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CW: Literal Nazis and what comes with it.
Originally Posted on June 10, 2019
Update 6/12/19: Features account and video footage of an NSM member assaulting a woman in front of multiple DPD officers.

An oral history of Antifascist action in Detroit, collected and synthesized from accounts with on-site participants. 

Preparations, Confrontations, and Mutual Aid

On April 16th Burt Colucci, alleged "Commander" of the National Socialist Movement [NSM], levied a threat against Motor City Pride, stating they would be holding an armed demonstration to intimidate and harm Detroit’s LGBTQIA community. Word of the threat spread among leftist circles, and LGBTQIA rights organizers were rapidly alerted. When Motor City Pride was informed, they asked concerned residents to leave it to the Detroit Police Department.

The initial threat, from his Facebook profile. 

Food Not Class (FNC), which routinely serves a free buffet and clothing/toiletries share for vulnerable community members twice a week, called in as many volunteers as they could for a special serving on the first day of Motor City Pride. They set up along an apropos wall of stone on Jefferson and Bates, having just produced a “History of Pride” zine, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall. Their spread was complete with 11 cases of bottled water, lasagna, vegan chili, stuffed peppers, pizza and a veritable mountain of cornbread, delighting the houseless community and passersby alike, wetting whistles and sating appetites. Mitten Medics were on hand to make sure anyone who got hurt could get patched up, and keep folks hydrated on an 80 degree day.

Red Orchestra (RO) and the Communist Workers League (CWL) of Detroit provided the direct action and community defense portions of the proceedings, with Antifascists garbed in tie-dye and rainbow bandanas, alternately dubbed the “Rainbow Warriors” or “Rainbow Bloc” by onlookers and social media accounts.

The FNC serve, and they still fed State Fair the same day. 

While Burt Colucci’s threat was copied onto Stormfront and NSM’s homepage, they were no-shows for the proposed 1 PM start time for their acts of hatred, effectively removing the most common defense of fascism: getting the trains to run on time.

Instead of the literal Nazis, 1 PM’s entertainment came in the form of a Christian bigot trundling down Jefferson, condemning LGBTQIA individuals to hell through his microphone at each step. Once he arrived within earshot of the FNC table, Antifascists sprang into action, forcing him away from MC Pride with an ersatz blockade on the sidewalk, while others harangued him through megaphones along the stone wall. His cries of homosexuality being a mortal sin were drowned out by commands to take his bigotry elsewhere, and multiple suggestions for therapy interspersed with everyone's favorite expletives.

Like many bigoted Christians, this one was also not blessed with reading comprehension. 

Finding himself in front of the Renaissance Center, the hateful zealot attempted to give antifascists the slip, heading back down the sidewalk and got as far as the parking garage elevator before running into another ersatz blockade. This time, his choices were a packed sidewalk and the oncoming traffic of Jefferson, he chose the latter and rabbited to the median where Woodward and Jefferson intersect. From there, his declaration that transgender people were a crime against god was met with protesters blasting Pride anthems, such as "Born this Way" by Lady Gaga and "I'm Coming Out" by Diana Ross, through a portable speaker. He found himself at a loss for words as the protesters started grinding and twerking in front of him. Emboldened future MC Pride attendees took care of the rest, verbally dissolving his life's philosophy on their way to the entrance line, and he sheepishly skittered away.

Meanwhile, Food Not Class' serving was going so well, they were in danger of running out of everything but cornbread by 3 PM. Two houseless folks who enjoyed the spread elected to stick around and serenade foot traffic with punk rock and classic pop standards on their ukelele, while hanging out with FNC volunteers. Thanks to the generosity of those who enjoyed the serving earlier, they had enough for seven large pizzas and six cases of water.

 Not ten minutes after the pizza order was placed, a Swastika flag was spotted in front of Cobo Hall, headed directly for Hart Plaza.

The Smallest Blitzkrieg

Walking on the North side of Jefferson, in front of the Scientology building, a lone antifascist tried to halt their march. She was shoved down by an NSM shield in full view of DPD, who neither arrested, nor charged the Nazi with assault. (video)

Photo source: Herman Davis 

A second antifascist later bolted to the scene once they crossed the street, heading towards the end of the Pride entry line. They ran into a wall of no less than thirty DPD officers, some in riot gear, acting as a phalanx for ten members of NSM. The Nazis were sporting the clearance aisle of their local Army-Navy surplus, only one had a replica SS uniform. Amid the black tacticool, one woman with a Macklemore haircut stuck out in a Mormonesque khakis and white polo ensemble. The antifascist attempted to darted around and tail the group before it could reach the entry line. DPD made grabs for the protester, amid the Nazis shouting "White Power" and "Fuck You F******" to the Metro-Detroit LGBTQIA community. The police were unsuccessful, as the first Rainbow Warrior darted across the street, flipping the guardians of National Socialism the bird. 

Reinforcements arrived as the Rainbow Warriors confronted the NSM and DPD head-on (video). They rallied some of the entry line of Motor City Pride in a chant of "Nazis Fuck Off" to counter the hate speech, and were aided by three members of the houseless community, who joined the front line in trying to stop the march. It was to no avail, shoved aside by DPD riot shields, the bloc took to tailing the demonstration and were joined by a furious crowd confronting a symbol of their genocide. 

Aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper? 

A crowd growing behind them, the Nazis quickened their pace as they crossed in front of Hart Plaza, a raucous uproar of "No Nazis, No KKK, No Fascist USA" behind them, and Pride attendees banging on the fences. Near the MC Pride Bicycle Valet, an Arab Rainbow Warrior was called "Sand N*****" and told "go back to your country" by a white officer. A couple brave and agile antifascists were able to briefly slip by the police bubble to get clear photos. NSM was losing ground on the Jefferson sidewalk as it crossed Bates.

DPD elected to close down Eastbound Jefferson and escort Nazis to the median and up Randolph St. The sidewalk was taken up by a fuming unified bloc of Antifascists and Pride goers shouting "Class traitor!" and a thunderous chorus of "Who do you serve, who do you protect?"

Nice pins. 

The antifascist who was assaulted at the beginning of the march was accosted by DPD. The officer grabbed her hard enough to leave bruises, and attempted to detain her because she was carrying two water bottles. The officer was quickly surrounded by protesters and let her go.

The Rainbow Bloc grew in number and overwhelmed the Southeast corner of Jefferson and Randolph and began shouting "Queer Power!" in response to NSM taunting with "White Power!" while scurrying away under heavy police guard. Then "Trans Power!" was added, later "Black Power!" and "People Power!" echoed off the walls of the Millinder Center as the Nazis retreated to Larned and Randolph.

There they lingered as the chants died. A small detachment of the bloc circled around to Woodward and Larned, rallying Pride goers at street crossings along the way to confront them from the West. Marching in, the bloc used a megaphone to undress the NSM from their odious viewpoints, to the likely origins of their lack of self-esteem. DPD reinforced the Nazis by pushing the Antifascists back and drawing a crowd of onlookers from a nearby parking garage. 

New ReichGuard Extreme, by Just For Manchildren. 

At one point, possibly Bert Colucci, it was difficult to tell the men apart with twelve inches of hair between them, tore up and peed on an Israeli flag. Perhaps he was mock peeing, but no arrest attempt was made. The bloc laughed, responding "We're leftists, we don't like Israel 'cause they act like you!"

Each attempt for the National Socialist Mormon to speak through her megaphone was shouted down, sometimes with clever jabs, a Queer Power reprisal or simply "Shut up, just shut the fuck up". Eventually, this drew more attention from Pride goers and Detroit visitors alike, and the "Nazis Are Scared" chant caught on. Curiously, they stopped attempting to spew hate at Randolph and Larned, and walked West. Masked members of the bloc eschewed them out with a spirited but off key "Na Na Hey Hey" by Steam and Ray Charles' "Hit the Road, Jack". Sadly, a voluminous DPD presence allowed "White Power" to echo through the Millinder Center tunnel as they skulked away. 

The Rainbow Warriors regrouped and cut around to Larned and Beaubien via Jefferson, and were greeted with cheers from early bar goers, chasing the NSM into a parking lot on Larned and St. Antoine. Another section of the bloc marched up to the other entrance of the parking lot and was halted by a suffocating array of DPD officers and cruisers. The Warriors remained undaunted, bringing a reprise of "Nazis Are Scared" as the police escorted the National Socialist Movement away in a rented catering van.

From the start of the MC Pride line to the parking lot retreat, the National Socialist Movement only managed to disrupt Pride proper for 10 minutes and Detroit proper for 20, 5 spent cowering in a van. 

Meanwhile, the Mitten Medics held it down at the Food Not Class table, but their consumable supplies dwindled to cornbread and coffee. Fortunately, they had plenty of literature from FNC and Communist Workers League, plus radical stickers.

Post-Action Mutual Aid

After taking a half hour to regroup, FNC realized they completely forgot about the pizza. The resupply run lasted 45 minutes and everyone had to make due apologizing for only having coffee, clothes, cornbread and literature. Once the 8 large pizzas arrived, it was passed out to hungry Pride attendees in roughly 5 minutes. Many people lingered, dancing to 105.9 on the portable speaker, and/or talking radical theory. 

The Mitten Medics patched up a young Pride-goer who suffered a leg injury, keeping her comfortable and well hydrated with bandage wraps and assistance on an impromptu medical evacuation. Red Orchestra and Communist Workers League squads walked the streets around Pride, checking to ensure no white supremacists lingered. Along the way, they encountered a man catcalling women waiting in line from his car. Blocking his view, he stopped yelling and got out of his car, frustrated. Unpleasant words were exchanged at low volume, but it was made clear his behavior was out of line and it was also the least logical place to try anyway. He stormed off, but bothered Pride no further.

FNC was confronted by an undercover officer, upset about the organization's rule of refusing service to law enforcement and fascists. He took a piece of anti-police literature and interrogated the organization over its permit status for the stone wall on Jefferson and Bates. Eventually, he left, thoroughly unsatisfied with his lack of service.

The sun went down, and Pride came to a close Nazi-free. All in a day's work for Antifa.

Disclaimer: While MDPAN is an ardent supporter of Antifa, it is not an Anti-fascist or Anti-racist collective, please refer all inquiries on white supremacist activity to Red Orchestra, interest in mutual aid to Food Not Class and information on medical training to Mitten Medics. Communist Workers League is a great source for general community organizing. 

    #communitydefense #directaction 

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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.


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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  , detroit

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 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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Added a post  to  , detroit

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

Added a post  to  , detroit

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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Added a post  to  , detroit

Originally Posted on August 5, 2017

In a world where Brock Turner can only serve three months in jail for a rape charge, and that’s still facing more institutional justice than 99% of assailants, the right to consent is under attack. Beyond overt sexual and domestic violence, women, in particular, face a constant barrage of harassment and discrimination in the workplace, on the street and in social media. This is a denial of the right to gender equality and personal autonomy. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MPDAN) has stepped up to host the Detroit Slutwalk: Consent is Mandatory march to reaffirm the right to our bodies, our choices and that no one is ever “asking for it.”

Taking place in Palmer Park on August 12th at 1 PM, MDPAN will be bringing together a diverse array of speakers sharing stories of survival and perseverance against the oppressive specter of rape culture. In addition, numerous organizations will be present to provide outreach for victims, counseling and education. Palmer Park’s southern end has two major lots along Covington, one below the pond and a smaller one near Covington/Woodward. Non-metered street parking will also be available should the lots fill up.

MDPAN is ecstatic to announce an exceptional line-up of speakers! Potential governors, radio hosts and grassroots activist leaders are all coming together to stamp out rape culture:

- Fatima Salman: Host of 910AM’s Between the Lines and Executive Director of the Muslim Student Association.
- Jeynce Poindexter Mizrahi: Transgender Specialist and founding board member of Trans Sistas of Color Project
- Bree Campbell: Executive Director and Transgender Advocate of Trans Sistas of Color Project 
- Shirley Marie Johnson: Head Administrator for Women’s March Tennessee, CEO of Exodus Inc, a domestic violence shelter. 
- Brianna Dee Kingsley: Chair of Transgender Engagement, Justice League Royal Oak/UMC
- Jennifer V Kurland: Slutwalk MC, host of The Offensive Feminist with Jenny K on Cave Radio.
- JoAnna Underwood: Candidate for Detroit City Council, District 7 Representative, founder of People’s Action Committee.
- Jessica Martin: Vice President of Young Democrats of Michigan, 6th District Chief of MI for Revolution.
- Nicole Vasher: Leader of MI for Revolution’s Downriver chapter, Handmaid Bonnet-mancer.
- Antia Harris: Sister of Zeta Psi Zeta sorority, class of ’16.
- Sophia von Stardust and Laurel Pleasures: Local burlesque performers highlighting positive, consensual sexuality with their routine.
- Vicki Edwards: Leader of Refuse Fascism’s Michigan Chapter.
- Rachel Montgomery: Secretary General for MDPAN
- Robert Fidler: Media Director for MDPAN

In addition to our speakers, we have a wealth of organizations providing outreach for victims of violence and harassment, counseling services and avenues for political action to advance the cause of feminism:

- Counseling Team: Shawn Force and Cayte Boyer are licensed counselors on hand to help our attendees, look for them wearing fluorescent tape at the rally. 
- Scotsdale Women's Center: A Detroit, pro-choice family planning center serving the community with a caring and non-judgemental atmosphere for over 30 years.
- Haven: Provides shelter, counseling advocacy, and educational programming for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oakland County.
- Turning Point: Serves Macomb County by proving resources and programs to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault take back their lives.
- WC Safe: A center providing compassionate and trauma-informed care to sexual assault survivors in Wayne County.
- Trans Sistas of Color Project - Detroit: A group that seeks to uplift, influence and impact the lives and well being of trans women of color in Metro Detroit.
- Women's March: All inclusive direct action organization dedicated to fighting bigotry and intolerance. Michigan and Tennessee Chapters will be represented.
- Zeta Psi Zeta: A Detroit based LGBT friendly sorority focused on promoting a different breed of femininity. Will be hosting chalk art at the event.
- Feminists of Oakland University: On-campus feminist group focused on educating the campus about gender inequality. Will be hosting a face painting booth. 
- No Good Girls Allowed: Community organization the works on benefits such as food kitchens and suicide prevention.
- Detroit Green Party: Our nation's most prominent third party, where feminism and care for the environment are core concepts.
- Restaurant Opportunities Center: Fights for a living wage and end of discrimination in food service.
- Michigan for Revolution: Grassroots organization aiming to effect progressive change and the local and state level.
- Refuse Fascism: Direct action group fighting against fascist and white supremacist elements in the US.
- Michigan for Choice: MDPAN's women's rights wing, will have sign making and other art projects available for open participation.

Come out on August 12th and Palmer Park and stand with us to demand that consent is always mandatory!

Photography courtesy of TJ Samuels.

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Originally posted on August 10, 2017

For most of her life, Jaleesa Milton Durham dreamed of being part of a sorority. She admired the work of Delta Sigma Theta Inc, a non-profit whose union of college educated women focused on serving the needs of the Black community. However, her dream was initially denied by having to miss out on the collegiate experience. 

Nevertheless, Durham persisted, teaming with Belinda Stafford, the pair began to research local non-collegiate organizations with a focus on LGBT issues and community service. After an exhaustive search along the path to finding a sisterhood, they were never able to find the right fit. Then, on June 7, 2012, they founded Detroit's Zeta Psi Zeta sorority to embody their values of "sisterhood, service, loyalty and humility".

"We all come from different walks of life, bringing in our own individual styles to make Zeta a place for every women to fit in and feel loved and respected," said Durham, emphasizing the sorority's slogan "A Different Breed of Femininity". While the Zeta Psi's do place a focus of the LGBT community, all are welcome to join their sisterhood. 

In addition to LGBT issues, Zeta Psi Zeta aims a critical lens at other issues disproportionately affecting women. Domestic violence and women's rights are major components of their message, as perpetrators of the former are continually excused and shielded from justice in contemporary society. "We focus a lot on avenues circling around the aid for women to walk in peace. We really focus on uplifting and our sisterhood." Further, motherhood is a aspect of life dear to the hearts of Zeta Psi Zeta's membership. "Most of my sisters are mothers and they do great things helping kids find their way in life, by doing various projects geared towards kids of all ages."

While their message is on point, the Zeta Psis also answer the call to action. "The need to feed and serve is never ending," stated Durham, in reference to the sorority's initiative to help the homeless. Many of their members volunteer at local soup kitchens and partner with other groups to assist the less fortunate in the community. Even without specific organization, the sisters will contribute out of pocket to help those in greatest need as part of their daily walk through life.

In keeping with their values as an LGBT sorority, they partnered with Michigan's Epsilon chapter to form the "Be True to You" campaign. It's purpose, to provide a safe space for LGBT individuals to seek advice regarding the process of coming out. "It is hard to tell loved ones you are a homosexual of any sort and we give an out let to be able to get helpful tips on how you can feel comfortable with sharing your truth with those closest to you."

The Metro-Detroit Political Action Network is honored to have their organization join the Detroit Slutwalk: Consent is Mandatory March as co-hosts. In addition to tabling the event, sister Antia Harris will be representing the sorority with a speech during the rally. 

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Originally Posted on July 20, 2017

"There is nothing more American, than to stand for justice!" shouted Ahmed Ghanim, speaking to a crowd of one hundred surrounding the Fist of Joe Louis in downtown Detroit. At high noon, two days prior to the celebration of America's independence, protesters gathered to demand the impeachment and removal of the President. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MDPAN) hosted the Detroit event, which paired with a sister march in Ann Arbor and joined resistance in major cities around the nation. Their reasons for shaking off the yolk of tyranny were as varied as the signs they waved.

Treason was among the most popular reasons for demanding the President's removal, as links between Russia, Trump, and his staff have been unearthed at a rapid pace throughout Robert Mueller's federal investigation. This is following Trump's firing of the initial investigator, FBI Director James Comey, which only intesified suspicions for traitorous activity. One activist held a "Truth Over Tweets" sign, and Trump's activity on the social media platform could be grounds for removal in itself, given that he's used his account to intimidate potential witnesses, attack the free press and silence dissent from the citizenry. Others decried his assault on healthcare and pandering to white nationalism and misogyny. 


Braving the sweltering July heat, the resistance lined the street with their signs and received a flurry of supportive honks from traffic passing by. While the majority of the feedback was positive, the occasional drive-by Trump supporter would demand the attendees "get a job!", oblivious to the irony of that statement's usage on a holiday weekend.

Local media also came out in force for the event, with representatives from WXYZ 7, Fox 2 and WDIV Local 4 sending camera crews. Allie Gross of the Detroit Free Press was also on scene for more in-depth reporting, along with Steve Neavling of the Motor City Muckraker

At 12:45 PM, the rally began in earnest. Highlights included the aforementioned Ahmed Ghanim, delivering a sobering and incendiary tale of his tribulations living under an oppressive regime in Egypt and emigrating to this country. "America has given me what I haven't found in any other land. [It's] Given me the freedom, given me the right to talk, given me the right to vote and given me the right to protest." After a chorus of cheers, he continued. "The most dangerous thing is normalizing what's wrong, that's how we were raised under a dictatorship...What is the difference between a dictator from a third world country facing corruption charges, and Donald Trump? There is no difference!"


Abhay Sinh Rathwa provided musical interludes for the speakers, whose soulful baritone evoked classic protest songs "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution" by Tracy Chapman, "A Change is Gonna Come" by Sam Cook and Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind". The latter elicted a response from nature itself, as wind gusts erupted off the Detroit River, threatening to carry off Abhay's sheet music were it not for the MC holding it to the music stand.

Refuse Fascism sent a delegation to the march, with Vicki, leader of the Detroit chapter, providing a booming mantra that Trump and Pence must go for their repeated attacks on the marginalized in this country. The MC concluded the rally by reciting Bill Pullman's Independence Day speech, modified to reflect Trump's takeover versus an extraterrestrial invasion.

With that, the protesters took to the streets. Thanks to a gracious Detroit Police Department, they were able to march unimpededed up Woodward and through Campus Martius. A man wearing a plaster caricature head of Trump and MDPAN stalwarts holding a "Grab Him by the Treason" banner acted as the standard bearers. Passers-by and outdoor diners greeted the activists with cheers, and chants of "2-4-6-8 Time to do away with hate", "No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA" and "Liar Liar Pants on Fire, Donald Trump Must Retire" echoed sonorously off the steel and glass towers bordering the route. By 2 PM, the resistance returned to the Fist, pleasantly exhausted from exercising their civic duty to resist an illegitimate authority. 


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works - Ban in . Call and write your Michigan to back MIhouse 5550. Join the this Thursday. More info on Civic Action Center. #loveislove

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