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Detroit Wayne State U Faculty/Staff For Justice In Palestine Formed

On June 4, hundreds of students, faculty, alumni and community members rallied on the campus of Wayne State University located in the Midtown District of Detroit. The purpose of the gathering was to send a clear message to the recently appointed President Kimberly Andrews Espy who ordered a Palestine solidarity encampment raided and destroyed by campus police on May 30. Metropolitan Detroit embodies the largest population of people of Arab and Middle Eastern descent in the United States. Consequently, many people within this community have direct familial and linguistic ties to the people most impacted by the settler-colonial regime occupying Palestine.

Detroit’s Wayne State University Encampment Shut Down By Police

After seven full days of an encampment at the center of Wayne State University in Detroit, campus police raided and removed the encampment which has demanded the complete divestment from corporations which have interests in the State of Israel. The encampment began with a demonstration on Thursday May 23 starting on Woodward Avenue and West Warren, which is the location of the WSU Welcome Center. Hundreds of students, faculty and community members then marched to the campus where the encampment was constructed right across from the Undergraduate Library (UGL).

Lessons From The Wayne State University Encampment

Amid the latest military offensive in Rafah, the movement in solidarity with Palestine has remained active. Students across the country have been at the vanguard, setting up encampments and demanding that their universities divest from the Israeli war machine. The response from university administrations has been repression so intense that it has sparked broad outrage and condemnation because of its chilling effect on the right to protest and dissent. The intense crackdowns have led sectors of the movement to take up the issue of repression as a central part of the fight for Palestine.

Unity Through Resistance: 3,000 Pro-Palestine Activists Converge In Detroit

With 3,000 people and hundreds of pro-Palestine organizations converging in a metropolitan area with the largest concentration of Arab Americans, amidst the largest movement for Palestine in US history, the People’s Conference for Palestine feels nothing short of historic. “Eternal glory to our martyrs, speedy recovery to our wounded, and freedom for our steadfast prisoners,” Mohammed Nabulsi, leader in the Palestinian Youth Movement in Houston, Texas, opened the conference with these explicitly revolutionary invocations on the first day on Friday, May 24. “In the last eight months, we, the Palestinian people, have demonstrated to the entire world, that the only way we can author our own history, and transform our present reality, is the path of unity through resistance.”

Activists Arrested At Protest Of Biden In Detroit

Detroit police arrested protesters, including members of Left Voice and Detroit Will Breathe (DWB,) at a demonstration outside of “Genocide” Joe Biden’s speech at the NAACP dinner. The protest was organized by several different Detroit based activist organizations and stood in solidarity with the people of Gaza against Biden’s continued support for the genocide. 

Detroit: $1,700 Duplex Is Now One Of The City’s Most Energy-Efficient Homes

In 2016, the home Kendal Kuneman’s grandmother grew up in sat abandoned in Detroit like so many others. Its doors and windows were gone, the roof was failing, part of a stairwell was missing, and scrappers had stripped the home of its metal. But the family connection drove Kuneman to buy the duplex for $1,700 from the Detroit Land Bank with the notion of transforming it into a green home. Seven years later, the Faust Street house is something else entirely: It is among the most energy-efficient homes in Detroit, fully electrified, and on the path to becoming net zero.

‘Move The Money’: Detroit Votes For Slashing Bloated Pentagon Budget

Detroit, Michigan - Following in the footsteps of neighboring Hamtramck, Detroit has become the biggest U.S. city so far to pass a “Move the Money” resolution. The measure, approved unanimously by City Council on Tuesday, calls on the U.S. Congress and the president to shift public money away from the military to fund social services. The Michigan Peace Council, a major backer of the campaign to win the resolution, praised the council vote, which came on the same day that nearly 101,000 Michiganders voted “Uncommitted” in the Democratic primary to oppose President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s brutal war against Gaza.

Detroit Casino Workers On Strike For The First Time In History

For nearly a month, the casino workers at Detroit’s three casinos, MGM Grand, Hollywood at Greektown, and MotorCity, have been on strike. This coincides with the strike wave that is happening in the Metro Detroit area, including workers at Blue Cross Blue Shield, and following the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike at the Big Three auto manufacturers who recently reached a Tentative Agreement (TA). The casino workers represented by Unite Here Local 24, UAW, Teamsters Local 1038, Operating Engineers Local 324, and Regional Council of Carpenters that make up The Detroit Casino Council (DCC) have demanded the following: a wage increase to keep with inflation, lowering the price of healthcare, and job security with the guarantee that the casinos won’t replace their jobs with technology before the contract is up.

150,000 United Auto Workers Vote To Authorize Strike By 97% Majority

Detroit, Michigan - United Auto Workers (UAW) members voted overwhelmingly, August 25, to grant authorization to call for strikes during ongoing contract negotiations between UAW and General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis motors companies if needed to win their demands in bargaining. Union members voted to authorize the strike by an average of 97% of voters who work for the three companies. UAW President Shawn Fain said, “The Big Three is our strike target. And whether or not there’s a strike - it’s up to Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, because they know what our priorities are. We’ve been clear.” The UAW workers are fighting for a 46% wage increase, restoring their pensions, a 32-hour work week, and increased retiree benefits.

Massive Looting Of Public Resources At Stake In Detroit Redevelopment Scheme

Detroit, Michigan - Billionaire developers in Detroit have proposed capturing almost one billion dollars in public money to fund their newest project. The deal is far from sealed, but organized community opposition will be necessary to prevent approvals from sailing through. In a majority Black and Brown, working-class city experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis, billionaire developers are seeking to siphon public funds that should be used to build public housing and expand community resources to subsidize luxury apartments, hotels, and office space. Community members have spoken out against publicly funding the development scheme but have yet to unite an opposition capable of stopping it or even winning major concessions. A proposed development, to be constructed in the heart of Downtown Detroit, the long-promised but never realized “District Detroit”, is seeking nearly 800 million dollars in public subsidies and tax breaks.

Two EV-Charging Roads Are Coming To Detroit

Detroit, Michigan - You may find yourself driving on an EV charging road in the near future. In Detroit, inductive charging technology is being added to two short roads, a project that will be the first wireless electric road system (ERS) in the U.S. The roads will be capable of charging electric vehicles that install a special receiver while they drive. The roadway will be fully functional by 2023. For the project, roads are embedded with coils that transfer magnetic energy to receivers mounted under EVs. That energy is then used to charge the vehicle battery, whether it is stationary or on the go. “We’re the auto capital. We continue to push technology advancements,” said Michele Mueller, a senior project manager at Michigan Department of Transportation, as reported by Fast Company.

Victory In Detroit Will Breathe Lawsuit Against The City Of Detroit

Detroit, Michigan - Today, Detroit Will Breathe and individual plaintiffs have accepted a historic offer of judgment extended by the City of Detroit that includes over 1 million dollars — $5,000 awarded directly to the organization, with the remainder divided amongst the plaintiffs. This offer of judgment resolves the case in our favor and means that the federal court will rule that the City of Detroit and the Detroit Police Department violated the constitutional rights of protestors during the George Floyd uprising of 2020. Regardless of what the City might say, this judgment is a victory for the movement. At the start of our lawsuit, we obtained an unprecedented temporary restraining order against DPD. The restraining order prohibited DPD from beating, choking, pepper-spraying, and tear-gassing protestors and was converted into an injunction that lasted over two years.

Detroiters Say ‘Hell No!’ To DTE’s Proposed Electricity Rate Hike

Detroit, Michigan - Recurring power outages have become a fact of life in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. The most recent mass outage left hundreds of thousands in Metro Detroit without power following a brief windstorm on August 29th. Four days on, tens of thousands were still unable to run their medical devices and prevent their food from spoiling. With outages becoming more severe and more frequent as the climate crisis worsens, profit-driven utilities want to take more out of the pockets of working people struggling to afford their unreliable energy service. Even before the most recent outages, the frustration in Detroit and surrounding areas was palpable. On Monday, August 22, hundreds demonstrated and turned out to a public hearing held by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to denounce DTE’s latest exorbitant electricity rate hike amid soaring inflation and perennial outages.

BLM Leader In Court To Challenge Racist And Retaliatory Charges

Tristan Taylor, a co-founder of Detroit Will Breathe (DWB) and a Left Voice member, is defending himself in court on Monday, May 23, against felony charges for protesting the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020. Taylor is one of the Shelby 5, a group of protestors facing felony charges for demanding that Robert Shellide, the Chief of Police in Shelby Township, Michigan, be fired for posting violently racist remarks about the mass protests. Several additional protestors were charged with misdemeanors. On Taylor’s court date, Monday May 23, Detroit Will Breathe, an organization which was born in the heat of the Black Lives Matter movement, is calling their supporters to mobilize in support of a motion to get the felony charge thrown out. 

Detroit Organizations Demand Justice Department Act On Police Misconduct

CPTA begins the memorandum by stating that: “The Coalition for Police Transparency and Accountability (CPTA) requests a federal investigation of a pattern of killings and excessive force by the Detroit Police Department (DPD) and an institutional culture within the department that promotes violence and racial discrimination within the Department and against members of the community. The mission of CPTA is to expose police misconduct in all its forms and thereby demand police transparency and accountability as well as garner community support for this effort. The Coalition was formed after the killing of Hakim Littleton in July 2020 by the Detroit Police Department officers.
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