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SATURDAY AT 11 AM – 2 PM Suburban Silence is Racist Violence: Protest the MAGA Nightmare Woodward Avenue and 11 Mile

SATURDAY AT 11 AM – 2 PM

Suburban Silence is Racist Violence: Protest the MAGA Nightmare
Woodward Avenue and 11 Mile


Suburban Silence is Racist Violence: Trump’s Nightmare is not our Dream Cruise!
Join us on Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am at Woodward Ave and 11 mile road to stand up against racist authoritarianism. We will be there to send the message that we won’t be silent in the face of racist violence. Bring your signs, your banners, your mask, your music and song and invite your family and friends.
Event logistics: we will meet Saturday, August 15 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm on the corner of 11 mile road and Woodward Avenue. Stay as long as you’re able and invite family and friends. Brings signs and plan to social distance, wear masks, and respect one another’s space amid the COVID pandemic. Music, songs, and dancing welcome. Contact event organizers with questions: richardfeldman60@gmail.com
Suggestions for signs include:
-Black Lives Matter
-Breaking Our Silence
-Disturb Our ‘Burbs
-Abolish ICE
-Reject Authoritarianism
-Defund Police
-Remember George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor
-White Silence is Racist Violence
-Dump Trump
-Our suburbs are up to US!
If you have not heard, the Oakland County Republican Party has announced a “MAGA Classic Car Cruise” for Trump supporters from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, August 15, the date the annual Dream Cruise would have taken place.
We are inviting our neighbors in Oakland County, Metro Detroit, Wayne and Macomb County, and people from across our state to break our silence against the racist, sexist, xenophobic, ableist violence this MAGA Car Cruise represents. Many of us living in the communities where this event is taking place feel embarrassed, sad, frustrated and shamed that there will be a gathering of individuals and their cars committed to racism and violence.
Too many who are actively turning the “cold civil war” into a “hot civil war” who even attempt to postpone or cancel elections in November. We cannot allow MAGA supporters among us to be empowered by our silence and their “freedom” to continue the great lie of America, a lie built upon racial capitalism and the “American Dream” that was built on the fundamental concept that it was acceptable and government sanctioned to loot and murder indigenous people and enslave African Americans.
Further, our Oakland County history is NO different. The destruction of Royal Oak Township provided the basis for all white south Oakland County suburbs to emerge in the early part of the 20th century, which was then followed by the housing and schooling policies of segregation & racism.
These racist, violent legacies are what all of us are collectively grappling with today. We may not have personally created this history but we responsible for changing the present and the future.
Let us join together this Saturday to break our silence about support a different vision for our communities moving forward! We will be there with a message of compassion and caring that is based upon the commitment to heal and create the beloved community.
As Vincent Harding said: “We are citizens of a country that does not yet exist” Vincent Harding:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6W42KLpNgQ
Show this video to your family during dinner. 

Boggs Center – Living for Change News – August 11th, 2020

August 11th, 2020

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Thinking for Ourselves

Murdering Truth
Shea Howell

Last week the Detroit News published the results of the autopsy report on the killing of Hakim Littleton. The News asserted in its headline “Autopsy backs Detroit police in shooting.” This is simply not true. But the article demonstrates how much the corporate media is dedicated to supporting the police perspective at the expense of the lives of people.

First, the article makes no mention of the controversy over the police use of deadly force. It does not refer to the recent press conference, called by more than 15 community organizations, demanding accountability and transparency from the police.

Community members acknowledged that Chief  Craig had responded quickly, presenting a video shortly after the shooting. However, it seems the  Chief is more interested in a public relations effort than in finding the truth about the use of force and violence by police.

The newly formed coalition is demanding an independent inquiry into the killing of Mr. Littleton and into the excessive use of force by Detroit police against the community and against those demonstrating against police violence.

The coalition explained, “Although Chief James Craig immediately characterized the killing as an appropriate use of force, members of the community are left with many questions, not the least of which is whether the death could have been avoided altogether if officers had used the law enforcement profession’s best practices and employed de-escalation techniques.”

The coalition went on to explain the importance of such an independent investigation saying, “In a period when the already tense relationship between law enforcement and Black communities has escalated to unparalleled heights, there is no place for sudden, aggressive police tactics. Such increases the likelihood that fear and impulse will control citizens’ reactions, and serious injuries and death may be the consequence.”

The coalition also presented a slowed down version of the police video that contradicts many of the Chief’s assertions.

The Detroit News did not refer to this counter evidence, nor to the questions being raised by the community. Instead the News framed the shooting in a context that followed the police narrative. Part of that narrative is to portray Mr. Littleton as a criminal and possible killer. Rather than featuring a picture of Mr. Littleton being shot while face down on the ground, they featured a mug shot and go into great detail describing a murder in his neighborhood. The implication by association is that Mr. Littleton was somehow guilty of a mass shooting, thus police were justified in killing him.

The article does not mention that Mr. Littleton was not the reason police were in his neighborhood that day. He was not the person they came to arrest. He was simply walking down the street, not expecting any confrontation.

Nor does the News give an adequate interpretation of the autopsy. The autopsy does not exonerate the police. The News reports “ Chief Wayne County Medical Examiner Carl … ruled the cause of death as homicide, the result of four gunshot wounds — one in the head, two in the right thigh, and one in the left thigh.

This description supports the questions raised by the coalition. It is obvious from the video that Mr. Littleton was on the ground, prior to the fatal shot. Why was it necessary to kill him? Whose life was at risk? Whose life matters?

Stories like this are designed to make us think all the questions are answered. In reality, they should raise even more questions for us. They emphasize the degree to which police will murder truth,

too.

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AirGo hosts the second volume of Unelectable, our live podcast series with Black Youth Project exploring electoral politics and radical imagination, as part of Allied Media Conference 2020! The live virtual event’s focus is Feminism, and features Unelectable cohost Asha Ransby-Sporn, environmental justice organizer Siwatu-Salama Ra, and Detroit movement legend Tawana Petty.
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What We’re Reading

dis vis
begin again


From The Beloved Community Center

lewis


hiro

 


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Boggs Center – Living For Change News – August 4th, 2020

August 4th, 2020

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If You’re New to Abolition:
Study Group Guide


Thinking for Ourselves

Detroiters’ Bill of Rights

Shea Howell

This week a strong community-based coalition brought together by Detroit City Council President Pro Tempore, Mary Sheffield and Council member Raquel Castaneda-Lopez introduced a Detroiters’ Bill of Rights that they want to see included in the revisions to the City Charter.

The leadership of the two council members strikes a stark contrast with most of their colleagues on the City Council, the Mayor, and the Chief of Police. Across the globe, people are demanding broadly based, systemic change. Yet in Detroit, most members of the city council have used every trick in the book to block even modest reforms to the system.

Councilman Scott Benson has led the council in distorting community benefits, confusing and watering down legislation to protect corporate development. He has blocked efforts for greater public accountability over the police. He has been aided in these tactics by former policeman turned councilman, Roy McCalister and Jaynee Ayers, who loves to ask “what do the boots on the ground think?” She seems unmoved by the fact that often those boots are used to squeeze the life out of people. Jones, Tate and Spivey have also found themselves on the wrong side of every corporate give-away of the city and seem to lack any sense of the critical moment we face. They are increasingly at odds with the mood of the city, drifting toward concern for their own political advancement and currying corporate favor.

The Detroiters’ Bill of Rights, on the other hand, reflects a responsiveness to decades of work at the grass roots, enshrining the right to clean, affordable water; to a protected, healthy environment; to safe communities; to basic needs; recreation: and mobility.  The document strengthens our welcome to immigrants, supports people with disabilities and establishes principles for public, fair budgeting practices.

More than two years ago, Sheffield unveiled a People’s Bill focusing on revitalizing communities and establishing fundamental principles of governance. Most of this has been blocked by council majorities, but it has clearly inspired the new Bill of Rights.

This Bill of Rights also recognizes that we are at a critical juncture in the evolution of our city. Mary Sheffield said, “We are at a rare moment in this nation’s history when the voice of the people is being amplified and real change is achievable.” She explained, “It is important to meet such a historic opportunity with the organization, action and policies that could deliver quality of life improvements for the oppressed.”

Castaneda-Lopez emphasized the importance of establishing clear values that encourage the capacities of human beings to reach our fullest potential. She said,  “It is our responsibility as public servants to uphold this value and lead with courage to build a just future. By embedding the principles of racial equity and social justice in the City’s charter, we are changing the status quo and laying the foundation for a new way of governance.”

A fundamental aspect of this new way of governance must be to develop ways of living that recognize the systemic racism and white supremacy that is reflected in the current system the Mayor, Police Chief and majority of the council are trying to protect.

Tawana Petty, data director of the Community Technology Project explained how this bill puts into practice efforts to dismantle racist systems. She says, “We are dedicated to creating systems that dismantle anti-Blackness, center Black Detroiters, and create equitable access to and distribution of resources for the most vulnerable wrong side of history.

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water\

Watch as We The People of Detroit and community leaders discuss how COVID-19 has impacted water insecure communities in Detroit, as well as the legal implications of structural racism.

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Poetry As Visionary Resistance to the Systems Out to Get Us:

This session was held at the 21st Annual Allied Media Conference. It explores how poetry has been leveraged to influence political movement, theory and technological and scientific spaces. Joy Buolamwini, neta bomani, Greta Byrum and Tawana Petty?

PoetryResistance

 

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Boggs Center – Living For Change News – July 28th, 2020

July 28th, 2020

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Thinking for Ourselves

Violence Must Stop
Shea Howell

A group of community organizations banded together to demand an independent investigation of the Detroit Police Department and the killing of Hakim Littleton.  The group recognizes a pattern of excessive force against the community by the Detroit police. In calling for an independent investigation the organizations dispute the characterization of the killing as justified. They produced a counter-video explaining, “members of the community are left with many questions, not the least of which is whether the death could have been avoided altogether if officers had used the law enforcement profession’s best practices and employed de-escalation techniques.”

The group statement also challenged the DPD use of force against those who are protesting the strategies and tactics of the police. The statement reads:

On the day that Hakim was killed as protesters gathered to demand accountability, the release of the names of the officers involved in the shooting, and the body camera footage related to the incident, DPD officers responded in riot gear and launched tear gas in a residential neighborhood. Leaders of Detroit Will Breathe were brutally attacked and targeted for arrest. Shocking images have emerged of lead organizer Nakia Wallace being placed in a choke hold by DPD. The unlawful detention of protester and water activist, William Thomas aka Meeko Williams, for 2 days without charges are very concerning. Further, the treatment of protesters upon arrest (transported on unventilated buses, crammed into unsanitary and overcrowded holding cells) all in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is unacceptable.

As organizers were reading this statement on the lawn of the 12th precinct in Detroit, Federal troops, were staging aggressive, tactical maneuvers against protesters in Portland. Unidentified troops in unmarked vans were pulling protestors off the street, beating people up, using poison weapons and teargassing demonstrators.

These troops are now operating in Chicago and here in Detroit. In fact, federal troops have been here for more than two  months, deployed before the killing of George Floyd that sparked nationwide outrage. They came to targeted cities under a federal initiative called Operation Legend.

Those of us who long to create free, liberated, joyful and productive lives for ourselves and our communities need to understand that Chief Craig and his claims of transparency are as bogus as President Trump’s arguments that Operation Legend is intended to reduce violent crime.

Both are the strategies of fascism. At their core, they are asking us to see our futures linked only to those who represent the authority of the state. Chief Craig directs our gaze to the “hero” officer who charged Hakim Littleton after Littleton pulled and fired a gun. He does not ask us to think for a moment about the terror a young black man must have felt, walking down the street and seeing his friends being marched out of their homes by police. He does not ask us to try and understand what fears would compel a young black man to reach into his pocket and pull out a gun in front of at least six heavily armed officers.

As the press conference ended, Detroit police shot and killed another man who fled his vehicle after a 10 minute police chase. Here, as with Hakim Littleton, the police obscure their own actions by emphasizing the crime they were investigating, a “gang-related shooting that wounded teenagers.”

But the young man killed while running away from the police had not been tried for this crime, he had not been convicted, and he certainly should not have been executed for it.

Yet this is the atmosphere Chief Craig and his Department are creating.

Chief Craig is right about one thing. This violence must stop.


 

This is a video of Hakim Littleton’s killing by Detroit police officers, which may be disturbing to some. it’s posted here with a different narrative than that provided by the Detroit Police Dept. and points to some errors in their “interpretation”


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