Boggs Center – Living for Change News – June 10th, 2021

June 10th, 2021

revolution image final


RR


Thinking for Ourselves
Charter Visions

Charter Visions
Shea Howell

After a week of legal wrangling, the ability of Detroiters to vote for or against the proposed City Charter is unclear. What should be clear, is the fight over the Charter is at the heart of contested visions of our city.  Whatever its flaws, the Charter holds out a vision of our city that puts people first, acknowledges the disparities among us, and takes concrete steps to improve the lives of our people, our children, and our neighborhoods.  It limits the power of the Mayor and the Police and increases citizen voices.

It is opposed vigorously by Mayor Duggan.

The proposed charter is the result of a three year process. In 2018, Detroiters elected a Charter Commission tasked with revising the City Charter. This is a regular process whereby cities review the bases of their governance and make changes they feel necessary. The Commission held hundreds of hours of public meetings where people came and testified about their concerns. I attended several of these, hearing concerns about city services, foreclosures, taxing policies, police misconduct, fees and fines, surveillance technologies, and water shut offs. Protection of cultural treasures and programs to support youth were frequently raised by citizens.  In all of this, a strong indictment of the current administration emerged.

In response to the “rejection” of the Charter by the Governor, Carol Weaver, Chair  of the Commission wrote in March, “What emerged from our diligent efforts at listening to citizens is that there are two Detroits, where many residents find themselves “living in a city bankrupt of the just administration of political power, bereft of equal opportunities, struggling to afford the basic necessities of affordable housing and water, onlookers to pockets of progress and development that they neither participated in or benefit from.”

At the core of the new Charter is the Detroiters Bill of Rights. This contains some of the most progressive thinking in our city. establishing the right to housing, education, water and access to communication. It advocates for the right to be free from excessive policing, surveillance, and intrusion into our private lives.  Under the leadership of Council members Mary Sheffield and Raquel Castaneda-Lopez, people met, argued and struggled together to develop the ideas put forward in the document. This Bill of Rights sets out our most important obligations to each other.

While there are issues of implementation and cost that would have to be addressed in bringing this new Charter to life, its aspiration for a better city for all of us is forceful and clear.

To understand its importance, you need look no further than the provision in this new charter for affordable water as human right. In 2013 emergency manager Kevyn Orr launched  massive water shut offs in a process of both driving African Americans out of the city and shifting control of the water department into the hands of suburban interests. This ushered in a battle over water shut offs that continues today. It took the pandemic to get Mayor Duggan to stop this draconian practice. In the course of this struggle, community groups went to court, emphasizing the hardships people were experiencing due to shut offs. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes acknowledged the pain people were experiencing and that the city had not done enough to help people with increasingly unaffordable water bills. But, he concluded the court could not halt water shut offs because there was no “enforceable right” to water. The sting of that decision sits with many on the Charter Commission and was carried by the voices of people calling for real change.

This new Charter, whatever its limitations, puts forward, in no uncertain terms, that we acknowledge basic human rights to the essential elements of a productive, safe, and fulfilling life. That is the vision the current administration opposes.

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NLG

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cicada

what the cicada said to the brown boy

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Juneteenth Air Quality Forum 6.19.2021


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Boggs Center – Living for Change News – June 2nd, 2021

June 2nd, 2021

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D_FENSTER_FINAL


“One year after the death of George Floyd, who was brutally killed by a police officer, we are airing this multifaceted social justice program in partnership with the Detroit Coalition for Police Transparency and Accountability (CPTA), Detroit Will Breathe, the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Movement, and Alnur African Dance Detroit. Members of the Detroit-based grassroots organization ‘Detroit Will Breathe’ discuss with African American youth their candid reactions and perspectives about the police. Dr. Gloria Aneb House, Professor Emerita of Humanities at Wayne State University, former Chair and Professor Emerita of African American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, the 2019 Eminent Kresge Artist, an internationally renowned former SNCC activist, and co-founder of the CPTA directs this virtual program. It also highlights creative dance performances and skits that address this same topic by the Alnur African Dance Troupe, a group of African American youth dancers and drummers facilitated by dedicated master instructor Margaret Robeson (Mama Ayi).”

https://detroitcpta.org/
https://detroitwillbreathe.info/ https://www.difsm.org/
https://www.facebook.com/AlnurAfrican…
Celebrating the Unity and Diversity of Humanity https://www.keiga.foundation/


Happy Belated Birthday, Jimmy!

Jimmy Bday


Thinking for Ourselves

Protecting Life
Shea Howell

This week James White assumes command of the Detroit Police Department. We wish him well as the new Chief. He is stepping into a position that requires new thinking about policing, relationships in our city, and the responsibilities of public officials.

He will get little help from many of our current elected officials. Mayor Duggan offers nothing but praise for Chief White’s predecessor. The majority of the City Council has uncritically approved his most regressive initiatives, including an expansive use of surveillance technologies throughout our community. At a time when many cities are redirecting budgets to fund civil initiatives, the City Council and Mayor approved increased spending on police.

Most often these decisions are justified by City Council members who resist reform by claiming other cities, many with smaller African American populations, don’t have the same “crime problems” we do. The majority on the Council consistently repeat the most racist, negative views of our city to justify their votes, citing fear of crime as their rationale.

That is why we hope one of the first calls Chief White makes is to the Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka. Baraka has been leading reform efforts mandated by the U.S. Department of Justice in response to a longstanding record of police abuses and civil rights violations there. Elected in 2015, Baraka, with the help of Newark Police Director Anthony Ambrose, has transformed the department.

Baraka, son of poet and Black Power activist Amiri Baraka, knows police violence intimately.

“The police department systemically has been used as a weapon against working people and poor people in this country. Whether you were in a union, whether you were a new immigrant, whether you were … an African American, it was used to keep inequality going. That relationship has to be fundamentally changed.”

During 2020, when many cites were experiencing increasing crime and tensions between communities and police, Newark is a stark exception. Arrests and crime were down, complaints about police hit record lows. The Police Director stood with Black Lives Matter protestors and demonstrations were peaceful. Over the last five years serious crime has dropped by 40 percent. At the same time the city has shifted $11 million away from the police department and to violence prevention efforts.

In all of 2020 not one police officer fired a gun. Not one single shot. The city did not pay any money to settle a case of police brutality.

Activists in Newark, many of whom continue to work for abolition of police, recognize that there is still much to be done to create new forms of safety, but they also recognize that there have been “significant” changes. Many of these changes are attributed to the Newark Community Street Teams. The teams are mostly made up of returning citizens who work to defuse violence before it escalates. Camden, New Jersey, is drawing on the Newark experience to reform its processes with similar results. Detroit should do the same.

Community teams organized to interrupt violence are not new, of course. Organizations nationally, like Cure Violence, have been developing intervention strategies for decades. In areas of New York, where they have been active, as in the South Bronx and Brooklyn, year after year, there are no shootings. Settling differences within communities are becoming normalized.

In reflecting on the Newark transformation,  Brian O’Hara, the deputy chief for training, talked about the importance of moving away from the heavily militarized approach that characterizes most police departments, including Detroit. He said, “It’s about protecting the sanctity of every life.”

Protecting life would be a welcome goal for our new Chief.

A message from Rodd Monts at ACLU Michigan. I am resending this message with an ask from legislators to encourage any of you who are interested in speaking out about the legislation below to testify or to submit written testimony to consider doing so. As you know, the police will be quite vocal on these bills and the sponsors are hoping for as much informed counternarrative as possible.

You can feel free to reply to me directly if interested or if you need more info. rmonts@aclumich.org
NOTICE OF SCHEDULED MEETING

COMMITTEE: Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety

DATE: Thursday, June 3, 2021

TIME: 8:30 a.m.

LOCATION: Room 1100, Binsfeld Office Building
201 Townsend Street
Lansing, MI 48933

CONTACT: Jackie Mosher, Committee Clerk
(517) 373-5312
OfcSCC@senate.michigan.gov

AGENDA

SB 473     Sen. Victory           Law enforcement; investigations; guidelines for the investigation of officer-involved deaths; require the commission to create.

SB 474     Sen. Moss               Law enforcement; records; use of force records; require to be included in separation of service record.

SB 475     Sen. Horn               Law enforcement; employment; license of law enforcement officer that used excessive force; revoke.

SB 476     Sen. Ananich          Law enforcement; other; individuals filing complaints against law enforcement; allow to remain private.

SB 477     Sen. Hollier            Labor; collective bargaining; obligation of bargaining representatives to represent members in grievance proceedings; eliminate in certain circumstances.

SB 478     Sen. Runestad         Law enforcement; other; use of pressure to the throat or windpipe by law enforcement; prohibit under certain circumstances.

SB 479     Sen. Geiss               Criminal procedure; warrants; execution of search warrants; modify.

SB 480     Sen. Johnson          Law enforcement; training; duty to intervene policy; require law enforcement agencies to adopt.

SB 481     Sen. Chang             Law enforcement; other; use of force policies; require law enforcement agencies to create.

SB 482     Sen. Irwin               Law enforcement; training; mental health and law enforcement response training; require for law enforcement officers.

SB 483     Sen. MacDonald     Law enforcement; other; research study and analysis identifying barriers in the recruitment of law enforcement officer; require the commission to conduct.

SB 484     Sen. Bullock           Crimes; other; tampering with evidence by law enforcement officer with specific intent; prohibit, and provide penalties.

SB 375     Sen. Santana           Law enforcement; training; law enforcement agencies that fund police training for recruits; allow agreements requiring reimbursement in certain

situations.

District 7 Candidates for City Council,
a conversation with young people about our future.
Please join us WEDNESDAY, June 2 @ 6pm at the following link:

Topic: City Council Candidates Conservation-District 7
Time: Jun 2, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82591955562?pwd=enl4Q09ldlJjaWtFQUcxUGM5Nm4rUT09

Meeting ID: 825 9195 5562
Passcode: 10388

 


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Boggscenter – Living For Change News – May 26th, 2021

May 26th, 2021

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Thinking for Ourselves

Waiting for New Leadership
Shea Howell

James White assumes command of the Detroit Police Department on June 2.  Chief James Craig has decided to retire. He is embracing the openly racist, white supremist, anti-democracy republican political party as his new home. This tells us much about what is wrong with policing in Detroit and why we need a shift in leadership. This change is an opportunity for us to rethink policing. So far, incoming interim Chief White is a disappointment.

He has said that he will not “try to be James Craig.” That is a welcome sentiment, but there are key areas of Craig’s legacy that are linked to White.

First, Interim Chief White was intimately involved in some of the worst decisions made by Craig and the DPD. In spite of massive community criticism, limited data demonstrating effectiveness, and strong data indicating racial bias, Chief Craig backed and supported Project Green Light, combining real time digital feeds to police and using facial recognition software. The man who implemented these programs, while in the DPD was James White. Detroit is still dealing with the egregious arrest and detention of Robert Williams, who was violently taken into custody by police in front of his wife and children when he returned home and pulled into his own driveway.

In a lawsuit filed in April by the ACLU on his behalf, three of the four counts focus on the lack of probable cause for the arrest, while one focuses on the racial disparities in the impact of facial recognition. “By employing technology that is empirically proven to misidentify Black people at rates far higher than other groups of people,” it states, ”the DPD denied Mr. Williams the full and equal enjoyment of the Detroit Police Department’s services, privileges, and advantages because of his race or color.”

Second, White has indicated that his most important priority will be traffic violations as a way to “get crime under control.”  “The way we’ve been driving in this city has to stop.”

This is a dangerous and all too likely deadly decision. Earlier this month the Detroit Free Press described the aggravation, humiliation and trauma that many African American residents suffer when driving. “While we are all attracted to and captivated by and focused on the George Floyds of the world, … every single day there are hundreds of thousands of people who come into contact with police officers who may leave those encounters without even receiving a ticket but whose lives have been turned upside down just by the terror of having had that encounter,” said Mark Fancher, staff attorney for the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU of Michigan. Study after study has documented the racial bias and dangers of these encounters with police.

In other cities, Police Chiefs have recognized the dangers inherent in creating policies that increase these kinds of potentially explosive situations. In Lansing, Police Chief Daryl Green has told his officers to stop using “defective equipment violations” as a  reason for stopping people. In Fayetteville North Carolina a similar policy resulted in a 50% drop in encounters for non-speeding or other moving violations. The new prosecutor of Washtenaw  County has named these “pretext tops,” “inextricably intertwined with racial profiling” and will not authorize charges for contraband offenses, such as possession of drugs or weapons, that arise from pretext stops.”  The directive states that pretext stops are “humiliating, traumatizing, and can lead to broad distrust of law enforcement in communities of color.”

James White says his decisions will be driven data. He said, “analyzing crime data and crime statistics, and really coming up with ways of enforcing crime differently.”

We have more than enough data to tell us that policing as we now it cannot be reformed. We know its history; its intent, and its daily practices are all in support of a settler colonial system that requires the use of force and violence to continue. James White has an opportunity to create a completely different kind of community safety, rooted in compassion, care, and strengthening the bonds of community. We are waiting to see if he is willing to step forward and give some real leadership.

The Boggs School is looking to expand its School Board! 

To apply, please complete and send this application to courtney@boggsschool.org and lurdes@boggsschool.org by Friday, June 4.

Applicants must be:

– US Citizens

– Residents of Michigan

– Able to attend monthly meetings at the school

and must not be:

– Employees or contractors of the school or AxiosHR

– Employees of Eastern Michigan University.

 

School parent/guardian applicants should have had a child at the Boggs School for at least one calendar year before applying.

The Board will give preference to applicants who have been connected to the Boggs School and Boggs Center communities over time.

Please write to boggsschool@boggsschool with any questions!

boggs

 


NCOEEEEE


Tax Captures
Russ Bellant

Tax captures are the act of diverting portions of our property taxes into projects that benefit developers that are relieved of having to pay some of their project costs. They have been around for years as a result of a 1975 state law that sanctioned shifting taxpayer funds into private hands in furtherance of private profit. The law puts no cap on how much a local unit of government can capture, but it has been assumed that no mayor would take so much as to hurt their city’s schools and libraries. That assumption is an error in today’s Detroit.

 

The Detroit Public Library crisis

The Detroit Public Library (DPL) depends on the property tax millage for 89% of its revenue. The City is now capturing about 12% of that millage, triple the amount taken in 2015. In the last five years $7.5 million has been taken from DPL, creating deficits since 2018. Over the next five years the City projects taking $17.1 million. The annual DPL budget is only about $30 million.

 

At the time COVID struck, DPL had 21 operating branches. It reopened only six branches due to various COVID factors, but when full reopening occurs, the massive tax captures will impair operation and reduce financial stability . The deficits created several years ago by tax captures were covered from rainy day funds. It was hoped that conversations with the City would correct the problem, but DPL concerns fell on deaf ears and the size of the capture continued to grow. The City prevents the library from having capital funds for building repairs and renovations, so our modest operation dollars must cover emergency building costs, an unsound way to maintain stable program operations. The DIA and the Zoo were exempted from tax captures, but our basic educational institutions focused on Detroit youth were not.

 

Detroit Public Schools

The tax capture machine took $12 million from the debt and the operating millages for our school system in 2017. The amount since has undoubtedly increased substantially, but the City has not published those figures. The amount of the annual tax capture has obstructed the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s ability to sell bonds because the size of the capture creates uncertainty in the bond market about the district’s ability to repay bondholders. Not selling bonds means not creating the capital funds needed for extensive building improvements needed after years of state-appointed “emergency manager” neglect. This in turn reduces the quality of the learning environment for many DPSCD students.


Other Targets

Other entities experiencing the tax capture losses are Wayne County Community College District; Wayne RESA (the county intermediate school district), as well as the State School millage. Wayne RESA has three millages – one for supporting special education, another for enhancing local school district funding and a small one for operating costs. The first two millages result in funds for DPSCD. In total there are eight education millages and tax captures hit all of them. How does anyone calculate that brownfield projects for developers are more important than special education, especially since “emergency managers” smashed special education programs across the district, including the schools for the deaf and blind.
Demanding Change

There has been no campaign to stop tax capture wealth transfers from our neighborhoods to the rich and super-wealthy. Our libraries and schools return services to neighborhoods from the revenues provided by the neighborhoods. Tax captured money is overwhelmingly transferred to downtown and midtown assets and most of the resulting profits leave the City. Now a petition drive has begun to put an advisory question on the November ballot that says: We the Citizens of Detroit expect elected officials of our City to ensure that all millages approved by Detroit voters will be used solely for the purposes that we approved the millage. Hence we want our library and school millages used strictly to support our libraries and schools.
This is not just about supporting these important institutions but also about asserting the full authority of the voters and not letting someone elected by the voters exercise power to supersede the decision of the voters. If voters approve a millage for the operation of the schools, no elected official should be rerouting that money to a private developer’s project, regardless of whether Lansing says it’s ok. Let’s put this on the ballot and finally give voters a voice on the massive wealth transfers sucked out of our neighborhoods into the hands of megadeveloprs, at the expense of our educational capacity. We only have weeks to make this happen. Please let me know how you will


District 7-Flyer-Council Candidates (2)

 


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Boggs Center – Living For Change News – May 17th 2021

May 17th, 2021

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For Palestine, in May 2021
(from Counterpunch)

by MANUEL GARCÍA, JR.

“Indeed, I tremble for my country
when I reflect that God is just:
that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
— Thomas Jefferson,
unrepentant slaveowner, in 1781,
80 years later came the Civil War.
May 2021:
In Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem,
Israeli mobs shielded by Israeli soldiers
expropriate Palestinian homes:
more living room for Greater Israel.
Israeli airplanes, unopposed,
bomb Gaza
84 years after Guernica,
retaliating for Palestine’s right to exist:
infants, children, women, men die,
civilians all:
blown up,
buried in the rubble of their homes,
bleeding away in hospitals
denied pandemic vaccines:
all eyed hungrily by bulldozer blades
eager to raze
more living room for Greater Israel.
Triumphally
does America’s largess to Zionism
clear out another Western Expansion
to echoes of Crazy Horse:
“My lands are where my people lie buried”;
raining hellfire on infidels to White Supremacy.
USS Liberty continues to sink:
the Associated Press Building is bombed;
Americans, too, like Abraham of yore,
must be willing to offer blood sacrifices
on the altar of Biblical Glory:
more living room for Greater Israel.
The Conquest continues
because empty souls with blank hearts
cling to tribal hate with loaded guns.
When will “God’s justice” rain down on us
in retribution for our lush sponsorship
of Zionist war crimes?
We have forgotten Nuremberg,
and “never again,”
only 76 years ago:
so I tremble for my country.
May 2021:
These are our crimes: tremble.

Manuel Garcia Jr, once a physicist, is now a lazy househusband who writes out his analyses of physical or societal problems or interactions. He can be reached at mangogarcia@att.net


Thinking for Ourselves

Stand with Palestine
Shea Howell

We oppose the brutality of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people. We stand in solidarity with those who fight for freedom against apartheid, genocide, and the settler colonialism essential to the expansion of empire. In this issue we are emphasizing the speech by Rashida Tlaib of Detroit. Long before she became the only US Congress member of Palestinian descent, she has been in the forefront of struggles for justice for all, understanding that our struggles for a better world are entwined.

Last week she addressed Congress:

This is so personal for me. I am a reminder to colleagues that Palestinians do indeed exist; that we are human; that we are allowed to dream. We are mothers, daughters, granddaughters. We are justice-seekers, and are unapologetically about our fight against oppressions of all forms.

Colleagues: Palestinians aren’t going anywhere, no matter how much money you send to Israel’s apartheid government.
If we are to make good on our promises to support equal human rights for all, it is our duty to end the apartheid system that for decades has subjected Palestinians to inhumane treatment and racism. Reducing Palestinians to live in utter fear and terror of losing a child, being indefinitely detained or killed because of who they are, and the unequal rights and protections they have under Israeli law: it must end.

One of Israel’s most prominent human rights organizations, B’Tselem, has declared Israel an apartheid state. Human Rights Watch recently recognized it, too. This is what Palestinians living under Israel’s oppression have been telling us for decades.
I have been told by some of my colleagues who dispute the truth about segregation, racism, and violence in Israel towards Palestinians that I need to know the history. What they mean, unintentionally or not, is that Palestinians do not have the right to tell the truth about what happened to them during the founding of Israel. They, in effect, erase the truth about the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Israel that some refer to as the nakba, or “catastrophe.”

As Palestinians talk about our history, know that many of my black neighbors and indigenous communities may not know what we mean by nakba. But they do understand what it means to be killed, expelled from your home and land, made homeless, and stripped of your human rights.

My ancestors and current family in Palestine deserve the world to hear their history without obstruction. They have a right to be able to explain to the world that they are still suffering, still being dispossessed, still being killed as the world watches and does nothing. As Peter Beinart, an American of Jewish faith, writes, “When you tell a people to forget its past, you are not proposing peace. You’re proposing extinction.”

The Palestinian story is that of being made a refugee on the lands you called home. We cannot have an honest conversation about US military support for the Israeli government today without acknowledging that for Palestinians, the catastrophe of displacement and dehumanization in their homeland has been ongoing since 1948.

Above all, there has been absolutely no recognition of Palestinian humanity. If our own State Department can’t even bring itself to acknowledge that the killing of Palestinian children is wrong, I will say it for the millions of Americans who stand with me against the killing of innocent children, no matter their ethnicity or faith. I weep for all the lives lost under the unbearable status quo, every single one, no matter their faith, their background.

We all deserve freedom, liberty, peace, and justice, and it should never be denied because of our faith or ethnic background. No child, Palestinian or Israeli, whoever they are, should ever have to worry that death will rain from the sky. How many of my colleagues are willing to say the same, to stand for Palestinian rights as they do for Israelis’?

There is a crushing dehumanization to how we talk about this terrible violence. The New York Post reported the Palestinian death toll as Israeli casualties. ABC says that Israelis are “killed” while Palestinians simply “die,” as if by magic, as if they were never human to begin with.

To learn more about the history of the Palestinian struggle, read the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement’s detailed overview of the issue. Haymarket Books is also currently offering a free download of the e-book “Palestine: A Socialist Introduction” to share more about the history and politics of the occupation and oppression of Palestinians.

All of us must urgently, forcefully. and clearly raise our voices against this US supported state violence against the Palestinian people.

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OpinionWhat we’re seeing now is just the latest chapter in Israel’s dispossession of the Palestinians. 

Keep Reading in the Washington Post

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Grace and Jimmy


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Boggs Center – Living For Change News – May 11th, 2021

May 11th, 2021

revolution image final


visionary


Thinking for Ourselves

Under Scrutiny 
Shea Howell

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is expected to announce this week his retirement and to launch his campaign for governor on the republican ticket. Such news is not surprising. Craig has consistently supported the most extreme right wing, destructive politics in the country.

He  took over the Detroit Police Department as part of the corporate effort to control the city under emergency management. While most progressive leadership persistently resisted the drive toward a state takeover and the declaration of bankruptcy,  Craig become the police arm to protect policies that destroyed the capacity of local self- government. Overseeing the cutting of police, he encouraged citizens to arm themselves as a means of protection. He encouraged teachers to take guns to classrooms. These views got him on the cover of the NRA magazine. He testifies for right wing republicans on federal legislation designed to increase the technological and military control of communities. He consistently provides excuses for the use of force. It has taken a court order to make him to stop aggressive, violent practices directed at people engaged in public protest of the violence he endorses.

These actions are surrounded by an ideology of white supremacy. In spite of consistently falling crime statistics, Craig has fostered the narrative of Detroit as a violent city, on the verge of explosion, agitated and provoked by radical Marxists. He refers to the young people his officers have killed as “suspects,”  rendering their deaths justifiable. He intensifies the fears of people in the community, using these fears to push for more money for police budgets. Most recently he has taken to attacking elected officials, especially women, calling their arguments for defunding police, “disgusting.”

In a preview of how skewed Craig’s view of reality is, he told reporters that since his experience with COVID 19 he has gained a new perspective. “Leave the small stuff alone and really focus on what you are personally called to do,” Craig said in a Free Press interview. “You have so much clarity when you’re fighting a deadly disease that you start thinking about your calling. ‘What am I here to do? It becomes so clear.” Craig said, “I want to help people.”

So, he is running for governor as a republican. How does he think that will help people?

As destructive as Craig has been to progressive ideas around community safety, the notion that putting authority in the hands of republicans is a good idea for the people of Detroit, the people of Michigan, or of this country, is laughable.

At this moment it is the Republican Party in Michigan and around the country that is attempting to make sure the majority of people do not have a voice in the election process. It is the party that overruled the vote of the majority of the people in the state to eliminate emergency manager legislation. It is the party that has removed local government to enable the whitening of the city.  It is the party that ignored the people of Flint, allowing the entire city to drink poisoned water. It is the party that supports water shut offs and evictions, even in the midst of a pandemic. It is the party that fosters obedience over criticism and welcomes law and order over justice.

The Free Press says if Craig goes through with his campaign, his tenure as a police chief will come “under scrutiny.”  Nothing could be better for our city than taking a hard look at Craig and at ourselves as we think about the future.


WKAR

A useful tool for consumers and law enforcement alike, facial recognition technology can help police officers identify—and ultimately charge—criminals caught on camera. But its critics argue that it’s discriminatory: Research shows that facial recognition software often misidentifies people of color at a much higher rate than white individuals. Now, Detroit, Michigan is facing lawsuits for the false arrests of two Black men misidentified by facial recognition technology. Why is it more difficult for this technology to recognize people of color? And do legal, privacy, and human rights concerns outweigh the benefits of its use? KEEP WATCHING

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political

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On  Sunday, May 9, 2021, there was special book celebration to commemorate the birth of Daniel Berrigan. If you do not know his name and his work, check out the Guardian Newspaper obituary.

It was organized as a book party and reading of Detroiter Bill Wylie Kellerman who was both a personal friend and author of his recent book celebrating Daniel’s life Celebrant’s Flame: Daniel Berrigan in Memory and Reflection.

flame

To feel the tone, spirit and significance of his life.  Check out the words to the Dar Williams song:

God of the poor man this is how the day began
Eight co defendants, I, Daniel Berrigan
Oh and only a layman’s batch of napalm
We pulled the draft files out
We burned them in the parking lot
Better the files than the bodies of children
I had no right but for the love of you
I had no right but for the love of you
Many roads led here, walked with the suffering
Tom in Guatemala, Phillip in New Orleans
Oh it’s a long road from law to justice
I went to Vietnam, I went for peace
They dropped their bombs
Right where my government knew I would be
I had no right but for the love of you
I had no right but for the love of you
And all my country saw
Were priests who broke the law
First it was question, then it was a mission
How to be American, how to be a 
Christian 

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 dtree 2

MARG
When We See Clearly, We Can Act Wisely

Lessons Learned from Warriors for the Human Spirit

June Seminar Series 

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