albertMore than a hundred elderly mostly African Americans thought they could live out their lives in relative peace at 1214 Griswold building on Capitol Park in downtown Detroit, but not if billionaire real estate mogul Dan Gilbert has his way.  In that case, those elderly black people will continue to breathe the sickening dust being raised by the renovations of the building as Gilbert prepares to kick them out and turn the building into luxury apartments being marketed to the young, affluent and mostly white.

“The blatant injustice of kicking fixed income elderly people of color out of prime real-estate to make way for, if we are to believe the promo video, young affluent whites is outrageous,” said Thomas Stephens of Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management. “This is what happens when you make plans like Detroit Future City with no references to the racial or economic realities that have put Detroit in the crisis that it’s in.  The solution is not further devastation of the most vulnerable.  The people being pandered to in the video for Gilbert’s luxury apartment have many options.  The people being summarily tossed out have virtually none.  This is a travesty.”

This Albert Kahn-designed building was formerly home to over a hundred seniors, many of them disabled.  They have been summarily evicted.  The building is intended to become a ‘market-rate’ upscale Capitol Park playpen for ‘creative class’ youth in what ‘Detroit Future City’ designates as a downtown ‘digital/creative’ zone.

The initial marketing for this particular land grab was so heavy-handed and over-the-top in its sense of entitlement and obliviousness, that it inspired widespread public revulsion:  http://vimeo.com/m/88779497

To no one’s surprise, that marketing atrocity quickly inspired its own appropriately savage parody, with a call to boycott ‘The Albert:’  http://vimeo.com/m/89583583


Albert
from Kate Levy on Vimeo.

D-REM stands with the victims of gentrification, displacement, racism, ableism, ‘Detroit Future City,’ emergency managed restructuring (and the GilbertFutureVision©) of a city that violates human rights and dignity.  We will continue to oppose and resist the cruel corporate inequality and discrimination that the Governor, the Emergency Manager, Dan Gilbert and their partners in dispossession seek to impose on our city and our People.

Detroiters Resisting Emergency Managementhttp://d-rem.org