Men at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility Report New Wave of COVID-19

Recent mass testing at GHFC shows virus migrated from Unit 2 to Unit 1, where there were previously no positive tests

GHFC prisoners denied request for N95 masks, recommended by CDC

Now 95 deaths state-wide in the MDOC

RALLY BY ‘SILENT CRY,’ NATION OUTSIDE SET FOR FRI. DEC. 10 outside GHCF in Adrian; Shawanna Vaughn/Silent Cry: “Because I have Black sons”

Ricardo Ferrell

By Ricardo Ferrell

VOD Field Editor

December 8, 2020

Not since 1918 has a pandemic like COVID-19 had such a devastating impact around the globe. During the 1918 Spanish Flu tens of millions of lives were impacted and millions died from the deadly disease. Now here we are 100 years later facing, arguably, an even deadlier virus that knows no boundaries. No one is safe and the most vulnerable like elderly patients in nursing homes have been ravished with illness and taken out by the coronavirus.

Another vulnerable population is within prisons across the U.S., where states including California, Texas, New York, Louisiana, Ohio –to name a few, have seen spikes in the virus where thousands of inmates have succumbed to the disease and many have died.

Here in Michigan a reported 47 percent of the inmate population has tested positive and contracted the virus. As of today, there have been 91 inmates who have died as a result of COVID complications. How is  that even possible when inmates are confined behind highly secured walls, fences, bars, and doors? In other words, if inmates are secured within the perimeters of secure prisons, then how are thousands still being infected? It’s no secret that employees are the main cause of how the virus is seeping into prisons in Michigan. Here are some indisputable facts:

The pandemic has hit the U.S. hard and the prison system has been impacted severely. We have been put at-risk by gross negligence on the part of the MDOC. There is no way an incarcerated individual can go out into society by day and contract the virus and come back at night and spread it.

Here is how things unfolded at the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility located in Madison Township, just outside of Adrian.

In early April we didn’t have any cases on either side of the facility (level I, Level II or level IV). Then suddenly inmates on the Southside (level I) were testing positive right after the reopening of Unit 6, outside the perimeter of Gus Harrison. Unit 6 was being used as one of the first step-down units for those at other facilities who were recovering after they tested positive. Many of us assumed that inmates on the Southside who worked outside the gate near Unit 6 must have contracted the virus and carried it back to their housing units. Before long, more than half of the inmates housed in the level I (pollbarn) open dormitory style setting had tested positive, over 700 inmates. The administration responded by separating both sides of the facility, which we all hoped would keep the virus from spreading to the level II & level IV units.

Shawanna Erena Vaughn of New York City, Director of “Silent Cry.”

Although we couldn’t pin point how the virus still made it over to our side of the facility, many staff started testing positive, and due to staff shortages and requested overtime, some of those same staff members were assigned to work in housing units and other areas of the facility. Up until that time, there weren’t any inmates who had tested positive on the Northside,  just a handful of close contacts from being near infected staff.

Fast forward to now.  After almost eight months without any of the +/-  1,000 prisoners on the Northside testing positive, the housing unit I reside in, has had some 20 positive cases since Friday the 13th. We are tested every Friday with a nasal swab. Last week Monday, healthcare began checking everyone’s temperature and other vitals. When someone has a high fever, they are given an instant test. And there have been at least seven instant tests to show positives. So, as a result of the outbreak, the entire housing unit is on ‘quarantine status’ and have daily outside yard times isolated from the other housing units. All three meals are being delivered from food service. Health care (nurses) come to the units to dispense medications and insulin. Everyone is on edge, because since last week’s testing, it’s believed others may also be infected and could unknowingly be spreading the virus.

The results from mass testing held on Nov. 20th, came back three days later) with over 100 positives in this housing unit alone and 20 or so in another unit. I wonder how this unit got hit like this. Two prisoners tested positive on Nov. 13,  there were other positives the morning of Nov. 15, and the number continued to rise until Nov. 29th, where it is now 240 positives in unit one. Each housing unit holds 240 prisoners, so everyone is positive.

Grounds of Gus Harrison CF in Adrian, MI.

There wasn’t a single positive case in this unit until a corrections officer tested positive that’s regularly assigned to work in our unit. Records should show this officer working a double-shift (morning and afternoon) on Nov. 5th, in housing unit one.

A hard fact is, we can’t go out to the free world, contract COVID-19, then come back to the facility and spread it among prisoners and staff. Everyone knows the only way for us prisoners to get infected, is from a staff member. There should be video footage of this particular staff member improperly wearing a mask, and coughing for hours. In fact, coping with COVID.

The MDOC should’ve been more proactive in containing this virus and more measures taken to assure the safety of everyone. I believe each staff member’s temperature is checked and he/she is asked if they’re experiencing any symptoms, before they’re allowed into the facility. So, if a staff member comes into a correctional facility and states NO to the question of having symptoms, in an effort to avoid being sent home and quarantined, then they are intentionally undermining the COVID protocol to prevent spread. The bottom line is, many of us have now been infected and could be in jeopardy of losing our lives to the coronavirus?  The MDOC now has nearly 16,000 prisoners who have tested positive for COVID.

Gus Harrison CF, Adrian MI

This is how COVID is affecting those of us in housing unit one. We just learned that at least three units on the Southside are also under ‘quarantine status’ due to outbreaks in those units. It’s really a sad affair, this virus is spreading and we’re like sitting ducks. As of December 1st, housing unit two has been placed on ‘quarantine status’ as well due to over 100 positive cases in that unit, which brings the total on the Northside of the facility to roughly 400 cases.

The prison administration at Gus Harrison dropped the ball in handling this outbreak, it seems that they would’ve learned from the approximately 700 inmates and several staff members on the Southside of the facility who contracted the virus, on how best to separate the positives, negatives, close contacts, and PUI’s, but again they were grossly negligent. Mixing positives, negatives and close contacts in the same units and dayrooms contributed to many inmates getting infected.

William Garrison in a 2009 photo from family vist.

Among the 91 prisoner deaths across the MDOC so far, was William Garrison, a Detroit man who had been convicted as a juvenile of First Degree Murder and sentenced to Life Without Parole. He served 44 years before being resentenced under the landmark decision in Miller v. Alabama, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to give juvenile offenders LWOP sentences. He was scheduled to be released from the Macomb Correctional Facility near New Haven, MI. Less than two weeks before his release date he contracted COVID-19 and died before he could walk out the door a free man.

There are many men and women that have caught the virus and no longer are with us. Curtis Watkins had served 47 years before he contracted COVID and later died after being placed on a ventilator. His case was being looked at by the Michigan Law Clinic at the University of Michigan due to being locked up on the abolished Felony Murder statute. Garrison and Watkins would likely still be with us had they not been exposed to the Coronavirus.

Honeysuckle Magazine reported, “More recently on December 2, 2020, [an individual] known as DJ, was found dead in his cell in the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian, Michigan, from complications of coronavirus. Just three weeks earlier, DJ had returned to the facility after undergoing open heart surgery, a result of his battle with multiple sclerosis (MS). He had survived an initial contraction of the virus in April.”

VOD editor: The MDOC does not publish the names of prisoners who have died from COVID, but it is recently publishing numbers per facility. See:

Although prison officials put in place some measures early on when the pandemic first hit the Michigan Department of Corrections, e.g., suspended visits, stopped transfers between facilities and gave each prisoner poor quality cloth masks, made at factories inside correctional facilities, it wasn’t enough to prevent the spread of the virus. Social distancing is virtually impossible inside a prison, especially in close quarters like pole barn settings, where inmates are forced to live cramped up in small cubicles with eight  people, or in 8×10 cells double-bunked with a cellmate. While we have had to wear the poor quality cloth masks, majority of the staff have the luxury of sporting the more effective N95’s.

During a recent Warden’s Forum meeting, Unit Representatives proposed that the prisoner population be allowed to have the same N95 masks, but that was quickly shot down, despite the suggestion that the Prisoner Benefit Fund could pay for them.

Published by the CDC.

We are given updates on JPay which are questionable at best. The following is what was reported to us in November: On Nov. 13th, there were a reported 1,006 positive cases in the MDOC, on Nov. 18th there were 751 cases, on Nov. 19th there were 699, on Nov. 23rd there were 199 cases, on Nov. 24th there were 75 cases, and on Nov. 30th there were 87 cases. Already on the first day of December, there were 63 cases, and on Dec. 3rd there were 1,362 cases. This facility has had five prisoner deaths due to the coronavirus including at least one staff member. To find out more information and data related to COVID in the MDOC go to Email: with questions, or see MDOC Response and Information on coronavirus (COVID-19) | by MI Dept. of Corrections | Medium

In summation, since this pandemic began we have constantly been at-risk, especially the elderly prison population who are the most vulnerable with underlying health conditions. Today’s positive cases in the State of Michigan were reported at 7,146 where 22 percent, or the 1,362 the MDOC reported on December 3. If more isn’t done to prevent the spread of COVID inside the prison system, we are going to see higher numbers in positive cases, and unfortunately even more deaths. What’s stopping the virus from infecting the entire prison population? We are already at 47 percent of the 34,000 or so that’s in our prisons. The other 53 percent are like what I said earlier, sitting ducks.

Heidi Washington, MDOC Director

Michigan’s governor, along with the MDOC’s director Heidi Washington have a chance to really do something about this out-of-control spread of COVID-19 in Michigan prisons. At least separate every prisoner by placing them in single occupancy rooms until the virus is brought under control by one of the vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) sometime next year. If not, we are going to see this virus continue to languish in every prison in our state. And sadly, it’s going to keep killing vulnerable prisoners and staff.

Early this spring, when the pandemic first hit jails and the MDOC, Governor Whitmer talked about releasing upwards of 5,000 nonviolent, low risk offenders, and those who were either past their earliest release dates, or already parole eligible. How about looking at releasing 10,000 more prisoners that fall in that same category of the 5,000? They can be paroled or released and placed on home confinement like the Federal Bureau of Prisons did with thousands of inmates who they let out under compassionate releases.

Stakeholders in Lansing could convene a special group of: Lawmakers, Prison Officials, Michigan Parole Board, Advocacy Organizations, and Michigan Citizens to figure out how to safely release those who no longer pose a risk to public safety.



Michigan Department of Corrections Under Fire for Failing to Take Appropriate Measures to Combat Covid-19 – Honeysuckle Magazine


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Agnes Hitchcock with daughter Kirsten at her right, Call ‘out supporters at Drive-By Birthday Thank you party Nov. 20, 2020 Photo: Diane Bukowski


Ihekerema Goree and Agnes Hitchcock at Birthday Thank You Party Nov. 20, 2020/Agnes Call ’em Out Facebook pg.

By VOD Editor Diane Bukowski   

November 21, 2020

Call ’em Out members and supporters flocked out to Agnes Hitchcock’s storied home on E. Philadelphia for a “Thank You” 75th Birthday party honoring this indefatigable Detroit hero, steward of the vanguard grassroots organization Call ’em Out.  Her daughter Kirsten Hitchcock organized the party as a “THANK YOU” to everyone who fought for a “NO” Vote on Proposal N in the Nov. 4 election. VOD pays tribute to this life-time Detroit hero with a photo array covering many of the battles she and Call ’em Out members fought over the years. Recent property tax battle photos are first, then the array detours to early years beginning with Agnes throwing the “Grapes of Wrath” to protest massive school closings at the DPS board meeting in 2007.

Call ’em vs. foreclosure devastation of Detroit 

Agnes Hitchcock led protest vs, $600M Property Tax swindle Feb. 28 2020

Agnes Hitchcock on Proposal N Photo Pulse Institute; dragged out of CAYMC over $600M Property Tax swindle Feb. 28, 2020 Photo: Clarence Tabb, Detroit News

Detroit homeowner Arizona Vaughn with Agnes Hitchcock fighting tax seizure of home she bought from city in 1994 and completely re-built at her own cost; Agnes berates Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan for city’s role in tax foreclosures.

VOTE NO!! ON DETROIT PROPOSAL N–NOV. 3–TAX THE RICH, NO BONDS FOR BANK PROFIT | VOICE OF DETROIT: The city’s independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought
Agnes Hitchcock: Detroit’s Fiery Black Activist Urges ‘No’ Vote On Proposal N – THE PuLSE INSTITUTE

Fighting to save Detroit Public Schools

Agnes is arrested at DPS board meeting in June, 2007 for protesting the closing of 34 schools, with hundreds more to come. In these mainstream media photos, she is shown under arrest (l) after throwing the grapes of wrath (r).

CANCEL DPS DEBT TO THE BANKS! QUALITY EDUCATION FOR DETROIT CHILDREN; TUNE IN WHPR SAT. 2/27@10:30 AM | VOICE OF DETROIT: The city’s independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought

Chaos, arrests and sour grapes at Detroit school board meeting (



Battling massive water shut-offs

Agnes Hitchcock, Call ’em Out mobilize for direct action vs water shutoffs May 31 2014

Mary Shoemake and other Call ’em Out members at Detroit Water Board building; 2014 blockade of Homrich contractors who shut water off; Agnes Hitchcock and Teresa Kelly of Michigan Citizen are arrested at Homrich blockade 

CALL ‘EM OUT GOES BACK TO WAR! DIRECT ACTION TO STOP WATER SHUT-OFFS! | VOICE OF DETROIT: The city’s independent newspaper, unbossed and unbought

Fight vs. politicians, corporate grab of city assets 

Call ’em Out camped out in City of Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey’s office in original protest v. election fraud, in race of Tom Barrow for mayor and in Schools Proposal S (Agnes with Marie Thornton)

Call ’em Out protested at City Councilwoman Kay Everett’s home and at Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s Manoogian Mansion during original round of water shut-offs.

Call ;em Out demands No Giveaways of Detroit’s assets during Mackinac Island annual conference of corporate flunkies. May 28 2009

Call ’em Out has held dozens of town hall meetings with large crowds in attendance. (left to right) Mary Shoemake gives Power Couple Award to Jan and William Malachi; the late AFSCME Local 207 President John RIehl and a DWSD worker protest Water Dept. privatization; Agnes Hitchcock receives award.

 Call ’em Out’s Annual Sambo Award Dinners

Agnes and Call ;em Out have hosted annual “Sambo Awards” dinners calling out Black politicians for selling out. (l) (Award to Kwame Kilpatrick; (r) Agnes at dinner DATE

Sambo Award dinners have drawn large audiences, shown applauding at two events.



Call ’em Out Stands Up to Detroit Police 

Call ’em Out passed torch to youths of New Era Detroit, after supporting their leader Scrill against police frame-up, packing courtroom and achieving victory. Marie Thornton with Scrill at Call e’m Out dinner (l)

Call ’em Out steward Agnes Hitchcock stood up to attack from DPD Chief James Craig after giving him a Sambo award; Mary Shoemake, Erma Thomas and Linda Willis marched with hundreds of others to denounce DPD murder of Aiyana Jones, 7, on May 16, 2010

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First-degree murder charges in 1968 case of State Police Detective Robert Gonser dismissed ‘without prejudice’ in 1969, 1982; pros. witnesses recanted

Wayne Co. Pros. O’Hair in 1982: “No factual, legal or ethical justification for proceeding with this case.” 

Darnell Summers in Germany.

Oct. 2020: Summers returns to Inkster from Berlin to film ‘No End in Sight;’ Mich. State Police stop him, seize cell phone, DNA saliva sample

MSP’s Mike Shaw:  “Summers still a suspect” in cop murder

MSP’s Shanon Banner:  “We don’t maintain research on militia groups” re: state’s racist right-wing organizations

“I could have been in prison for 52 years of my life–there are others who suffered that fate, and a lot of them are innocent.” –Summers

By Diane Bukowski

November 15, 2020

UPDATE: Support Darnell at Metro Airport Today Friday, Nov. 20, 2020: From Renee Lichtman

[Today], Darnell has to return to Germany; he does intend to come back to Detroit in the near future to finish his film. But Darnell really does not know what to expect at the airport when he plans to leave…

Will authorities take his passport, the way they took his phone when he arrived in Detroit? Will the authorities have some “results” from the DNA swab they took from him, with a warrant, attached, when he stopped at a gas station?

At Metro Airport, Darnell will be giving an update to friends and media at 3:30 PM, today, Friday, at Delta Airlines, in the McNamara Terminal.

We hope you can join us and support a fellow veteran.

In Solidarity, Rene Lichtman 248 986 3466,

Darnell Summers at: 1 313 948 2537,

Atty. Jeffrey Edison (center) speaks at Darnell Summers press conference outside DPSH Nov. 13, 2020. Summers covers the event at left.

DETROIT—Darnell Summers, a globally renowned documentary film-maker, musician, Vietnam veteran and war resister, returned to his boyhood city of Inkster, Michigan from Berlin, Germany last month to work on a new film, “No End in Sight.”

He discovered there is also no end in sight to a 52-year witch hunt by the Michigan State Police and the FBI, still seeking to re-charge him for the murder of MSP Detective Robert Gonser in Inkster on Aug. 8, 1968.  Charges against Summers were twice dismissed “without prejudice” (meaning they could be brought again) in 1969 and again in 1984 after both prosecution eyewitnesses recanted.

MSP Red Squad Det. Robert Gonser, killed Aug. 8, 1968 in Inkster.

Summers and his supporters, including attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild (Detroit) and the National Conference of Black Lawyers, and members of Detroit Will Breathe, spoke at a press conference outside the “Detroit Public Safety Headquarters” (DPSH) Nov. 13. The DPSH houses the headquarters of both the Detroit Police and the Michigan State Police Forensics Laboratory.

“This case is not just about me,” Summers pointed out. “It’s about the millions of people languishing in prisons in America and the tactics that are employed by this state, by this government, to imprison these people, to persecute these people, to oppress these people.

“They come from the oppressed sections of this country, and beyond the borders of this country, [the U.S.] also effects imprisonment, executions, assassinations. As a Vietnam veteran, I’m opposed to imperialistic wars, military interventions  by this country. I didn’t support it before the [Vietnam} war, during the war and after the war.”

He called on his supporters to fight for “millions of prisoners across America” still locked up as a result of government tactics. Tactics used in his case included witness coercion resulting in the recanted testimony, prosecutorial refusal to disclose evidence that would exonerate the defendant, including a report that Summers was elsewhere at the time of Gonser’s deathand the use of “dismissal without prejudice” verdicts to circumvent final freedom.

(Ed. Prosecutors and state and city police have continued with these tactics to the present day, resulting in an untold number of wrongful convictions, many of them directed at Black youths.  See box at right for examples, and story links below this article.

Summers, who is now 73, grew up in Inkster, Michigan. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1966 to 1970. In 1968, while home on leave  before being sent to Vietnam, he helped create the Malcolm X Cultural Center in Inkster, in a city recreation facility.

Its young Black founders were part of a wave of civil rights and “Black Power” revolutionary uprisings across the U.S. calling for an end to the war in Vietnam, as well as the “War Against Black America.”

According to news reports from the time, two Inkster police officers were “shot at” near the Malcolm X center on the night of Aug. 7, 1968, after the city had ordered the Center’s sign removed.

The two fired their guns in response, wounding a civilian.

Later the same night, on Aug. 8, MSP Detectives Robert Gonser and Frederick Prysby were surveilling the area as part of their duties in the MSP’s “Red Squad” (political surveillance unit) when they also came under gunfire. Gonser was killed at 2:40 a.m.

Black youth James E. Matthews, 14, killed by police during manhunt, another wounded

James Matthews, 14, killed by squad of  police just after Gonser’s death. No charges ever brought.

At 3:15 a.m., police officers killed Black 14-year-old youth James E. Matthews,  less than a mile from the site of Gonser’s killing, causing outrage in the community.

An autopsy report indicated he died of wounds from two shotgun blasts fired at a distance.

Inkster resident Gerald Calvin Graham, 21 was injured by police in a separate incident and  treated for a shotgun wound in the left shoulder at Wayne County General Hospital.

The Facebook page “Keep Darnell Free” reports, “. . . not once in these 52 years did any law enforcement official lift a finger to charge and prosecute any cop for the cold-blooded murder of Jimmie Matthews that August night. In fact, on Friday, August 16, 1968, Wayne County Prosecutor William Cahalan issued a statement claiming that there was ‘no criminality in the slaying of James Matthews.’

“For more details about the murder of Jimmie Matthews, see the article ‘Will Detroit Burn?’ in the Michigan Daily, June 18, 1969…/mdp.39015071754233/170″

FACEBOOK PAGE “KeepDarnellFree”

War resister Darnell Summers (l) with the USAF in Vietnam

Policemen from Inkster and Westland, Wayne County Sheriff’s officers and Michigan State Police officers were questioned in Matthews’ killing by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.

A “police-prosecutor” investigative task force concluded Matthews’ death was a result of “mistaken identity” by cops conducting the manhunt,  in a report issued eight days after the shootings. Wayne County Prosecutor William Cahalan said “there was no criminality” in the shooting.

Multiple accounts of Gonser’s shooting indicate that eyewitnesses saw shots fired from a car with four Black men in it. But charges against Summers and two co-defendants, including a young woman, were not brought until June, 1969.

Police and prosecutors used the testimony of a sole eyewitness, Milford Scott, 22. Scott claimed he was in a car with the three defendants during the shooting, but later recanted his account, leading to the first dismissal of charges.

The female co-defendant told prosecutors she had been beaten by State Police. The second time charges were brought against Summers in 1982, she said she was in the car with Summers when he shot Gonser. But she recanted that testimony, causing the second dismissal of charges.

Above is Detroit Free Press article by Joe Swickard on the charges against Summers being dropped the first time. Below is an excerpt from a United Press International (UPI) release on the second dismissal, produced from CIA files.

After charges against Summers were dropped in 1969, and he completed his tour with the USAF,  he moved to West Germany and continued his activism on an international level.

He has been involved with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (Anti-Imperialist), the STOP THE WAR BRIGADE during the Gulf war, the Iraq Veterans against the War, the GI newspaper FighT bAck, and the “Just Say No Posse” aiding G.I. war resisters, among  other groups and alliances. He has also been active with immigrants from Turkey and the youth movement in Germany.

(L to r) John Sinclair, Darnell Summers, and the late Bernard Stroble (Shango of the Attica Brothers.)

Meanwhile, Summers remained active in the U.S., allying with political prisoners like John Sinclair of the White Panther Party, and Attica Brother “Shango,” who survived the vicious massacre of prisoners who rebelled at Attica State Prison in New York in 1971. Shango died in a suspicious shooting after his subsequent return to his hometown of Detroit.

Meanwhile, Summers has had a successful career as a professional  musician, filmmaker, actor, composer, cameraman, producer and sound technician, working on projects around the world.

Summers is the only alleged “suspect” the MSP has continued to target over the ensuing decades. The Michigan State Police played a major role along with the Detroit Police, the FBI and the CIA in surveillance of many thousands of anti-war and anti-racism activists over previous decades, and continues to do so today.

Darnell Summers in Europe, in band “Afrodisia.”

Atty. Jeffrey Edison of the National Conference of Black Lawyers called the ongoing campaign against Summers “police terrorism” during the press conference, noting that police brutality has many aspects.

“The surveillance itself is a manifestation of terror,” he said.

He noted that “Red Squads” were “an arm of the FBI’s COINTELPRO, whose specific objective was to neutralize the Black liberation movement,  focusing on the Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam, and the Republic of New Africa.”

Summers re-entered the U.S. in early October to visit Inkster and Detroit and Detroit and film his new documentary “No End in Sight.” He was not immediately aware that the MSP had tried to go to Germany to question him, yet were rebuffed by German authorities due to COVID-19 entry restrictions.

He was questioned at the airport by “unidentified law enforcement officials.” Meanwhile, the MSP had paid visits to his brother Bill Summers, a  noted jazz drummer, and to a friend in Inkster. The next day, the MSP visited him where he is staying.

Darnell Summers with youthful supporters of Iraq Veterans Against the War, in Germany.

Then, on Oct. 27, Summers, his son and a friend were stopped by the MSP while sitting in a car at a gas station in Inkster. The MSP cops produced a search warrant giving them authority to seize his cell phone and to take a DNA sample from him, which they did at the gas station.

On May 13, 2020, the MSP tweeted an account of Gonser’s killing as part of a memorial for  23 officers who had been killed in the line of duty. It still said Gonser’s killer is “unknown.”

But MSP spokesman Mike Shaw told Bryce Huffman, a reporter for Bridge Magazine, prior to the Nov. 13 press conference that Summers is “still a suspect” in Gonser’s killing.

Shortly afterwards, the Detroit News quoted MSP spokeswoman Shanon Banner in a Nov. 15 article, “Michigan’s history with militias is often dark.” The article covers right-wing, mostly white and often violent, murderous militias beginning in the 20th century. It includes the Black Legion, the KKK, and today’s “Wolverine Watchmen,” recently charged with a conspiracy to kidnap and possibly kill Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Banner said, “We don’t maintain research on militia groups as our only involvement would be if or when a group becomes involved in criminal activity.”

Above: Shushanna Shakur, sister of the late Republic of New Africa revolutionary Atty. Choke Lumumba, who supported Summers, reads statement from Ed Watson, a founder of the Malcolm X Cultural Center in Inkster, MI during press conference Nov. 13, 2020. 

Above, attorney Jeffrey Edison of the National Conference of Black Lawyers and others discuss the continued persecution of Darnell Summers at press conference Nov. 13, 2020.


Link to a new article about Darnell that appeared in a major Berlin daily March 3o, 2021:!5758302&s=Darnell+Summers/

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Da’Monte Trevino of Los Angeles waves the American flag as people celebrate at Pershing Square the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 7, 2020. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG)

 Freedom Rider: The Real Resistance Begins 

Angela Davis speaks in Detroit Oct. 24, 2012.

Editor: In 2012, as the re-election of the nation’s first Black President Barack Obama was in the works, Professor Angela Davis spoke at a mass rally in Detroit Oct. 24. She supported Obama’s re-election, but cautioned that people must continue the battle in the streets to achieve real victory.

“People were waiting for Obama to emerge as new FDR,” she said. “But was it really FDR who gave us on his own accord unemployment insurance and social security? No, it was the masses of the people in the street, struggles led by communists in the 1930’s, sit-down strikes, marches all over the country, unemployed councils, eviction defense committees. . . .We will never elect a president who will lead us to the promised land.  We have to take it on ourselves. As the great Black poet June Jordan said, ‘We are the ones we have been waiting for.” VOD’s story on her talk is linked below this article.

Freedom Rider: The Real Resistance Begins

Margaret Kimberley, BAR senior columnist

Margaret Kimberley

11 Nov 2020

“Kamala Auntie” and Joe from Scranton will do as little as possible so that “nothing will fundamentally change” that would halt endless wars and the Race to the Bottom.

When Pennsylvania announced that Joe Biden won in that state it became clear that he had enough Electoral College votes to become the de facto president elect. When the news became public, millions of people responded with spontaneous celebrations. There was quite literally dancing in the streets in many cities across the country. The public reaction was unprecedented in its scope and demonstrated the depth of antipathy towards Donald Trump, who is one of the most hated presidents in modern history.

Vice-Pres. Elect Kamala Harris and Pres. Elect Joe Biden.

The vagaries of that same Electoral College that put Biden over the top brought Trump into office in 2016 even though he lost the popular vote. The trauma of his victory, one we were told would never happen, was deep and was constantly aggravated by Trump’s own words and deeds.

The celebrations were difficult for those on the left. Obviously there was no feeling of connection for the awful team of Joe Biden, a right wing Democrat who once said he didn’t want his kids to “grow up in a racial jungle,” or Kamala Harris, the California prison matron who committed herself to locking up as many people as she possibly could.

“Dancing in the streets.”

The level of exaltation was reminiscent of the Barack Obama victory in 2008, when doubters were told not to bring skunks to the party. After the Trump experience, the imperative to support the new neo-liberal, imperialist administration will be even worse. Kamala Harris in particular is lionized as the first non-white vice president and the first female, too. The Democratic Party’s propagandists have gone into overdrive as they milk her ascent for all that it is worth.

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn listens as Pres. Elect Joe Biden speaks.

Biden and Harris are not the only people who must be resisted. The black political class, the misleaders, are being credited as “king makers” who brought victory to the entire race. Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina is one such individual, who did the dirty deed of deep-sixing Bernie Sanders and endorsing Biden, just as the party establishment wanted him to do. Clyburn acted on orders from the top and as such is a lackey, and not a king maker of any sort.

Clyburn isn’t the only misleader getting questionable praise. The closeness of the race in Georgia has burnished Stacey Abram’s credentials too. Even Biden’s small lead in Georgia is significant in this previously red state and Abrams is lauded for her work getting out the vote. The achievement is real, but it is not a good thing when we are given new political stars to adore and to worship. Abrams has her own presidential ambitions and invitations to globalist meetings such as the Bilderberg Group and the Council on Foreign Relations are a sign that her interests are not ours.

Clyburn is a lackey and not a king maker of any sort: COINTELPRO doesn’t figure into the Clyburn version of history.

Black Lives Matter protesters: “Defund the Police.”

None of these people pushed into prominence are working on behalf of black people. Clyburn is one of the leading recipients of Big Pharma campaign contributions and now says that the loss of Democratic House seats should be blamed on progressives.

“John [Lewis] and I sat on the House floor and talked about that ‘defund the police slogan’ and both of us concluded that it had the possibilities of doing to the Black Lives Matter movement and current movements across the country what ‘Burn Baby Burn ’ did to us in the 1960s. We lost the movement over that slogan. A lot of people don’t realize.”

Apparently COINTELPRO and the state’s well documented destruction of the movement doesn’t figure into the Clyburn version of history.

There was a half-hearted fake resistance movement after Donald Trump was elected in 2016. They said nothing when Democrats went along with Trump’s Space Force and other defense spending programs, but they did wear pink pussy hats. In short, they resisted very little.

Now is the time for serious push back against the duopoly, and that means Biden and Harris. Biden is already talking about “healing” the country but he is neither a physician nor a clergyman. No one voted for him to heal anything. He is just repeating what he told rich donors: “Nothing will fundamentally change.”

Trump is an outlier as a persona, but not as a president

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures and declares “You’re fired!” at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 17, 2015. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

“Kamala Auntie” and Joe from Scranton will do as little as possible. That is their goal after all, to fool people into thinking that there will be differences.

Trump is an outlier as a persona but not as a president. Biden and Harris will bring comfort to nerves frayed by four years of crazy tweeting and epic incompetence. It is their job to do what their voters want. Millions of people took part who ordinarily do not. They stood in long lines at polling places because they want change and not because they are enamored of Kamala Harris’s choice of suit color.

Of course, when Trump truly differed with the “resistance” by imposing sanctions that deprive people of medicine in Venezuela and Iran and Syria and Cuba, and assassinating Iranian generals, the pink pussy hat wearers were unconcerned.

They hit the streets in protest to protect old school segregationist Jeff Sessions because of a bizarre Russiagate theory, but said nothing when Trump passed the biggest tax cut for rich people in history.

The United States desperately needs a real resistance, people who will organize to defend themselves and to hold elected representatives accountable. If they want to party it can’t be because one of the most right wing Democrats in history will be president. We have already lived through phony change and emotional theatrics instead of political action.

Obama’s two terms in office gave us a health insurance bailout of the for-profit industry responsible for a failed system, the destruction of states like Libya, and Black people deprived of the little wealth they had. Unless the Democratic Party scam is called out, we will end up with more of the same.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well at and she regularly posts on Twitter @freedomrideblog. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)



Maduro: US Withholding $5bn of Medical Supplies in ‘Criminal’ Measure

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Photos of the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Black Libyans, both resident and migrant, during the US-CIA led war against Libyan Jamahiriya Commander Muammar Gadhafi in 2011 and ongoing.

..Editor: I was stunned by the news today that a substantial number of U.S. citizens still voted for Donald Trump, regardless of the eventual outcome of this national election. They did so despite Trump’s genocidal handling of the coronavirus pandemic, his virulent racism and sexism, and clear evidence that every other sentence out of his mouth is a lie adding to the willful ignorance of a large portion of the U.S. public.

It was demoralizing until I read the column below by sometime VOD contributor Jay Janson,  which puts this country’s elections into a proper global perspective regarding the atrocities committed by both Republican and Democrat Presidents against the people of the Third World. VOD extensively covered the U.S./NATO war in 2011 that resulted in the brutal execution of Libyan President Muammar Gadhafi, and the slaughter by CIA-led rebels of untold hundreds of thousands of Libyans, especially  native Black Libyans and Black African immigrant workers, there at Gadhafi’s invitation to partake of the benefits of Libya’s oil wealth.


Donald Trump or Joe Biden: global wars of extermination will continue.


by Jay Janson / November 3rd, 2020

The good people of the Third World should not let themselves be taken in by worldwide satellite beamed CIA-fed media prattling on continuously about American democracy during ongoing presidential elections. Sadly, Americans are duped into participating in elections that back crimes against humanity ordered by the ruling genocidal Wall St. plutocracy which militarily and financially plunders 3rd World humanity and corrupts American society.

Savage torture and murder of Libyan Pres. Muammar Gadhafi by CIA-led “rebels.”

A great many Americans voting believe the lies their criminal corporate media pours out daily, and are therefore gung-ho proud of Americans killing media-designated ‘bad guys” all around the world.

These completely fooled Americans are happy to vote for the next commander-in-chief, but a substantial amount of Americans voting know they have been frightened into voting for what they hope is the lesser of two evils and are unhappy with what they feel is a mockery of the so called democratic process that has them voting for a choice that still represents evil.

Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, once the highest law officer of the USA, who helped write both important civil rights laws, speaks to his fellow Americans clearly, and meant that all the world should know this truth.

We’re not a democracy. It’s a terrible misunderstanding and a slander to the idea of democracy to call us that. In reality, we’re a plutocracy: a government by the wealthy.

One of the most internationally powerful plutocrats in US history, John Pierpont Morgan, in a candid moment admitted:

Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and the most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth, the tyranny of plutocracy.

In 1922, USA economist Thorstein Veblen wrote:

Image from Salon Magazine.

The current situation in America is by way of being something of a psychiatrical clinic...Perhaps the commonest and plainest evidence of an unbalanced mentality is to be seen in a certain fearsome and feverish credulity with which a large proportion of Americans are affected…. There is a visible lack of composure and logical coherence, both in what they will believe and in what they are ready to do about it.

Veblen assumed depression to  be the normal condition  in a business-enterprise economy, to be relieved in periods of excitation caused by stimuli not intrinsic to the system like war and expansion abroad. Veblen saw the modern business leader as essentially a latter-day predatory warrior.

Veblen’s observation is born out by Americans always having been willing to follow criminal orders and bomb, invade and occupy other people’s lands the world over.

Paul Craig Roberts, former editor of the Wall Street Journal, and Undersecretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, in his article, The Looting Machine Called Capitalism, wrote,

Americans are the least exceptional people in human history. Americans have no rights at all. We hapless insignificant beings have to accept whatever capitalists and their puppet government impose on us. And we are so stupid we call it ‘Freedom and Democracy America.’

Americans today are wildly mesmerized in avid interest in who will be president for the next four years. However, given the continual American wars in smaller countries and perpetual ramped up fear of nuclear Armageddon, it’s obviously of some greater significance who will serve as Commander-in-Chief of the American worldwide genocidal killing machine, because whether Americans realize it or not, they, each citizen, has a portion of citizen co-responsibility for the crimes of their fellow Americans ‘serving’ as soldiers following criminal, and therefore illegal, orders.

Yemeni children, victims of U.S.-backed Saudi war.

Those Americans voting, who believe the lies their criminal corporate media pours out daily and are therefore gung-ho proud of Americans killing media-designated ‘bad guys” everywhere and anywhere, believe US democracy makes them and all Americans to be above the law — above all law.

On the other hand, that substantial amount of Americans voting, who know they have been frightened into voting for what they hope is the lesser of two evils, are well aware of their tacit complicity in the crimes against humanity in other people’s countries. Some more modest amount of Americans voting, or refusing to vote, realize that they have already been prosecuted in the court of public opinion and in the hearts of parents of children blown to pieces or starved to death by the actions of Americans. Hopefully, this is what people overseas, especially in nations under American attack, understand.

At the same time a multitude of Americans vote, other Americans have been fueling, arming and target selecting for the Saudi airstrikes for five years. Already back in November 2017, Save the Children reported that 130 children were dying every day, with 50,000 children already believed to have died in 2017. The U.N. officials said more than 20 million people, including 11 million children, are in need of urgent assistance, with 7 million totally dependent on food assistance. The U.N. has called it the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world.”

President Donald Trump meets Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018, in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

US CIA controlled media is so sure of the headlock it has on the American public, its mainstream media can even inform of Yemeni children dying from bombs and starvation knowing its captive audience will not turn against their American killing machine.

Even the most eye-rebounding photos  published in wars supporting New York Times Yemen Girl Who Turned World’s Eyes to Famine Is Dead (Published 2018) and seen on PBS television channels did not put a dent in American solidarity with its government’s and military’s genocidal actions in Yemen – prosecutable genocidal crimes against humanity.

During the current presidential election campaign criminal war promoting news and entertainment networks are making no mention of President Trump’s veto of a bipartisan Congressional resolution that would have forced an end to American military involvement in Saudi Arabia’s civil war in Yemen a year-and-a-half ago.

In One American Ear and Out the Other

The late Rev. Jeremiah Wright was formerly Pres. Barack Obama’s pastor. Obama disassociated himself from Rev. Wright during his first election campaign.

In 2008, for two weeks the major networks telecasted as humorous, Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s cry, his finger pointed to the sky, “God bless America? No, no, God damn America for her crimes against humanity!”

In 2012, prime time news during the Republican debates of presidential candidates, candidate Rep. Ron Paul was heard denouncingall US bombings and invasions beginning with those in Korea as illegal, unconstitutional and a horrific loss of human life.”

But nothing seems to effect a change in American dedication to their military and its military’s heritage (of gore, death and destruction).

American film maker Michael Moore castigates his fellow Americans as

“sick and twisted violent people that we’ve been for hundreds of years, it’s something that’s just in our craw, just in our DNA. Americans kill people, because that’s what we do. We invade countries. We send drones in to kill civilians.”

In one American ear and out the other.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a revolutionary who used mass civil disobedience to overturn an unjust system.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made bold headlines in newspapers throughout the world with, “The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my government. In Vietnam we may have killed a million already, mostly children.”

King cried out, “Silence is treason!” but at home extremely few Americans spoke out in agreement,  many spoke against him, most were silent, and King was shot to death within the year.

This archival research peoples historian activist is convinced that no change will be coming from anywhere in the American led First World, especially now as it is hard pressed losing its hegemony to a future multipolar world with China’s economy now the largest.

Some of us work to somehow make this Americans killing millions of children come to be a topic of conversation in the Third World for the children’s lives that could be saved once enough people became enraged enough to demand prosecution and justice.

Once USA-EU loses world economic hegemony and can no longer sanction, the many nations that have seen their children murdered by Americans and their European allies will demand justice in the courts of a reconstituted and reorganized democratic United Nations. In the meantime let’s have faith that the astounding intelligence witnessed in the miraculous achievements in outer and inner space will eventually manifest itself in ending the five centuries of European and American genocide for money and power.

Thorstein Veblen, Douglas Dowd, 1966. []


Jay Janson

Jay Janson, spent eight years as Assistant Conductor of the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi and also toured, including with Dan Tai-son, who practiced in a Hanoi bomb shelter. The orchestra was founded by Ho Chi Minh, and it plays most of its concerts in the Opera House, a diminutive copy of the Paris Opera. In 1945, our ally Ho, from a balcony overlooking the large square and flanked by an American Major and a British Colonel, declared Vietnam independent. Everyone in the orchestra lost family, “killed by the Americans” they would mention simply, with Buddhist un-accusing acceptance.

Jay Janson can be reached at: tdmedia2000@yahoo.comRead other articles by Jay.

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Darryl Woods Sr. with U.S. Senator Gary Peters. D(MI)

DARRYL WOODS, SR. , WHO ATTENDED RALLY FOR BIDEN WITH TROY RIENSTRA ON BELLE ISLE IN DETROIT OCT. 31, TOOK THE VIDEO ABOVE.  VOD downloaded video from  Facebook to its YouTube channel in order to feature it here. Woods and Rientstra each spent decades  in the Michigan Department of Corrections, are now activists for criminal justice reform, among other issues.

Complete C-SPAN video of event is below.


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Mike Duggan says taxes will not go up, but Detroit’s total debt will be further extended–do Detroiters want another bankruptcy?

Detroiters already over-assessed $600 MILLION in property taxes, Duggan has refused to give refund or property tax credit

By Agnes Hitchcock, Steward, Call ’em Out

October 30, 2020

One of hundreds of thousands of Detroit homes vacated due to foreclosures which profited banks and mortgage companies, drove out Black families.

DETROIT--Call ’em Out encourages all Detroiters to VOTE NO ON PROPOSAL N on November 3. It is a $250 MILLION PROPERTY TAX On homeowners in the poorest, Blackest city in America.

Detroit homeowners continue to be under merciless assault from the administration of Mayor Mike Duggan. On December 17, 2019 hundreds of Detroit taxpayers demanded that the City Council vote down Mayor Mike Duggan’s proposed $250 Million bond proposal to demolish 18,000 homes stating it was an enormous tax after being illegally taxed to the tune of $600 million, resulting in illegal foreclosures.

In the midst of both a COVID-19 and a racism pandemic, ravaging Detroit citizens, families, neighbors, loved ones, Duggan and these heartless city council members sneaked it through in our distraction.

In addition to Proposal N, property owners were over-assessed more than $600 million for over six years. The city of Detroit’s administration via Mayor Mike Duggan refuses to give property taxpayers a refund or a property tax credit.  Many Detroit property taxpayers have lost their homes for property taxes we never owed in the first place.

Proposal N is a Property Tax burden which our community should not be asked to fund.  Our city’s administration says these property taxes will further fund the Land Bank Authority.  Not only should we not be asked to fund this tax proposal, our community receives little to no benefit from the Land Bank Authority by way of improvement to our neighborhoods, contracts, jobs or small business development.

The Land Bank Authority has been the focus of local and state reviews and a federal criminal probe that culminated in bid-rigging charges. The Land Bank Authority plays a major part in the mismanagement of tax dollars and further gentrification in the city of Detroit.

A recent article in the Detroit News written by Christine Ferretti, “Audit of Detroit Land Bank Flags Weak Controls, Demolition Records,” provides further reason not to support this tax proposal.  This article appears to have been written based on findings in a report from Stout Risius Ross.

  • unexplained bank reconciliations and transactions not recorded in the land bank’s ledger,
  • unapproved vendor payments and payroll discrepancies.
  • “inability of the land bank to provide a property-by-property accounting of amounts paid per demolished property” as well as the state-level reimbursements received under the federal program.
  • The audit also flagged worries over controls for the land bank’s Demolition Advance Fund.
  • The audit contends the land bank has been unable to account for the amounts it has paid contractors and received as reimbursements for property under the federal program.
  • The audit identified $315 million in payments the land bank made to 629 different recipients over the review period. However, 79 recipients — comprising $50.8 million in funds — “were made to recipients not included on the DLBA’s approved vendor list,” the July 27 report contends.

Contractor Homrich, which profited from Duggan’s no-bid award, demolishes Detroit house in 2015. The city also hired Homrich to shut water off for thousands of Detroit families. 

Of the $50.8 million, about $24.2 million went to (demolition) vendors with names similar to those on the approved vendor list. The remaining $26.6 million, it says, was paid to other vendors “not on the approved vendor list in any capacity.”

“Even minor discrepancies in these details can be a red flag of fraudulent activity where an unauthorized payment is made but disguised as a legitimate payment to an approved vendor,”

The audit says the land bank was unable to demonstrate that the advance fund was used for its intended purpose or if it has controls to prevent misuse.

Proposal N is a property tax which Detroit property taxpayers must not be asked to fund under any circumstances. VOTE NO!!

Agnes Hitchcock: Detroit’s Fiery Black Activist Urges ‘No’ Vote On Proposal N

Selections from Bankole Thompson’s interview of AGNES HITCHCOCK:

AGNES HITCHCOCK: Mike Duggan and his administration rarely get the scrutiny heaped on prior Black administrations.  He is allowed conflict of interest passes such as the preferential treatment his administration gave to the Make Your Date program under its director Dr. Sonia Hassan and how the city directed more than $358, 000 in federal grants to the program, reports about bid rigging in the administration, Black contractors losing out on opportunity, cronyism passes, residency passes, shoddy accounting passes in the Detroit Land Bank Authority.

AGNES HITCHCOCK:  This situation we are in has and will set our community back for generations.  Homeownership is the foundation of our community’s wealth, which is the major avenue for starting to build wealth in our community. . . Selling a home seized from a Black homeowner for (unpaid) taxes and selling that home to a white person for 25% of its value and then providing restoration funds to the new white owner has the intended impact of Black removal.

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 Father-Daughter Tandem Team up with State House Rep. Jewell Jones in the “Bully-Free Safe Zone Summit”

Ricardo Ferrell

Goal: Make all schools a “Bully Free Safe Zone”

By Ricardo Ferrell

VOD Field Editor

Interview with LeRoy “Saalih” Washington & ABC Founder Lauren Washington.

In this report we bring you an exclusive interview with, one of our very own, LeRoy “Saalih” Washington and his daughter Lauren Washington, founder of the Anti-Bully Crusaders (ABC) Nonprofit Organization. This dynamic duo has been doing commendable work in the community changing and saving lives of our youth!

Lauren, is a Michigan native, Texas University graduate, entrepreneur, criminal justice reform advocate. She now adds, director of the Anti-Bullying Crusaders Organization to her successful career.

Her father, LeRoy, an inmate with the Michigan Department of Corrections, has spent the last 25 years of his life behind bars. Since his incarceration, he has earned an MBA in Business Administration-Management, currently working on a Doctorate’s in Education, and has an extensive resume of accomplishments.

Together, this unusual tandem has created an unique approach to address one of the most pressing and fundamentally important issues involving young people today -Bullying.

In a program they call the Anti-Bully Crusaders Project, together, they dynamically and effortlessly impart the most thought-provoking and profound truths of the human bullying experience.
Prepare to be inspired, entertained, and transformed by this close encounter interview:


A – LAUREN: Bullying is defined as an unwanted, aggressive behavior towards another that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time and includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.


A – LAUREN: This groundbreaking interactive program equips young people with the personal life skills and tools necessary to develop positive thinking, attitude, and behavior towards peace, acceptance and tolerance. Our hope is to provide educational opportunities and support systems that enhance the future and impact the lives of our young people.

“Bully-Free Safe Zone” Summit held Oct. 24, 2020


A – LEROY: For me, I’ve received two rewards from this project. One, seeing my work in action making a meaningful difference, helping change young people’s lives; and two, working with my daughter on such an impactful program. She’s my shero (female super hero)! And mere words cannot express how very proud I am of her.

A – LAUREN: I would agree with my dad. Just seeing his (our) work help so many young people has been the most rewarding for me too. And, I love working with my dad, he’s awesome. Not many young people have been blessed as I, when it comes to having a relationship with an incarcerated parent.


A – LAUREN: Pre-Covid-19, we were scheduled to host the largest Anti-Bullying conference in the country for National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month of October, in Detroit. Unfortunately, our plans were hindered by the pandemic.

So, this year we decided to host a virtual “Bully Free Safe Zone” Summit and Free Concert on Facebook Live. The event was held on Saturday, October 24th at 3:00pm.

We had a great line up for the panel and entertainment, such as Brenda High and Kevin Epling of the Bully Police USA, shared tragic stories of losing their young sons Jared & Matthew who took their own lives as a result of bullying. We had Jadyn Gomberg,18, Founder of Keep It Kind gave a testimonial of just how bad the problem really is in High School.

William Riley, Inkster’s Chief of Police defined what constitutes a criminal act of bullying. Civic Leader Darryl Woods Sr. expressed concerns about jailing our youth. He promotes more of a proactive v. reactive programming like ABC’s curriculum that helps change the thinking and behavior of our youth. Keisha Shaw, ABC’s Event Planner, says, “The streets are mean, full of destruction and death, if we don’t teach our kids, someone less qualified certainly will.” Entrepreneurs Terry Flenory and Ignacio Zambrano agreed with the proactive approach and plan to use their platforms to build youth centers.

Michigan State Board of Education Member Tiffany Tilley stated she would support mandating Anti-Bullying Programming in all Michigan schools; however, legislators would have to make it law and allocate funding. We were privileged to have Shawn T. Blanchard, New York bestselling author as our moderator, he did a phenomenal job with the summit. We had performances by two talented artists: Jessenia Vice and Mama Sole. They provided more flavor to the event and entertained the panelists with songs and spoken words. For more on the event go to:, and click on watch event.

Joining the conversation is Rep. Jewell Jones. In this exclusive, questions are asked by Ricardo Ferrell and Guest Writer LeRoy Washington.

State Rep. Jewell Jones and Anti-Bully Crusaders

Amid this crisis, the Honorable Jewell Jones (D-Inkster) is working equally hard from home, as he does in his office. He loves to lead. A skill he learned and cultivated at an early age, but didn’t realize just how much he loved to build teams and motivate people until elected to Inkster’s City Council as the youngest member in Michigan’s history.

Becoming the voice of the people, representing newly innovative ideas and his relentless drive, catapulted his career to the next level. Jones won a seat at the table of Legislators, as a Michigan State Representative. Since then he has had an extensive and successful career in politics. Now seeking his third and final term, he plans to add to his legacy by changing the bullying narrative, not just in his district, but in all Michigan Schools.

LeRoy: Its on a Sunday morning, and I reach out to Rep. Jones. He’s in traffic, on his way to praise the Lord. Handling his business via two cellphones, he accepts my call, I hear him say, “Hey, I gotta take this other call. Let me put some thought to it and I’ll get back with you… Peace.” He turn his attention in to me, we chop it up with a few subtleties then get right down to it. I pull out my pen and pad of questions and fire away.

Q – LEROY: Why Politics?

A – Jewell: I wanted to make a difference in my community. The age gap was creating a distinct difference in forward thinking and this was preventing new ideas and younger voices from being heard. First, I wanted to bridge that gap. Then I realized, I can really make a significant difference. And bringing about change has become my primary mission.

Q – RICARDO: Speaking of change. Bullying transcends: race, culture, gender, status, geography, age, religion -we see it everywhere. What made you take on this issue as part of your mission for this term?

State Reo, Jewell Jones, at 21 was the youngest elected Mich. State Rep.

A – Jewell: In recent years we’ve seen an influx of bullying activities and the level of bullying related to suicides amplifies the problem. Speaking with parents of victims, educators, and my colleagues, we decided that acts of bullying must be taken more seriously to help prevent violence and suicides. Create meaningful and effective policies that would force school’s to be held more accountable, not only report incidents but become proactive by implementing programming and support preventative measures. If we’re going to change the bullying culture and narrative, then we have to reshape thinking, attitudes, and behaviors.

Q – RICARDO: This issue is something that’s so much more compelling than a lot of issues we’ve seen over the years. How big is the problem?

A – Jewell: To put it in perspective and to contextualize the issue. No child should have to face bullying in our learning institutions. One death, as the result of bullying, is too many. For us to stand by and do nothing would be a social injustice in and of itself. As legislators we have a grave responsibility to our constituency, community, and especially to our young people.

Q – RICARDO: Amid the Covid-19 crisis what’s the plan now?

A – Jewell: Well, that’s a good question. Pre-Covid, my team and I, had partnered with ABC to host the largest Anti-bullying conference in the country during National Anti-Bullying Awareness Month of bullying October, right here in Detroit. However, our plans were thwarted due to the unforeseen pandemic.

Q – RICARDO: Will you give us one last thought?

A – Jewell: Everyday, we must work a little bit harder to become better. The one thing we all should have learned from this crisis is that we must MOBILIZE, UNIFY, AND UTILIZE OUR RESOURCES.
As a legislator, I have a powerful tool at hand. I can and will continue to use my platform to spearhead change, speak out and inform the people. The more people learn about why it happens and how it can be prevented, the better! The more the public is aware of, the more support goes into legislation to create preventative measures.

LEROY: Well said. We salute you young Prince for your selflessness and for continuing to spread light during these tumultuous times. It’s extraordinary men of your character and caliber, at times like these that can help change the world.

On behalf of the VOICE OF DETROIT Family, We thank you and look forward to working with you in the future, changing and saving young lives! #HOLLA


LAUREN: Getting bullied is not always an easy conversation for a child or young adult to have with a parent, teacher, person of authority, or anyone. Sometimes it takes an expert to shed light on the subject. That’s where we come in. ABC is the solution.
Our aim is to challenge young people to change by giving them the tools and resources necessary to do so.
Our goal, like we’ve said before, is to create “Bully Free Safe Zones” in all schools. No child should go to school and be bullied. This culture has to change and it’s up to us (the people) to do something, and also change the narrative in the process.

LeRoy: All Praises be to God! Through Him all things are possible. Thanks to VOD and MLMT for having us. I leave you with this, “Our parenting is literally a fight for the lives of our children. It is a noble battle that must be fought hard and relentlessly. It’s not always easy, I agree with my daughter, but when you can touch the lives of a few in a positive way, it is so rewarding. If we can help just a few of these young people realize their potential and give them tools to become change agents, then we would have made a difference. Prevention is the key, because damage control is far more costly.”

VOD – RICARDO: We love your father-daughter relationship and respect for one another. One can only imagine the obstacles you’ve faced during this journey. What you two have been able to create and accomplish is absolutely AMAZING!
There you have it! The ABC project is an objective-based program geared towards eliminating senseless violence, and reducing teen suicides due to bullying. This life changing program is definitely, in three words, “a game-changer” when it comes to addressing the issues of -Bullying.




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SPEAKERS: People’s Atty. Victoria Burton-Harris; Hakim Littleton’s aunt, fiancee and her mother, Nakia Wallace of Detroit Will Breathe, ACLU Atty. Mark Fancher, NCBL Atty. Jeffrey Edison, W. Paul Jackson, Diane Bukowski

This is the complete livestream video from Detroit Will Breathe’s Facebook Page of the Hakim Littleton Tribunal October 25, 2020. The video is nearly 3 hours. A summary will come.

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