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Added a post  to  , mdpan

Originally Posted on December 22, 2017

The Church Militant Group prides themselves on being a peaceful group, unlike the “Anti-Christian group of Antifa radicals, Satanists, and Gay activists” who protested on Wednesday. This "peaceful" group has took to doxxing, harassing, and insulting people who have attended the protest. Vengefulness isn't peaceful or Christian-like.

The “Catholic” Group doxxed one of MDPAN’s newest members. They used his picture, full name, and place of employment in their coverage of the protest. He has lost his job because of it but was given a new one by a local activist. Church Militant Group has included the full name of another protester in their article and she is currently being harassed on social media by the group’s followers. Group members have resorted to insulting another MDPAN member’s looks, who’s picture was also featured in the article. They even misgendered her. MDPAN’s Facebook page has also been full of Church Militant Group members looking for arguments. The comment section under the protest’s article on their official website has several people insinuating that the protesters will “burn in Hell”. There are even homophobic, transphobic and ableist comments. So much for a peaceful Christian Group right?

Here's a few of their "nice" comments towards the protesters:

Added a post  to  , mdpan

Originally Posted on January 30, 2019.  All photographs provided by: The Larson Lens, LLC


For much of December and January, Huntington Woods Library's "Drag Queen Storytime" was under attack by forces of bigotry within, and without, the local community. It began with City Commissioner Allison Iversen, whose emails about the event included the following "I have been trying to get this stopped since it started. Please do get more people involved. I am one voice and we need many people to call this out for what it is." That leak prompted a City Commission meeting where residents of Huntington Woods showed overwhelming support for the program.

"The results that have been achieved by Drag QUEEN Storytime is statistical truth to the desire of Huntington Woods and surrounding cities, which was echoed by community member after community member, at last month's City Commission meeting. There is a waiting list for the event, and ONE letter of opposition that was the only letter sent to the Mayor's office. The community has spoken, HATE chooses NOT to hear them,” stated Jey'nce Poindexter, Founder of Trans Sistas of Color Project - Detroit and Board Member of Women's March, MI, who was in attendance at the meeting. Allison Iversen would resign early on December 18th, with her bid to end Storytime failing. 

The results have been readily apparent. Joyce Krom, the librarian organizing Storytime, has been assembling wildly successful events, with 100 attendees at her first event and a perpetual waiting list since. "We strive to support all children in our community, one of our top priorities is to be welcoming and inclusive, and always work toward creating a more equitable society," Krom told MDPAN, when describing the purpose behind Drag Queen Storytime. Miss Raven Divine Cassadine, a regular host of Storytime, was leading the reading on January 26th. "I think that it’s very important that we teach the importance of reading to the children and acceptance for everyone regardless of race, sex or gender," expounded Miss Raven, on why she stays involved.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=121&dpx=1&t=1589040600You said it, doc. 

Despite all these triumphs, Poindexter was astute to point out that hate wasn't listening. In her emails, Iversen put out a call for greater involvement in shutting down the event. Tennessee-based hate group Warriors for Christ answered that call. Their founder, Rich Penkoski, placed his ignorance on public display when describing his reasons for protesting the event "Parents that bring their kids to this, you can say what you want, but a transgender 4-year-old is like a vegan cat. We know who's making the lifestyle choices for that cat and that child. Children should be left alone." This group has attempted frivolous lawsuits in Louisiana, where they booked space in the library, then proceeded to intimidate participants (some as young as 3) and filmed the Story Hour without permission. Upon encountering consequences for this behavior, they filed suit claiming their First Amendment rights were infringed upon. 

MDPAN was one of the organizations asked to come out and support the event, and proceeded to call the banners of the Motor City Sisters, GNA, TSOCP, TGDetroit, Planned Parenthood, Refuse Fascism, American Atheists, and Ferndale Pride. With local organizing provided by Sara Smith, the inaugural Queensguard was formed. It's mission: protect children, their families and the Queens from hate speech and other attacks, allowing Drag Queen Storytime to continue unhindered. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=122&dpx=1&t=1589040640Queensguard logo created by MDPAN Art Director Kelly Clawson. 

January 26th, 1:30 PM, pre-event defense.

The forces of hate had an early start to the day. A group of 8 well-dressed bourgeoisie formed the "Michigan Mass Resistance", an anti-LGBTQIA group who also threatened to protest the event. They stood near the entrance, inviting passersby to pray the rosary for an imagined corruption of children. They were being interviewed by the Church Militant, a Ferndale-based group that abandoned all the class consciousness of the Game of Thrones group they copied, but kept the bigotry. South of them, along the sidewalk, were a pack of six men in hoodies, several of which read "Proud Boys" along the chest, and another in a red "Make America Great Again" sweatshirt. Warriors for Christ, numbering 6, were the last to arrive, but were very proud of their custom jumpsuits. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=124&dpx=1&t=1589040730Somebody paid money for those 

On the other side of the wall, Queensguard had amassed over 100 supporters with almost an hour left until the 3 PM event start time. An experienced and capable bunch, they immediately took the front line, bedecked and bedazzled in rainbows, facepaint, and a gigantic array of custom signs, plus a bunch more donated by Planned Parenthood and American Atheists. The lime-capped bigot opened proceedings declaring shame and eternal hellfire on the supporters for helping corrupt the minds of children. Queensguard responded to that verbal assault with a thundering chorus of "Love Not Hate" and "Hate Go Home".

As more supporters rolled in between 2 and 3 PM, eventually exceeding 200, Warriors for Christ decided to target specific marginalized groups during their raving. "Everyone wants to be gay, but nobody wants the AIDs," was one such example, noted by a local member of the gay community. Others reported Islamaphobic comments, and a bizarre obsession with adult diapers. As volunteers with ample cellphone batteries teamed with supporters carrying a portable speaker, the screech of bigotry was deadened by the speaker and the crowd erupting into Barney's "I Love You".

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=125&dpx=1&t=1589040790At the very least, there's love on the left. Rich Penkoski will be furthest right. 

2:45 PM - Showtime

Parents and their kids arrived for Storytime. One participant in the Queensguard had a basket full of flowers with ribbon and a positive, affirming message attached for each child attending. MDPAN's Lead Marshall, wearing a rainbow cape, topped with a pink wig, brought popular children's books to pass out to each young person who could make it for Storytime. When it came time to enter the library, all 200+ of the Queensguard did their best Red Sea impression, parting to provide safe passage and booming cheers for standing up to hate.

One parent would later remark "Uh oh, I hope my kid's not expecting a present and cheering every time we go to one of these."


The Proud Boys made a considerable effort to distance themselves from Warriors for Christ, milling around on the sidewalk South of the parking lot. Unfortunately, the majority of the parents were entering from that direction. Red Orchestra (RO) provided volunteers for the demonstration to ward off attacks, verbal or otherwise, from the hate groups present. It should be noted the Proud Boys were briefly added to the FBI's terror watchlist, and have strong ties to the recently arrested Roger Stone. RO took the point on the South end of the parking lot to ensure no parents would be accosted, with significant success.

Meanwhile, at the wall, the Southernmost member of the Queensguard embarked on a special mission. Matthew Kinne is an attorney that's traveled nationwide trying to stop WfC's campaign of hate against any number of genders greater than two. He brought a large thermos full of hot water, and an entire case of hot chocolate powder with balloons tied to it. Kinne attempted to have a frank, calm dialogue and perhaps a declaration of piece. Instead, the Warriors for Christ speaker rejected the gift, and proceeded to point at trans members of Queensguard and deliberately misgender them, including comments like "God will make a man out of you!" (EDIT: 2/21/19) Kinne's mission was successful, with the Southern Poverty Law Center granting the "anti-LGBT hate group" designation to Warriors for Christ. Following the news, WfC Patriarch Rich Penkoski posted a video saltier than Lot's wife on their decision to abandon their base in West Virginia. 

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=127&dpx=1&t=1589041096What heathen would turn down hot cocoa on a day like this? 

While everyone was dressed in their Pride parade best, it was the Motor City Sisters taking everyone's breath away. With Warriors for Christ targeting individuals among the Queensguard with hate speech, Sister Misty Meanor sprung into action. Clothed as the Virgin Mary, or at least the second part, she bravely strode to the front of the line, directly in front of the bigots. From there, she turned her back to hate and let her habit fly, supported by a pair of nearby Queensguard. Golden and blue light from the fabric completely covered the megaphone operator in Warriors for Christ from view, muffling his speech in the process.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=128&dpx=1&t=1589041213Not pictured: A very frustrated bigot.

Despite WfC's leader, Rich Penkoski, saying children should be left alone in his attacks on Drag Queen Storytime, the families participating were the next major targets of the group. A barrage of vitriol eschewed from their megaphone, attempting to tell children as young as 3 that their parents were going to make them go to hell. 

Fortunately, the Queensguard was more than prepared to counter. A few clicks and swipes on a cell phone had "Baby Shark" blaring through a portable speaker, with other activists holding the mic from their megaphones up to the speaker, creating a surround sound effect focused directly on the religious zealot screaming at 4-year-olds. Swaying like the waves of the ocean, all 200+ of the Queensguard lifted their voices to the heavens, belting out every "doo doo dodo do do" along the way. Paralyzed with involuntary laughter, WfC's mouthpiece did the one thing no one expected: he stopped talking. 

 At this time, the Proud Boys skulked off, and members of RO took point at the neighborhood intersections to ensure their preferred tactic of jumping lone activists post-event would fail.

image_transcoder.php?o=bx_froala_image&h=129&dpx=1&t=1589041270Unrelated to the previous paragraphs, but these are some excellent signs 

3:30 PM - Exit, stage left.

RO provided escort detail for families or members of Queensguard walking to their cars alone or in a small group. Thanks to the (baby) shark attack, the primary threat of WfC was effectively diminished. All families were able to return to their cars safely. 

It was at this point it became apparent how overwhelming the support for Drag Queen Storytime was in the Huntington Woods community. Mayor Paul stood in the supporters camp, joined by recently elected City Commissioner Michelle Elder, who replaced Allison Iversen. The literature didn't stop with just the kids, either, as many of the organizations present educational pamphlets to distribute. Joyce Krom joined the exit procession for a bit, making sure to meet one of the illustrious Motor City Sisters:


After an impromptu dance party to finish the successful defense, the principal organizers started returning to their vehicles. However, there was a bit of a standoff as everyone departed. "We stayed with the last protester on site because they were parked in front of the WfC people and didn't want to be seen getting in their car by them," reports Gloom, a member of RO and JBGC. Both sides stared each other down for a few minutes, then back-up arrived from other organizers who just finished packing up. The WfC pick-up sped off at the sight of greater numbers and all returned safely.

MDPAN is please to report zero arrest and zero instances of violence, and would like to thank Red Orchestra, JBGC and all experienced protesters who helped keep it that way.

More information about the Proud Boys can be found here.

Disclaimer: While MDPAN wholeheartedly believes in the mission of antifascism, and is happy to work with groups under that banner, it is not itself an Antifa collective. All information was gathered and compiled by Red Orchestra. Please direct any questions, or supplementary information, to those sources.

#pride #PlannedParenthood #proudboys #warriorsforchrist

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Originally Posted on August 6, 2018

As the street sweepers cleared and the sun peaked out from the horizon line the morning of July 27, an intrepid crew of Occupants, numbering 15, rose from their tents and went to work shutting down the Detroit ICE Field office. Eschewing most physical barricades that enveloped the gates in June, this team did most of the work with just their bodies.

Prior to the blockade, two groups of two Occupants each faced a frightening encounter. At 1:30 AM, a black Ford F-250 SuperDuty pickup barreled through the Larned/Mt. Elliott intersection on a bee-line for protesters biking away. It swerved at the last moment, snaked up Mt. Elliott to restablize, then ran a red light on a right turn from the middle lane on Lafayette. This exact pattern was later repeated at 3:30 AM towards two protesters on foot.

A little after 5 AM, several vehicles tried to enter the facility through the Jefferson gate. A line of people formed in front, shouts of "Shame!" drowning out their cries of frustration, already muted by their car windows. The cars were turned away, but pulled into an adjacent parking lot to stew over a thwarted attempt to continue the work of genocide. Two of the cars bounced between the Jefferson and Mt. Elliott gates, probing for an opening. They found none.

Portion of the Deadline Day encampment, 7/26. 

Not long after 7 AM, a DHS agent arrived in response to employee calls about not being able to come to work. Occupy ICE Detroit began picketing in front of the gates in a roving circle formation. The DHS Agent, who shall henceforth be referred to as Agent (Donald) Glover, began repeatedly shouting "This is America!" in response to the protest, and later "you got me trippin' on some bike locks at 7 in the morning" in reference to the reason why none of the gates could open. The authorities' plea to not block vehicles from entering the facility was summarily ignored. After a half hour of huffing and puffing with channel locks and sledgehammer, the bike lock was removed from Mt. Elliott gate, but the blockade remain intact. Meanwhile, disgruntled ICE employees looked on from their perch in the Walgreen's parking lot, kitty-corner to the facility. 

Agent Glover pulled around to go to work on the Jefferson gate bike lock. A chorus of "Shame" erupted as he emerged, but he clapped back with "Shame don't work no more". 

To prove his point, a woman unaffiliated with Occupy ICE pulled into the parking lot adjacent Jefferson gate. She opened the door to her car, clearly distraught, with tears streaming down her face. "I just spent 20 minutes looking for a police officer, please help me, someone broke into my house!" she pleaded, but her bid for assistance was ignored by Agent Glover. Several Occupants went over to console her and direct her to an entity that actually helps people.

After the bike lock was removed, DHS was largely uninterested in testing Jefferson gate, instead focusing their efforts on bullying those blockading Mt. Elliott's. In this video you can see threats and intimidation from DHS, who now have five SUVs on the scene, such as the psychological warfare tactics of flashing emergency lights and sirens to disorient the protesters. This tactic is also not allowed in numerous law enforcement agencies, since its using emergency equipment for non-emergency reasons. Repeated threats of arrest were issued, as the morning crept on through 9 AM. One DHS agent took to the time to lay flex cuff zipties one by one on the pavement for each protester. 

People who should be chained, according to DHS. From the 7/26 Deadline Day Rally. 

An ICE employee tried to enter the facility, despite most of their coworkers skulking at Walgreens. A DHS agent told them "you were told not to come in, please go home and wait for a call." So Occupy ICE Detroit officially canceled the early bird shift. Later, a Fedex employee arrived on scene, stated "Trying to deliver a package, but ain't no one in there! Oops, not supposed to say that," and promptly left.

However, the most damning incident occurred at the hands of a Centerra security employee, hired by DHS. This video shows the driver backing up a foot from where the protester is standing, then stepping on the gas to hit her. Fortunately, no severe injuries were sustained in the vehicular assault. 

While the blockade stretched into the 10 AM hour, and ICE's vultures dispersed from the Walgreens, important work was carried out by the Outreach team, as a crowd of ten+ families waited outside for an ICE check-in to see whether they would be deported. Occupants walked through the involuntary gathering, offering water, snacks, and chalk for the kids, while asking how they felt about the protests and whether it helped. Almost universally there was appreciation, with one exception. One man needed to drive from Grand Rapids for his check-in, an expensive journey, and didn't want to have to repeat it due to a shutdown. ICE is forcing people to drive across the entire state of Michigan just for the privilege of finding out whether or not they would be exiled. Occupy ICE Detroit will be launching an additional fundraiser to provide relief for immigrant communities directly in the near future, especially as it relates to the deportation process.

By 11 AM, the Mt. Elliott blockade was completely surrounded, with DHS agents outnumbering protesters. A final warning was issued and the blockade ended, but not before canceling the entire first shift and observing a deportation free day while protesters were on site. Occupants were given only a half hour to strike camp or face arrest/personal property destruction.

No arrests were made, and Occupy ICE Detroit stayed out front for the remainder of the day, to much jubilation from onlookers driving by on Jefferson.

Several days later, a black Ford F-250 SuperDuty was seen exiting the ICE facility.


Added a post  to  , mdpan

Originally Posted on June 28, 2018

The day began at 4 AM, for those not pulling the night shift. Cries of scorn and disgust emanated from tents as bucket drums were beat for a wake-up call. Two days of planning were finally coming to fruition, the blockade of Detroit's ICE Field Office begins. Intel stated ICE agents can enter the office as early as 5 AM to resume their genocidal campaign.

Protesters quickly went to work executing their blockade strategy, a hodgepodge of ideas collectively hashed out that created a surprising amount of cohesion and mitigated having such limited personnel. Only 40 could make it at such an early hour. Several suspected ICE agents attempted to pull in, but were met with an impenetrable wall of anti-bigotry chants and hardy activists. In frustration, they shook their head, gave the resistance the finger and turned around, unable to fulfill their requirements for the torture of immigrant families.

With three gates to guard, Occupy ICE Detroit was spread thin, but a mixture of guile, courage and communication allowed the blockade to continue for six hours.

The tale of Occupy ICE Detroit's standoff is a tale of two camps, holding the line along Mt. Elliott St's gates and another on Jefferson. At first, three DPD squad cars rushed the Northern gate at Mt. Elliot, prompting an influx of reinforcements. DPD officers exited their vehicles and stood agape at the collection of activists blocking off not just the gates to the ICE Field Office, but the Southern end of Mt. Elliott itself. At this point, it was determined blockading the building marked "Immigration Photos" was essential, as immigrants who attend their ICE check-in appointments live under the constant specter of deportation, fearing each appointment could be their last on American soil. Since no ICE Agents could enter their office, the appointments had been summarily canceled. One family with an appointment would have their mother taken from them, should the meeting be allowed to take place. A family stayed united today, because Occupy ICE Detroit refuses to accept genocide. The looks of relief on the faces of others indicates she was not alone.

A Chippewa County Sheriffs car strolled down Mt. Elliott, with an undocumented person in the back seat. After a few confused moments of deliberation while in park, the Sheriffs car turned around in the face of the picket and drove off.

A further rush of police personnel pushed the Mt. Elliott team off the street itself, punctuated by a ginger police Captain verbally taunting protesters while filming them with a gold-rimmed camcorder, but left the gate blockade and the immigration appointments remained canceled. Eventually, the pool of officers challenging Mt. Elliott was reduced to four, who showed little interest in the protest, beyond telling a protester her music was too loud to have that many expletives in it.

Meanwhile, Jefferson camp started off pleasantly, the blockade and banners were met with a chorus of appreciative honks from drivers passing by. However, trouble was brewing in the parking lot of an adjacent strip mall, where six DHS SUVs lay in wait, plotting the demise of the resistance. Shortly thereafter, Jefferson camp was beseiged by 9 squad cars, largely the property of DPD. Fifteen officers exited their vehicles and stared down the wall of humanity preventing the continuation of a pogrom.

A higher ranking officer declared the gate as private property, and protesters must disperse. They were given a warning, the first of three. They held the line, they refused to back down. The standoff continued as hours ticked bye, another warning given, and another warning ignored. Eventually, DHS and DPD forces surrounded the Jefferson camp, equaling the number of protesters. They threatened using tear gas canisters, and swept the encampment with dogs. The ginger Captain returned with full petulance, gleefully waving a fistful of twist ties as a threat against those who won't comply. The third warning was issued, six hours after the blockade began, but an outnumbered resistance were left with little viable choice but to comply. Their first ever mission took six hours away from ICE to inflict chilling horrors on immigrant families, and the excessive Belle Isle Fireworks traffic took care of the rest, suspending most to all of ICE's activities for the day.

Despite assurances from officers that a picket protest was still legal, as long as vehicles aren't blockaded, the ginger Captain demanded Occupy ICE Detroit strike its camp. Failure to comply would result in the entire encampment being tossed into city dump trucks.

In their first attempt at shutting down an ICE facility, this movement provably kept families together and thwarted ICE's daily plan. Camp was re-established Tuesday evening, 6/26.

So far, members of three families present for check-in appointments have reached out to protesters saying their parent was due to be kidnapped and exiled that day. They were granted a stay of two weeks for a new appointment, but that's still two more weeks with a unified family.

Jefferson camp blockade, in loving memory. 

  #solidarityanddefense #RefuseFascism 

Added a post  to  , mdpan

Originally Posted on July 5, 2018

6/27 - Not long after sunrise, a DPD squad car approached the Occupy ICE Detroit encampment. A lone officer, flanked by two employees of Centerra Security, demanded we remove displays attached to the ICE Field Office fence. When asked whether the issue was just the signs, or the tent city itself, the officer stated he believed the tents were fine. After 30 minutes speaking to his superior, he confirmed the sole issue was the signs.

The five occupants present, groggy and disoriented, slowly complied. The fifteen foot "" banner was the last to go, folded like an American flag while the occupants belted out a heavily butchered version of Taps.

The next few hours were rainy, and punctuated by a fascist bearing an actual American flag, a sign reading "God Bless Our Law Enforcement", a CPL and a gun. After calling one of the women protesting ICE a "skank", DHS officers arrived on the scene. Despite a long deliberation with the fascist, DHS returned to state that both parties had a right to protest, and the armed white supremacist was viewed no differently than non-violent protesters attempting to prevent genocide.

Eventually, the fascist left the encampment to spend the next hour licking the boots of a DHS SUV observing the occupation. 

Not long after, Detroit Animal Control arrived on the scene to force Erick's service goat, Deer, off the premises. After a lengthy, and thoroughly bizarre deliberation that featured phrases such as "live goats are not allowed in the City of Detroit" and protesters firing back "No goat is illegal!", Erick was forced to leave the encampment.

At 11:42 AM, a DHS SUV crept up to the protest site, and the agent stated he had received orders to strike the camp. Occupy ICE Detroit had until 1 PM to remove all personal property from the premises, lest it be stolen and thrown away by DHS. No reason for this action was given, beyond it was a command from a superior. As a torrential downpour began, the resistance hurried to preserve items of value before the encampment was destroyed. Multiple vans and a car were packed to capacity, but several tents and signs remained, their owners busy with employment or education.

These concerns fell on deaf ears as the waterlogged Occupants shouted "Shame!" while DHS agents scrapped the tents. The agents openly stated reluctance to follow this order, it had little effect on the execution.

Meanwhile, Occupy ICE Detroit is still continuing its picket, and would later learn the reason for the destruction. Large numbers of warrants were served that day, and the Monroe detention facility got fuller.

#dhs #ice #cbp #racism

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Originally Posted on July 24, 2017

On July 24th, the Michigan Trump Republicans held a rally at Duggan’s pub in Royal Oak, MI. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MDPAN), Refuse Fascismand members of Solidarity and Defense staged a protest to reject the fascist ideology espoused by the President’s base. While the aim was for a peaceful demonstration, the Michigan contingent of Bikers for Trump violently escalated the situation, assaulting two members of MDPAN.  

Joseph Fournier, a leader with MDPAN, made note that “known members of Michigan Militia and Bikers Against Radical Islam, who just love going into communities and tormenting families here,” were in attendance. The latter group recently attempted to drive through Dearborn terrorizing the majority Muslim populace, while thumbing their nose at Islamic traditions by hosting a pig roast, before being shut down by local Elk clubs. “Duggan’s is clearly endorsing them, despite what their official statement may say.” Fournier continued, alluding to a statement that this pro-Trump rally was simply the matter of fulfilling a reservation.

The first hour and a half of the protest was mild, peppered by the occasional jeers and Trump supporters wandering into the resistance area to profess the alleged evils of globalism, Black Lives Matter, and immigration. Encounters were tense, but ultimately not harmful.

That changed after 7 PM, when both sides clustered on opposite ends of the egress in Duggan’s parking lot. Shouts of “Lock Him Up” and “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA” clashing with “We’re Stronger Together With Trump” and the revving of stationary motorcycles.

While the Bikers for Trump camp were safe crossing into resistance territory, two women from the activist camp were not so fortunate. Witnesses at the scene state that a woman walked across the egress, then had her sign grabbed at, and later her person, repeatedly shoved by a female member of Bikers for Trump in bizarre posture, reminiscent of a soccer player trying to get physical while avoiding a red card. Within seconds, she was shoved by a second Trump supporter and struck back in self-defense. Several other activists rushed to her aid.

One protester was then grabbed by multiple Bikers for Trump members and had her megaphone stolen amidst the chaos. At this point, the Royal Oak Police intervened, separating the clashing groups. The first assault victim made multiple attempts to state the crimes committed against her, but was simply told by an officer on the scene to “go back to the sidewalk” and file a report. Minutes later, she was placed under arrest for assault.

Another protester made multiple appeals for the return of her megaphone, which was eventually recovered by Royal Oak PD, stating that they found it on the ground and saw no evidence of wrongdoing. Video evidence proves otherwise. No further arrests were made.

After being separated, there were no further instances of violence at the event, though several homophobic comments were lobbed at Fournier by the Trump supporters as they departed. Despite a perverse obsession with the American flag, one member of Bikers for Trump displayed where his true loyalty lay:

Added a post  to  , mdpan

Originally Posted February 11, 2018

Bill 5550 has been proposed to the Michigan House of Representatives amid Metro-Detroit Political Action Network's (MDPAN) protest that Metro City Church is hosting conversion therapy sessions for teenage girls. The bill, introduced by Ann Arbor Rep. Adam Zemke, seeks to make Michigan the tenth state to ban conversion therapy (attempts to reorient LGBTQIA individuals to a hetero/cis gender and sexuality dynamic) by mental health professionals. Zemke is joined Brownstown Rep. Darrin Camilleri in calls to remove the practice. Camilleri is also demanding MI Attorney General Bill Schuette investigate the Church for any deceptive and unconscionable practices under the MI Consumer Protection Act.

The protest, organized in under a week by MDPAN, began with author Sara Cunningham's posting of Metro City Church's $200 workshop for teenage girls struggling with gender and sexuality identity. The activist group quickly mobilized. Spearheaded by LGBTQIA chair Brianna Dee Kingsley and Meeko Williams, the protest drew roughly 300 to the Riverview church to support those teenage girls pressured to attend the workshop, and condemning any abuse visited upon them by church staff.

One such tale of abuse was suffered by Seth Tooley, a 17-year-old transgender man, who attended a similar workshop by the church four years prior. Kim Tooley, Seth's mother, told the Detroit Free Press "My son had three adults laying hands on him — (he was) screaming so loud I heard him from the other room — praying that God will deliver him from (the homosexuality) demon". The abuse continued as the church insisted on deadnaming Seth, demanding he dress as a female, and subsequently banned him from a boy youth group within the church. 

With Seth's experience as a focal point, MDPAN rallied LGBTQIA community leaders such as Kingsley and Williams, Jey'nce Poindexter (Equality MI, Trans Sistas of Color Project), Char and Esther Davenport (National LGBTQ Task Force), Rev. Roland Stringfellow (Metropolitan Community Church), Pastor Tray Smith (Faith Christian Community Church) spoke alongside Seth himself. The crowd gathered had time to share their stories, an improptu speaking circle lead by Williams also shed light on the experiences of James Williams and Matt Mayes, among others.

Jeremy Schossau, founder and head pastor of Metro City Church, denies these workshops feature conversion therapy. However, the Church's partnership with FORGE (Families Obediently Restoring Godly Education) Ministries suggests otherwise. A non-profit based in Texas, they bill themselves as a champion of Christian family values. Biblical verses pepper their organizational values, highlighting Mark 10:6 "But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female," and Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." These passages forming a core of the ministry's ethos proves troubling, especially for the mental health of LGBTQIA teens, already at risk for suicide attempts at a rate five times higher than hetero/cis teens.

More dubious still, the workshop is explicitly designed for girls, but lead by men. Schossau's dismissive social media comments suggest a belief that homosexuality is comparable to a drug addiction, or obesity. The logical extension of FORGE Ministry's philosophy demands there be a rigid gender binary, and that women are tasked with breeding as their primary function. When taken with Seth's account of abuse, this workshop (and others like it), can cause long term psychological damage for attending girls. 

GLSEN Southeast Michigan, Ruth Ellis Center, Equality MI and Affirmations have reached out while the protest was developing to offer resources for any teens struggling with LGBTQIA identity, especially those who went to conversion therapy sessions like Metro City Church's.

MDPAN is taking a stand against these torturous practices. Call your state reps and tell them to back MI House Bill 5550 and make this state the tenth to outlaw conversion therapy! Join the protest next Thursday the 15th in Riverview as the call continues to shutdown Metro City Church's workshop. 


Added a post  to  , mdpan

Originally Posted on November 22, 2017

There's a movement brewing in the neighborhood of Zender Place, sequestered between Mack and Gratiot on Mt. Elliot St. in Detroit. Rev. Aaron McCarthy, President of Detroit's SCLC chapter, has revitalized Resurrection City, in celebration of the 50th anniversary for the Poor People's Campaign, initially launched by Dr. Martin Luther King. Going strong for over 2 months, McCarthy's mission has provided food and shelter for Detroit's homeless population and most vulnerable residents. Initially planned as a one week engagement, McCarthy felt moved to continue the campaign as the need in Detroit was so great, even exceeding the timeline for the original Poor People's Campaign. As the weather turns cold, that need only increases, and Resurrection City needs your help to continue providing for those most harshly affected by economic injustice. Please donate today (Paypal ID: to keep the mission running well into next year!

Established in the neighborhood he grew up in, McCarthy (affectionately referred to as "Jelly" by his fellow residents) created a tent city on the intersection of Zender Pl. and Mt. Elliot. Twenty-five tents were available for Detroit's poor to use as housing. McCarthy and his assistant, Valerie, also provide two hot meals a day for Resurrection City's tenants and all others in need who stop by. When it began on September 16th, McCarthy, Valerie and an assortment of volunteers worked to feed 20-30 people.

"Now we got dinner lines going around the block...we got people coming as far as Cass Corridor!" McCarthy remarked on the mission's growing popularity. "When people stop by the Heidelberg Project, they're asking the guy in the booth 'which way to Resurrection City?'"

Rev. McCarthy also has a plan to combat sub-freezing conditions and keep the city open all through the winter. With the tents all situated in one backyard, his plan is to lay straw down at the base of the each tent and strategically position four outdoor space heaters, powered by two generators. Your donations could go a long way towards securing a warm night's sleep for Resurrection City's tenants.

While the seasons have already turned, the tenants have managed thanks to Women's March Michigan's coat drive. Each resident received a heavy winter jacket that can also transform into a sleeping bag. "I was asking some of the people in the tents if they got too cold this month, but they kept saying 'I'm not cold!' 'cause of those jackets." McCarthy quipped. 

Rev. McCarthy (center) along with volunteers from Women's March, MDPAN, Green Party and March for Education during the coat drive. 

The Reverend went on to observe that Resurrection City's occupants were creating a real home out of these tents, storing their belongings and making each one unique to it's resident. While the first cold snap was tolerable, those space heaters, generators and fuel would go a long way towards securing a temporary home for Detroit's most vulnerable through the harshest months.

Please donate (Paypal ID: to SCLC Detroit's Resurrection City today and keep Dr. King's legacy alive!

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Originally Posted on July 18, 2017

"Water is a human right, water is life!" shouted members of Hydrate Detroit and the Metro-Detroit Political Action Network, clad in towels, shower caps and bathrobes. They gathered on July 16th at Atwater and Jos. Campau, embarking on an odyssey through the Riverwalk and Downtown. Their mission: to raise awareness of the city's intent to continue shutting off water to impoverished residents and demanding justice for Flint. The demonstration's leaders were Demeeko Williams, founder of Hydrate Detroit and JoAnna Underwood, who is currently running as the District 7 representative for Detroit City Council.

With cries of "Water is a human right, not just for the rich and white!" they marched along the Detroit River, garnering claps and raised fists from passers by. However, adversity struck on the Riverwalk. Private security officers circled the protesters on bicycles and repeatedly told them to leave. Ignoring the admonishment, the water advocates persisted while the wheeled sharks pedaled ahead to erect a hasty metal barricade in front of the splash fountain zone. While Williams and Underwood argued for their right to assembly (against the security team's refrain of the Riverwalk being private property), several activists crashed the barricade and poured into the splash fountain that hundreds of members of the general public were currently enjoying. 

A crowd gathered around the scene. Former Green Party candidate Stephen Boyle took the opportunity to inform the public that neighborhoods with water shut-offs were 150% more likely to contract waterborne illnesses and that Detroit residents pay the highest water rates in the country, despite living near one of the world's largest freshwater sources. While the verbal spat continued between Williams, Underwood and security at various points of the walk, the demonstration was able to proceed. Curiously, the giant papier-mâché head of Governor Rick Snyder remained unmolested. Had security not intervened, the protest would have drawn a much smaller audience at the splash fountain and moved through more quickly.

South of Hart Plaza, a monument stands commemorating Detroit's role in the Underground Railroad. There the March halted, Williams and Underwood delivered fiery speeches, urging their audience gathered at the steps to wake up to the abuses perpetrated by the city. They demanded that water be a right to all people, and to reject further corporate machinations to privatize and profit off such an abundant natural resource."

They're trying to make it seem like we're powerless, but we're powerful!" Underwood yelled through her megaphone, dubbed "The People's Mic", rallying onlookers. "Dan Gilbert don't own our water, he don't own this park, stop giving him the power. Stop giving corporate people the power to screw you over!" Said Williams, chiming in, sharing a vision of a unified Detroit citizenry that controlled its own resources. To illustrate, he began passing out bottled water to the crowd as they walked by. They also attacked the hypocrisy of cutting water and food stamps from the most vulnerable while giving away $34.5 million for a new basketball arena.

Trekking through Hart Plaza, the water advocates made their way to Campus Martius. Surrounded by packed outdoor dining areas, Underwood and Williams ensured this wouldn't be an evening of business as usual. They reminded diners that it's been over 1,000 dayssince Flint residents had clean water, and tens of thousands of Detroiters are facing water shut-offs for each of the past three years. Clean, affordable water for all was the constant refrain from the activists, as several of them jumped into the Campus Martius fountain to splash around. While many restaurant patrons cheered and set their camera phones to record, restaurant management was less amused and called in several officers from the Detroit Police Department to gently escort the demonstration away from their businesses.

Undeterred, the march continued through Greektown and ensured none in the post-Tigers game dining crowd could walk away ill-informed of the water crises afflicting Flint and Detroit. After 7 miles, the protest ended outside Chene Park. While most casual observers of the activists found themselves downtown for night of eats and drinks, Hydrate Detroit and the MDPAN gave them something else to chew on.

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-offs #demeekowilliams

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Originally Posted on November 10, 2017

Macomb County GOP Chair Cathy Kirk decided to book Steve Bannon as the keynote speaker for a Republican "Unity Dinner" at the Warren Andiamo, and Metro Detroit refused to take that endorsement of white supremacy lying down. MDPAN teamed with the Detroit and Ohio branches of Refuse Fascism along with Stop Trump Ann Arbor to protest this attempt to normalize Bannon's hateful views and policies, such as the Muslim travel bans, mass deportation of Latin and Arabic/Chaldean residents and attempted ban of Transgender troops.

As the sun set on the border of Warren and Sterling Heights, MI, 120 protesters gathered to denounce the wellspring of hate epitomized by the banquet. In addition to the organizing groups, members from the North Macomb, North Oakland and Troy Democratic Clubs added to the resistance, as well as a contingent from the far left, represented by Solidarity & Defense. IONA and Emgage, two Islamic organizations, also helped bolster the protest in advance of their post-event conference. The fully intersectional alliance also featured a tuba player and a banana:

The demonstration was in full swing by 5 PM, with chants of "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" and "Danger, danger, there's a fascist in the white house" echoing across 14 Mile Rd. during rush hour traffic. Traffic was further complicated by a heavy police presence, with Warren PD blocking off the median and sections of the Andiamo parking lot, along with mounted police from Oakland and Macomb County across the street. 

While Warren PD kept the pro- and anti-fascist camps separated on opposite sides of the restaurant, a white supremacist podcast team skulked into the protest zone posing as a media outlet. They made clear their intent to antagonize by espousing the values of Bannon's attempted pogrom against Arab and Latin Americans and discrimination of homosexuals. After numerous attempts to provoke violence, they were surrounded by the resistance with a deafening chorus of "Nazis Go Home!" and steered towards the edge of the camp. With assistance from the Warren PD, the agitators were non-violently dispatched from the scene.

As stars twinkled in the night sky, the protest gained more momentum. Banquet attendees were forced to shuttle to the Andiamo lot due to the demonstration, and were greeted with a cacophony of disgust. Chants of "Nazis Go Home!" and "No Hate in Our State" rained down on the trickle of patrons scurrying to the venue. Bannon himself was reported to have slunk in and out of the back entrance.

The demonstration also gave time for speakers, with William Antoun of IONA calling out specific elected and appointed local officials attending the dinner. In addition to Cathy Kirk, he also put Gus Ghanam (Warren Sanitation Dept. Superintendent) and Cecil St. Pierre (Warren City Council President) on blast for their xenophobic and anti-Islamic stances. St. Pierre was also recently involved in a scandal where he hijacked estates of the recently deceased for profit. Beyond local officials, numerous state level politicians (and hopefuls), threw their hat in the ring for white supremacy. The Detroit News reported governor candidates Bill Schuette (current Attorney General) and Patrick Colbeck, plus US Senate candidates John James and Bob Young Jr were present in support. Warren Weekly stated US Representative Paul Mitchell and Shelby Township Clerk (and Secretary of State hopeful) Stanley Grot were also in attendance. 

Outside, Solidarity & Defense brought their A game in the entertainment department. With a large speaker embedded in a backpack, they blasted YG & Nipsey Hussle's "FDT", an anti-Trump anthem. One representative also spoke of the importance in standing in solidarity with the workers of Andiamo. After Bannon was announced as a speaker, it was met with overwhelming resistance from the staff, with many refusing to work it and encouraging others to do the same, bravely refusing to play party to Bannon's hateful politics, even at the cost of personal income.

Those divisive politics were confirmed by the meager eight individuals who counter protested on the opposite side of the restaurant. James Beary, a resident of Grosse Ile, was interviewed by Warren Weekly and marched with Nazis in Charlottesville, proudly branding himself a European White Nationalist. Unemployed property tax dodger Rob Cortis also brought his metallic abomination, the Trump Unity Bridge to the event, ironically blasting Sly and the Family Stone while emphatically supporting a culture of police brutality that disproportionately targets black people.

The Warren Police Dept. conducted itself professionally, and expended considerable resources to ensure the safety of the protesters, including barricades and swift removal of the aforementioned white supremacist agitators. Reports from demonstrators about County officers were less than stellar, including honking for the Trump Bridge from a police cruiser, and intimidating resistance members walking to their cars by slowly trailing them on the sidewalk with another cruiser or briefly surrounding them. 

While the message of rich, white, male, Christian supremacy may have united the GOP members lapping up Bannon's hateful rhetoric, the protest against them was even more galvanizing for the left. Establishment Democrats stood shoulder to shoulder with Socialists. Christians, Jewish people and Muslims chanted together. Black, brown and white people denounced this millennium's Nazi resurgence. The America that this resistance is creating is one that welcomes people of all races, genders, sexualities, religions and will not tolerate racist misogynists that align themselves with scum like Bannon.

&GenderEquality #whitesupremacy #islamaphobia #transphobia #LGBTQIAequality #workers #solidarity 

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Originally Posted on September 20, 2017

On a rainy September 19th afternoon, the American Polish Cultural Center (APCC) elected to host the Michigan Trump Republicans for a banquet/rally in support of their President. The banquet stood after a call campaign imploring the venue to cancel, some Polish immigrants (or descendants of immigrants) found it inappropriate to hold a political rally for Trump, who repeatedly failed to condemn violence perpetrated by Nazis and other white supremacists groups, in addition to those groups' endorsement of him as President. The German Nazi Party was responsible for over 2.7 million deaths of Poles due to war, ghettos such as Warsaw and concentration/death camps like Auschwitz. 

Others who wrote and called in cited policies such as ending DACA, banning people from majority Muslim nations from entering the country, directing ICE to mass deport residents of Latin and Arabic descent as inherently white supremacist actions, demanding businesses not cater to any group supporting them.

The APCC stood firm, stating that all have the right to use their establishment, regardless of political views. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MDPAN) and BAMN vehemently disagree with rolling out the red carpet for white supremacy, and a protest ensued. 

Filling the corner of 15 Mile and Dequindre, the resistance took up the sidewalk along the intersection, waving signs to enthusiastic honks from passers-by on the road. Drivers were treated to chant standards of "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!", "Hey hey, ho ho, Donald Trump has got to go!", "Lock him up!" as well as more DACA related shouts like "Immigrants stay, Trump must go!" However, interaction with other drivers wasn't entirely positive. Several rolled down their windows to shout ableist slurs at the supposed crowd of "liberals", and one even lobbed an anti-black slur while telling the protesters to fellate him (at the 12:20 mark of this video). 

In terms of support for the white supremacist organization, there was only one Biker for Trump in attendance, a far cry from their turnout at the Duggan's rally. Thanks to that, along with professional and unbiased conduct from the Troy Police Department, everyone had a safe protest.

A member of the APCC's Board of Directors was photographing protesters at the event, for reasons unknown. CEO of Hydrate Detroit Demeeko Williams confronted the board member about this behavior and an argument ensued. In it, Williams explained that by hosting a group that supports the President's hate campaign is incredibly problematic, given that Southeast Michigan holds the largest concentration of Muslims in the country, Trump's primary target for discrimination. The board member countered by stating he supported free enterprise, also mentioning his father was in Auschwitz. He chose not to comment on Trump's condoning of Nazi violence, or the Nazi/white supremacist groups emboldened by the Oval Office occupant.

He also chose not to explain why the APCC would not deny the Trump Republicans access and did not understand that hosting such an event would be considered an endorsement. Instead, the board member became enraged and stormed off after two police officers walked over to deescalate. 

At 7:30 PM, the Trump rally inside was ending, and it's attendees filed out. While waiting to turn on 15 mile, they were met with a thunderous chorus of "Shame, shame, shame!" by the resistance flanking both ends on the parking lot's egress.  

#hategroup #Protest #islamaphobia

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Originally Posted on September 7, 2017

Metro-Detroit Political Action Network Event

Little Caesar's Arena will open to the general public on September 12th, spurning the residents of Detroit by selecting Kid Rock as it's first act. The stadium was granted $324.1 million in tax revenue, some of which initially earmarked for Detroit Public Schools. The Illitch family, owners of Olympia Entertainment, delivered false promises of employing 50% of their construction labor with Detroit residents when the actual figure was closer to 25%. Choosing potential Senate candidate Robert James "Kid Rock" Ritchie twists the dagger further, given the musician's ties to white supremacist political figures

While the primary focus of the protest is Ritchie, the immediate harm to the people of Detroit by Olympia Entertainment should not be ignored. The company has failed residents in the past with similar deceptions regarding development around Comerica Park. 

Ritchie, the self-proclaimed "Rock and Roll Son of Detroit," grew up on a six acre estate Romeo, MI, provided by wealth accrued from a father who owned multiple car dealerships in the region. While developing an interest (and music career) based around breakdancing and hip-hop in his early life, Ritchie gravitated towards Country rock in 2001. 

He began using pro-slavery regalia such as Confederate flags during his shows for the next decade. Following a 2011 award by the NAACP, Ritchie claimed he "never flew the flag with hate in my heart" while protesters burned Confederate flags outside the ceremony at Cobo Hall. For the next five years he abstained from the use of white supremacist banners.

However, in 2016 he began breaking from the lyrics of his song "Born Free" at concerts to state "F--k Colin Kaepernick", in response to the quarterback's silent protest against police brutality. An odd choice of target, given that the musician's career was built off appropriating black culture throughout the 90s. Later that year, Ritchie exchanged his dog whistle for a regular one, printing a line of pro-Trump T-shirts featuring Islamophobic slogans, completing his return to white supremacist advocacy. 

Given his threat to run against Senator Debbie Stabenow in 2018, MDPAN is calling on Michigan residents to come out in protest of his performance and show that his views run contrary to the will of the people. 

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