JUSTICE DEPT: IT’S LEGAL TO KILL U.S. CITIZENS ABROAD ONLY ON SUSPICION

Tribesmen this week examine the rubble of a building in southeastern Yemen where American teenager Abdulrahmen al-Awlaki and six suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike on Oct. 14, 2011. Al-Awlaki, 16, was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a similar strike two weeks earlier. Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

Tribesmen this week examine the rubble of a building in southeastern Yemen where American teenager Abdulrahmen al-Awlaki and six suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike on Oct. 14, 2011. Al-Awlaki, 16, was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a similar strike two weeks earlier. Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

Justifies Obama administration’s use of drone strikes

By Pete Yost                                                                                                                                        Associated Press

February 5, 2013 

abdulrahmanWashington — A confidential Justice Department memo says it is legal for the government to kill U.S. citizens abroad if it believes they are senior al-Qaida leaders continually engaged in operations aimed at killing Americans.

The document, first reported Monday night by NBC News, provides a legal rationale behind the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects.

AwlakiThe 16-page document says it is lawful to target al-Qaida linked U.S. citizens if they pose an “imminent” threat of violent attack against Americans, and that delaying action against such people would create an unacceptably high risk. Such circumstances may necessitate expanding the concept of imminent threat, the memo says.

“The threat posed by al-Qaida and its associated forces demands a broader concept of imminence in judging when a person continually planning terror attacks presents an imminent threat,” the document added.

Samir Khan

Samir Khan

A September 2011 drone strike in Yemen killed Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both U.S. citizens linked to al-Qaida.

The memo does not require the U.S. to have information about a specific imminent attack against the U.S.

“A decision maker determining whether an al-Qaida operational leader presents an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States must take into account that certain members of al-Qaida … are continually plotting attacks against the United States” and that “al-Qaida would engage in such attacks regularly to the extent it were able to do so,” says the document.

The document also says that a decision maker must take into account that “the U.S. government may not be aware of all al-Qaida plots as they are developing and thus cannot be confident that none is about to occur; and that…the nation may have a limited window of opportunity within which to strike in a manner that both has a high likelihood of success and reduces the probability of American casualties.”

For more, including link to document, click on http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans?lite

Also read U.S.-allied Yemeni government’s story on killing of Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, in which it says its government killed al-Awlaki, at http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/09/yemen_claims_aqap_cl.php The Yemeni government has earlier covered for U.S. incursions into its country. This article is published on the website of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, described as a “neo-conservative think tank” based in the U.S. by RightWeb, at http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/foundation_for_defense_of_democracies.

Imam Luqman Abdullah, assassinated by FBI, Dearborn and Detroit police Oct. 28, 2009.

Imam Luqman Abdullah, assassinated by FBI, Dearborn and Detroit police Oct. 28, 2009.

And VOD wonders where the intelligence document is allowing the U.S. to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism at home, without a trial. Let us not forget the assassination of Iman Luqman Abdullah in Dearborn, MI on Oct. 28, 2009. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Dept. eventually exonerated those responsible. Click on VOD/Final Call story at http://voiceofdetroit.net/2010/10/16/family-religious-and-civil-rights-leaders-outraged-after-doj-exonerates-imam-luqman-abdullah%e2%80%99s-killers/.


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BING WILL HURT DETROIT KIDS, SHUTTING PARKS TO RETALIATE FOR BELLE ISLE “LEASE” FAILURE

Detroit kids enjoy swings in Belle Isle Park, similar to those in many neighborhood  city parks Bing now wants to close.

Detroit kids enjoy swings in Belle Isle Park, similar to those in many neighborhood city parks Bing now wants to close.

State withdraws offer after Council refuses to vote on “lease”

Mayor announces closure, cutbacks at 88 city parks, although Belle Isle costs city only $891,173 out of a total Rec. Dept. budget of $19,696,055

Despite media barrage, dozens speak against lease at hearing

By Diane Bukowski

February 3, 2013

DETROIT – Amidst a howling storm of rage from Detroit’s daily media at the City Council’s failure to vote on a state “lease” of Belle Isle Jan. 29, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing has announced that he will close 50 city parks in the spring. He also plans to put 38 others on “limited-service” status, and cancel a planned increase in programming for youth and seniors at six recreation centers.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced after the Council meeting that the state is withdrawing its offer to “lease” the island. 

Gov. Snyder's man inside city government, Kriss Andrews (l) with Mayor Dave Bing at press briefing Dec. 7, 2012. (Photo: City of Detroit website.)

Gov. Snyder’s man inside city government, Kriss Andrews (l) with Mayor Dave Bing at press briefing Dec. 7, 2012. (Photo: City of Detroit website.)

“Because Belle Isle costs the City of Detroit $6.2 million each year to operate and maintain, the loss of the State lease therefore amounts to lost savings for the City,” a release issued by Bing’s staff says. “For instance, the 36 staff members who maintain Belle Isle could have been used to staff seven five-member mowing crews that the City’s General Services Department could have employed at other parks and outdoor facilities.” 

In fact, Detroit’s budget for 2012-13 shows that only $891,173 out of a total Recreation Department allotment of $19,696,055 was set aside for Belle Isle. During 2011-12, $992,060 was spent on Belle Isle out of a total departmental appropriation of $12,268,611. (Click on http://www.detroitmi.gov/DepartmentsandAgencies/BudgetDepartment/20122013AdoptedBudget/20122013AgencyBudget.aspx 

and then on Recreation Department box on this page to view actual budget for 2012-12.)

The city’s “Program Management Director” Kriss Andrews, a joint appointee of Bing and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder under the now defunct Public Act 4, sat at Bing’s side during the press conference. Insiders at city hall have noted that Bing appears to be showing signs of dementia and question who is really calling the shots. 

Free Press reporter John Carlisle nastily disparaged Detroiters who testified at City Council hearing Jan. 28, 2012.

Free Press reporter John Carlisle nastily disparaged Detroiters who testified at City Council hearing Jan. 28, 2012.

The Detroit Free Press gleefully interviewed residents living near interior parks after Bing’s announcement. It reported that they “fear the unmaintained parks will lead to increased crime and unsightly weeds, garbage and rodents in their neighborhoods.” The paper then published scurrilous personal descriptions of some of those who opposed the  “lease” during a council hearing Jan. 28, calling them “a few dozen notorious regulars, activists and eccentrics.” 

At its Jan. 29 meeting, the Council refused 6-3 to put the Belle Isle “lease” on that day’s “New Business Agenda,” as the daily media breathlessly expected. The Free Press even put a link to the Council session on its website’s front page. 

Councilman James Tate introduced the “lease” for a full Council vote.

CC 1 28 13 KKThe other members of the Neighborhood and Community Services Committee, which he chairs, voted Jan. 28 to keep it in committee for another two weeks. 

Council members JoAnn Watson and Kwame Kenyatta said they wanted to obtain essential documentation such as the city’s deeds and titles for the island, an accurate legal description of the land in question, and written assurances regarding historic preservation and compliance with city zoning ordinances. 

Only Council members Tate, Saunteel Jenkins, and Gary Brown voted to move forward with a vote. Members Watson, Kenyatta, and Brenda Jones have said they are opposed to the “lease,” period. Council members Charles Pugh and Andre Spivey were likely afraid to push the vote after Councilman Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. said the city has more important business to take care of. 

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson at hearing Jan. 28, 2013.

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson at hearing Jan. 28, 2013.

“The Governor’s chief of staff (Dennis Muchmore) came to me in the spring of last year, and I told him don’t push this, now is not the time to do this,” Cockrel said. “We need a global fix for the financial problems facing city of Detroit. There are far more pressing issues. . . .This plan doesn’t fix escalating health care and pension costs or turn the street lights on. If we fix the city’s financing, Belle Isle will take care of itself.  Now you’re calling for a vote. But there are some things you don’t necessarily want to gamble on, if you don’t know the outcome.” 

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson said Muchmore met with her at the beginning of Snyder’s tenure, in 2010, at her request, to discuss the issue of over $224 million in revenue-sharing she contends (and State Treasurer Andy Dillon has admitted) the state owes the city. However, she said, Muchmore focused instead on the state’s desire to control Belle Isle. 

Councilwoman Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said at meeting Jan. 29 that he is opposed to lease at this time.

Councilwoman Kenneth Cockrel Jr. said at meeting Jan. 29 that he is opposed to lease at this time.

“[Former Mayor]  Dennis Archer called for a Master Plan to spend up to $800 million on island improvements, and [former Mayor] Kwame Kilpatrick wanted to spend $250 million with support from $80 million in revenue bonds,” Watson said. “It is clear that misrepresentations are afoot. The City Council voted to spend $600,000 on Belle Isle in this year’s budget, not including utility costs. To say that a property valued at $280 million is somehow tied to the deficit is not true.” 

She continued, “The ‘lease’ is for less than fair market value, as required by state law. Zero is less than fair market value. City residents pay for the island, it is owned by the city, a great public space on the National Register of Historic Places along with New York’s Central Park and parks in Chicago and Philadelphia. . . . There has been coercion, fraud, deliberate misrepresentation, and a conspiracy not to use the budgeted amount to clean up Belle Isle.” 

Councilman James Tate at meeting Jan. 24, 2013,.

Councilman James Tate at meeting Jan. 24, 2013,.

The previous day, Tate’s committee held what he termed a “public hearing” on the issue at 2 p.m. in Council chambers, with dozens waiting out in the hallway, who were eventually consigned to watch the hearing in the Council auditorium.

Hundreds of Detroiters have turned out over the past year to oppose the Public Act 4 consent agreement, the Miller Canfield contract, the Milestone Agreement, the Hantz Farms land grab, and now the Belle Isle “lease.” 

Following are a virtuallycomplete sample of comments from those the Free Press insultingly termed “notorious regulars, activists and eccentrics,” during the Jan. 28, 2012 hearing. 

To give a fair picture, unlike that posed by John Carlisle in the Free Press at http://www.freep.com/article/20130203/COL46/302030207/John-Carlisle-City-Council-s-regular-speakers-put-on-a-good-show and Motor City Muckraker reporter Steve Neavling at http://motorcitymuckraker.com/2013/01/28/racial-tensions-flare-at-meeting-over-belle-isle-lease-white-whores-cant-save-us/, VOD has used virtually every comment made.

For reasons that will become apparent, white speakers, who were in the minority, are denoted by an * before their names (the screams of rage out there in suburbia and cool white land are already being heard, so don’t bother commenting on this technique, please. It is the editorial position of this paper that racism is alive and well in “post-racial” America, and that “reverse racism” by Blacks does not exist.)

Former Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon said Belle Isle lease was illegal, according to RAD speaker at Council hearing Jan. 28, 2013.

Former Corporation Counsel Krystal Crittendon said Belle Isle lease was illegal, according to RAD speaker at Council hearing Jan. 28, 2013.

Comments below include those of the Council’s Research and Analysis Division (RAD) and City Planning Commission (CPC) staff, who are attorneys, in response to Council member Watson’s questions regarding the legality of the agreement. 

*CPC:  We are very concerned that no provisions agreeing to enforce local zoning ordinances and historic preservation designations are in the actual lease. 

*RAD:  (Regarding legality of lease while state owes Detroit money): It is our understanding that the previous Corporation Counsel’s position remained the same, but we are not sure of the current position. The previous position was that the city is prohibited from entering into such contracts. (Regarding format of the ‘lease’ as a revenue contract): This should not be a revenue contract. You can have contracts or leases without financial remuneration, but there clearly should be two sides, you should contract FOR something, definitely.” 

PUBLIC: 

Phyllis McMillon, President of AFSCME Local 542, speaks at rally to save Belle Isle Sept. 22, 2012.

Phyllis McMillon, President of AFSCME Local 542, speaks at rally to save Belle Isle Sept. 22, 2012.

Phyllis McMillon, Pres. AFSCME Local 542, representing Recreation Dept. and Belle Isle workers:  Our workers, many with 15-25 years, are dedicated, and have worked hard to maintain Belle Isle on limited resources, getting by on duct tape while Snyder and Bing manipulated the red tape. I was a witness when the DNR took over the Nature Zoo, when the Detroit Zoo closed the Children’s Zoo, when contractors came to the Belle Isle golf course, stole its equipment and left in shambles, and when the seniors got kicked out of the casino. 

Sabdra Hines and Morris Mays speak at Belle Isle hearing Sept. 25, 2012.

Sabdra Hines and Morris Mays speak at Belle Isle hearing Sept. 25, 2012.

Sandra Hines, Free Detroit No Consent: The Council six have a lack of respect for the people and want they want. We are  paying top dollar for our taxes. I agree with Councilwoman Watson: Give us our money, thestate needs to give Detroit the money it owes. It doesn’t treat people in any other city this way. 

*Stephen Boyle: There is aa petition out there to have council hold hearings in auditorium to comply with the Open Meetings Act.  The lease makes improvements the state makes payable by the city as debt. it’s about keeping us in debt, not about alleviating debt.

Some of dozens who testified about Belle Isle "lease" at Council Jan. 28, 2013. They included (l) Cecily McClellan of Free Detroit, No Consent and (far r in audience), Roberta Henrion, last president of Friends of Belle Isle, who like McClellan strongly opposed the lease.

Some of dozens who testified about Belle Isle “lease” at Council Jan. 28, 2013. They included (l) Cecily McClellan of Free Detroit, No Consent and (far r in audience), Roberta Henrion, last president of Friends of Belle Isle, who like McClellan strongly opposed the lease.

 

*Cindy Darrah: There is a $447,000 contract to replace the Belle Isle Woodside Bridge on the agenda, it says 100 percent street funding. Isn’t that city money? (Tate said the contract is being held.). We are creating a police state here, eliminating places where people can hang out. 

Joe Holt speaks against lease at hearing Jan. 28, 2013.

Joe Holt speaks against lease at hearing Jan. 28, 2013.

Patrice Robinson: What happens to the revenue from Grand Prix? Why isn’t that going to help the upkeep of the island now? We don’t get a dime of revenue from this, There are a lot of things that could be done—horseback riding, canoeing, stores, to generate funding. Once we turn it over to the state, it will be just like the Detroit Publix Schools takeover, Black and white, separate but unequal once again. Rise up Detroit! 

*Joe Holt: (Holding up copy of lease agreement): This is from the Recreation Department to the State beginning Jan. 17, 2013. Is this a self-executing contract? It sounds a lot like suicide to me. For one dollar, I’ll rent your backyard and charge people to come use it.

Michelle Hodgres, president Belle Isle Conservancy,

Michelle Hodgres, president Belle Isle Conservancy,

*Michelle Hodges, Pres. of Belle Isle Conservancy (partnering with state in lease): We have deep roots in the community, and have put in hundreds of volunteer hours. This is an opportunity to manage through crisis. I pledge to preserve, protect and restore, and watch closely.  (See sidebar with BIC members, note she is not talking about paid jobs for anyone despite high unemployment rate in Detroit, especially among the youth.)

*Christie Sager: I live in the West Village, close to Belle Isle and spend two to three days a week there. I truly believe Belle Isle would benefit from the expertise of DNR and that a large portion of funding for BI could be put into other communities. 

Anthony Smith: I’ll vote you out (period). 

BIC-board-269x1024Chris Griffith: Because the state owes the city money, the charter states that cannot go into an agreement or contract with them. If this is unlawful, why do you proceed? 

Cecily McClellan, VP Assn. of Prof. and Tech. Employees (APTE): The state has a horrible reputation. It used the money the city borrowed from it to push the consent and milestone agreements. This is fraud. The city will pay the state to cut grass, shovel snow, but lay off city workers. It will continue to pay for utilities, for the state to water the grass.  The state (MDOT) will take ownership of Belle Isle property and roads, which get millions in state funding. This is signing a blank check to put the city further into debt. 

Jeff Lewis: You can cow down, bow down, sit down and stand down, and bend over, but we are going to protect assets of the city. Power to Detroit’s people. 

Gerard Thompson: The state has the ability to help Detroit, compel its administration to force payment of the $800 million owed [by the corporations] Ask the bondholders, stop corporate welfare. 

Tyrone Travis: This is totally illegal. The City Charter says under Sec. 4.112, Control of Property, “Except as otherwise provided by this Charter, the City may not sell or in any way dispose of any property without the approval by resolution of the City Council.” This is not a resolution. We need to make citizen’s arrests of the Council Six. You are armed and dangerous, we must not allow you to do any more damage. 

*Minnie Pearson, BIC volunteer: (supporting lease) The volunteers that work on Belle Isle are wonderful people, 50 percent of the people volunteering are from the city. People love this land so much.  

Jocelyn Harris, business owner and advocate for returning citizens.

Jocelyn Harris, business owner and advocate for returning citizens.

Dave Moore: I have been a citizen, taxpayer and voter in this city for 53 years. We must make council members stand up for the people. 

Jocelyn Harris: I am an entrepreneur in the business of selling foods, employing three people who are returning citizens. Under the state procurement process, the likelihood of anyone in our community getting a contract is. zero. Follow the money trail. the contracts that will result, with the Governor’s pen on our jewel. 

*Judy Barton: I have lived in Detroit my whole life, now live in North Rosedale Park. There are piles of trash, filthy bathroom, and other signs of neglect on Belle Isle. Detroit does not have the resources to do this. 

Tim Moore, (r) and Roberta Henrien (l) who borth opposed lease. Moore's family lost their business in Cobo Hall when it became an authority..

Tim Moore, (r) and Roberta Henrien (l) who borth opposed lease. Moore’s family lost their business in Cobo Hall when it became an authority..

Tim Moore: I run a business now, DetIPTV. Years ago, my brother, sister and I opened up a Dino’s pizza franchise on Lafayette and Chene. With the support of Council members Maryann Mahaffey and Kenneth Cockrel SR, we were able to get a contract to run own own pizzeria in Cobo Hall. We employed and trained hundreds of young Detroiters and became the longest continuously owned and operated black-owned pizzeria in the nation. When Cobo Hall was turned into an authority, they kicked my brother and sister out on the street, saying they could locate elsewhere. They are now out of business, and not paying taxes. 

Belle Isle and bridge.

Belle Isle and bridge.

*Roberta Henrion, last President of Friends of Belle Isle before it was taken over by Belle Isle Conservancy: I am strongly against this lease. It is very one-sided. Sec. 9.4 says the city is responsible for continuing all contracts state signed, also obligates the city to repay all bonds state took out—that’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m really upset that the contract does not include historic preservation guarantees. It doesn’t state how beautiful Belle Isle is. It doesn’t stop the state from demolishing any of the historic structures on the islands, such as the bridges over canals

Mr. Henderson: I’m for the state takeover. I live 5 minutes from Belle Isle, I  run there and am probably there 250 days of the years with my wife and child. The bathrooms are shut down, there is trash in the streams, the city just doesn’t have the money to maintain it. 

Morris Mays angrily denounces Council for giving away Detroit assets Jan. 28, 2013.

Morris Mays angrily denounces Council for giving away Detroit assets Jan. 28, 2013.

Morris Mays: I’ve been to Riviera and the Mediterranean during my navy days, but there is nothing more beautiful than Belle Isle. The problem is there are too many people outside the city in our city business. They have stolen every damn dime, shut down the fountain, the zoo, beach facilities, put in white horses [deer imported for pen at Nature Zoo after native deer were removed). They disrespect our intelligence. But you sit there, laugh up, and kiss up. You try to go out to the  suburbs and tell them you are an authority from Detroit and you want to take over all their damn property. You’llbe tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.” 

Ms. Monte—You have some very impressive staff. How can you tell me you can’t come up with a functional way to run our park on your own. What about all the money Detroiters are still paying on bond issues for Belle Isle? (see box.)  And I found the deed for you (holding up copy of Voice of Detroit article showing 1879 deed of sale), so there can be a lawsuit. Apparently you can’t do any research and analysis.

Family enjpys one of many newly renovated Belle isle picnic shelters Sept. 14, 2012.

Family enjpys one of many newly renovated Belle isle picnic shelters Sept. 14, 2012.

*Dominic Arellano : I’ve been living in Detroit a little over 10 years, going to school here over 15 years. I support the state lease for island. I work on the island (likely referring to BIC volunteer work). I commend the BIC and the park ranger who has done a fantastic job with current resources. (Belle Isle has no park ranger.) 

*Lindsay Moss: There is neglect and disrepair on the island, it saddens and me deeply. Since the State is willing to partner with city by enhancing Belle Isle I wouldn’t need to feel sad about disrepair. (Refers to 10-year lease, which Councilwoman Watson and RAD said repeatedly is a 30 year lease with two 30 year extensions. 

Chief Pontiac, who led siege of Detroit to expel British soliders and setllers in 1763, slaughtering many by uniting various Native American tribes.. Prior to the incursion of the British, Belle Isle was considered a public commons shared by the Ojibwe tribe and French settlers.

Chief Pontiac, who led siege of Detroit to expel British soldiers and setllers in 1763, slaughtering many by uniting various Native American tribes. Prior to the incursion of the British, Belle Isle was considered a public commons shared by the Ojibwe tribe and French settlers. Pontiac drove English settlers off Belle Isle, even hanging the wife of one, according to Clarence Burton’s history of Belle Isle.

*Diane Bukowski, VOD editor: It appears that a lot of testimony is breaking down along racial lines, making me ashamed to be white. This is a racist takeover. These takeovers never happened until the majority of Detroit became Black and the city lost revenue and income due to the banks and corporations’ actions.  Has the city done the title search which RAD said it should do? What I found shows that Belle Isle was deeded to a man named George Langdon, not in his capacity as Mayor. Prior to that, grants of Belle Isle land were made by the King of England, with no legal authority today. That land was previously public commons for Native Americans and French settlers before the English invaded and took Detroit over. I say we should resurrect Chief Pontiac’s spirit and get rid of invaders into Detroit same way he did. (Chief Pontiac waged war against the English, slaughtering many soldiers in the famous Battle of Bloody Run.) 

*Harriet Saperstein: I am a 50 year resident, and retired 20 year employee of the city in high level positions.  The lease is necessary. It’s not a conflict between them and us, because we are part of them. With it, we can make immediate enhancements to our precious park. 

Ms. Jones: I am disappointed that we were not allowed to use the auditorium. Didn’t the state  legislature just bum rush legislation over the holidays,  didn’t Snyder sign Right to Work legislation when he could have vetoed it? The whole state voted down the EM law, but he’s still talking about that. Let’s not forget the rape and dismantlement of the Detroit Public Schools. 

Cop puts hands on 77-year-old Tina Person as prelude to forcing her to leave.

Cop puts hands on 77-year-old Tina Person as prelude to forcing her to leave.

Tina Person: It’s time for us to stand up for the City of Detroit. I’m 77,  and I’ve going to Belle Isle since I was a year and a half old. If you don’t like the way it’s run, you all move and we’ll stay here. 

*Michelle Butler: I work in the city and live down street from [Tate]. I don ’t  feel there are any other viable options.  I go to Milliken State Park and see how nice and beautiful it is. People are using it, and it’s clean.

Min. Malik Shabazz: If Mayor Young and Maryann Mahaffey were here, they would be shocked. When did you all become so afraid of the people who voted for you. The people may be a little loud, but they’re not going to do anything. There’s policemen here, police in the auditorium, and there’s crime all over the city. This is overkill. The people have a right to be upset.

*Mike Harris:  Every state park I’ve ever walked into, I’ve noticed how well it’s kept up. We need massive cooperation on the part of the state and city. 

Jeannine Walker speaks against lease as another senior waits her turn.

Jeannine Walker speaks against lease as another senior waits her turn.

Gabriel Kenyatta:  Vote this giveaway down. You have to look at your own history. I’ve have never seen elected officials conduct themselves like this, giving away everything in your first term. You haven’t grown anything. 

*Vance Patrick, Co-chair of the Belle Isle Conservancy: I spent the last 20 years years fundraising trying to convince the city that closing the aquarium  was a mistake. Now it is the only all volunteer-run aquarium in the country. (Detroit’s unemployment rate is currently 45.7 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau.) The current employees  need to remain on the island, they know  how to manage the island.

Jeannine Walker:  Detroit is a gold mine and Belle Isle is a jewel. We  Detroit are not ignorant or dumb. You are allowing blackmail, giving the Judases gold. 

Bea Green: I’m a taxpayer, I don’t have to pay a fee. Belle Isle is a place of well-being where people can enjoy nature, hiking, good health activities. I want to keep it open for the public to walk, bicycle, whatever they want to do to get on the island. You are not taking into account what Belle Isle means to the  people. 

Detroit Yacht Club pays city $1 a year to lease prime property on Belle Isle. Until 1969, it refused to admit Blacks.

Detroit Yacht Club pays city $1 a year to lease prime property on Belle Isle. Until 1969, it refused to admit Blacks.

*Scott Allen, President Fourmidable Group, “Commodore” of Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle: I have a vested interest and will be glad to be there and help because more resources are needed. (The Yacht Club pays one dollar a year rent for its site on Belle Isle and previously excluded Blacks from membership.)

Ihekerema Goree—All these different leases and authorities are illegal, they don’t have right to take from us without asking us to vote on it. All these back-alley deals, they are saying we are too ignorant and incompetent to run our own land, our own city, pay our own citizens to maintain and beautify our island. It’s the same thing you did with Cobo Hall, and the first thing they did was kick the only Black business out on the street.  Yes, my time is up and YOUR time is up. 

Brian Gault, Tom Barrow and Abena Hogan speak against Belle Isle lease Jan. 28, 2013.

Brian Gault, Tom Barrow and Abena Hogan speak against Belle Isle lease Jan. 28, 2013.

Robert Bruce: Don’t you trust yourselves to be able to take care of anything you’ve been elected for? It’s like a man with a woman on the outside, and he gets $1,000 a week, then goes by the outside woman’s house, and spends $800. You can’t take care of your own, because you’re giving everything to everyone else 

Abena Hogan: Massa Snyder aint’ in charge, the people are in charge, and we expect you not to give up Belle Isle to the state. It’s all by design that the island has been let go, so they can come in and say it’s  not taken care of. They’re going to throw our city workers out.  Charge non-residents and not poor families and other Detroiters who come down here to have a picnic lunch. We’ll be in a surplus then. (Only residents are allowed in the lakefront parks run by the Grosse Pointes and St. Clair Shores.)  

Brian Gault: Belle Isle is a beautiful place. I  just want to see the city taking charge, there is no need to give the place we love away.  It’s second nature, to just go out there. We used to be able to spend night out there, and it was a place for homeless people to go. Why are there all these vacant houses in the city that can’t be built up?  Let Belle Isle  be the jewel it is. Search your soul. Let the people of the city decide. 

Let the People Vote Now, said protesters at Cadillac Building regarding Public Act 4.

Let the People Vote Now, said protesters at Cadillac Building regarding Public Act 4.

Tom Barrow, possible mayoral candidate:  It seems that our city is constantly under attack by outsiders who want to take all the value the city owns. I call on the Council to reject this outright or place it on the Aug. ballot. Nowhere else except on the on-line Voice of Detroit has it been spelled out exactly what we would be losing. Detroit is giving everything to state, which will decide whether we get to go or stay on island. They get to charge and keep the revenue, all for nothing in return. This is much too important for just this council to decide. Reject this Belle Isle lease madness, tell the state to just go eat cake. 

Another of Detroit;s elders speaks against lease.

Another of Detroit;s elders speaks against lease.

Ms. Flowers: I remember when my father would take my family to church every Sunday and ride around Belle Isle, back when Black and whites lived together in the city. Then the whites started flying to suburbs, and took everything with them, thinking Detroit would fail. But Detroit didn’t falter until after Mayor Young died. This is very hurtful. I have one child, who had to move to Ohio to get a job, and one grandchild. But all these [white] people are coming back in the city now. What about our people working, what happened? Stand up Council people. 

Group picnics beneath willows on Belle Isle July 29, 2012.

Group picnics beneath willows on Belle Isle July 29, 2012.

*Ms. Rose—There has not been not fair and ample time for public hearing. The documents are already signed, this seems like a formality. Most people don’t know what’s in lease. I’m giving you three petitions I’ve taken up against leasing Belle Isle, and articles from the Voice of Detroit website. We don’t have a voice, no say, there are so many unknowns. We all want the island to be improved, but we should collect any fee. We will lose revenue from the Grand Prix and concerts for at least 10 years. 

Angelo Brown: When I listen to the brilliance of the people in this city. I am convinced to be against this lease. 

Mr. Jacob: hat, sunglasses: Belle Isle is a landmark,  we have landmarks that we should value and keep rather than selling out. 

Penny Bailer sits on Riverfront Conservancy board, which got a no-strings attached state grant of $40 million to fix up its privately-owned land on the north bank of the Detroit River, across from Belle Isle.

Penny Bailer sits on Riverfront Conservancy board, which got a no-strings attached state grant of $40 million to fix up its privately-owned land on the north bank of the Detroit River, across from Belle Isle.

*Penny Bailer, on Riverfront Conservancy board (which got a $40 million state grant, no strings attached, to fix up the north side of the Detroit River): I’ve lived Detriot for 38 years. My husband was born here in 1921, and as a little boy raised money in pennies to build Scott Fountain. (In fact, according to Clarence Burton’s history of Belle Isle, Detroiters voted to outfit Belle Isle using numerous bond issues.) But I believe Belle Isle should continue to be free to Detroiters and everybody and am willing to raise money from private foundations to compensate for the fee. But Detroit has lost over 1 million people, and we don’t have the money to do what’s needed. (Councilman Kenyatta reminded Bailer that she had supported the state takeover of Detroit Public Schools, which used to have 262 schools and over one million people prior to the 1999 takeover, which has devastated the district.)

Family picnics near Belle Isle beach with beautiful view of downtown Detroit. BELLE ISLE BELONGS TO US!

Family picnics near Belle Isle beach with beautiful view of downtown Detroit. BELLE ISLE BELONGS TO US!


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

“FISCAL CLIFF” DEAL CUTS WORKERS’ TAKE-HOME PAY

(VOD editor: I noted numerous workers, including low-paid Subway employees, complaining at the start of this year about huge chunks missing from their take-home pay. Below is at least a partial explanation.)

FACT CHECK: OBAMA ON THE ‘FISCAL CLIFF’ DEAL 

Robert Farley, FactCheck, USA TODAT

January 5, 2013

  • Most Americans will pay more in taxes in 2013 because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut.
  • Obama’s claim that the deal will reduce the deficit depends on one’s baseline assumption
  • Video could make some think they won’t see a tax increase unless they make more than $400,000

    Subway workers in Detroit said they fell off fiscal cliff in their 2013 paychecks, while Subway went up on its prices.

    Subway workers in Detroit said they fell off fiscal cliff in their 2013 paychecks, while Subway went up on its prices.

In a Web video, President Barack Obama leaves out some key facts about the fiscal cliff deal, possibly leaving the wrong impression about its impact on taxpayers and the deficit.

Obama boasts that “middle-class families” will not have to “pay upwards of $2,000 more in taxes this year.” That’s accurate for income taxes, but Obama doesn’t mention that the deal allowed a payroll tax cut to expire. About 77% of taxpayers will pay more in taxes this year — nearly $1,200 more for those earning between $75,000 and $100,000, a group that fits squarely in Obama’s broad definition of middle class.

Bush signing his tax cut for the rich legislation.

Bush signing his tax cut for the rich legislation.

Obama says the agreement “will reduce the deficit.” In fact, the deficit will increase by about $4 trillion over the next 10 years because of the extension of the Bush tax cuts for all but those in the top 1% of taxpayers. The deal will “reduce the deficit” only compared with what it would have been if the Bush tax cuts had been extended for everyone.

All the president’s talk about preserving middle-class tax cuts in the just-passed bill to avert the so-called fiscal cliff may give one the impression that, except for the wealthy, people will be paying the same amount in taxes this year as last. But that’s not correct. Left out of Obama’s analysis is that a temporary, two-year reduction in Social Security payroll taxes was allowed to expire. As a result, most people will actually pay more in taxes this year.

FULL COVERAGE: ‘The Fiscal Cliff’

Money Talks 99 percent walksIn some cases, Obama has been clear that the fiscal cliff deal means an extension of lower income tax rates for middle-income earners. For example, he told reporters on Jan. 1 that under the new law more than 98% of Americans “will not see their income taxes go up.”

He made no mention of payroll taxes in that press briefing. Nor is there a mention in the White House fact sheet about the fiscal cliff deal.

And in a campaign-style video sent out to supporters, Obama says only that the deal spared middle-income households from a bruising tax hike.

Obama, Jan. 2: You know my top priority has been preventing a tax hike that could have hit 98% of all Americans in 2013. Because the last thing middle-class families can afford right now would be to pay upwards of $2,000 more in taxes this year.

It’s true that the deal spares middle-income earners the worst of the fiscal cliff tax hikes. The law is likely to raise $620 billion in new high-income revenues, mostly by allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire for individuals making more than $400,000 and couples making more than $450,000 a year (that affects 1% of Americans, not 2%, as Obama said). But for people below that income threshold, the income tax rate will remain the same.

That’s certainly a big deal. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected that if all of the expiring tax cuts were allowed to go away, the nation would probably slide into a recession and the unemployment rate would rise to 9.1%.

But Obama’s video — in which he leaves out the qualifier income tax — may lead many to believe that if they don’t earn upward of $400,000, they will not see a tax increase in 2013. And they may be surprised when they get their first paycheck this year to see that it is a bit lighter. That’s because a two-year reduction in the Social Security payroll tax — that pesky FICA line on your paycheck — was allowed to expire.

As a result, those with income between $40,000 and $50,000 would pay an additional $574 in payroll taxes in 2013, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. Those with household income between $75,000 and $100,000 (still solidly middle-class by Obama’s definition) would pay an additional $1,194 in 2013. Allowing the payroll tax to go back up to 6.2% from 4.2% will mean an average tax hike for all Americans of $721 over the course of 2013. That’s $60 a month. Continue reading


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

KIMBERLY MCCARTHY EXECUTION POSTPONED RE: BLACK JURORS’ EXCLUSION

Kimberly McCarthy

Kimberly McCarthy

By Michael Graczyk       January 29, 2013  AP

  • 11 of 12 jurors white

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The first woman scheduled to be executed in the U.S. since 2010 won a reprieve Tuesday, mere hours before she was scheduled to be taken to the Texas death chamber.

State District Judge Larry Mitchell, in Dallas, rescheduled Kimberly McCarthy’s punishment for April 3 so lawyers for the former nursing home therapist could have more time to pursue an appeal focused on whether her predominantly white jury was improperly selected on the basis of race. McCarthy is black.

Dallas County prosecutors, who initially contested the motion to reschedule, chose to not appeal the ruling.

District Attorney Craig Watkins said the 60-day delay was “appropriate.” If no irregularities are discovered, he said he’d move forward with the execution.

“We want to make sure everything is done correctly,” he said.

Maurie Levin

McCarthy’s defense attorney Maurie Levin.

The 51-year-old McCarthy was convicted and sent to death row for the 1997 stabbing, beating and robbery of a 71-year-old neighbor. She learned of the reprieve less than five hours before she was scheduled for lethal injection, already in a small holding cell a few feet from the death chamber at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit.

“I’m happy right now over that,” she told prison agency spokesman John Hurt. “There’s still work to be done on my case.”

Hurt said McCarthy was in good spirits and “didn’t seem tense or nervous” even before she learned she would live.

A Dallas County jury convicted her of killing neighbor Dorothy Booth at the retired college psychology professor’s home in Lancaster, about 15 miles south of Dallas. 

“We are very pleased that we will now have an opportunity to present evidence of discrimination in the selection of the jury that sentenced Kimberly McCarthy to death,” said Maurie Levin, a University of Texas law professor and McCarthy’s lawyer.

“Of the twelve jurors seated at trial, all were white, except one, and eligible non-white jurors were excluded from serving by the state. … These facts must be understood in the context of the troubling and long-standing history of racial discrimination in jury selection in Dallas County, including at the time of Ms. McCarthy’s trial,” Levin said.

Investigators said Booth had agreed to give McCarthy a cup of sugar before she was attacked with a butcher knife and candelabra. Booth’s finger also was severed so McCarthy could take her wedding ring. It was among three slayings linked to McCarthy, who’d been addicted to crack cocaine.

McCarthy would have been the 13th woman executed in the U.S. and the fourth in Texas, the nation’s busiest death penalty state, since the Supreme Court allowed capital punishment to resume in 1976. In that same time period, more than 1,300 male inmates have been executed nationwide.

Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics compiled from 1980 through 2008 show women make up about 10 percent of homicide offenders nationwide. According to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, 3,146 people were on the nation’s death rows as of Oct. 1, and only 63 – 2 percent – were women.


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

KIMBERLY MCCARTHY, FORMERLY TIED TO NEW BLACK PANTHER PARTY, FACES EXECUTION TODAY IN TEXAS

KM protest

First Woman In U.S. to Be Executed Since 2005

 By Jordan Smith, Fri., Jan. 25, 2013  Austin Chronicle

Kimberly McCarthy, set to be executed in Texas today, Jan. 29, 2013,

Kimberly McCarthy, set to be executed in Texas today, Jan. 29, 2013,

On Jan. 29 the state [of Texas] is scheduled to carry out its 493rd execution since reinstatement of the death penalty, the first of eight already scheduled for 2013. Kimberly Lagayle McCarthy would be the first woman executed in Texas since 2005.

McCarthy, previously married to New Black Panther Party founder Aaron Michaels, was convicted and sentenced to die for the 1997 robbery and stabbing murder of her neighbor, 71-year-old retired college professor Dorothy Booth. According to the state, McCarthy had a crack cocaine problem and used a ploy – a request to borrow sugar – to gain entrance to Booth’s home. Once inside, the state says, she immediately attacked Booth, stabbing her five times and cutting off her finger so she could steal Booth’s ring. McCarthy also took Booth’s car and credit cards and stole several other items from the home, all of which she pawned off for drugs, she told police.

McCarthy’s original 1998 conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled that the trial court violated McCarthy’s due process and right against self-incrimination by admitting into evidence a statement McCarthy made to police after she had “unambiguously invoked her right to legal counsel,” according to a July 2012 opinion from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. McCarthy was retried and again sentenced to die.

Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Although the act of committing a murder in the course of robbery is what made McCarthy’s a death-eligible case, it seems likely that her jury may have been more inclined to invoke the ultimate punishment after prosecutors offered evidence during the punishment phase of McCarthy’s trial that she may have been responsible for the murders of two other elderly women, an 81-year-old and an 85-year-old, a decade before, also in an effort to find money for drugs. Whether McCarthy did actually commit those murders remains an open question; she has never been tried for either crime.

McCarthy’s last federal appeal was denied in July 2012, and a writ of certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to block her execution, was denied in the second week of January.

Petition on Change.Org at

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-execution-of-kimberly-mccarthy

The death penalty has been abolished by 106 nations, 30 countries since 1990. Amnesty International reports that over half the nations in the world have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

The death penalty has been abolished by 106 nations, 30 countries since 1990.
Amnesty International reports that over half the nations in the world have now
abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

“The family, friends and supporters of Kimberly McCarthy are petitioning Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole in effort to save Kimberly from being put to death by the State of Texas. Kimberly suffered from a severe addiction to crack cocaine in the 1990’s, and her life went into a downward spiral, into the underworld of drugs. Her association with the wrong people coupled with her out of control drug use became a lethal combination which led to tragedy. Prior to her drug use Kimberly had no criminal record and was in the field of helping and healing the sick as an occupational therapist! When she was introduced to drugs her life took a dark and destructive turn that led to tragedy! A tragedy that she lives with daily and is deeply remorseful for. Over the years Kimberly’s faith in God has strengthened. Her spirit and personality touch each and every person she encounters. We are asking that Kimberly’s sentence be commuted. That the State of Texas show mercy!! Killing Kimberly will not bring the victim back. It will only create more suffering and heartache. More victims. She could be such a positive influence to others. God can use her to touch the lives of other women headed down the road to destruction.


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PEOPLE RISE UP AGAINST ‘LEASE’ OF BELLE ISLE, COMMITTEE VOTES ‘NO;’ COUNCIL STILL TO MEET MON. JAN. 28 2 PM, TUES. JAN. 29 9 AM

Council cop removes Nancy Montgomery afer she demanded to know details of original Belle Isle deed, and opposed state "lease." Cop Council Member James Tate ordered her explusion.

Council cop removes Nancy Montgomery afer she demanded to know details of original Belle Isle deed, and opposed state “lease.” Cop Council Member James Tate ordered her explusion.

 

Committee majority votes down lease, but ‘public’ hearing to be held Mon. Jan 28 at 2 p.m., Council vote Tues. Jan. 29 at 10 a.m.

Council has failed to do due diligence on title search of island; it may not belong to the city government, but remain a “public commons”

City cannot “lease” what it does not own

 By Diane Bukowski 

Jan. 26, 2013 

Council committee chair James Tate, longtime cop; he has been part of the Council three members, including Charles Pugh and Kenneth Cockrel, who have met repeatedly with State Treasurer Andy Dillon and Gov. Rick Snyder in Lansing to carry out their wishes.

Council committee chair James Tate, longtime cop He in one of three Council members, including Charles Pugh and Kenneth Cockrel, Jr., who have repeatedly traveled to Lansing to meet with State Gov. Rick Snyder and Treasurer Andy Dillon to carry out their wishes.

DETROIT – The City Council Rogue Six appear hell-bent on approving a state land grab of  Detroit’s most precious jewel, Belle Isle, despite a committee’s 2-1 vote Jan. 24 against a 30-90 year state “lease” of the island. Council members Kwame Kenyatta and JoAnn Watson, who sit on the Neighborhood and Community Services Committee, voted “No,” outweighing Committee Chairman James Tate’s sole “yes” vote.

The public passionately supported Kenyatta and Watson, boiling over in anger, only to have police force many out at Tate’s order. They condemned the Council Six for giving away most of the city’s assets, even comparing them to the “Anti-Christ’ and telling them they had “sold their souls to the Devil.”

Tate announced that the committee will hold a “public” hearing on the proposal Monday at 2 p.m. in Council chambers. He specifically excluded use of the Council auditorium, claiming the public has not been properly “respectful” to the Council. (VOD has repeatedly objected that this violates the state Open Meetings Act, as the public is forced to wait in the hallway if the few seats in Chambers are full.) 

Tate said he expects to bring the proposal to the full Council Tues. Jan 29 at its regular 10 a.m. meeting in chambers. However, the City Clerk has since announced the meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in order to include a discussion of a state-proposed Public Lighting Authority.

Council members JoAnn Watson and Kwame Kenyatta also strenously opposed the Hantz Farms land grab at public hearing Dec. 10, 2012.

Council members JoAnn Watson and Kwame Kenyatta also strenously opposed the Hantz Farms land grab at public hearing Dec. 10, 2012.

Council Rule 9.14 states, “Matters assigned to a Formal Session or to the Committee of the Whole shall require a majority of the members of a committee in order to be sent to the Formal Session, as introduced or amended by the committee.”

Kenyatta and Watson boycotted a presentation by state officials and George Jackson of the corporate-run Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) following the committee meeting, leaving no quorum for other Council members attending to discuss the proposal.

(See earlier VOD story at  http://voiceofdetroit.net/2013/01/23/bing-and-detroit-council-set-to-give-belle-isle-to-state-let-the-people-vote-council-meets-jan-24-1-p-m-jan-28-29/  for details of “lease.” Officials including State Department of Natural Resources Chair Keith Creaugh, DEGC chair George Jackson, and others essentially reiterated those details during their presentation.) 

Waterfork Oaks Water Park in Oakland County. DEGC has refused to consider local investor's proposal for one on Belle Isle. said Councilmember Kwame Kenyatta.

Waterfork Oaks Water Park in Oakland County. DEGC has refused to consider local investor’s proposal for one on Belle Isle. said Councilmember Kwame Kenyatta.

Kenyatta prefaced his motion to deny the “lease” proposal with a trenchant declaration. 

“There has not been a fair hearing of what the city needs to do with Belle Isle,” Kenyatta said. “We have had a number of proposals and need to put out a request for proposal (RFP). I got call from the same people who put a multi-million proposal on table. But no one from Jackson’s office has contacted them. There is another proposal for an entrance fee which would stay in Detroit. [Under the state proposal], the fee is not used for Belle Isle.  There has been a $600,000 infusion of grants for Belle Isle, plus a water park proposal, with substantial investors right here in the city who are ready to support this proposal.” 

Gov. Snyder (center), shown with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (l) and Oakland Co. Exec. L. Brooks Patterson, now dominates Detroit.

Gov. Snyder (center), shown with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (l) and Oakland Co. Exec. L. Brooks Patterson, now dominates Detroit.

Kenyatta continued, “You say it’s about revenue—I say it’s about something else. [Former] Mayor [Coleman] Young was opposed to a fee, but at least if we have a fee, let it come back to the city . . . . This is not a takeaway, it’s a giveaway. We have not done everything possible to bring revenue for Belle Isle. You haven’t tried. You’d rather turn it over to someone else.” 

Kenyatta said the state of Michigan has “never shown any love for the people of Detroit,” instead wanting to take away departments like Workforce Development, D-DOT, Public Lighting and Water. 

Kids do the hustle at SEIU union party on Belle Isle July, 2012.

Kids do the hustle at SEIU union party on Belle Isle July, 2012.

“This is about the people,” he said. “The city is not going to die over $6 million [currently expended to maintain Belle Isle] or go into bankruptcy, but we will go into moral bankruptcy if this is approved. By the end of this year, this Mayor won’t be in office. Have a little courage and commitment, this is greater than a budget deficit. Our sons and daughters go to this park; it is owned by the people of Detroit. We may not be here in 30 0r 90 years, but the people and children will still be here, they will outlive us. [Keeping Belle Isle] will not break the bank, but this proposal will break the Detroiters’ spirit of and bankrupt the people.”

 He added, “We don’t work for the state, we work for the people that put us here, for the children, the elders, we have a duty to perform due diligence. If we do this, shame on us, this will be a disgrace to ourselves and to this body of leadership.” 

State DNR Director Kenneth Creagh expounds on BI takeover Jan. 24, claiming verbally state will consider spending $20 million in bonds.

State DNR Director Kenneth Creagh expounds on BI takeover Jan. 24, claiming verbally state will consider spending $20 million in bonds.

In the “lease proposal,” the state has not committed to any specific monetary amount of improvement. Sfate DNR  Director Kenneth Creagh verbally threw out a figure of $20 million in bonds during the Jan. 24 meeting, but it is nowhere in the lease document, It is miniscule in comparison to the annual $6 million the city spends on the island, which amounts to $180 million over 30 years, and a half-billion dollars, $540 million, over 90 years. 

“I thank Councilman Kenyatta for his wonderful stand on behalf of the people of Detroit,” Councilwoman Watson chimed in. “Belle Isle is a jewel, part of our heritage, our culture. It has been a haven for our babies; it should not become a haven for the rich. This giveaway is also illegal since the state owes the city money.” 

Depiction of anti-Christ fooling followers.

Depiction of anti-Christ fooling followers.

Detroiters present angrily condemned the Six for even considering the proposal, and called for a people’s vote. As usual, some were forced to wait in the hallway because the chambers were filled. 

“Why are we here, why are we even discussing this,” asked Chris Griffiths, 81, a respected city activist whose husband was Ernie Griffiths, a substance abuse counselor at the now defunct Detroit Health Department. “The charter says we can’t enter into an agreement with someone who owes the city. The Council Six are like disciples of the Anti-Christ, and you are going to have hell to pay.” 

Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins primly responded, “It is ridiculous to call anybody sitting at this table the anti-Christ.” Someone in the audience replied, “If the shoe fits, wear it.” 

Chris Griffiths excoriates Council for giving away Detroit assets.

Chris Griffiths excoriates Council for giving away Detroit assets.

The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines “Anti-Christ” as “a great antagonist expected to fill the world with wickedness but to be conquered forever by Christ at his second coming.”  The Epistles of John connect usage of the term to helping Christians “discern true teachers: by their ethics, their proclamation of Jesus in the flesh, and by their love.” 

Councilman Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. got into shouting matches with two members of the audience, taking issue with a speaker who condemned his mayoral administration’s sale of the water department’s Oakland Macomb County Interceptor without a vote of the people. 

Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. evidently hasn't read City Charter which forbids SALE of assets of DWSD, D-DOT and PLD.

Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. evidently hasn’t read City Charter which forbids SALE of assets of DWSD, D-DOT and PLD.

“We didn’t give it away, we  sold it because it collapsed on us twice, it was not an asset, it was a liability.” He referred to the 14 Mile Rd. collapse of the interceptor in Sterling Heights in 2004 after the city hired private inspectors. 

The City Charter, however, contains the following language,  “The City shall not sell or in any way dispose of any property needed to continue the operation of any city-owned public utility furnishing water and sewerage service, unless approved by a majority of city voters voting on the question at a regular or special election.” 

Identical language appears in the Charter with regard to D-DOT and the Public Lighting Department, both of which the state legislature has now subsumed into “authorities” with the approval of the Council. 

Jocelyn Harris of the Jefferson Chalmers Citizens District Council (CDC), whose neighborhoods border the Detroit River, said the CDC voted unanimously against the lease. 

Jocelyn Harris on Jefferson Chalmers CDC says they voted against Belle Isle "lease."

Jocelyn Harris on Jefferson Chalmers CDC says they voted against Belle Isle “lease.”

“I have lived on the riverfront for a long time,” Harris said. “There is a wealth of knowledge and ability in Detroit [to take care of Belle Isle]. All I could hear [during official testimony] was a police state on Belle Isle. Our young people look for opportunities to enjoy themselves there. I see a great possibility of that not happening in the future. The State of Michigan does not have a track record in favor of Detroit.” 

Before being forcibly removed by Council police at Tate’s direction, Nancy Montgomery (at top of story) declared, “Belle Isle was deeded to the citizens of Detroit. You are not allowing a legal opportunity for us to vote on this. No one can tell me you cannot find that deed. The people pay property taxes; are you going to reduce our property taxes [if you give away Belle Isle?] The state wants the Belle Isle endowment from Washington DC, too. There are no guarantees for jobs for Detroiters in this lease.”

The Council’s Research and Analysis Division (RAD) earlier warned that a property title search of Belle Isle should be done to ensure that the city has title to the whole island without restrictions. So far, VOD has not seen such a report. deed

Records reviewed by VOD so far include a handwritten deed executed by Alexander M. Campau for his portion of Belle Isle, dated Feb. 18, 1879, for $50,000. However, it is made payable to George C. Langdon, not to the City of Detroit. Langdon was Mayor of the City, but the deed (see below) does not refer to him in that capacity. If the City does not have full title to the island, it has no authority to lease it.  

VOD is researching the remaining deeds, located at Liber 17, folios 605, 612, and 617 and Liber 221, folios 152, 154 and 159 according to historical records including Clarence Burton’s History of Belle Isle, part of his book, The History of Detroit, 1701-1922.  There is also a deed recorded for the land between East Jefferson and the Detroit River at the approach to Belle, located at Liber 290 Folio 145. 

According to Burton’s history, land on Belle Isle was granted to Campau and others by the King of England before the Revolutionary War. Whether such grants can be considered valid today could certainly be legally questionable. 

Burton’s History of Belle Isle also confirms what University of Michigan Prof. Tiya Miles says in her article, posted on VOD at  http://voiceofdetroit.net/2013/01/26/belle-isle-is-black-land/.             ,

“In the 1700s, Ojibwe groups shared access to the island, which they called White Swan (Waabizi or Wanabizi in the Anishinaabe language) with French settlers. In the French colonial period, Hog Island (Isle aux Cochons), as Belle Isle was then known, was used as a public commons where settlers loosed their livestock, mainly hogs, to roam freely.” 

French explorers arrive at Ojibwe settlement in Sault Ste. Marie

French explorers arrive at Ojibwe settlement in Sault Ste. Marie

During that era, according to Burton’s history, Detroit residents repeatedly beat back efforts by individuals to lay claim to the island. If the City has no authority to lease Belle Isle, it is logical that it should be returned to its time-honored status as a public commons not under control of the state OR the City Council Rogue Six.

Also later during that era, according to Burton’s history, Chief Pontiac rose up with his people and slaughtered many English invaders of the area, including those living on Belle Isle.

pontiac siege

Click on RAD BI for three documents the Council’s Research and Analysis Division has given to City Council from Sept. 2012 through Jan. 2013, which raise numerous questions including the need for a title search.

Click on Belle Isle Public Hearing 01-28-13 for City Clerk’s notice of public hearing to be held by the Neighborhood and Community Services Committee at 2 p.m. Mon. Jan. 28, 2013.

Click on

Click on CC cal01-29-13 – COW – Public Lighting Authority for notice of discussion at 9 A.M. on Public Lighting Authority proposed by state. The Notice, just disseminated Jan. 28,  indicates Committee of the Whole begins at 9 a.m.

Click on Belle Isle 1 26 12 VOD for formatted print0ut of this story in PDF.


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

PROPOSED BELLE ISLE LEASE IS “THE GREAT DETROIT JEWEL HEIST;” PLACE ON AUG. BALLOT

BI 9 22 12 542 4

Tom Barrow and son.

Tom Barrow and son.

Place Issue on August Ballot for Decision by Residents and Not Just Six People

Respected community group, Citizens for Detroit’s Future, headed by prominent Detroit accountant and former mayoral hopeful Tom Barrow, in letters to members of the Detroit City Council called on members to reject outright the proposed State lease ceding control of Belle Isle to conservative state interests or place the matter on the August Ballot for a decision by the city’s residents.

OMA box“Belle Isle belongs to all of the people of Detroit, not just a mayor and six council people. It is the residents who must decide their jewel’s fate,” said Barrow. “Despite multiple alternate proposals surrounding Belle Isle, including one detailed submission by Citizens for Detroit’s Future calling for a city/suburban controlled Belle Isle Park Authority, none have been considered or vetted except the governor’s plan.”

The success of this grand robbery is dependent on organizing an “inside job” and having allies to keep a “back door” open for an efficient undetected raid. Already electorally compromised in 2009, (the County Board of Canvassers held that nearly 60,000 ballots cast for mayor could not be recounted including the entire class of Absentee Voters, because seals on cases had been changed after election night), the Mayor and six council members seemingly operate openly against the overwhelming voices of their constituents, vote against city resident’s interests, make collective decisions in violation of the Open Meetings Act and the City’s Charter, and meet privately to agree and sign off on deals with no public hearing or notification.

Unfortunately, left to the Council of Six, the ceding of Belle Isle will be a done deal. It is as much so as the forced hiring of Miller Canfield and the sale of hundreds of east side acres to a Hantz Farms Group despite massive overwhelming community opposition. Other than Detroit’s Water System, which will certainly be next, the ceding of Belle isle will be the apex to a well-orchestrated less-than-transparent plan to strip Detroit of its valuable assets and resources.

“If there ever was a robbery in broad daylight for which we need the police, it is ‘The Great Detroit Jewel Heist’ the mother of them all, a theft which will not be forgiven” said Barrow.

Koch Brothers.

Koch Brothers.

CFDF cautions state interests about over-reach as the taking of Detroiter’s Belle Isle will be seen by many city residents as racially motivated and drive a REAL wedge between Detroit and its neighbors.

But race, as overarching a concern as any in matters of Detroit, is over-shadowed by the specter of the billionaires (Koch brothers, Walton and Devos families) who quietly orchestrate moves like these which include voter suppression, emergency managers, and right-to-work laws, all that build upon a worldview that profit-oriented elite business and political interests control our democracy at their whim.

Ralliers at Cadillac Place demand "Let the People Vote' on PA 4.

Ralliers at Cadillac Place demand “Let the People Vote’ on PA 4.

City officials’ brazen lawlessness and weakness emboldens the state’s governor and the billionaires to run roughshod over the Detroit citizenry using the cover of votes by the Six. In effect, our “selected” Mayor and Council of Six, act as “loyal employees” to collaborate and conspire openly with outsiders to rob the city’s residents.

A question which must be asked is where are Detroit’s highly touted mayoral hopefuls? They seemingly always sit quiet whenever a fight needs Commanders and Generals, when their community cries out for its defenders, where are they with their swords and shields? Where are our state legislators with their raised voices of protest and determination to right wrongs when sheep clothed enemies come at us? Stand up!! Being silent will not make them like you and not make them stop coming at us. With whom do you stand, Detroiters or its Destroyers?


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

CITY COUNCIL: REJECT THE UNFUNDED PROPOSAL, THE LEASE OF BELLE ISLE

Hood ResearchFrom Hood Research

January 14, 2013

contact@HoodResearch.org

The proposed contract or lease that is again being scheduled for a vote by city council is bad for Detroit. This is the mayor’s office and the city recreation department stating that they don’t have the competence to care for city parks.

City workers and members of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists from across the U.S. picket the CAYMC May 27, 2010.

City workers and members of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists from across the U.S. picket the CAYMC May 27, 2010.

What’s being proposed in the lease?

  • The city will pay the state to cut the grass and shovel the snow, while the city will be forced to lay off more city workers.
  • The city will continue to pay for the lights, the lighting, the electric wiring and the light poles on Belle Isle.
  • The city will continue to pay for the water and sewage on Belle Isle. The city will pay for the state to water the grass.
  • This is worse than the consent agreement; when introduced to council, over half of the lease document was missing and unknown.
  • Photo from Grand Prix makes clear that state wants Belle Isle for its own reasons.

    Photo from Grand Prix makes clear that state wants Belle Isle for its own reasons.

    The state will take ownership of property and roads. With this ownership comes the millions in state road funding.

  • This is the same as the city council signing a blank check. A check when cashed will put the city further into debt.
  • The city already has and controls all dollars used or meant for Belle Isle. Why would the city give that money away?
  • The city’s deficit will rise and park services around the city will fall. Revenue generated by Belle Isle is now used at all parks, future Grand Prix and Hydroplane race income will now go to the state.
  • The state is not using state money for Belle Isle. The state is not giving money to the city. The state is taking our money for state use. The city will not have money to use on other parks as a result of this deal.
  • The state should fund Belle Isle if Belle Isle is intended to be a state park. All other state parks in the state are state funded. Belle Isle will continue to be funded by the city.

    BI trooper

    State’s view of Belle Isle under “lease”: white people kept “safe” by state trooper. (State photo.)

  • The state will call Belle Isle a state park, charge a $10 entry fee [which will go to the state’s general parks fund, not Belle Isle.] Take Detroit’s revenue sharing to maintain the island and force the city to cover existing costs.

This is a sale under the terms of a contract masquerading as a lease. This is a fraud. The state is not doing anything that Detroit cannot already do. The state takes city money and then pushes for emergency managers and a continuation of the consent agreement. Detroit’s city council should reject the state’s illegal unfunded mandate regarding Belle Isle. This is not just a NO vote on this proposal; this should be a NO to the consideration of such a deal by the city council.

Snyder and Dillon want Detroit to pay them to take control of Belle Isle.

Maybe the real answer is a new mayor and a new set of council members to oversee our parks.


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“BELLE ISLE IS BLACK LAND”

Rally to save Belle isle Sept. 22, 2012: BLACK POWER!!

Rally to save Belle isle Sept. 22, 2012: BLACK POWER!!

An Emergency Manager Would Put Belle Isle at Risk

Professor Tiya Miles

Professor Tiya Miles

By Tiya Miles

Chair, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, University of Michigan

Published on Huffington Post Jan. 24, 2012     

 (VOD: this article was written a year ago but raises still valid points about the ownership of Belle Isle. It does not speak to the issue of a state “lease,” which had not materialized at that time, but to the issue of private ownership, something that has been antithetical to the nature of Belle Isle since the 1700’s, says Professor Miles. However, under Michigan’s current governance, a “lease” to the state is dangerously close to private ownership.)

Marchers on Snyder's house demand a fight against racism, Jan. 16, 2012.

Marchers on Snyder’s house demand a fight against racism, Jan. 16, 2012.

When protestors from the Occupy for Democracy group rallied outside of Governor Rick Snyder’s Ann Arbor home on Martin Luther King Day, they called attention to an alarming fact. If the governor appoints an Emergency Manager for Detroit, he will give someone the power to fire city officials, sell city assets, and break city contracts. By this act the governor would, in essence, strip numerous Black elected officials of their authority to govern and their power to protect the natural resources and trust of the city. Such an outcome would be damaging to the democratic principle of equal access to representation that citizens of this nation have fought so hard for.

Detroit's most precious jewel, Belle Isle.

Detroit’s most precious jewel, Belle Isle.

And there is another, more subtle threat to the democratic ethos of the city that could materialize if Detroit’s officials were to be thus disempowered: the seizure of common land. Every newspaper account that I have read on Detroit’s fiscal crisis notes that if an emergency manager were to be assigned, a potential outcome would be the sale of Belle Isle, that splendid stretch of floating land between the U.S. and Canada kept by the city for the common good.

A dazzling 982-acre island park overlooking the Detroit River, Belle Isle is unique among the many famous urban parks developed by major cities like New York, Chicago, and Cincinnati in the late 1800s. It is the largest municipal island park in the country, and it harbors views across international borders. Within its abundant grounds, Belle Isle shelters 230 acres of old growth forest with a variety of 200-year-old tree specimens. The island is also a fresh water conservancy due to its river home and ample lakes.

Ojibwe tribe

Michigan Ojibwe tribe members gathering ingredients for maple syrup in the 1700’s. Both they and French settlers, who traded with them, considered Belle Isle common land.

When the city purchased the island from private hands in 1879, a major appeal of the location was the abundance of fresh water, which could be sheltered from industrial manufacturers and protected for future public use. This sense of preserving Belle Isle for the public good stretches back, in fact, to its earliest recorded history. In the 1700s, Ojibwe groups shared access to the island, which they called White Swan (Waabizi or Wanabizi in the Anishinaabe language) with French settlers. In the French colonial period, Hog Island (Isle aux Cochons), as Belle Isle was then known, was used as a public commons where settlers loosed their livestock, mainly hogs, to roam freely.

BI Blesset picnic 7 28 12

Family re-union picnic on Belle Isle July, 2012.

After Belle Isle became a city park and gained its current name, residents and tourists enjoyed the island as a recreational destination. In the 1940s and 1950s, Black east-siders made Belle Isle their own by gathering at the park for socials and church picnics. Mistinguette Smith, founder of the Black/Land Project, who recently visited Detroit to interview Black women about their views of land, found that Belle Isle was a focal point of these women’s stories. For Black women in the city, memories of good times on Belle Isle — walking along the river’s edge with friends, wearing shorts and holding ice cream cones — capture a period of contentment rich with the joys of community. This feeling of pleasure, pride, and connection with the crown jewel of the city’s parks is something that Detroiters cannot afford to lose.

Black children enjoying Belle Isle in 1955. Photo by Robert Frank.

Black children enjoying Belle Isle in 1955. Photo by Robert Frank.

If Detroit is a black city, then Belle Isle is black land. It is precious, peaceful, protected land held in trust for the people of the city. Land is the basis for human livelihood and prosperity. And yet, across this nation and for centuries, African Americans have had valuable land stripped out from under us– think of those 40 acres that never materialized after the Civil War, of the many black families who lost farms to illegal deals and swindles after Reconstruction, of the Geechee and Gullah communities on the sea islands of Georgia and South Carolina who lost their land to resort development, and of the struggling residents of Detroit who are losing their own backyards to foreclosure.

Family picnics near Belle Isle beach with view of downtown Detroit July, 2012.

Family picnics near Belle Isle beach with view of downtown Detroit July, 2012.

The loss of Belle Isle to private purchasers, beholden only to themselves, would be a sad addition to this lamentable list. After a sale of that magical isle with its majestic trees and shimmering waters — condos, casinos, exclusive clubs and gated communities are unlikely to be too far behind.

As a public place owned by the city, a commons enjoyed by all residents and visitors, Belle Isle is priceless. I dare say that Detroit’s properly elected government officials know this. But what about a wildly empowered emergency manager whom Governor Snyder might impose? I cannot be so sure.


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

BING AND DETROIT COUNCIL SET TO GIVE BELLE ISLE TO STATE: LET THE PEOPLE VOTE! COUNCIL MEETS JAN. 24 1 P.M, JAN. 28, 29

Mayor Dave Bing (r) stands at attention as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (center) discusses proposed state "lease" of Belle Isle Sept. 12., 2012. At left is George Jackson, CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and to Bing’s right is Keith Craig of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources/VOD photo

Mayor Dave Bing (r) stands at attention as Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (center) discusses proposed state “lease” of Belle Isle Sept. 12., 2012. At left is George Jackson, CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and to Bing’s right is Keith Craig of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources/VOD photo

 

 Council meets Thurs. Jan. 24 @ 1 p.m. and Mon. Jan. 28, votes Jan. 29     Proposed “lease” changes are insignificant, no help to Detroit                              State gets all revenue, grants, pays no rent, no improvement $$ guarantee  City pays expenses, bonds, debt; no jobs or contracts guaranteed

By Diane Bukowski 

January 23, 2013 

DETROIT – The Detroit City Council “Rogue Six” are conspiring to give the city’s most gorgeous jewel, Belle Isle, to the state by Jan. 29, fast-tracking a proposed “lease” with no cost to the state at hearings Jan. 24 and 28. Their tactics are identical to those used in the Hantz Farms land grab. 

Detroit City Council Rogue Six: Ken Cockrel, Jr., Saunteel Jenkins, Gary Brown, Charles Pugh, Andre Spivey, James Tate

Detroit City Council Rogue Six: Ken Cockrel, Jr., Saunteel Jenkins, Gary Brown, Charles Pugh, Andre Spivey, James Tate

VOD has obtained a copy of the proposed agreement, already signed by Recreation Department Director Patricia Minter, and Acting Corporation Counsel Edward Keelean., who has replaced Krystal Crittedon, fired by the Rogue Six. Click on Belle Isle proposal 1 17 13  to read entire proposal. 

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson at Council hearing on Belle Isle Sept. 25, 2012.

Councilwoman JoAnn Watson at Council hearing on Belle Isle Sept. 25, 2012.

“The cover sheet from the Purchasing Department labels this as revenue, with 100 percent state-funding,” Councilwoman JoAnn Watson said at a Council meeting Jan. 22. 

“The value of Belle Isle has been appraised at least at $280 million, which is being totally ignored,” Watson continued. “This is the same kind of faulty logic that led to the giveaway of Cobo Hall. Belle Isle is a jewel, but here comes an alleged contract, basically saying the value of Belle Isle is nothing, just give it to the state to operate with the city still paying all the bills and getting no revenue. What kind of shadow government is running the city today? 

One group has proposed turning Belle Isle into an independent commonwealth, with skyscraper condos and other amenities for the wealthy.

One group has proposed turning Belle Isle into an independent commonwealth, with skyscraper condos and other amenities for the wealthy.

“The state says it already has the majority of the City Council. The Council is not operating with all nine members,” Watson contended. “There is still a law on the books that says the city can’t enter into a contract if the contractor owes the City money. The state still owes us over $240 million. You can get rid of Krystal Crittendon, but you can’t get rid of the law. Somebody has decided they want to turn Belle Isle into a playground for the rich.” 

Councilman James Tate is  chair of the Neighborhood and Community Services Committee, set to meet with the entire Council, the state, George Jackson of the Economic Growth Corporation, and the Detroit Police Department Thursday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. (Click on Neighborhood, Community Services Committe 1-24-13 agenda.) He contended a “working group” of three along with the outside representatives spent long hours to revise last year’s proposal. 

Council member James Tate at Council hearing Aug. 7, 2012 after PA 4 was placed on ballot.

Council member James Tate at Council hearing Aug. 7, 2012 after PA 4 was placed on ballot.

“Our goal was  to put together a proposal that would have the City of Detroit’s best interest at heart,” he said. “I want to give each member of this body a chance for input on Thurday, then have a public hearing on Monday. I suggested we vote Jan. 29 and put this thing to bed, vote it up or down. There were some items  we and State each wanted, but weren’t able to get, but the group did the best we could.” 

In fact, the proposed lease, compared to the lease presented last year, has very insignificant and condescending changes which still don’t provide the city with any revenue, guaranteed jobs or Detroit-based business participation, and nothing in lease payments. The state still claims the cost of its maintenance of Belle Isle is sufficient to compensate for lease payments, but still promises no set figure that it will spend on Belle Isle improvements. The “lease” remains at 30 years, with two possible 30 year extensions.

BI changes

 The entrance fee, which many previously believed would be set aside for park improvements, is still the $10 a year state pass for all parks, with no guarantees that any of it will be set aside for Belle Isle. There appears to be some conflict between Tate and the State regarding whether the state police will patrol the island, which the Council at first said it would discuss in closed session.

However, after additional discussion, the Council, afraid of public reaction and challenges under the Open Meetings Act, said all sessions on Belle Isle would be open to the public.

The chart below describe provisions of the original “lease,” which still remain in the current lease. Click on Belle-isle-lease-VOD3 to read VOD’s story on the original proposal, which contains a link to the previous version of the “lease.”

BI box

 The Council did vote for interim city designation of Belle Isle as a “historic site.” It is already on the register of National Historic Places. (Click on BI historic designation for text of resolution, submitted by Councilwoman Watson.)

Councilwoman Saunteel Jenkins, however, at first opposed the vote.

Coucilwoman Saunteel Jenkins.

Coucilwoman Saunteel Jenkins.

“I support the study, but have concerns with an interim designation. There are federally-funded repairs to the MacArthur bridge on the agenda today, plus I have concers\ns  concerns because whatever happens [with a historic designation] it would limit our ability to carry out the plan.”

She appeared to be concerned that the proposed lease might be blocked by the designation.

Jenkins later introduced a discussion of the number of lawsuit settlements on the agenda for the day, most of them for police brutality. She claimed cases such as one involving a house break-in by a youth benefit the “criminals” in the city.

Rafael Jones, 14, leads march for Justice for Aiyana and Charles Jones April 23, 2012 at Frank Murphy hall, with grandmother Mertilla Jones (l), aunt LaKrystal Sanders (r). Charles Jones is being held without bail on trumped up charges while 7-year-old Aiyana's klller, Detroit cop Joseph Weekley, is free on personal bond. No other police officials involved in the raid on her home May 16, 2012 have been charged.

Rafael Jones, 14, leads march for Justice for Aiyana and Charles Jones April 23, 2012 at Frank Murphy hall, with grandmother Mertilla Jones (l), aunt LaKrystal Sanders (r). Charles Jones is being held without bail on trumped up charges while 7-year-old Aiyana’s klller, Detroit cop Joseph Weekley, is free on personal bond. No other police officials involved in the raid on her home May 16, 2012 have been charged.

An enthusiastic discussion ensued, during which every Council member chimed in regarding the problem of “youth violence” and “crime” in Detroit as if they are the city’s primary concerns. No one put any blame on the police department and rampant ongoing brutality.

No one discussed what many Detroiters have termed the “lawlessness” of city and state officials, particularly violations of the Open Meetings Act by City Council over the last year, as hundreds of Detroiters have been forced to stand in the hallway unable to see or hear vital Council meetings on the Consent and Milestone Agreements and other issues.

Most mayoral candidates so far have made “crime” the focus of their campaigns, instead of the steady de-construction of Detroit by criminal politicans, banks, and mortgage companies.

One Detroiter told VOD, “Why isn’t it up to the people to vote on what happens to Belle Isle?” Detroit Tyrone Travis has cited state law which states a popular vote is required on most matters the state legislature deals with.

“Pastors, community leaders and citizens, has the time come to take to the streets and shut Detroit down–no cars in, no cars out?,” asked former mayoral candidate and community activist Jerroll Sanders in a column on her Facebook page furing last year’s discussion of the Belle Isle “lease.”

Jerroll Sanders

Jerroll Sanders

“The taking of assets in Detroit is racism prima facie,” Sanders said. “In less than seven years, Michigan State officials, colluding with selected members of Detroit’s City Council, the City’s current and former mayors, and powerful backers, seized Detroit’s billion dollar art institute, billion dollar waterfront convention facility, prime golf courses, thousands of acreage of camp and park land, billion dollar water assets, billion dollar historical museum assets, as well as countless other properties and conferred them to suburban and personal corporate interests, often without providing one dime in return.”

Bele Isle is part of the heritage of Detroit''s children, who have been deprived of virtually everything else, including jobs, schools, recreation centers, and just treatment by the police and courts.STOP THE TAKEOVER!

Bele Isle is part of the heritage of Detroit”s children, who have been deprived of virtually everything else, including jobs, schools, recreation centers, and just treatment by the police and courts.
STOP THE TAKEOVER!

 Related VOD articles:

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/10/17/council-sabotages-oct-18-public-hearing-on-belle-isle-lease/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/10/17/city-council-members-favorable-to-revised-lease-sept-25/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/09/27/peoples-rally-hands-off-belle-isle-council-hearing-thurs-oct-4-1-pm/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/09/18/hands-off-belle-isle-rally-and-march-sat-sept-22-12-noon-casino/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/09/18/councilwoman-watson-hears-citizens-on-belle-isle-rally-at-belle-isle-casino-sat-sept-22-12-noon-council-hearing-tues-sept-25-1-pm/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/09/15/90-yr-belle-isle-lease-entry-fees-go-to-state-fedstate-cops-to-patrol-council-hearing-mon-sept/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/09/14/belle-isle-in-detroit-is-our-last-dance/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/08/05/save-belle-isle-save-detroit/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/07/30/occupy-belle-isle-stop-the-takeover-of-detroit/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2012/07/30/belle-isle-belongs-to-us-2/


Print Friendly
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment