Reporting Vickie Thomas
DETROIT (WWJ) – As city leaders work to come up with a counter proposal to the state’s proposed consent agreement for Detroit’s finances – some vocal community members are taking their frustrations to the streets.
On Friday, the group targeted Detroit office of State Treasurer Andy Dillon.
Day One of “12 Days of Action” began peacefully with prayer at Cadillac Place, and ended with a loud confrontation with security in the lobby.
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“Michigan is the new Birmingham (Alabama),” said Pastor David Bullock with the Detroit Chapter of Rainbow Push Coalition. “Michigan is the new Ground Zero for protests against tyranny and occupation.”
“We stand for democracy. So, those that are in the employ of the state, we’re worried – when the people are united and cannot be defeated they began to accost grandmothers,” he said.
What do these protesters help to achieve?
“The aim is to amp up the movement. When the people put their feet on the street, the people in the suites pay attention,” Bullock said. ”We saw that with the Occupy movement. So, while the state seeks to occupy Detroit, we seek to occupy democracy.”
Another one of the organizers is Pastor Edwin Rowe with Central United Methodist Church.
“(There’s) 4,500 churches in the city of Detroit. Where are they?” he said. “If you’re not going to step up to this social justice issue, then stop reading that social justice Bible you read every Sunday morning, you know?”
“Jesus is calling you to the street,” he said.
Congressman Hansen Clarke spoke to the crowd.
“I’ll need you to contact your members of Congress, your U.S. Senators in Michigan, to let them know that you want emergency relief to the city of Detroit,” said Clarke. “Folks in Washington need to know that I’m not just speaking on my own, but I’m speaking on behalf of a whole bunch of people who want to see our city saved
The groups plan to continue targeting different locations across the city.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and other critics of the consent agreement Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed say it gives a nine-member financial advisory board whose members would be appointed by state and city officials too much authority over the decisions made by the elected mayor and City Council.
Snyder has said he will be scheduling several town hall meetings to talk about the financial crisis in Detroit.
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