortion Funds lists abortion funds which are independent, grassroots organizations developed to support the specific needs of their communities. Whether it’s funding procedures, abortion pills, transportation and lodging when travel is required, childcare, doula and emotional support, or other needs voiced by people seeking abortions, funds are finding innovative and compassionate ways to get people the abortions they want and need. Find support in your state

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

WaterAssistance

 

This new Federal program offers assistance to those who are facing water shutoffs or are in need of reconnecting their water utility. Freshwater Future lists additional information and ways to apply for assistance, categorized by state. The program prioritizes those who need their water reconnected or are facing imminent shutoffs. You can read more and apply here.

 

ACLU: Immigrant Police Misconduct Hotline

ImmigrantHotline

ACLU MI has recently launched and announced the misconduct hotline for Michiganders to report instances of police misconduct or abuse based on immigration status (or assumptions about immigration status).

If you or a loved one have been pulled over, harassed, arrested, or detained by a police officer because of actual or perceived immigration status (e.g., skin color, spoken language, or name), you are encouraged to call the hotline and leave a message detailing the experience. The ACLU of Michigan is committed to investigating those reports and will assist in taking action against police departments when possible.

Flyers are also available in 4 different languages:

Arabic
Bangla/Bengali
?English
Spanish

“There are things you can’t back down on, things you gotta take a stand on. But it’s up to you to decide what them things are. You have to demand respect in this world, ain’t nobody just gonna hand it to you. How you carry yourself, what you stand for–that’s how you gain respect. But, little one, ain’t nobody’s respect worth more than your own.” -Mildred Taylor




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Boggs Center – Living For Change News – September 19th, 2022

September 19th, 2022

revolution image final 


Thinking for Ourselves

Development Choices
Shea Howell

For the first time in many years money is flowing into Detroit. New projects, from parks to the

reconstruction of what is now I-375 is underway. And real estate developers, Stephen Ross and the Ilitch family are offering yet another idea for redeveloping the area around Little Caesar Arena. They are proposing a new hotel at the cost of $190 million. “The city needs many more hotel rooms to better compete for significant events and conventions that will bring tens of thousands of additional visitors to the region and help create good jobs for Detroiters,” Claude Molinari, president and CEO of Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Meanwhile Dan Gilbert is struggling to make progress on the four development sites he secured with the help of  Michigan’s Brownfields legislation. Legislation that he helped create and from which he has benefited. Over the last five years, only one project has been completed and one has yet to begin. All three sites are well below the city guidelines that require 51% of the construction jobs go to Detroit residents.

Initially projections were for 7,500 construction jobs for the projects. As of this summer there were only 1,501 workers. Of that number, only 472 were Detroiters.

In exchange for those jobs, Gilbert has secured almost $700 million in public financing over the next 30 years.

Not only are people not getting jobs as promised in the claim for public money but the legislation that enables these projects removes future tax dollars from city funds and puts them in the hands of the developers. The Transformational Brownfield program provides developers with future reimbursements of taxes generated at a completed project site: 30 years of property tax capture and 20 years of state income taxes from workers employed at the site and residents who reside there.

Nor do the developers have to wait until they have completed their projects. They can capture state income taxes paid by the construction workers and they can get an exemption from sales taxes on construction materials.

These notions of development and the public dollars they require should raise serious questions about what kind of city we want to become. Who is the city for?  Do we think that spectacles of sport, conventions and gambling are what makes a city vibrant? Do we need public money to support hotels and more office space? What kind of urban life do we imagine for ourselves and our children?

The vision projected by our current mayor and by the corporate power structure is one that emphasizes a whiter, wealthier, and smaller downtown area. In pursuit of this vision, they have developed city and local mechanisms to move public dollars to subsidize private wealth. Thus, they are establishing a systematic way to continue to transfer wealth away from the residents of the city and into the pockets of developers – for generations.

Meanwhile, outside the small area of downtown development, neighborhoods continue to struggle. The most basic moments in life, rain and wind, routinely bring floods and blackouts as infrastructure long neglected fails us. Schools, libraries, community parks and greenways go untended, except by countless community volunteers who persist in preserving places of value.

Detroit is one of the few predominantly African American centers in the country, with a rich mix of peoples from around the world. Community life flourishes as people reimagine neighborhoods, often with little or no resources. Instead of guaranteeing cash to Gilbert and Ilitch, we should be investing in the block clubs, churches, schools, community organizations and public institutions that encourage us to live in sustainable, caring communities. Another way is possible if we are willing to make different choices.

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Weekly highlights

ShotSpotter Detroit Week of Action 

ShotSpotterMap

Did you know that efforts are underway where funding that could be invested in the safety and wellbeing of Detroiters may instead be spent on more technology to enforce policing in neighborhoods? Soon, City Council will be voting on the approval of $7M in ARPA funding for ShotSpotter technology. In this presentation created by We The People Michigan Action Fund, statistics show that 74% of Detroit residents would much rather see $7M spent on housing relief than ShotSpotter.

This week, City Council will be voting on whether to approve $7M of ARPA funds for the expansion of ShotSpotter in Detroit. Show up to the meeting to tell them why ShotSpotter doesnt keep Detroiters safe!

Tuesday, September 20, 2022; 10am 
2 Woodward Ave., 13th floor Detroit, MI 48226
or
via phone: (312) 626 6799 – Meeting ID: 858 4690 3626
or
online
Tips for public comment: 

  1. Telephone participants, raise your hand by pressing *9
  2. Web participants: Raise your hand by clicking raise hand in the application or pressing:
    1. ?Windows computer = [ALT] + [Y]
    2. Apple computers = [OPTION] + [Y]
  3. ?You will be called on in the order in which your hand is raised
  4. All time limits set by the meeting Chair will still be enforced
  5. Any hands raised after the Chair ends submission of public comments, will not be able to speak at the meeting

 

Additional readings regarding ShotSpotter:

 

What we’re listening to

Dr. Sebi, Laila Africa, and other Natural Healers all worked with Dr. Jesse Brown

JesseBrown

 

In 1987 the Detroit Wholistic Center launched on Dexter and Clairmount. Dr. Jesse Brown opens up about how he saw a need for natural healing in our community. For over 30 years, alkaline water, treatments beyond mucus and PH, and so much more were all knowledge provided by Dr. Brown. In this interview, learn more about his methods in healing and natural life. Today he leads the Wholistic Training Institute online with classes for those interested in the wisdom of natural self-care.

 

More episodes from Detroit is Different

#WaterWednesday w/ People’s Water Board Coalition

PWBC

This week’s webcast features Cathy Wusterbarth, who explains what PFAS is, its dangers, and what people can do to protect themselves and their communities from it.
Listen here

 

 

What we’re reading

Shortage of accessible housing leaves disabled Detroiters with few options

BabaBaxter
photo credit: Aaron Mondry

In this article, recently published in Outlier Media and written by Aaron Mondry, the writer uncovers the alarming fact that there are high rates of disability in Detroit with limited housing supply to accomodate. As mentioned, some people are forced to leave the city to find other housing or are forced to live in substandard housing conditions.
“People confuse accomodation with convenience — that’s ableism,” Jones said. “I’m not asking for more convenience. I’m asking for reasonable accommodation.”

Read more here

Thoughts on ShotSpotter
Written by Eric Blount

At the June 16th Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) weekly meeting, Assistant Chief Fitzgerald admitted under questioning from various commissioners that “ShotSpotter” can and does record human conversations. This is the first time anyone in DPD has admitted this capability of this surveillance system. See transcript’s page 49 and 50 (pt.1 and pt. 2).

 

Yes, illegal gun shots are tragic but let’s first start with an ordinance banning assault weapons and tracking the buyers and sellers of guns and bullets.

 

For the first 8 months of 2022, ShotSpotter reported over 10,000 detections of shots “fired” resulting in 2,000 incidents and 73 guns recovered. So, 20% of the time shots are detected resulting in officers allegedly reporting to a location while there’s a .0073% chance a gun is recovered!

 

How many “incidents” and/or “gun recoveries” would have to normally occur? I recall only a few years ago, DPD’s crime statistics did not match the FBI’s statistics, so the sole owner of the data can easily spin a false narrative.

 

This surveillance system requires roughly 10 officers per precinct, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.  Four officers are to be available to respond to the “vendor’s” report of shots, another four to be available to rush to every shot fired location and lastly, two to be available to investigate the location.

 

March 5, 2022 the Associated Press article detailed the false arrest and imprisonment of Michael Williams due to ShotSpotter.  Similar to the mis-identification features of FRT, this surveillance system does little to address the root causes of crime.  We as a society must stop putting bandages on crime behaviors and decide to dedicate resources to address the root causes of violence and crime which is poverty and negligence.

 

Campaign Zero pointed to a 2020 study of acoustic gunshot detection systems in St. Louis, Missouri, which uses ShotSpotter, found that the technology “does not significantly reduce violent crime levels.” Another national study analyzing ShotSpotter’s implementation from

1999 to 2016 suggested it has “no significant impact on firearm related homicides or arrest outcomes” and might add to the cost of gun violence.

 

“In fact, there is a lack of evidence to support a return on investment, monetary or otherwise, from implementing this technology,” the national study states. “[Law enforcement agencies] and the municipalities in which they are located need to consider if this annual budget line item is the most effective approach to reduce urban gun violence.”

 

Just note, to this day, no one has been able to answer my question as to what is the surveillance camera at Dexter and Waverly – or the need for the surveillance cameras at each bus stop.

 

Recall the scam/trick DPD ran on this council to get FRT approved, which was requested without developing a policy for its use and therefore little if any training on FRT for DPD personnel. Councilmember Tate admitted in the Formal Session that he would have voted NO on FRT had he known that there was not a policy in place ahead of asking council’s approval.  And finally, DPD skillfully avoided the fact that FRT mis-identifies people of color more than any other demographic. The facts of this surveillance system qualify it to be described as a “Tool of Institutional Racism”

 

City Council’s 9/13 Formal Session’s Agenda – Line Item 9.8 LPD’s statistics on poverty in Detroit: “1/3 of Detroiters live in Poverty vs 13.7% of the state’s total population.”

 

This demonstrates the large scale and wide range of poverty in the city of Detroit. “While the current 33.2% poverty level in the city of Detroit is both horrific and appalling, this is not the highest it has been. As recently as 2016, Detroit’s poverty level was a staggering 39%, making Detroit the city with the highest concentrated poverty rate among the top 25 Metropolitan areas in the country.”

 

This therefore demonstrates the long history of poverty in Detroit and how the existing surveillance system have not changed things.

 

Riverwise – Summer 2022 Edition

Have you grabbed your copy yet? The Riverwise Summer 2022 edition is now available at various local spots across Detroit. Not local and still want a copy? You can find an e-version on their site or reach out to request a physical copy to be mailed. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Riverwise_Summer22
Read it now

Uplifting & Supporting our Community

BlackQuantumPhysics

Time is… 

photo credit: Black Quantum Futurism, The Temporal Disruptors Digital Collage, 2018 – Arts at CERN

Guided by the work of Black Quantum Futurism’s (BQF) Time Zone Protocols and Just in Timekit, this workshop will explore the natures of Time in temporalities such as healing, nature, grief, ancestral wisdom, and more. This gathering seeks to explore meanings of time beyond linear constructs and to imagine how new definitions can serve as a tool for community care and mobilization.
When: Two sessions/dates will be offered:
Session 1: Sunday, September 25th, 2pm-3:30pm
Session 2: Sunday, October 2nd,  2pm-3:30pm

Where: Birwood House Gathering Space
12605 Wyoming (corner of Wyoming and Fullerton)

Learn more about this workshop and register here

 

Wayne State’s Social Work Open House
featuring the Maryann Mahaffey Courtyard Dedication

Attend Wayne State’s open house for their School of Social Work, happening Thursday September 29 from 3pm-6pm. There will also be a courtyard dedication to Maryann Mahaffey.
WSUSW Open House
Maryann Mahaffey empowered social change in Detroit as a social worker, author, educator, civil rights activist, volunteer and political leader. For nearly 60 years at the local, state, national and international levels, Mahaffey put into action her deep commitment to solving critical social issues. Holding steadfast in her ideals, she supported the most vulnerable of our citizens and advocated for equal rights as Detroit City Council president for 12 years and as a council member for 32 years. To memorialize and honor the impact Mahaffey had on Detroit, its residents and the social work profession, the Wayne State University School of Social Work launched the Maryann Mahaffey Legacy Campaign and will be dedicating a courtyard at our Woodward home in her honor.

Register here

Great Lakes Bioneers Annual Conference

Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit announces their annual conference, which will be held October 14-15. The organization has a full lineup of programming scheduled which can be found on their site along with how to register. This year, the conference will be held in person on University of Detroit Mercy’s campus.

Bioneers
Register here

Great Lakes Bioneers Annual Conference
October 14-15, 2022

University of Detroit Mercy

4001 W McNichols Rd

Detroit, MI 48221

 

Resources

How to find, contact, and donate to your local abortion fund

Abortion Rights

The National Network of Abortion Funds lists abortion funds which are independent, grassroots organizations developed to support the specific needs of their communities. Whether it’s funding procedures, abortion pills, transportation and lodging when travel is required, childcare, doula and emotional support, or other needs voiced by people seeking abortions, funds are finding innovative and compassionate ways to get people the abortions they want and need. Find support in your state

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

WaterAssistance

 

This new Federal program offers assistance to those who are facing water shutoffs or are in need of reconnecting their water utility. Freshwater Future lists additional information and ways to apply for assistance, categorized by state. The program prioritizes those who need their water reconnected or are facing imminent shutoffs. You can read more and apply here.

 

ACLU: Immigrant Police Misconduct Hotline

ImmigrantHotline

ACLU MI has recently launched and announced the misconduct hotline for Michiganders to report instances of police misconduct or abuse based on immigration status (or assumptions about immigration status).

If you or a loved one have been pulled over, harassed, arrested, or detained by a police officer because of actual or perceived immigration status (e.g., skin color, spoken language, or name), you are encouraged to call the hotline and leave a message detailing the experience. The ACLU of Michigan is committed to investigating those reports and will assist in taking action against police departments when possible.

Flyers are also available in 4 different languages:

Arabic
Bangla/Bengali
?English
Spanish

“How do you get people to want to live in time, to have a sense of the importance of time for growth, development, of the need for ups-and-downs, of non-homogenized development? […] A revolution in the U.S. is only going to be led and made by people with some sense of the thickness of time, of time as duration, of time as heterogenous, of development through contradiction, not in a straight line.” – James Boggs




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Boggs Center News – Living For Change September 12th, 2022

September 12th, 2022

revolution image final


Thinking for Ourselves

No ShotSpotter
Shea Howell

ShotSpotter is back in the news and on the City Council agenda. A broad based citizen coalition is urging people to speak out against the $8.5 million contract to expand the technology in our city. The mayor and the chief of police are both urging the council to spend $7 million from the federal Covid relief funds and $1.5 million from the city budget to expand the technology to more than 28 square miles in the city. ShotSpotter is already in two precincts. This technology was established without public consent.

ShotSpotter has long had Detroit in its sights. In 2011, the Detroit City Council rejected the proposal for a $2.6 million dollar contract. Under emergency management, without public comment, the city implemented the technology in two precincts. Since then, Mayor Duggan and both Chiefs Craig and White have pushed for expansion. They tried in June of this year, but pulled back because of public pressure, acknowledging the lack of citizen input.

This push for expansion parallels ShotSpotter’s public relations efforts. As Wired Magazine reported the early successes of ShotSpotter were “due to good PR, not good technology.”

ShotSpotter is part of a company called Centurist Systems, a military technology firm. Centurist specializes in developing technologies that use global positioning satellites to triangulate the location of a sound. It made a fortune during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan locating and killing snipers. The company promoted its capacity, saying it was especially effective against guerrilla warfare, “If a sniper gets vaporized after he takes his first shot, word is going to get around among insurgents.” Now with the withdrawal from Afghanistan, ShotSpotter needs new markets.

The push to deploy ShotSpotter across the country has nothing to do with reducing crime. It has everything to do with companies whose profits are tied to war. ShotSpotter is cynically using the fear of crime to expand its business, offering an illusion of safety, while installing the basis of very dangerous and possibly deadly technologies in neighborhoods of mostly Black and brown people.

Study after study has challenged the claim of ShotSpotter’s effectiveness. According to a recent article in the Free Press,” Multiple studies have raised concerns regarding ShotSpotter’s effectiveness — including one peer-reviewed, 17-year study that shows ShotSpotter did not reduce gun violence in 68 large metropolitan counties that utilize the technology.”

The same article goes on to list an Associated Press Investigation  that found that the system often misses gunfire, or misclassifies the sounds of fireworks or cars backfiring as gunshots. They pointed out the technology “allows for ShotSpotter employees to “improperly claim that a defendant shot at police, or provide questionable counts of the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants.”

The University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy recently concluded that “The technology’s accuracy, effectiveness, cost and systemic biases raise serious concerns.”

In Chicago, an early adopter of ShotSpotter, a report by the city inspector general  showed there were more instances of “unrelated investigator stops,” or stop and frisk tactics, in neighborhoods where ShotSpotter was implemented. And in St. Louis, “there was a decrease in residents calling police regarding shots fired in their neighborhoods, and overall police response times did not improve.”

ShotSpotter is not worth $8.5 million. Recycling the weapons of war in our cities perpetuates the worst in our culture. Instead, we need to continue our efforts to create relationships of care and respect, to find ways to solve our problems in ways that affirm and protect all of us.

_______________________________________________________________________

Weekly highlights

ShotSpotter Detroit Week of Action 

ShotSpotterMap

Did you know that efforts are underway where funding that could be invested in the safety and wellbeing of Detroiters may instead be spent on more technology to enforce policing in neighborhoods? Soon, City Council will be voting on the approval of $7M in ARPA funding for ShotSpotter technology. In this presentation created by We The People Michigan Action Fund, statistics show that 74% of Detroit residents would much rather see $7M spent on housing relief than ShotSpotter.
You can sign on to this letter, telling Detroit’s City Council that the people do not want ShotSpotter in their community and instead want investment into their community.
What we’re listening to

Urban Ecology @ The Commonwealth

SWF
Check out this recapt from Sweetwater Foundation‘s Summer 2022 Urban Ecology Global Fellows Presentation, which took place last month. Their Urban Ecology fellows program is one of the three offerings within their Communiversity, which is an effort to formalize their wide-ranging portfolio of education and outreach programming.

The Communiversity shares SWF’s practice of Regenerative Neighborhood Development via workshops, courses, residencies, fellowships, and train-the-trainer programs delivered to youth, local residents, organizations, and institutions across Chicago and beyond.
Learn more and watch the presentation

______________________________________________________________

What we’re reading

Abolition is Essential: Remembering the Attica Uprising and Imagining a Future That’s Free

AtticaUprising
The Attica Uprising, September 1971

Fifty-one years ago, hundreds of incarcerated men at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York took over the prison in protest of the horrific conditions they were facing there. Fed up with overcrowding, censorship of mail, regular assault from corrections officers, and deplorable sanitation—including one shower a week and one roll of toilet paper a month—they refused to be ignored another day. So, on September 9, 1971, more than 1,300 inmates organized and rose up to demand an end to these inhumane conditions in what is now known as the Attica Uprising.
The uprising managed to hold the prison for five long days.

But on September 13th, then–Governor Rockefeller ordered the prison to be retaken instead of agreeing to meet the basic human needs of the protestors. With brute force, state troopers and guards fired 3,000 rounds of tear gas, killing 29 inmates and 10 prison workers, and wounding 89 others. Ultimately, 43 people were killed during the uprising, making it one of the deadliest prison riots in U.S. history

This uprising and its violent aftermath captured the eyes and attention of the world, and brought to light the brutal reality of incarceration in America. It became a rallying cry for abolitionists everywhere, radicalizing people across the country, moving them to see the carceral state for what it really was: 20th-century slavery. Black people who were moved by this uprising or who had personal connections to the violence of the prison system spent the next 50 years building the abolition movement we know today. Excessive force and inhumane conditions continue to be inflicted in prisons by law enforcement and the institutions they serve—and those institutions have expanded exponentially since the 1970s.

But the movement is gaining ground. Through decades of work, prison abolition has begun working its way into mainstream conversation, with more people interested in exploring “how” than ever before. Our demand and our mandate is to end all jails, prisons, immigration detention, youth detention, and civil commitment facilities as we know them, and to establish policies and programs that address the current oppressive conditions experienced by people who are imprisoned. Read more here.

The bravery and boldness of the men at Attica marked a critical moment in the progress toward our freedom, and we honor their sacrifice. We continue fighting for them.

In belief in a future without cages,

Movement for Black Lives

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Riverwise – Summer 2022 Edition

Riverwise_Summer22
Have you grabbed your copy yet? The Riverwise Summer 2022 edition is now available at various local spots across Detroit. Not local and still want a copy? You can find an e-version on their site or reach out to request a physical copy to be mailed. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Read it now

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Uplifting & Supporting our Community

InternetIsBlack

AMP’s Seeds Series is back and the first of the four-part series is approaching, with The Internet is Black, happening Thursday September 15 from 7pm-8pm EST. The event is free and will feature a screening of “That’s so Black,” a pop culture video series produced by MediaJustice.

This four-part series will explore and celebrate storytelling as a tool for change, movement organizing, joy, and care. From oral histories to hashtags, stories help us capture the most complex of feelings and endeavors. This season we uplift media makers bringing intentionality and spirit to the stories they document, make, and share to intervene injustices and honor their communities. Every event will be followed by Seeds Cafe, a space to connect, share, decompress and dialogue hosted by Pink Flowers.
Learn more and register here

Sundance + Indigenous Shorts @ Cinema Detroit

FilmFest
The Sundance Indigenous Shorts Tour and Sundance Shorts Tour 2022 start on Friday, Sept. 16. These shorts programs represent the best of the best of the thousands of short films submitted to the Sundance Film Festival. Cinema Detroit has scheduled the shows so that it’s possible to watch both programs on the same day if you want.

Find a showtime

Community Dialogue w/ Suburban Connections 4 Collective Liberation

Suburban Connections

An upsurge in discussions, actions and committments have been underway in some metro Detroit suburbs since the uprising in 2020. The Suburban Collective is hosting a dialogue to speak of those changes and to connect with others who are also looking to express their dedication to changing the status quo.

This collective have recently published newsletters to display efforts underway in their suburban communities while raising critical issues. You can find the latest copy here.
Join them for critical conversations:
Saturday, September 17,12pm-4pm EST
Drifter Coffee
770 Woodward Heights Ferndale, MI 48220

More information + registration

Wayne State’s Social Work Open House
featuring the Maryann Mahaffey Courtyard Dedication

Attend Wayne State’s open house for their School of Social Work, happening Thursday September 29 from 3pm-6pm. There will also be a courtyard dedication to Maryann Mahaffey.
WSUSW Open House
Maryann Mahaffey empowered social change in Detroit as a social worker, author, educator, civil rights activist, volunteer and political leader. For nearly 60 years at the local, state, national and international levels, Mahaffey put into action her deep commitment to solving critical social issues. Holding steadfast in her ideals, she supported the most vulnerable of our citizens and advocated for equal rights as Detroit City Council president for 12 years and as a council member for 32 years. To memorialize and honor the impact Mahaffey had on Detroit, its residents and the social work profession, the Wayne State University School of Social Work launched the Maryann Mahaffey Legacy Campaign and will be dedicating a courtyard at our Woodward home in her honor.

Register here

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Great Lakes Bioneers Annual Conference

Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit announces their annual conference, which will be held October 14-15. The organization has a full lineup of programming scheduled which can be found on their site along with how to register. This year, the conference will be held in person on University of Detroit Mercy’s campus.

Bioneers
Register here

Great Lakes Bioneers Annual Conference
October 14-15, 2022

University of Detroit Mercy

4001 W McNichols Rd

Detroit, MI 48221

Resources

How to find, contact, and donate to your local abortion fund

Abortion Rights

The National Network of Abortion Funds lists abortion funds which are independent, grassroots organizations developed to support the specific needs of their communities. Whether it’s funding procedures, abortion pills, transportation and lodging when travel is required, childcare, doula and emotional support, or other needs voiced by people seeking abortions, funds are finding innovative and compassionate ways to get people the abortions they want and need. Find support in your state

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

WaterAssistance

This new Federal program offers assistance to those who are facing water shutoffs or are in need of reconnecting their water utility. Freshwater Future lists additional information and ways to apply for assistance, categorized by state. The program prioritizes those who need their water reconnected or are facing imminent shutoffs. You can read more and apply here.

ACLU: Immigrant Police Misconduct Hotline

ImmigrantHotline

ACLU MI has recently launched and announced the misconduct hotline for Michiganders to report instances of police misconduct or abuse based on immigration status (or assumptions about immigration status).

If you or a loved one have been pulled over, harassed, arrested, or detained by a police officer because of actual or perceived immigration status (e.g., skin color, spoken language, or name), you are encouraged to call the hotline and leave a message detailing the experience. The ACLU of Michigan is committed to investigating those reports and will assist in taking action against police departments when possible.

Flyers are also available in 4 different languages:

Arabic
Bangla/Bengali
?English
Spanish
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“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.” – Frantz Fanon

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Boggs Center Detroit News – Living For Change September 5th, 2022

September 5th, 2022

revolution image final


Thinking for Ourselves
Waters of Jackson
Shea Howell

This week, many of us have been thinking about the people in Jackson, Mississippi.  Heavy rains overwhelmed the aging water treatment plant. Now the city is without safe water. People cannot drink, wash, or brush their teeth with the sludge that comes out of the tap.

Jackson, like most places across this land, has inherited an aging infrastructure and has been repeatedly denied funds to maintain, repair, and develop its water system. After WWII, many communities saw a resurgence in spending on public goods. Highways, bridges, and roads were upgraded. Public housing and health initiatives were created and educational programs from preschool through universities grew.  Images of a war on poverty and model cities promised a renewed commitment to a more equal and generous society. None of these efforts funded by federal money was without contradiction. Often these programs became a means of benefiting whites at the expense of African Americans and other communities of color. Still, they reflected a belief that we are collectively responsible for the things that make life possible, meaningful, and productive: food, housing, transportation, health care, and education.

But the white, corporate backlash against Black liberation and civil rights brought us Ronald Reagan and the neo-liberal idea that government spending was the problem. Thinly veiled racism enshrined the idea that rugged individualism, not collective care, should be the ethic of government.  As a result, federal spending on public goods shrank dramatically. A comprehensive report in 2015, at the peak of the water crisis in Detroit, found that from 1956 to 2015 federal spending on water infrastructure decreased dramatically. The report concluded:

Funding levels have decreased … nearly fourfold between 1980 and 2014. The consequence for communities nationwide is even more significant when considering that a majority of the federal funds in the 1970s and 1980s were provided as grants, while the majority of the funds provided since the 1990s have primarily been loans.

More recently a study by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2021 noted:

Damage from urban flooding causes $9 billion in losses annually. Yet across the country, stormwater remains the least funded of the water infrastructure needs. At the same time, the country has started to recognize that existing funding structures for infrastructure and other priorities should be more equitable. For communities already struggling to remain financially solvent and provide basic services, the added cost of stormwater management is sometimes overlooked, causing the community further harm from flooding and environmental degradation.

Today, with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Governors will again have federal money to invest in infrastructure. For Jackson, this means many of the decisions about its future are in the hands of a hostile legislature and governor who have already shown unparalleled levels of corruption and contempt for the city.

Almost no one thinks that if Jackson were white and wealthy it would experience this long standing crisis.  Jackson is not only a majority Black city, but it historically played a key role in the struggles for justice. One of my favorite colleges, Tougaloo, represents a commitment of people to create systems of education out of the pain of enslavement. Tougaloo was a haven for civil rights workers and Freedom Riders, offering protection against violent white supremacists. Medgar Evers, the first field secretary of the NAACP in Mississippi was assassinated at his home in Jackson. The Republic of New Africa envisioned a freedom land there and Jackson Rising has inspired millions of people thinking of new ways of living.

This progressive history and current possibility explain why there is little sense of urgency on the part of the corporate power structure to repair the waters of Jackson.  We in Michigan understand this dynamic. We saw it in Flint as people went for years without safe drinking water and were told there was “no problem.” We see it in Detroit as water shut offs continue and our mayor refuses to acknowledge that water is a basic human right and a sacred trust.

Jackson reminds us of our connections, our collective responsibility, and the importance of each of us doing what we can to move toward justice. You can contribute directly to protect people on the ground at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/mississippirapidresponsecoalition. Water connects us all.

 

Weekly highlights

ShotSpotter Detroit Week of Action 

ShotSpotterMap

Did you know that efforts are underway where funding that could be invested in the safety and wellbeing of Detroiters may instead be spent on more technology to enforce policing in neighborhoods? Soon, City Council will be voting on the approval of $7M in ARPA funding for ShotSpotter technology. In this presentation created by We The People Michigan Action Fund, statistics show that 74% of Detroit residents would much rather see $7M spent on housing relief than ShotSpotter.
You can sign on to this letter, telling Detroit’s City Council that the people do not want ShotSpotter in their community and instead want investment into their community.
What we’re listening to

“Freedom Dreams”:
Historian Robin D.G. Kelley on 20th Anniversary of His Book & Why Movements Matter
FreedomDreams

In this 2-part interview series with Democracy NOW!, Robin D.G. Kelley speaks about his book, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination and its 20th anniversary. He released and spoke about its new edition which was “…inspired by the Black Lives Matter uprisings in 2020 and covers topics from critical race theory to state militarism that Kelley says ‘continues to this day.” Kelley says the book’s legacy conveys that “we don’t have the luxury to just fight for reform. We can’t survive that way. We’ve got to fight for revolutionary change.'”

Check out part 1 and part 2 of the interview

Finding Our Way
Building Power w/ Alicia Garza 

FOW_S3_5
Allied Media shared the goodness of the podcast, Finding Our Way, in their recent newsletter. Podcast host, Prentiss Hemphill featured Alicia Garza who explained what power is, how we build it, and why we need it in order to build a more equitable society.

 

Garza reflects that, “Personal change happens when something in us gets disrupted and we are asked to make a choice about which way forward will we go? Will we try and stay the same or are we willing to explore something different? Social change happens when multiple people are going through that same process together.” What lessons are we ready to harvest? What insights, knowledge, skills, and collective wisdom can we offer to foster just change?
Listen here
 

What we’re reading
CRAFT

Citizen’s Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT) have important updates and action items within their latest newsletter for folks to be aware of as related to clean energy justice. They’re urging Michigan readers to take action on encouraging their state senator to vote no on HB 6019. This bill proposes funding a research initiative to prove the viability of nuclear energy as a primary power source for the state, using taxpayer money, and if approved, would be pointing Michigan in a catastrophic direction for our energy future.

They also present the following facts for your information. Did you know?:

  • DTE is ranked as the 3rd WORST utility company in the nation?!
  • Or that DTE is pushing to increase rates again? As a utility company that should be serving the people, it is instead aiming to squeeze an additional $388 million from us. (Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and five other politicians are working to oppose this rate hike.)
  • Or that Russia has historically provided 40% of the reactor fuel used in the U.S. and that the recently passed federal Inflation Reduction Act is investing $700 million to increase the production of uranium fuel in the US in order to divest from Russia.

Read more about these topics in their newsletter here

WeWillBuildANewCompass
We Will Build a New Compass: Magic Moments of Seeding More Just Worlds is a story of breaking intergenerational cycles of violence and imagining more liberated futures.

It connects the experiences of teen parenthood, disability, queerness, and immigration to larger patterns of oppression and resistance. It also looks for possibilities beyond trauma and explores ways of developing tools for healing and creating collective strategies for structural change.

The book is centered on the premise that liberation as a process is closely tied to addressing harm and its lasting consequences as much as it is about imagining, creating, and implementing more just systems at an individual, group, and societal level.

Chiara Francesca Galimberti is a queer disabled artist, writer, organizer, acupuncturist, former teen mother, first-gen college grad, and Italian immigrant to the occupied Indigenous territories currently known as the United States. Chiara has been involved in movements for justice for over two decades, with a focus on gender violence prevention, healing justice, and politicized artmaking.

Buy your copy here as proceeds will go to the Chicago Torture Justice CenterChiResists, and Freedom Fighter Herbs 

Letting Go of Myths, Embracing Truths
By first transforming and reimagining ourselves, we all have an opportunity before us to truly transform our organizations and reimagine our work
Yes! Magazine presents this article by Shawn Ginwright which uncovers three myths about social change, furthermore uncovering the importance in reflecting on one’s on individual trauma as a part of the work as well. Ginwright uncovers the myths, “We can fight our way to justice”, “The more power we have, the more change we can create”, “Us vs them”. He follows up with a few pivots, allowing the reader to reflect on reimagine justice while reimagining ourselves.
Read it here

 

Uplifting & Supporting our Community

ESC_SaveTheDate

Eastside Solutionaries Collective
Save the date! – Sunday, October 16, 2022

Eastside Solutionaries Collective wants you to save the date for their 2nd annual fair, happening Sunday October 16 from 12-4pm. Further details will be anounced as the date approaches but in the meantime you can check out pictures from last year’s fair on their page.

This event will challenge guests to reflect on what power means to them and how are we building it collectively?
Follow them on Facebook, check out their blog, or reach out via email if you’re interested in sponsoring, collaborating or volunteering for the event.

SourceEvent

Join Source Booksellers as they celebrate the release of Magnolia Flower with Ibram Kendi along with Class Act Detroit where Kendi will soon host a series.

About Magnolia Flower:

From beloved African American folklorist Zora Neale Hurston comes a moving adaptation by National Book Award winner and #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and Antiracist Baby, Ibram X. Kendi. Magnolia Flower follows a young Afro Indigenous girl who longs for freedom and is gorgeously illustrated by Loveis Wise (The People Remember, Ablaze with Color).

 

Born to parents who fled slavery and the Trail of Tears, Magnolia Flower is a girl with a vibrant spirit. Not to be deterred by rigid ways of the world, she longs to connect with others, who too long for freedom. She finds this in a young man of letters who her father disapproves of. In her quest to be free, Magnolia must make a choice and set off on a journey that will prove just how brave one can be when leading with one’s heart.

 

Reserve your spot for this celebration!

 

 

Resources

How to find, contact, and donate to your local abortion fund

Abortion Rights

The National Network of Abortion Funds lists abortion funds which are independent, grassroots organizations developed to support the specific needs of their communities. Whether it’s funding procedures, abortion pills, transportation and lodging when travel is required, childcare, doula and emotional support, or other needs voiced by people seeking abortions, funds are finding innovative and compassionate ways to get people the abortions they want and need. Find support in your state

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

WaterAssistance

 

This new Federal program offers assistance to those who are facing water shutoffs or are in need of reconnecting their water utility. Freshwater Future lists additional information and ways to apply for assistance, categorized by state. The program prioritizes those who need their water reconnected or are facing imminent shutoffs. You can read more and apply here.

 

ACLU: Immigrant Police Misconduct Hotline

ImmigrantHotline

ACLU MI has recently launched and announced the misconduct hotline for Michiganders to report instances of police misconduct or abuse based on immigration status (or assumptions about immigration status).

If you or a loved one have been pulled over, harassed, arrested, or detained by a police officer because of actual or perceived immigration status (e.g., skin color, spoken language, or name), you are encouraged to call the hotline and leave a message detailing the experience. The ACLU of Michigan is committed to investigating those reports and will assist in taking action against police departments when possible.

Flyers are also available in 4 different languages:

Arabic
Bangla/Bengali
?English
Spanish

 

“Why is it that wanting clean drinking water makes you an activist, but proposing to destroy water with chemical warfare doesn’t make a corporation a terrorist?” -Winona LaDuke



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Boggs Center News – Living For Change August 29th 2022

August 29th, 2022

revolution image final


Thinking for Ourselves

Water and Weapons
Shea Howell

Along with 11.5 million other people, I watch NCIS. I have mourned the loss of favorite characters and grown old with Jethro Gibbs. I joined the 8.4 million people who welcomed the new NCIS: Hawai’i.  In a world of too much violence and uncertainty, I take pleasure in the predictable crime solving exploits of the show and its multiple spin offs. Still, it came as a bit of shock to hear a character hovering over multiple real time video screens say, “ShotSpotter” had just alerted them of gun fire in a neighborhood.

I am keenly aware of the role of the media in shaping public opinion. The core of agenda setting theory is that while the media doesn’t tell us what to think, it does tell us what to think about. Researchers have explored the role of TV dramas in creating and reinforcing ideologies. A study by Color of Change looked specifically at the world of crime dramas and concluded:

“The crime genre glorifies, justifies and normalizes the systematic violence and injustice meted out by police, making heroes out of police and prosecutors who engage in abuse, particularly against people of color.”

Commenting in the Guardian, Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, said “the consequences of these inaccurate portrayals “create a culture and system where people think the justice system is fair and is working… That goes against the data and the realities on the ground…These shows, for years, have been perpetuating myths about how the system works. And those myths educate people who serve on our juries.”

Even knowing this, I was shocked to hear a specific surveillance product casually referred to as part of the crime solving tool kit. Many of us in Detroit have been concerned about the installation of ShotSpotter.  Over the last year I have written about the dangers of this system. ShotSpotter places microphones in neighborhoods. These microphones are supposed to pick up the sound of gunfire and pinpoint an address for police to respond. The Detroit Police Department tried to get an additional $7 million to expand the program and faced criticism from activists. The technology has not proven effective and can be the basis for sending heavily armed police into neighborhoods. Everyone knows squads of armed police in our neighborhoods often result in disaster or death.

Thinking about this, I came across an article by Alec Karakatsanis published by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project in late July. Karakatsanis documents the vast amounts of money local police are spending in public relations campaigns. He looks at “media” budgets that support full time public relations specialists who track public opinion, intervene with families of police violence, control initial media reactions and provide video services to establish a coherent narrative from police footage, showing the police as justified in using force.

He calls this coordinated effort Copaganda and outlines three main implications. First “it narrows our understanding of safety. Police get us to focus on crimes committed by the poorest, most vulnerable people in our society and not on bigger threats to our safety caused by people with wealth and power.

Second, it manufactures “crime surges. For example, if you watch the news, you’ve probably been bombarded with stories about the rise of retail theft. Yet the actual data shows there has been no significant increase. Instead, corporate retailers, police, and PR firms fabricated talking points and fed them to the media.

And third, it manipulates our “understanding of what solutions actually work to make us safer. A primary goal of copaganda is to convince the public to spend even more money on police and prisons.”

He concludes by saying, “If police and prisons made us safe, we would have the safest society in world history–but the opposite is true. There is no link between more cops and decreased crime, even of the type that the police report. Instead, addressing the root causes of interpersonal harm like safe housing, health care, treatment, nutrition, pollution, and early-childhood education is the most effective way to enhance public safety. And addressing root causes of violence also prevents the other harms that flow from inequality, including millions of avoidable deaths.”

Such clear thinking is essential. Since the widespread uprising after the murder of George Floyd, police, and the corporate powers they protect have been engaged in a campaign to control our sense of reality. Those of us committed to abolishing the police state and the violence inherent in it, need to develop creative, thoughtful ways to help people understand where our real safety lies.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Weekly highlights

DDP Hiring

Detroit Disability Power is hiring a few field representatives for their Get Out the Vote campaign where they’ll be connecting with voters to educate them on the voting process,  helping to increase voter turnout, and informing the public about disability-related issues. Depsite the deadline, they’re still taking applications.
Find out more and apply here.

What we’re listening to

Detroit is Different Podcast
Hustler’s spirit is the family business featuring Corina Malone

DetroitIsDifferent

The latest episode of Detroit is Different features Corina Malone who speaks of her life living between Detroit and the metro area while revealing what hustling has meant for her and her family. Corina shares information about her career path as a bio-medical engineer and physical therapist.

Listen here

Piper Carter Podcast
Black August Series: Safety Reimagined w/ Curtis Renee 

BlackAugustPodcast
Join the Piper Carter Podcast as they feature Curtis Renee of Detroit Safety Team to talk about how alternatives to policing can be achieved through community safety. Detroit Safety Team assists communities in building a new safety infrastructure that shifts away from police reliance.

Listen here

What we’re reading

NoMorePolice

Mariame Kaba and Andrea Ritchie’s newest book release, No More Police.: A case for abolition, provides detail on why policing doesn’t stop violence and instead perpetuates widespread harm. The book also outlines the many failures of contemporary police reforms while exploring demands to defund police, divest from policing, and invest in community resources to create greater safety through a Black feminist lens.

If you are an abolitionist-minded person, you’ll want to check it out as the book is described as call to action literature
Buy your copy now 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Uplifting & Supporting our Community

SourceEvent

Join Source Booksellers as they celebrate the release of Magnolia Flower with Ibram Kendi along with Class Act Detroit where Kendi will soon host a series.

About Magnolia Flower:

From beloved African American folklorist Zora Neale Hurston comes a moving adaptation by National Book Award winner and #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and Antiracist Baby, Ibram X. Kendi. Magnolia Flower follows a young Afro Indigenous girl who longs for freedom and is gorgeously illustrated by Loveis Wise (The People Remember, Ablaze with Color).

Born to parents who fled slavery and the Trail of Tears, Magnolia Flower is a girl with a vibrant spirit. Not to be deterred by rigid ways of the world, she longs to connect with others, who too long for freedom. She finds this in a young man of letters who her father disapproves of. In her quest to be free, Magnolia must make a choice and set off on a journey that will prove just how brave one can be when leading with one’s heart.

Reserve your spot for this celebration!

Resources

How to find, contact, and donate to your local abortion fund

Abortion Rights

The National Network of Abortion Funds lists abortion funds which are independent, grassroots organizations developed to support the specific needs of their communities. Whether it’s funding procedures, abortion pills, transportation and lodging when travel is required, childcare, doula and emotional support, or other needs voiced by people seeking abortions, funds are finding innovative and compassionate ways to get people the abortions they want and need. Find support in your state

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

WaterAssistance

This new Federal program offers assistance to those who are facing water shutoffs or are in need of reconnecting their water utility. Freshwater Future lists additional information and ways to apply for assistance, categorized by state. The program prioritizes those who need their water reconnected or are facing imminent shutoffs. You can read more and apply here.

ACLU: Immigrant Police Misconduct Hotline

ImmigrantHotline

ACLU MI has recently launched and announced the misconduct hotline for Michiganders to report instances of police misconduct or abuse based on immigration status (or assumptions about immigration status).

If you or a loved one have been pulled over, harassed, arrested, or detained by a police officer because of actual or perceived immigration status (e.g., skin color, spoken language, or name), you are encouraged to call the hotline and leave a message detailing the experience. The ACLU of Michigan is committed to investigating those reports and will assist in taking action against police departments when possible.

Flyers are also available in 4 different languages:

Arabic
Bangla/Bengali
?English
Spanish

“We are all substantially flawed, wounded, angry, hurt, here on Earth. But this human condition, so painful to us, and in someways shameful- because we feel we are weak when the reality of ourselves is exposed- is made much more bearable when it is shared, face to face, in words that have expressive human eyes behind them…” -Alice Walker




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