Category: Voices of Detroit (page 1 of 24)

Thinking for Ourselves: Collective Ferocity

By Shea Howell

June 19, 2017

Shortly after the national elections, the organizers of the Allied Media Conference (AMC) in Detroit issued a statement “Get Ready Stay Ready.”  They said, “We offer the AMC as a space for our movements to converge and explore how we can use media-based organizing to dig up the roots of systemic hatred and violence. We offer the AMC as a space to create art that detoxifies the soil of this culture, so we can grow without its centuries of poison.” After nearly two decades of patient building, the organizers recognized that they had created a unique and important space to help all of us think together about how we can most intentionally respond to this political crisis.

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Victory for HOMRICH 9 Spurs Group to Continue Fight Against Water Shutoffs

Victory for HOMRICH 9 Spurs Group to Continue Fight Against Water Shutoffs

Nearly three years of legal chaos results in dismissal of all charges

DETROIT- After almost three years of chaotic, rambling and ultimately failed prosecutorial legal proceedings, all charges against the Homrich 9 have been dismissed by the court because of the government’s dismal failure to comply with the constitutionally guaranteed right to a speedy trial. Members of the Homrich 9 and their counsel will declare victory at a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

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Detroit Music Video wins Best Hip Hop Video at the American Music Video Awards!

HOMRICH 9 Charges Dismissed!

All charges dismissed against the ‘Homrich 9’ Detroit water shutoff protestors

After nearly three years of dragged-out legal proceedings, all charges have been dropped against Detroit’s “Homrich 9” water rights activists.

Judge Ronald Giles of the 36th District Court dismissed the charges on June 14, finding the defendants’ constitutional right to a speedy trial was violated by “numerous unexplained and unjustified delays.”

“Three years of prosecution on a misdemeanor is unconscionable,” says Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann, one of the protestors. “The number of court appearances and the travel constraints of bond have been burdensome to many in the group.”

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JOIN US! Information Democracy

Detroit Equity Action Lab is in the middle of an awesome training series titled Information Democracy, which is an 8-part training series that is free to the public. Our hope is to better equip community with the tools they need to become better organizers, advocates, journalists and information stewards.

Here’s the flyer. This week, Tony Paris will be presenting on legal research. The next week, we will feature a training on how to use the WSU law library. We think that the people in your networks may be especially interested in these two trainings. Thus, we hope that you spread the word and consider attending yourself.

Book Announcement: “Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit”

dads book

New book by Bill Wylie-Kellermann.Where the Water Goes Around: Beloved Detroit is a biblical and political reading of Detroit over the course of three decades by an activist pastor.

Detroit is a place where one can take the temperature of the world. Think on the rise of Fordism and auto-love, the Arsenal of Democracy, the practice of the sit-down strike, or the invention of the expressway and suburban mall. Consider more recently the rebellion of 1967, the deindustrialization of a union town, the assault on democracy in this Black-majority city, the structural adjustments of municipal bankruptcy, and now a struggle for water as a human right.

Bill Wylie-Kellermann tells the story of working out his “place-based vocation” with a simultaneous commitment to gospel non-violence. He evokes the place Anishinabe people tread lightly the banks of Wawiatonong, “where the water goes around.” One narrative thread walks a procession through the streets, a contemporary “stations of the cross,” to the locations of crucifixion today. Another tells the story of resurrection in struggle and human community. Herein are public disruptions, liturgical direct actions, and courtroom trials. In resistance and risk, this book proclaims the gospel in context.

Order the book here!

Bill Wylie-Kellermann knows that deep neighborly truth about a great city must be told in poetic playful idiom. He knows that ordinary prose has become the dialect of corporate fascism. This book is Wylie-Kellermann’s welcome read of Detroit from below, the wide angle lens of forgotten neighbors who have been done in by the governor, by the manager, by the banks and corporations, and by all those powers who do not care. The book is a truthful counter-narrative about the city. It offers an urban epitome of our national narrative. It must be read, heard, and noticed because it is a history of conscience, a history of despair, and a powerful story of relentlessly body-engaged hope.

-Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

Order the book here!

WATCH: 2nd International Gathering of Social Movements on Water

Crystal in Youth Panel, June 10, 2017

Valerie Jean, June 8, 2017

Nicole Hill, June 8, 2017

Thinking for Ourselves: Dream Questions

By Shea Howell

June 12, 2017

I saw my first young person in the neighborhood walking with her graduation cap on the way to church this week. It is a common sight in Detroit at this time of year. All over the city young people mark their graduation from high school or college by wearing caps and gowns as they go to community gatherings or just walking down the street with friends.

I don’t know if this happens in other cities, but here, graduation is a public affair, celebrated on street corners. As in other places there are family parties and balloons, church acknowledgments and lawn signs, but here graduations are about more than individual achievement. Although often they signify remarkable accomplishments by our young people in a city where nearly half of them have dropped out and many never complete what is needed to get a diploma. Still, there is a sense that wearing caps and gowns as you go about normal life is a way of acknowledging the long, hard struggle for education by people who risked their lives to learn to read. It is a tribute to ancestors and a hope toward the future.

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#BabaDon'tTakeNoMess from Natasha Tamate Weiss on Vimeo.

From ‘Turtle Island to Palestine’: Black4Palestine Congratulates Palestinian Prisoners on Win

From ‘Turtle Island to Palestine’: Black4Palestine Congratulates Palestinian Prisoners on Win

A Palestinian prisoners’ group welcomed the show of support, noting the long and powerful history of Black-Palestinian solidarity.

Shortly after Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails ended their hunger strike with nearly 80 percent of their demands agreed to by the apartheid state, organizers from the U.S.-based solidarity group, Black4Palestine, sent a message of congratulations.

RELATED: Victory for Palestinian Prisoners as 80% of Strike Demands Met

We are a group of Black, African, Arab and Palestinian people here in the city of Detroit — on occupied territory in the United States,” they began in the video that featured a water rights activists, a former Black Panther, a formerly incarcerated community member and one man who fasted for 140 days to resist his eviction.

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