Emergency Manager Protest Jams Up Traffic On I-75
DETROIT (WWJ) - For more than an hour Friday morning, a section of southbound I-75 looked pretty much like a parking lot.
Motorists were riding the brakes along the freeway near Mack Avenue in protest of the state’s financial takeover of Detroit.
Among the demonstrators in the jam was Rev. D. Alexander Bullock who called the WWJ Newsroom from his car — one of several sporting a sign that read, “No Emergency Manager.”
State police troopers did pull over some of the protesters, but it wasn’t immediately known if citations were issued.
Bullock said it was a peaceful demonstration.
“We are non-violent. We are not going to respond to any kind of violence or anger,” said Bullock. “But the people’s’ anger is just symbolic of our disappointment of the fact that democracy is under attack in Michigan.”
Bullock says Detroit’s financial situation would not be quite so dire of some powerful people paid up.
He claims his group has documentation that shows that there’s $800 million owed to the city of Detroit by various corporations including prominent business leaders.
This wasn’t the first time Bullock and friends have held such a protest — and it won’t be the last.
“We really want to send a message that the citizens of the city of Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor, Muskegon Heights and school districts [where emergency managers are in place] will not stop until our voices are heard and democracy is restored,” Bullock said.
Under Michigan law, emergency managers have the power to develop financial plans, renegotiate labor contracts, revise and approve budgets to help control spending, sell off some city assets and suspend elected officials’ salaries. Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr began work last month.